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Photo essay Conceptual


This is an example of how something brilliantly simple can be most effectively. Beautiful abstract photography made with a simple sheet of paper. A project by Kyle Hoffmann.

How would you describe your work?

My process is rather slow when making my images. I use a Hasselbad 501cm and develop most of my film at home. Some images I revisit the same location many times to capture what I am trying to achieve, sometimes taking a few months or even years of planning. With paper I was trapped at home and quickly running out of subjects, using simple copy paper I was manipulating the paper to see how the shadows would fall. It made me think about what is our reality and reminded me of platos cave.

I normally have some kind of intention in what I'm trying to show or invoke in the viewer. However I also enjoy ready made scenes, I am always walking around with my camera.

Can you tell us a bit more about your process?

I use a medium format film camera and develop the film mostly at home. For printing I make both platinum palladium and pigment prints. I really like the idea and feeling of object making. Something that can be discovered years later and still be there. One of my friends is a historian and mentioned to me this is called the digital dark ages, since most things are now presented and stored digitally. The idea of making the work is always in my mind and its archivability. Platinum palladium prints are known as one of the most archival photographic processes, potentially lasting over 1000 years, as long as the paper holds together. When making my images, I have this as my end goal. So I think that really influences my intention.

What defines a good picture for you? Or what are you looking for in a picture?

I sit on images for a while, to see how I feel about them over time. I find you can't trust that initial endorphin rush when you see your image for the first time. It is like a new born baby and it is hard to see their flaws. My grandfather is a watercolour artist, which I have a strong influence from him in my work and composition. When I was little I would show him my little drawing and ask "what do you think?". Which he would say "that's really good, however maybe move that here and look at how that line brings your eye off the page.. maybe make that darker to it makes it more the focus...".

Composition is rather important in my own work, how the eye moves and carries you through the image. However I really enjoy other artists work that's more chaotic too. It's more about the emotional response and what the artist is trying to show you. It's a glimpse into their mind and experience.

© Pictures by Kyle Hoffmann