Truely Painting with Light
Big thanks to Chrisy who shared this piece with us... The video in the article is where it's at... if you thought dodging and burning in photoshop was difficult to master, consider Christopher Burkett's process: it sometimes takes him up to 8 hours to make a print in his non-digital process as he truely paints with light.
The "racing against time" in the headline of the original piece at PetaPixel at first had me thinking the poor guy was ill, thankfully not the case, rather Christopher works in an 8x10 format on Cibachrome paper which is no longer manufactured, but he's bought a 10-year supply. Only trouble is, once exposed and developed the Cibachrome will degrade over time and Christopher needs to make all the prints he wishes to before the original work is not longer viable.
True Puritans, Christopher and his wife travel to locations and look to find interesting scenes to shoot, sometimes that takes an hour, sometimes they stay for a whole week looking for the best shot. I think in the digital age a lot of us have lost the finesse it takes to make a great image. It's perhaps too easy to point and click rather than the effort it takes for folks like Christopher to lug around his huge 8x10 camera, set it up, move the bellows for depth of field and focus and another bellows for the lens hood. He has to be sure he has a shot to make before he goes through all that effort.
Following this process in finding his image, he then exposes it, you'll note his wife standing off the the side, making what I assume to be notes about his exposure settings (another thing we used to do quite often back in the day, before digital and metadata). But the real show of talent comes at around the 5:30 mark when you see how Christopher doges and burns his image during exposure. While you're seeing his process using Cibachrome, the process was much the same when exposing smaller film thought an enlarger onto photo paper.
Anyway, enough of my blathering, check out the video below from PBS News Hour for more, and be amazed at what people are still doing to make a photo.