She uses the view camera. It’s her thing. 5×7 sometimes. 8×10 a lot of the time. She uses the 19th century collodian process to get her images – using chemically-laden glass, developing in a makeshift darkroom she carries around in her truck. Sally Mann. She’s amazing.
I fell in love with her images in college, where I stumbled upon her book – Deep South – by accident in the library. The images in this book…. They’re haunting, melodic even. If you can apply that word to images. Which, with her, you can. She takes landscape photography and turns it into visual poetry. This is the South, I thought when I first saw these pictures. A place that you breathe in, that you experience in your skin and your nose and your mouth. And she takes this experience and puts it on a flat plane, on a piece of paper.
For my birthday this year my sister got me this book. Now I sit and look at it when I’m feeling frustrated or down. A little inspiration for us today. When we start to think the view camera is a useless, obsolete piece of junk from a different century, well. Maybe it is. Or maybe it’s what you make of it. She makes beauty. We can aspire.
And for those of you that are super into her, I found this rather long video of images from this book set to perfectly complimentary music.