Monday, April 11, 2011

Eliot Porter - Tesuque, New Mexico:
The opening of the Earth Now Exhibit in Santa Fe this past weekend was packed with events surrounding the exhibit.  On Sunday afternoon Nancy and I were invited to a small reception at Eliot Porter's home in Tesuque.  What made the visit to the Porter home so exciting for Nancy and I was the original experience we had in 1985.  In that year we had made a trip to Santa Fe.  Spending several days in Santa Fe we explored every gallery and took in the great history of artists in New Mexico.  We stopped in one gallery and viewed an original portfolio of dye transfer prints made by Eliot Porter.  Knowing he lived just outside of Santa Fe in Tesuque, we looked up the address and drove by the house.  That is what we saw...the outside of the house.  On this past Sunday we finished the experience by being invited inside.

The house is beautiful.  Being a photographer I was very excited to see his darkroom and work area.
The dye transfer process Eliot used for his color prints is very involved.  It was not unusual for the process to take over 40 hours per print to obtain proper densities and color.
Today there remains only a small number of photographers who understand the art and craft of dye transfer color print making.
Most of the materials required to create dye transfer prints are no longer available today.  The materials and methods have been replaced by digital ink jet printers.

As Nancy and I walked out of the darkroom we stopped to view a portfolio of original color dye transfer prints open on the table.  My breath was taken away by the color, luminance, depth, let alone the emotional impact of Eliot Porter's color landscape work.

What a Sunday.  Twenty-six years later we were invited inside.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

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