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About art - 30 May 2013

Secrets of an art studio: Photography

We are all familiar with the concept of a photograph, they capture moments in time. For the more technically minded of you though, photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images.

With so many different ways to produce a photograph, the technique used very much depends on the effect the photographer wishes to achieve. Practitioners of the art, photographic duo Barry Cawston and Soraya Schofield, are the founders of The Drugstore Gallery in Somerset. Here they have kindly shared a few of their trade secrets and provided a very beautiful glimpse into how they produce their work by way of, well, a few photographs:

1. Firstly they select their tools, from a 5/4 Wista Field Camera, Rolleiflex, 120 Roll Film, or Nikon D3S.

Wista Field CameraRolleiflex camera

120 Roll Film CameraNikon D3S Camera

2. Then it’s off to shoot on location and take some amazing shots.

Lady photographer on location in SomersetPhotograph of wind surfers on British coast

3. Once the perfect image has been captured, Barry and Soraya work on the composition and appearance of their images. Calibrated machines are used to ensure accuracy of colour for on-screen editing, and retouching takes place at theprintspace in East London. For some images, etching and transfer are used to create the desired effect.

Calibrated printing machinesRetouching studio in East London

Photograph of an etching and image transfer of a treePhotograph of etching and image transfer of a tree

4. Or, it’s into the darkroom where they use an enlarger, in this case a De Vere 504, for colour printing and B&W’s. Using an enlarger means they can print images that are of different sizes to the negative. To help with the darkroom process, Barry and Soraya advocate wine and vinyl as good sources of inspiration!

5. The negative is put in a carrier on a light box to check it is clean, before being focused on the easel. The print is then put into a colour machine to produce a colour print, or placed in a developing tray to create a B&W print, which is then washed and dried.

6. Once the composition has been perfected, the images are printed in limited editions, some as archival C-types, others as Giclee prints.

Photograph of 91cm archival C-Type printPhotograph of an Espon giclee print

Photograph of 2m panoramics Image of photographic prints of coastal scenes

7. The prints are signed, before being prepared for mounting and framing.

8. Lastly, they are hung in pride of place in the homes of their new owners!

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