Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pic of the Day - 4.15.2010

Photo © 2009 by Kelly Grider.  Purchase inquiries may be made through his website: http://www.kellygrider.com.

Okay, y'all, let me tell you a bit about Kelly Grider.  He shoots on film, has what seems like 100 or more cameras and at least twice as many lenses.  He processes his own film, makes his own prints and, many times, makes his own lenses.  He is also intelligent, well-educated, well-travelled, funny, and good-looking.  But I digress.  This is what I want you to know: the image above (and, indeed, all the images I've posted of Kelly's) is from a contact sheet.  Now, for those of you too young to know what a contact sheet is, lemme explain.  A contact sheet is a piece of photographic paper upon which some negatives is laid and exposed to a little light.  Then, the photographic paper is developed in a pan of chemicals like a regular print.  What you end up with is a light-burned black piece of paper with the positive images (thumbnails, if you will) from the negatives on it.  These contact sheets are merely used for referencing what you have captured on your film.  They are NOT the finished product.  It's the equivalent of looking at the tiny LCD screen on the back of your digital camera after you've snapped the photo.  Kelly makes contact sheets and then stores them in plastic sheets for archival purposes.  The image above is from a scanned contact sheet, still in its protective plastic sheet, laid on a flatbed scanner.

Why do I tell you this?  Because that gorgeous image above has not been Photoshopped or even properly printed.  There are few photographers working today who's work is strong enough to be shown in this stage of development and not only be gallery-worthy, but also better than most of the finished photos being displayed and sold today.

I'm not playing favorites here.  I love all the photographers with whom I've worked.  When I look at a photo like the one above, like most people, I first take in the composition, subject matter and lighting.  Sometimes, when I learn a bit about the artist's technical process, my appreciation of that image is enhanced.  Not all photographers have a story as interesting as this.  Oh, by the way, the hood I'm wearing in the photo is chain maille, hand made by Kelly Grider.

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