Inside this issue
Darkroom Prints at Taunus Foto Galerie, Bad Homburg
A Brit living in Germany for many years (and now a German too), David grew up in The Netherlands, Belgium and the UK, and has a degree in German and French. Deep-seated interest in photography and theatre meant that he practised these as an amateur for many years, while working in sales in financial services. After nearly 40 years, he is now completely devoted to running Taunus Foto Galerie in Bad Homburg, Germany.
The exhibition Silver Light at Taunus Foto Galerie in Bad Homburg, Germany, shows the work of four photographers, who have in common their dedication to old-fashioned, handmade, non-digital, monochrome photography and prints. Their serene, captivating images continue a long line and are among the best in black and white fine art photography. Why do they use film in the digital age?
Well, Roman Loranc grew up in another era and learned how to develop and print everything himself in a small village in eastern Poland, because there was no money to pay others to do that. He knows it well and has stuck to what he knows. With Birgit, it is the tactile sensations; she loves to load physical film, to feel the shutter release, to load the film into a developing tank, to mix her own chemicals for toning, to hang up prints to dry – it’s all part of her physical process.
There is no substitute for standing in front of the prints on the wall in the gallery – it’s the best way to appreciate the many shades and details, and to understand the stories behind the images.
Roman Loranc comes from Poland, has lived in California since 1982, exhibited in the US and China, and museums have added his images to their own collections. He is known around the world for his serene, landscape images of the vanishing wetlands and forests in central and northern California, as well as his roots in Poland and Lithuania.
Roman uses a 4x5 field camera and develops and prints all his images himself at home. He is one of the few artists who does not try to be consistent in the darkroom. You can’t make the exact same silver gelatin print twice from the same negative, and Roman intentionally tones them differently (sepia and/or selenium), may crop them differently, and dodges and burns each one individually. “If you see a Loranc print you like in a gallery, buy that particular piece, because it’s a one-of-a-kind work and he won’t make another one exactly the same.” His contribution to the history of photography is to include California’s Central Valley, which no one had extensively photographed before.
Angus Haywood has photographed around the lakes in northern Italy – peaceful, elegant villas, gardens and terraces, landscapes in southern England and Germany. He uses his trusty old Hasselblad – all manual – and develops and makes his silver gelatin prints in his own darkroom. “If watercolour painters only used shades of grey, their pictures would resemble Angus’ work. His images have such a calming, meditative effect through his careful use of gentle early morning or evening light”. Angus has worked together with Michael Kenna and Charlie Waite and numbers Bill Brandt and Cartier-Bresson among his influences.
Oliver Miller did an old-fashioned photography apprenticeship in Frankfurt in the early 1980s, where he spent time working with Helmut Newton, Barbara Klemm and others. He is guided by Ansel Adams’ zone system and is one of the few people who actually sees the world in a dynamic range of shades of grey. He has visited the Dutch and German Friesian islands over many years, capturing coastal landscapes – dunes, waves, wind and storms constantly reshape the coastlines and those places built and later abandoned by people, like the wooden pile remains of a harbour and railway station. The power of water movement and heavy storms create iconic scenes from one moment to the next and show us unique perspectives.
Birgit Maddox was born in the Black Forest and has lived in California for many years. She returns to Europe every summer, working on her project “Endangered”, which captures the ways of old – simplicity, raw and pristine land and what is in danger of being lost. Other projects are “Moments”, where she captures decisive, lucid, and passing moments, and “Mystery” – the lines between art and life blur, and the expression of mystery meets the mystery of expression. Also, a Hasselblad user, Birgit’s landscapes combine the visually immediate with a journey into the subconscious. Her images have an element of impressionist painting. Birgit develops and prints all her own work and mixes her own chemicals to achieve her desired toning effects.
The exhibition Silver Light at Taunus Foto Galerie will remain in place for a few months while we all get over Covid. Come along – we’re open.
Address: Audenstraße 6, 61348 Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Germany