Tom Chambers Statement


Artist Statement
I present unspoken stories which illustrate fleeting moments in time and which are intended to evoke a mood in the viewer. These mythical illustrations might address the fragility of childhood or the delicate transition experienced by a child passing into adolescence and then adulthood. Others express the tension in the uncertain coexistence between man and his environment, a delicate balance too often ignored and damaged. With digital photography I desire to move beyond documentation of the present, and rather seek to merge reality and dreams in musing about possibilities of the future.

While working on Animal Visions I found myself circling back to the influence of magic realism. In the early 20th century Latin American writers and artists used magic realism to create images, which with a simple twist go beyond the expected into the unexpected. In this series I have constructed images to tell unfinished stories, which initially might seem true and believable, but likely are improbable.


Process Statement
I initially sketch a concept or idea which I have for an image. Then, I photograph each piece of the photomontage using a Nikon D700 or a medium format film camera, generally a Mamiya Pro TL or a Fuji Rangefinder. The greatest challenge is in making sure the light intensity and direction are similar in each of these shots.

The process of creating a photomontage may take a month or more, depending upon how quickly I am able to get all the shots and sort through them, selecting the ones which work best together. "Pieces" of the final image may include the landscape or background, often shot in sections, as well as the sky, a human figure, an animal, or another object. The processed film is scanned at a high resolution, approximately 80 megabytes per frame. Then, I use Photoshop software with a Macintosh computer to combine each "piece", thus creating the final image. Lastly, the photomontage is printed with archival pigment inks on cotton rag paper.


 
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