The marriage between digital photography and social media created a new renaissance over the past decade that shaped the ever increasing popularity of photography in general. Almost every human being has the capacity to produce images regardless of technical knowledge and intent. But there are those who remain devoted to process and discipline in order to capture truth or emotions, intangible concepts which are born out of our physical environment but are presented in a divergent perspective.
Wisconsin-based fine art photographer Vicki Reed introduces us to explore alternative processes when creating images. The photos from her 2007 series, Land and Sky, were produced using Holga and Diana cameras. As a former newspaper photographer, Vicki was used to capturing accurate news events and straight photographs. “We were encouraged to be creative in our approach but we were not allowed to manipulate the image at all. When I left that field and became interested in pursuing fine art photography, I began experimenting with plastic toy cameras and alternative processes.”
Shot in square format, Land and Sky features various black and white landscapes taken during different seasons. The series dramatically suspends viewers between familiar yet unfamiliar natural scenes. The chromatic aberrations and light leaks, which the toy cameras are known for, perfectly conform to the concept Vicki wanted to achieve. “I was more interested in capturing a mood rather than an exact copy of what my eye was seeing. The plastic toy cameras that I used for this series with their imperfect lenses were just what I needed to be able to achieve the goal of creating a mood or a different perspective.”
Land and Sky is a great introduction to Vicki Reed’s other notable works and sophisticated photographic processes. She has experimented with lith printing, encaustic, lumens, photogravure, hand color process and cyanotype among others. These alternative processes allow her to create individual unique pieces. Her recent images are captured through a digital camera and mobile phone, manipulated through the aforementioned procedures to create personal handmade prints and mixed media artwork.