From 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, May 8, Cleveland-based photographer Steven Mastroianni presents a closing reception for his Dark Silver
parts I and II as part of May’s Tremont Art Walk. This is your final opportunity to see Dark Silver I: Portraits for the 8x10
and Dark Silver II: 12X
For each of these projects, Mastroianni explores the photographic portrait through traditional black and white photography. For each project, Mastroianni utilized specific camera formats and darkroom printing techniques. Each series approaches the subject of portraiture with a different concept and predefined set of parameters.
Dark Silver I: Portraits from the 8x10
was created using a large format 8x10 view camera. Each subject is portrayed with strong, directional lighting and a close-up, shallow depth of field. The process of creating a single image is extremely time intensive and painstaking, as subjects must sit for extended periods during the set up and capturing each exposure.
“Sitting for the view camera is a commitment, both for the subject and the photographer,” explains Mastroianni. “The camera itself is large and unwieldily, requiring a tripod and a dedicated space to set it up. The process of creating the exposure is as far from point and shoot as one can get; light is metered, focus is set, film is loaded, and shutter is released. Depending on the lighting, the exposures can be long, often several seconds, and the depth of field can be very shallow, often a few inches, so the subject must be perfectly still for the entire process. The materials—film, paper, chemistry—have become more rare and more expensive in the past decade, making every shot count. But it’s the slow, deliberate process which delivers the intense and decisive images.”
Dark Silver II: 12X
utilizes a medium format camera and one role of film (twelve exposures) for each subject. All twelve images from each roll are used. The photographs are presented in the form of enlarged proof sheets. Both photographer and subject have exactly one roll to create a series of 12 images.
“Subjects were given a limited set of instructions for posing, and were then walked through a series of gestures or expressions,” continues Mastroianni. “Some brought props or costumes, others simply brought their faces, and all of the subjects were volunteers for the project. I did not ask anyone directly to pose; they all reached out to me via social media after seeing my call for models. In this way, each subject brought their own expectations and willingness, as all were advised of the parameters. Both subject and photographer were bound by the same expectations and committed to use every single shot created.”
Be sure to stop by Mastroianni Photography and Arts this Friday for your last chance to see it in person.
(Mastroianni Photography and Arts) 2687 W. 14th St., 216-235-6936, stevenmastroianni.com