Newton S. More
Artist Statement and Work Summary
The line that some say distinguishes photography from art seems to be blurring as technological advances, especially in photography, computer programs and printing, have enabled experimentation and creativity not historically available. It is part of a social evolution, and what qualifies as art, as a reflection of society, also grows and changes to accommodate such expression. Thus, while always open to debate, what is and what is not art remains a highly subjective facet of our changing social environment.
Currently, my work consists of three broad techniques: Traditional and digital lensed photography, Pinhole based imaging, and Polaroid SX-70 and other color manipulations.
Newton S. More
Lensless photography, which creates images without the benefit of glass or plastic lenses, is growing in popularity. The most common lensless technique employs a small pinhole made in a suitable material, such as aluminum baking ware, using a sewing needle. If made carefully and of sufficient size and placed on an existing de-lensed camera (or any light tight box), an image can be produced and captured just like in a ‘real’ camera. The phenomenon, associated with the term “Camera Obscura”(literally ‘room dark’) has been known for centuries, originally attributed to the Chinese, and used extensively by artists in Europe.
Images created using a pinhole have remarkable clarity and depth of focus. In fact, since the hole is so small, effectively creating a very small aperture (i.e.a high ‘f’; number), everything is in focus.
Many variations on pinhole photography exist, For one Pinhole technique I use a converted ‘Brownie’ type camera fitted with a pinhole. They are two types: straight shots of one image, on film, scanned and printed using Photoshop; and what I term “pinhole photomontage” whereby several images of an object are photographed sequentially on separate frames of film, scanned into Photoshop and stitched together.
It is possible to make a camera using multiple pinholes that will take a 360-degree image. My version of this uses a large popcorn tin fitted with six pinholes evenly distributed around it’s circumference.. This camera uses a sheet of light sensitive photo paper as it’s ‘negative’ which measures 8 x 11 inches! The images are unpredictable and quite interesting.
The Polaroid SX-70 camera and film sadly are no longer in production, but the technique involves physical manipulation (i.e. pushing) of the surface of an image using a stylus or dental tool in such a way that the still-soft emulsion is moved about, producing a watercolor-like effect. Scanning and computer-aided manipulation can be used to further enhance the image. Other Polaroid techniques, such as image and emulsion transfer, have a very artsy feel, and bring yet another dimension to photography.