Caitlin Crowley Artist Statement

I re-examine the surrounding world with my photography: taking a second, closer look, to realize the texture of plant life or see previously unnoticed details for the first time, or the change in perception a strange angle creates. This leads me to photographing small objects in extreme macro, things old and forgotten, and the natural world.

My photographs emphasize the entire form of the subject often in strong contrast to the background. My subjects are often corner weighted with strong angular movement keeping the subject from being too overpowering. Deep blocky shadows with a full range of middle and high tones are characteristic of my preference for wide aperture and high shutter speeds.

I chose to work in medium format film to achieve a very shallow depth of field. This allows me to print large with high detail. The use of bellows and macro tubes enhances the macro images and creates an even shallower depth of field. I process and shoot with standard roll film, polaroid film, and bulk film I re-spool myself. The technical aspects achievable through medium format film is why I chose it initially, the analog process behind it is what made me continue.

My film never leaves my hands. Whether it is roll film I shot, developed, and printed in the darkroom; or polaroid film that was shot and manipulated to create a transfer, emulsion lift, or recovered negative. I have total control, which comes with the knowledge of where every modification came from. The digital revolution has automated time consuming tasks, aided problem solving by readily providing useful information, gives instant feedback, and makes things more cost efficient. But the ease of use can make it easy to work without thinking. Working in an analog process forces consideration and builds a vested interest in each image. Each image can represent hours or days of work, each has a story of the journey the film and I took.

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