Black and White photographic process.

I seek to capture light, shadow, design, and texture with my black and white images.  Whether a natural scene or a man made structure, I want the viewer to enter each image and explore it.  I want people to feel the same strong sense of place that I experienced when making the photograph.

Black and white film processed in my darkroom is the method I use for my work.  Making the prints is a labor intensive task, but the thrill of watching a new image emerge is my reward!

Each print is handmade and selenium toned for permanence. I make an “unsharp mask” for many of my negatives; this serves to open up shadow areas and increase the appearance of sharpness of the print. The mask is created by making a weak exposure of the negative on another piece of film, thereby creating a faint positive of the image on film. The next step is to tape the two pieces of film together and then print through the ensemble. The overall tonal range of the image is reduced, allowing me to set the enlarger for a higher grade of contrast, thereby increasing the local contrast of the finished print.

Finally, after employing these traditional archival black and white printing procedures, the finished gelatin silver prints are mounted on 100% rag mats.  Framed pieces are presented in handsome wood moldings.


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SHIRLEY ANTES