We still have a few shares available for our 4th round CSA! We are publishing short interviews with the six featured photographers to get to know them and their work a bit better. This is Carol Golemboski!
Your photography looks anything but straight, but you use traditional darkroom processes to create your imagery. Can you describe how you create your photographs?
I begin by searching for unusual objects at antique stores and estates sales. I often photograph the objects with black, gray, or white backgrounds, using a medium or large format camera, and allowing considerable space in the composition for extensive manipulation in the darkroom. My negatives are typically very simple and straightforward—they function almost like sketches.
The real magic happens in the darkroom where I combine the imagery with photograms and carefully crafted drawings. These manipulations create visual illusions that separate the image from photographic “reality.” The end result is a combination of fact and fiction, a metaphor for a psychological or emotional state.
Can you talk a little about the reoccurring themes in your work?
The pictures in That Old Black and White Magic specifically relate traditional photography to the golden age of magic. The images play on photography’s ability to simultaneously delight and deceive through the incorporation of multiple camera and darkroom “tricks.” In this series I employ the most clichéd magic trick props to convey a sense of uneasiness and wonder.
These photographs are also, in part, an ode to the darkroom. For anyone who has ever marveled at an image “magically” appearing in the developer, this series recalls an era in photography that is disappearing into thin air.
What are your impressions of the ILFORD paper you selected to work with for this project?
I use ILFORD Warmtone Multigrade paper to make my silver prints in the darkroom. Many of the ILFORD ink jet papers have a similar ivory base color that complements my imagery quite well. For a long time I felt that silver gelatin papers were superior to ink jet papers for black and white photography. In the past several years, however, I’ve been particularly impressed by the variety and quality of new ink jet papers that are available.