Christine Rodin is a superb fine art photographer, the vintage look and feel of her photographs are stunning maybe due to the fact that Christine still uses film and darkroom techniques. She shoots in color and black&white and in a variety of styles, always with a sense of something handmade and handcrafted. I just fancy her ‘Shells’ series, so wonderful and you just can feel the voluptuous shapes of the shells portrayed, an organic feeling only obtainable with film, digital just can’t achieve this kind of emotional impact, it lacks the third-dimensional look of film.
Today Christine will open an exhibition and will guest a reception at the Penine Hart antiques and art in New York. If you happen to be in the Big Apple don’t miss it.
How did you started taking photographs and why?
I started out working in films and then drifted to photography because it was more creative.
In your opinion, what makes a good photo?
That is a good question–for me it needs to have some kind of timelessness and honesty.
What makes you want to capture a photo? What you must see in a subject to make you release the shutter?
That is probably an indescribable thing. I usually have to have some kind of visceral reaction to a person or place or object. Then I want to “own” it somehow.
Do you have a routine to take the photos for your projects or you just let it happen and see where it takes you?
I don’t have a routine. Everything I shoot, unless it is a commission, has to be something I mull over for a while. Then I start to plan technically how to do it. This takes some time. I am not a fast or prolific photographer. I do shoot different things in different seasons though. Black and white still life and portraits are shot in Winter and landscape/cloud photographs are shot in summer.
At the end of a shooting session how do you choose the photos that are worth showing in your portfolio?
Again, that is just instinct. In the case of black and white I scan negatives and make little digital prints to study. Same with my color landscapes. Then you need to step away from them to get to your true feelings because something you just shot always looks beautiful and may not stand the test of time.
I don’t know whether there are standard criteria. I see many photographs that are in galleries that sell for a lot of money that leave me feeling nothing. I think something that looks sincerely thought out, has good composition and some color sense or tactile quality can stand out. I also try to think if I could live with it hanging on my apartment wall.
Name a few photographers that inspired you and your work and why they inspired you.
I love Julia Margaret Cameron, the Victorian photographer. Her portraits are ethereal. I sepia-tone all of my black and white. Bill Brant did mysterious and moody photos. I love anything that has some kind of emotional feeling to it. I love Walker Evans for his simple and direct style and he told a lot about a place or a person. There is also an emotional quality even in the buildings. He told a story very simply.
How digital technology changed the way we look at photography as art?
I am not yet a fan of digital photography. All I can see so far is that digital photography is a very convenient way to shoot fashion or advertisements. I still use film and my art is done with alternative cameras. I know I am very old fashioned but the digital work I see leaves me a little cold.
Romance © Christine Rodin.