One of the things I found, tucked safely away, was a box filled with some of my very first hand colored photographs. What made these first images special had to do with the way I numbered them.
Before I go further - a definition: Original Hand Colored Photograph - this is a black and white photograph that has been colored by hand (not in the computer) with pastels, photo oil paints and/or colored art pencils. When I shot film, I hand colored darkroom prints with photo oil paints. The switch to pastels happened after I began using a digital camera.
When I first began showing and selling my work, I only offered original hand colored photographs. It would be a few years before I would make reproductions of these images.
I decided early on that I would only hand color the same image twenty five times. However, in the beginning I kept the first print I colored and then number subsequent prints from 1 - 25. (Keep in mind that these were all individually hand colored so they were really 1 of 1 - it was the image I was limiting.)
Since I was just starting out, I offered these originals at an extremely low price which resulted in quite a few of my early images selling out of the limited run of 25. Once digital reproductions came on the scene, I scanned the originals I had kept and began offering prints of the sold out images.
I eventually abandoned the practice of keeping the "original" original, and began selling the hand colored photographs that I scanned and used to create reproductions.
If all of this sounds terribly confusing, I apologize. In a nutshell, what I have are hand colored, darkroom prints of images that have not been available as originals for many years. After giving it some thought, I decided that instead of keeping these in boxes, I would begin offering a few of them as "Master Originals" and list them on my website.
I decided to share the first ones here. You may recognize some of the images since I have been showing reproductions of them for years. These are all gelatin silver (darkroom) prints, hand colored with Marshall Photo Oils. Click on the title for more information.
Filoli Gardens; infrared image - 1997
Mission in Santa Barbara - 1998
Outer Banks, North Carolina - 2000
England - 1999
McKinley Park, Sacramento - 1996
It's been interesting excavating work from the past. My style has changed in many ways. For example, I applied less color in the beginning. I believe a lot of the changes have been influenced by the different methods and tools I use now, but I would like to think that my work is still based on the desire to express with my art, feelings of calm, maybe a little mystery and appreciation of simplicity.
To think that I have gone from hours in the darkroom and then at the easel, to creating images with my cell phone blows me away, however, what hasn't changed is the passion and joy I experience making photographs. So very grateful..............................