This photo is part of a new still life series I’m been working on titled, Arrangements. Inspiration for this series comes from Pictorialism (an aesthetic movement and style of photography found in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in which the photographer would create an image rather than recording one) as well as sound, texture, pattern, and surface. Shot on 4×5 film and developed by hand in my darkroom. I’m offering prints for sale in my shop as well, if you’d like to take a look.
A nod to Pictorialism and early still life photography dating back to the 1830s with works from Jacques-Louis-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot. Prints available at my new shop at Saatchi Art.
4×5 Pacemaker Crown Graphic | Atomic-X 100 | R5 Monobath Developer
Crown Graphic | 4×5 | Atomic-X 100 ISO
Still Life, January
snowflakes on the front porch
cat curled against window pane
caramelized onions in coconut oil
water stained film
the lilies he gave me
I recently bought a large format camera and after my first trek out with the Crown Graphic, tripod, loaded 4×5 film holders, and dark cloth, I was hooked. My hands froze in the bitter New England wind. Among the snow flurries, bitter cold, setting sun, I hiked around a reservoir, metered two shots, and crossed my fingers for the best. I noted exposure settings for each shot on my phone as reference. The first two shots were made on expired Velvia 50 which meant not only did I have to nail the mechanics of setting up the camera, but also exposing the film since chrome, like black and white, needs a dead on exposure. I waited to shoot the remaining 8 sheets of chrome film that came with the camera before moving onto black and white. The first two sheets of film mailed back from the lab had a magenta shift and good tones. I shot the last of the film then bought chemistry and film to set up a minimal black and white film darkroom at home. I questioned the decision the entire time. Bathroom, chemistry, equipment…did I really want to slow my work down that much? Frame by frame then developing and scanning and . . . once I processed my first sheets of 4×5 film I couldn’t repeat the process soon enough so it’s back into the darkroom with gloves, goggles, and a diy exhaust system, aka box fan.