Friday, July 1, 2011

Mother and Child

I specialized in fine portraits of Mother and Child in my studio when my own children were very young. These selenium toned images are more essential and timeless in black and white, to my mind. I now use a unique formula for black and white conversions with digital images. It closely resembles the final effect of many hours of darkroom processing I used to do that using a special elon/acetone film developer with selenium toner at the end. That combined with Agfa Portriga paper made for creamy rich skin tones and a warm tint on the photographic emulsion. A very labor intensive process however and the exposure to chemicals is certainly not healthy. Now I print this image, for example, onto archival watercolor paper with archival inks (called a Giclée) to have a lasting fine art print that is not quite the same, but has a quality far beyond the normal lab print.  Digital technology allows one to shoot more, and in a photojournalistic style without film costs, but the processing time can be very long at the computer. Digital photography also requires expensive cameras with powerful computers and software which need to be constantly upgraded every few years. I miss my old medium format 6x7 camera, it was such a great workhorse that never needed upgrading. Still, I enjoy the advantages of the new technology and keep finding new ways to use it!