Welcome to my photo blog! Posting is sporadic. My photography is a journey. I work with black and white film cameras in a darkroom. I started working with large format cameras about 10 years ago so that I could have large negatives ultimately for platinum palladium prints, which I did briefly. I have recently revisited this process and plan to continue printing with these noble metals. Please join me as the story unfolds!
Over this summer (2017), much of my photography is in a local show, called Passages. This eclectic presentation of black and white images and platinum palladium work is paired with the colourful acrylic paintings of a friend and artist, Dar West. Our work shows well together, a unique blend of themes, textures, images, colours and lack of colour!
If you are in the area, please stop by Jessica's Book Nook and enjoy the show. It runs until the end of September. Pieces are selling so don't miss out.
And enjoy the opportunity to visit a fabulous, small town book shop with amazing titles and hospitality. Be sure to tell Joan or Gillian or Deb that you read about the show on my blog!
Have a great summer!
Once again, we are ready for the studio tour weekend. The Tour of the Arts, now in its 22nd consecutive year, continues to grow. This year, we have 3 photographer studios open, along with 15 others, painters, carvers, sculptors, glass blowers. It is quite an event.
The 3 day event is a free, self-guided tour from Thornbury, Clarksburg, Kimberley and Craigleith.
It is wonderful to see this event thrive. We welcome everyone to stop in, chat with our artists and hopefully find that piece of art that whispers, "Take me home with you!"
For more info, see the website Tour of the Arts
Dar West is my guest and we are stop #11 on this year's tour.
Photography has always been my passion-a camera, my constant companion.
My never ending fascination with the intricate subtleties of light and shadow and a love of the natural landscape are lifelong influences. Black and white photography affords me a creativity and freedom from the emotional influences of colour and allows you, the viewer a unique response to my images.
I choose to work with black and white film and often with large format view cameras. I believe the challenges are worth extra effort. The subtleties and clarity of large film, the focus on texture, lines, shapes and tones, all come together in my darkroom in the process of creating traditional silver photographs which you see here.
My work is transitioning to Platinum/Palladium prints. This century old process produces subtly toned prints with a modern twist which includes using digitally produced negatives. I love this way of working. It extends my photographing to times and places where it would not normally be possible for me to use a large format camera.
What else has influenced me? The art of photographers like Eugene Atget, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston all of whom created timeless beauty; as well, a love of nature, a lifetime of travel, interesting faces and relationships, foreign landscapes, rocky shorelines and ocean cliffs, archaeological ruins and ancient mountain paths. I use my cameras everywhere!
RAW:Reveal BarrieCory Stickley Photography at the Roxy Theatre July 22
If you have ever wondered about how a platinum palladium photograph is created, here is a link to a fascinating video about Japanese photographer Nobuyuki Kobayashi https://vimeo.com/91495217
There are so many challenges to alternative photography and I am often tempted to give up the whole large format camera/film and darkroom stuff. But I have started testing Japanese handmade Kozo papers and am enchanted with the texture and the translucent quality. The images printed on this paper are unlike anything you have seen. There is a clarity to the image because of the larger negatives and at the same time, a texture to the papers that at first seems unrelated to the concept of LF photography! But working with these papers is a joyful experience. They are fragile and yet, strong when wet. The fibres are obvious, unlike traditional photo papers. They can be translucent or almost opaque, natural in tones or creamier like the Arches Platine that I have used in the past.
At this time, I am still experimenting with 6 different kinds of washi. 3 have emerged as front runners- I find I am partial to the more lightweight, translucent and natural colour. Today I continue Day 2 of my testing and am excited to be able to use these beautiful papers. They all have different special qualities but I do need to narrow down the choices. I will let you know what I decide when all the experimenting is over.
I hope you are able to watch some of the video. Although about 30 minutes long, you will see the whole process, from shooting with a large format camera to processing the film, coating the paper and printing the images. I watched it today for the second time and found that it reinforced my choice to photograph this way. It is truly inspiring.
A photographer returned 50,000 Euros in prize money stating her artistic integrity was compromised when she was no longer able to create work in line with her artistic vision. Titles of the project were changed, images edited, resulting in a project at odds with her initial creation. She felt the changes produced a cliched and coarse view of the country she was portraying. Here is the link if you are interested. http://www.bjp-online.com/2014/09/2014-carmignac-gestion-photojournalism-award-controversy/
Such a thought provoking action!
It reinforces that I must always consider what it means to remain true to my vision and keep this in my conscious mind. How many times have I heard, "You should take a photo of this …(whatever that might be)" or my favourite "There should be some colour." or " I love this but you should have taken it in the winter."
Every time I hear these "helpful comments”, I have choices to make. I can bow to the pressure to follow someone else's vision or reaffirm my own ......or any of the options between these two extremes.
My art is created deliberately. It is not an accident and if one can allow the possibility, it is a statement of what is important to me as an artist. Only I have the experiences to see my life through my own eyes. I don't expect my own artistic vision to match anyone else's-if it does, that can be exciting.
When an artist presents her work to the world, not for critique and professional growth, but as a finished body of work, who has the right to say it isn't so? Showing my photographs can stretch my skills and talents but it can involve artistic compromise. What is the price of participation for the sake of publicity? Is it necessary? Is it of any value? And if so, how does it serve me as an artist?
Because for every choice, there are consequences.
Newsha Tavakolian's courage and determination to remain true to her own vision are rare in today's world of shrinking boundaries and increased sense of entitlement. I feel her outrage in her action and in her statement to the world. And it forces me to re-examine my own artistic vision.
Look for my images at the following events this September.
Sept. 4 - Oct 30 Collingwood Captured Photography show at the Press Gallery, 65 Simcoe St. Collingwood
Fabulous large images from around the town. Can you guess where they were taken, what they are?
Sept 5- Oct 30 Collingwood Captured running concurrently at the Collingwood Library featuring the work of local photographers who know this area well.
Sept 27- from 6-9 pm Collingwood 2nd Annual Art Crawl at 20+ locations. I will be at 65 Simcoe St. as part of the national Culture Days celebration and the formal kick off to "Collingwood Captured" hosted by the Andrea Rinaldo Gallery and The Espresso Post. Look for my newest platinum palladium prints on display.
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©Cory Stickley Photography
Recent Posts'Passages' Studio Tour weekend Artist Statement RAW Artists Show in Barrie July 22 Platinum process and Japanese washi Defending Artistic Integrity Upcoming Events this September Returning to Platinum Palladium Prints From the darkness of the darkroom! Funniest ever description by large format photographer!