Vera Fotografia

I had a plan.  I studied.  I figured I would spend my time in the company of Florentine Masters.  Little did I know that on a fateful day, I would came across a small boy in a park holding a hand-grenade.  The course was Women Photographers in the Twentieth Century; Julia Margaret Cameron, Jessie Tarbox Beals, Lee Miller, Margaret Bourke-White, Lisette Model through to Diane Arbus.  My life changed.

Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C. 1962 is of course a key image amongst the many terrific images left to us by Diane Arbus.  I moved from feeble attempts at re-making postcards, to trusting others around me to make the postcards, so that I could focus on the people, and the other interesting things, you might see in places where you are for the first time, or maybe the 31st time.

Henri Cartier-Bresson apparently hid a small box of individual negatives, before leaving for WWII. Years of work reduced to a small handful of negs, cut to the individual frame.  Completely without context.  There is no contact sheet, no story, no caption. In many ways this is my approach to photography.  I don’t think in terms of projects, or series.  I photograph what interests me, what catches my eye.  Disparate, yet maybe united in some way I still have to figure out.

I don’t own a flash, a tripod, or filters. I use only one type of black and white film, one 50 mm lens, and an old M6 body.  I make photographs that reflect my curiosity, my history, and of-course all the photographers that have inspired me over the years. No one stands alone.

On a final note, I am a great admirer of Gianni Berengo-Gardin, the incredible, yet ever so humble Italian photographer.  He stamps all his photographs with a green stamp that reads: Vera Fotografia (genuine photograph), confirming that what is in the photograph is what was in front of him when he made the photograph using an analog camera and film. His photographs are printed in a darkroom on fiber paper from the original negative with no digital manipulation of any kind.  Amen to that!

camera.  film.  darkroom.  silver gelatin on fiber paper.  old school. 

Harbel

film1

PS:  Mitsuru Nagata designed my logo and icons.  Thank you!