Photographic processes have evolved so much over the course of this century, allowing creative individuals to experiment with any type of camera and output. If you had asked me about 6 years ago if I thought photographs were a fine art, I would have probably replied no. I thought heck you just point the camera and click, how hard is it really? My fine art background was traditional in the sense that I pursued drawing, painting as well as printmaking. Photography started to really become something I dabbled with every so often in college beginning with a Photography and Painting theory class. The book used was David Hockney’s Secret Knowledge, which explored the idea of master painters using lenses to help create their magnificent paintings, whether it was a portrait, or space etc. Specifically the camera obscura was used. This created a bit of turmoil within myself as the question that continued to haunt me was: is this considered cheating? Other essays I explored were Walter Benjamin’s “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” and John Berger’s book Ways of Seeing. A brief synopsis can be seen at this link. With this being said, when I was developing my ideas with printmaking, I was introduced to a photo sensitive process called imagon. This process allowed me to use digital media to create a “photo-intaglio” print. Really I have to say I thought this was quite interesting and I really loved the results! As my interest in photography grew, I finally was persuaded to take an Alternative Photo Process class with Margaret Adams, because of the painterly quality I have seen with Cyanotypes, Platinum Palladium etc… I thought why not give it a try. This is where I met Leonardo, the 8×10 Super Wide Angle pinhole camera and cyanotype! This changed my life forever bringing me to the wonderful topic of F295!!!
This past weekend my dear friends, Gabriel Biderman and David Brommer had the opportunity to display one of their prints within the F295 Photo show at the New York Camera Club! Other artists included were Jo Babcock, Jill Enfield, Tom Persinger (founder of F295), Martha Casanave, Michelle Bates, Jesseca Ferguson, France Scully Osterman, Keith Taylor, Dan Estabrook and the list goes on. Processes ranged from Gum Bichromate, Platinum Palladium, Collodion, Ziatype, Bromoil, Tintypes, etc… The show was well put together and the turn out for the Saturday Reception was incredible. On Sunday, many of the artists spoke at the Event Space at B&H Photo, Video, Pro-Audio. All of these photographers are so inspirational and I recommend taking a look at their websites and books. To learn these photographic Processes F295 holds a symposium in May. Last year I learned how to make tintypes with the Diana camera taught by Jill Enfield as well as how to make large painterly pinhole and camera obscura images with Ilan Wolff. I hope to see everyone there as it is so much fun! Everyone is very creative and kind. Contemplation and learning at its best. Christopher James also has a phenomena new book that details each process. If you want to get started now, Bostick and Sullivan has kits to be purchased. B&H Photo also has some alternative process kits.
The camera of my choice for the Saturday night gallery reception was the Polaroid Impulse! I just had the impulse to take a few pictures of the artists and event with their work.
Of course to celebrate, the remaining group went to Hill Country for some yummy meat!