Monday, April 02, 2007

Art tools: plate and roll film and large format as well as medium format cameras coming back into view

Tony Reans / photo Monica Reans
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Tony Reans has sold a lot of acrylic paintings around Shreveport. Non-objective pieces have been his forte. He has been part of many shows at Artspace, Bistineau and West Edge, among others. Yet he wants more from his artistic life. He has several high-concept plans bubbling on the stove, one involving a suited-up view of New Orleans, but the one that has come around this month comprises the view camera.

The search for high-resolution clarity and large-print images has pulled Reans across the recent century and into a world of plates and wood and glass and chemicals. The product of this Tachihara camera distinguishes itself when a megaprint is required.

It's hard to know how many view camera operators are at work around the town, though one imagines that it's hard for them to work in anonymity. When you see this fellow with a cherrywood camera and black drape atop a tripod, you will know about one such big format quest. His initial, giant black and white images will be on ShreveportFaces. The resulting image will represent capture beyond the capabilities of the digital tools most of us (yes, Reans is adept at photoshop) use today.

Retro tools are honored in the art world. On what might be considered the flip side of the view camera is the cheap Chinese camera called a Holga. Wikipedia says "The Holga's cheap construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. Ironically, the camera's quality problems became a virtue among some photographers, with Holga photos winning awards and competitions in art and news photography."

See ShreveportFaces for contributions by Mike Rosebery. He's an enthusiastic and effective Holga shooter.

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