Friday, September 23, 2011

Photographer #385: Chris McCaw

Chris McCaw, 1971, USA, received a BFA in photography at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He works on his photography using a large-format camera and the platinum/palladium process. His current project is called Sunburn. He was making all-night exposures of the stars while on a camping trip in 2003. He woke up late and therefore the shutter was not closed in time. What he found out by mistake was the start of a new project. The rising sun was so focused and powerful that it physically changed the film. The sun burns its path onto the negative creating an effect called solarization, a natural reversal of tonality due to over-exposure. The negative literally has a burnt hole in it with the surrounding landscape in complete reversal. He then started experimenting and perfecting his technique using the sun as an active participant in his images. In 2006 he chose to use vintage fiber based gelatin b&w paper. The gelatin in the paper gets cooked and leaves orange and red colors. In this way he created one of a kind paper negatives. His series The Family Farm and Travelogue were shot using a 7x17" view camera. In this way he was capable to create 7x17" direct contact prints  by hand. Since 1996 he also uses this technique for clients with digital negatives using Dan Burkholder's method. The following images come from Sunburn, The Family Farm, and Travelogue.


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