Solar Snapshot is the working title of my latest camera less photography images. I use black and white silver gelatin photography paper, plant material and sunlight to capture ethereal images floating in color fields created by chemistry of plant material laid onto the paper and exposure in sunlight. When the UV index is high with little cloud cover images appear very quickly. A snapshot is an informal photograph taken quickly as well as a recording of a place or situation. These prints are fugitive image captures of sun and location which will vanish over time unless I wash the prints in a bath of photography fixer. Instead of using a fixer bath I scan my images, then store in a dark location. I know they will vanish over time which is fine as part of my process is to accept transformation as inevitable. I am astonished by how much color can be coaxed from black and white paper, a metaphor for how nothing needs to be absolute, and change is always possible.
I’m always interested in alternative photography lenses for digital camera bodies. My zone plate lens is of particular interest since it creates a flare around the object being photographed. Make Some Friends grew out of an idea to use Victorian flatware to make stick figures. I construct the figures using found flatware from various sources. In the nineteenth century there were many fashionable foods and a special utensil for each one. A tiny ladle for the perfect dollop of mustard or a miniature lettuce fork are not widely used today. It was not polite to touch food with fingers so special spoons would be provided for a dessert bonbon or mint as well. A variety of tongs was required for foods such as asparagus, sugar cubes and petit-four pastry.
Due to 2020/2021 global pandemic it has been difficult to see friends in real time. These portraits of small figures made of flatware components from another era glow due to refracted light from thousands of little scratches in the metal. They are somewhat otherworldly due to halos created by the zone plate lens. My new friends are engaging in their robotic form and strangely comforting to construct. This work speaks to a world where we are all becoming more familiar with small robots and less human contact. Some robots today are creations that mimic life and are helpful as companions. Using old world components to create twentieth century friends brings old objects to new life in a friendly form glowing up at me.