Suzi Moore McGregor was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. After years of hard labor at the University of Arizona, she went overseas to study art at the Academia di Bella Arti and Scuola di Simi in Florence, Italy. She has spent most of her adult life viewing the world through her lens. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, American West, Audubon, Sierra, National Wildlife, Wilderness, and various other national and international publications. She is the author of Under the Sun, published by Little Brown & Co. and the co-author of Living Homes: Sustainable Architecture and Design, published by Chronicle Books. She currently resides in Durango, Colorado.
Bob Francis (1948) I have been in the professional graphic design and advertising business for over 30 years, as an art director, graphic designer and creative director. What I've always known all these years is that I truly love photography. I have worked with many excellent and gifted photographers creating thousands of marvelous images for a variety of clients, but always striving to transcend commercial photography and taking the work to a higher level. Of course that didn’t always happen which is the pesky thing about working with some clients.
Left to my own devices, my skills in design and the visual arts have realized a new purpose in this most recent work. Ever the perfectionist, I imbue the images I capture with a clarity and style that enhances the reality of the subjects. The difference between a photographic record and fine art photography is in the vision and the context.
About the Work
As some of nature’s most varied and quietly spectacular output, flowers, and plants in general, provide endless detail and visual intrigue. The closer I get, the more amazed I am. With these images, I reach beyond the typical and strive for the unusual…the unexpected—be it the point of view or the specimen itself. As with most natural photography, this is more discovery than invention.
Focusing on relatively small subjects, in extreme close up, reveals incredible details and features. Some of these revelations are surprising if not downright astonishing. Many seem foreign, even other-worldly. Nature at this level can be truly spectacular. I try to capture and convey more than just botanical minutiae; I also appreciate the graphic form and structure. Gesture and a sense of motion are also qualities that I very often find, which can give the subject some personality and attitude.
Aging gracefully is a recurring theme in many of these images as well. The perfect flower, in all its perky glamour and exhibitionism, is a stunning thing. However a flower or some other bit of flora past its prime is yet another state of grace. The elegance of decay is what intrigues me most.
About His Process
These images are captured at a very high resolution which provides not only incredible detail but astonishing color and tonal depth. The lighting is very soft and is most elegant in its simplicity and focus—that which is brighter is also sharper and closer.
Though much of the process is digital, it is only a means to fully realize the final image and the print. I do not use digital effects to embellish or substantially change the image. The subject is as I captured it.
Charles Grogg is a fine art photographer who works with botanical, still life, and natural imagery.
As a cross-disciplinary artist, Charles has synthesized imagery from literature as well as the pictorial arts into his imaginative workflow. Botanicals and other natural imagery, architecture, and nudes are often isolated from environmental backgrounds both to draw attention to their inherently sensual details and to make their implausible disconnection from the natural and vital world a cause for further investigation. The resulting portfolios marry the visible world to an audacious desire for satisfying forms. But, more intriguingly, the finished prints of these images are sensual artifacts, developed and toned in silver gelatin or luxuriously handcoated platinum/palladium on handmade Japanese gampi, a rare and beautiful washi.
Charles shoots Polaroid film on a 4x5 inch camera or medium format film developed in PMK Pyro.
I am drawn to natural forms because they make a world in my imagination even more gracefully than they do in my environment. Representing our natural world takes patience and desire for so many reasons: we are too near it constantly; contemplating it removes us from urgent worldly matters; it's easy to see nature as a decoration rather than as a residence where our imagination gets to play; and artists come back to it again and again looking for something new. What is left that is new?
In these images of botanicals, bodies, rifts beyond repair, I look for the natural world to turn away from me. The rootlessness inherent in isolated objects degrades and invigorates what we see. Where Jamaica Kincaid's beautiful essay "Flowers of Evil" bemoans the permanent loss of uprootedness and transplantation, my images are an attempt to give new meaning to old images, to make talismans of natural things, fetishes on paper from icons in imagination.
Al Olson In 1952 I discovered the magic of the darkroom. With the exception of those times where I did not have darkroom access, I have been developing my films and producing prints in the darkroom ever since. During my high school and college years I did press photography with a 4x5 press camera. These are cameras that use 4x5” sheet film to produce large negatives. Twelve years ago I returned to this practice, acquiring several large format view cameras, because I prefer the ‘look’ of the large negative image.
Still life photography, also known as tabletop photography, is derived as an art form originating in ancient times and later becoming popular as an art form since the 17th century. The subjects typically depict inanimate subject matter, such as flowers or fruit, and man-made subjects such as vases, books, and cups or glasses all arranged in a static scene.
Still life allows leeway in arranging objects, design elements, and lighting within the home studio setting. This leads to the selection of various household objects to be arranged as subject matter. I prefer simplicity of subject, employing various lighting techniques to emphasize shapes and shadows. The plain paper backdrop allows extreme emphasis of negative space, leading the viewer to concentrate on the composition as conceived by the photographer.
All of my photographs in this exhibit were accomplished with a 4x5 studio camera that allows close focusing through extreme extension of the bellows. Tilts to the lens board or film back are used to modify the plane of focus. These prints were all produced photographically in the darkroom.