Digital photography is now taking on the burden once carried by conventional photography, but artistic exploration will continue with many outdated processes in the years to come.
Photography lends itself to producing a multitude of effects difficult to obtain otherwise. Chemistry may be the least explored area when it comes to new image invention without a camera. The popularity of digital capture has pushed photography so far ahead that unexplored processes have been left behind, as was the case in the early days of photography. It is a new day for chemical experimentation in the wet darkroom.
My first serious exploration into some of the nuances of photography began in 1978 while pursuing an MFA at Utah State. I was working feverishly to come up with new ideas, as grad students usually do. Of interest at the time were the sabbatier effect (solarization), cliché verre (handmade negatives on glass) and the photogram (I borrowed the word “gram” for these techniques). These were often considered rouge techniques outside the realm of “true photography” defined as photography that in- volved a camera, film and a darkroom. I wanted to work contrary to the convention, as Moholy-Nagy had suggested. He stated that photography was all the results that can be achieved by photographic means with or without a camera. At that same time Surrealist painters Max Ernst, Yves Tanguay, Roberto Matta and Man Ray also influenced my work.