I was a black and white film photographer for over 30 years. I saw God's canvas through the view finder. I would go anywhere I could with my camera and would use many rolls of film. I wouldn't know how it turned out until I got home and developed the negative and then print it.
The film would be printed on fiber-based paper. If I wanted to hand paint it with transparent oils, I would mount the paper onto acid free mat board, treat the dried paper with turpentine in order to accept the transparent oils. I rolled my own q-tips because they had to be small, using toothpicks. The oils would be pushed into the fiber and then lifted off. This would be the technique for the entire painting. I was layering the oils, one hue at a time. This process usually took about 40 hours to complete a finished painting.
I went into the digital age kicking and screaming. I didn't want to give up my black and white darkroom but had to due to health issues. I gave away the enlargers and all the equipment and bought my digital Nikon DSLR camera, the same one I have today 15 years later.
Using a digital camera, I had to learn a new way to develop the image. I had to learn Photoshop. The best book I used for this was "Photoshop for Dummies", and that described me to a T. It took me a long time to get used to it, but am so glad I did. I can see immediately if I need to retake the picture and not worry about the cost. You can take 1000 pictures digitally, but if you took them with 24 or 36 rolls of film......
Do I miss the black and white camera? You bet, but a lot of suppliers were not producing the film and the chemicals were extremely expensive to ship because of OSHA. I miss the time I spent in the darkroom watching the magic of an image come alive in the developer and follow it through to the stop and fix. There was a certain joy seeing that.
My photography has been in over 70 invitationals, solo exhibitions and gallery shows. I have been awarded numerous awards, including the Audubon Award for a Body of Work from Phillips Mills Gallery, People's Choice Award and Alternative Processing Award, to name a few. I have been published in two periodicals and have had my photography on the cover of an international magazine.
I love photography and sharing the process. Please contact me here and I will be delighted to answer back!
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