Friday, January 16, 2009

a commercial break - a fellow photographer

An associate of my wife, an attorney by trade, shares my passion for photography. This week he had an opening for an exhibit of his photographs at Martine's, a local restaurant. Most of his images were black and white and showed an odd blurring on the edges with a small focused area in the center. I found this effect very intriguing since it isn't characteristic of any technique that I'm aware of. It cannot be attributed to a view camera which exhibits a more linear plane of focus. I suspected a toy camera might be at work here with the enhanced blurring on the edges created by a thin application of Vaseline. Other possibilities included Photoshop manipulation or simply employing a Lensbaby, but still either explanation did not seem quite right.

When I asked the photographer, Brett Johnson, how he achieved his effect, he openly shared his unique technique with me. Essentially, he shoots with an old Kodak Brownie Hawkeye camera that has been dis-assembled, then re-assembled with the shooting lens reversed. I had never heard about this before nor was I able to find anything on the internet. Some of his images are quite beautiful. I include the link to his gallery page that highlights this body of the work. The second photo from the left on the top row is my absolute favorite. It shows a Utah Transit Authority Trax stop on a rainy day. Check it out. You won't be able to just click on the URL and be linked to the site. Instead, you should cut and paste the URL into your web browser. The URL is listed below:

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