I headed into the landscape with a piece of white foam-core and my camera, intending to get “back to basics” by simply photographing shadows. I think of shadows as nature’s own photographs, ready-made images that bring to mind photograms – the form of photography’s earliest images, created by laying down objects on a light-sensitive surface to record the shadow.
My initial interventions with the white board in the landscape led me into further experiments: using translucent surfaces to capture shadows, while also allowing some color and texture to be recorded; moving the camera during long exposures to blur the landscape while recording trails of reflected light; re-photographing hand-drawn shadows, in homage to the camera-lucida, a pre-photographic camera-like device used by 19th century artists as a drawing aid. Acknowledging the “painterly” quality of some of the resulting images, I decided to crop to a slender vertical format, referencing traditional scroll-paintings.
Joel Howe is an artist from Cambridge, MA. His photographic work includes landscape and still-life explorations that engage ideas relating to the photographic image, such as time & impermanence.
Howe’s work has been exhibited nationally in solo and group shows, including the Davis Art Center Gallery, San Francisco City Hall, SFMOMA Rental Gallery, Griffin Museum of Photography, and the Danforth Museum.
Howe has an MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute, has taught photography classes at the Art Institute and UC Berkeley Extension School, and com-managed the Mass College of Art photo lab.
Contact Joel Howe