This new edition to the series looks at one of today’s most innovative artists. Working exclusively in 19th century processes, Dan Estabrook produces intimate, yet compelling photographs that illustrate the beauty of long forgotten methods. In the documentary portion, he talks about his influences, techniques and the impetus behind everything he creates, while writer and critic Lyle Rexer and others comment on his exceptional talent. In the Photo Commentary, Estabrook provides insight to many of his photographs, and in the Bonus Feature, he demonstrates the salt print process.
Photographer Shaun Irving explains the art and science behind his cameratruck project: an ultra-large format camera built from a delivery van. The truck acts as a camera obscura, project the image within its dark interior where it can be exposed. A hole in the side of the truck holds a lens. Paper over the hole adjusts the aperture and he manually exposes the image. The resulting images can be as large as four feet tall and eight feet wide. With the limitations of the truck and fumbling around in the dark, the resulting images capture the energy, confines, and process that made them. The fascination with the work lies in their technical imperfections and the story and journey behind them.
This well done documentary covers John Chiara’s photographic process and work flow. It is well worth the seven minutes. Chiara shoots with a ultra-large format camera cityscapes by building his own equipment and processes. His intensely analog techniques capture something unique. He lives in san Francisco, California.
The Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service presents Baltimore artist Robert Creamer, who looks at photography and botanical specimens in a whole new light with an ingenious method of “scanner photography.” Transitions, organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Started its tour at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Episode #108: Florian Maier-Aichen likens his use of infrared film to an in-between state, discussing photography’s role in picturing the American West and its ability to confound past and present.
Alternately romantic, cerebral, and unearthly, Florian Maier-Aichen’s digitally altered photographs are closer to the realm of drawing and fiction than documentation. He embraces difficult techniques, chooses equipment that produces accidents such as light leaks and double exposures, and uses computer enhancements to introduce imperfections and illogical elements into images that paradoxically “feel” visually right, though they are factually wrong. Often employing an elevated viewpoint (the objective but haunting “God’s-eye view” of aerial photography and satellite imaging), Maier-Aichen creates idealized, painterly landscapes that function like old postcards. Interested in places where landscape and cityscape meet, he chooses locations and subjects from the American West and Europe—from his own neighborhoods to vistas of the natural world. Looking backwards for his influences, Maier-Aichen often reenacts or pays homage to the work of the pioneer photographers of the nineteenth century, sometimes even remaking their subject matter from their original standpoints. Always experimenting, he marries digital technologies with traditional processes and films (black-and-white, color, infrared, and tricolor), restoring and reinvigorating the artistry and alchemy of early photography.