Illuminated Negatives are color photograms of nature which are created without the use of Camera, Film or Computer. The newest installment of the series is titled The Ocean. Inspired during a visit to Monterey Bay, the artist collaborated with Heal the Bay Santa Monica Aquarium to create surreal images of local oceanic specimens.
My work illuminates the natural world and enables the viewer to become a tourist in a surreal display of natural specimens collected from throughout the Los Angeles area. By affording the viewer an opportunity to experience a symbiotic connection to nature's smaller creations, I am hoping a greater appreciation for their intricate and fragile beauty is attained. My lifelong passion for photography and nature, as well as my darkroom expertise, have merged together to create this body of work called Illuminated Negatives which are created without the use of film, camera, or computer. The resulting prints created by my photogram process allows the viewer to experience heretofore unseen hidden wonders of the specimens. My original photograms generate limited editions because once the objects are removed or start to deteriorate, that particular arrangement is gone.
A Photogram is a photographic image that is very similar to an X-Ray. It is a shadowlike photograph made by placing objects between light-sensitive paper and a light source. The photogram is based on the laws of photo sensitivity. The areas of the paper that receive light when exposed appear dark and the parts that do not receive any light appear lighter. The net result of photogram is a silhouetted image with a fine texture of alternate light and darkness.
St. Louis, Missouri native Christine M. Caldwell relocated to California in 1995 to study photography at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. In the years since obtaining her degree, Christine mastered color and black & white darkroom techniques, which have made her a highly sought after darkroom professional. She works with a wide range of print publications and advertising agencies. Photographers seeking to advance their skills come to her for private instruction and workshops in darkroom printing. As an artist, Christine has expanded the potential of the photogram—the process of creating an image using light and photo sensitive paper, minus the camera and film—by pioneering the use of the color enlarger and color paper to manipulate the look of the final product.
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