In Camera

The images in In Camera are of photographic studios in Asia, the kind that have pretty much gone extinct; the painted backdrops are now digital prints or added in Photoshop. What the old photo studios provided — and what the computer has supplanted — was an environment where the past, the present, the old – fashioned and the contemporary collided and where painted scenes and props gave clues into notions of class, taste and aspiration.

The series builds on premises of traditio nal documentary photography but mixed with painterly and cinematic (implied narrative) additions. The panorama camera is perfect for this work; it compacts the world, widens it like Cinemascope yet flattens it to be read like a page of literature.

The original prints were Cibachromes (a photographic form that’s also become extinct, another casualties of the digital age) as a way to duplicate the vibrancy and liveliness that the studio owners infused into their own work. Their studios were places where the mundane clutter of photo equipment, working in tandem with the buoyant paintings, produced a rare kind of fairy – tale like wonderment.