My passionate interest in photography started as a young child and has continued throughout my adult life. As a fine art photographer, my photographic images encompass many areas of the art form including landscape, still life, portraiture, and abstract. My imagery strives to extract the beauty in even the simplest or mundane of objects or settings. I shoot in digital as well as medium and large format film. Recently I have been delving into the realm of alternative process photography, exploring practices such as cyanotype, salt printing, and platinum/palladium/ gold split toned kallitype printing. These historic processes allow me to slow down and more thoroughly investigate the inner beauty and form of each image. I intend to use this blog forum to announce upcoming shows and exhibitions, discuss current shoots I am working on, as well as engage in discussions of alternative processes both historic and modern. I hope you will enjoy following me on this journey.
I have been documenting the devastation from the Rim Fire for the past year, revisiting the burn areas at various times of the year, photographing the changes to the areas over time. The digital images I have captured are converted to digital negatives and then printed as platinum/ palladium/ gold split toned kallitype prints. Many of these images are further enhanced by either burning the prints (yes, I do mean lighting them on fire) or placing ash encrusted shoe prints over the surface of the prints, bringing a powerful emotional connection to the visual scars seen in the prints.
This past Thursday I made my fifth trip to the area of the Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest. Most of the severely damaged areas are still closed to the public, but I was able to visit one area I had not photographed before. I also revisited an area of some of the worst devastation to find much of the area has been logged off. This has created another level of destruction and scarring to the landscape. Two of the trees that I have photographed on each of my previous visits, and made a spiritual connection to, are still standing but I don't know for how much longer they will be there. However, there was also evidence of re-birth occurring, bracken ferns emerging as well as Mountain Misery growing and blooming amongst the scarred and burned trees. This was an emotional trip, almost as powerful as the first time I saw the destruction a year ago.
The following images have been converted to black and white in preparation of creating the digital negatives prior to printing as kallitypes.
© Debra Small Photography