Category / Medium: Photography
Favorite Nearby Restaurant: El Nido, Tesuque
Gerd J. Kunde is an old-school photographer who believes in the analog capture of the world. His latest series is a collection of large-scale black and white photographs of New Mexico printed in archival processes.
He first took up analog photography at the age of 14 in Germany focusing on street and studio photography. Spending endless hours in the darkroom during high school and winning a local photo competition at age 18, he studied in Heidelberg and Frankfurt to become a scientist and emigrated to the United States at the age of 29.
After 20 years in the Southwest, and having been heavily immersed in high technology during that time, he rediscovered an appreciation for the much slower and more deliberate art of analog photography. His current work is produced with a large format Horseman-617 camera that uses 120 negative film either printed large scale (up to six feet wide) on silver halide Ilford paper or hand crafted by the artist, in the platinum-palladium process, on Arches paper.
The words by Aaron Siskind from the 1945 publication "The Drama of Objects" better capture my approach to photography than I could ever pen down: "As the saying goes, we see in terms of our education. We look at the world, and we see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect. And indeed it is socially useful that we agree on the function of objects. But, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs. Move on objects with your eye straight on, to the left, around to the right. Watch them grow large as you approach, group, and regroup themselves as you shift your position. Relationships gradually emerge, and sometimes assert them with finality. And that's your picture. What I have just described is an emotional experience. It is utterly personal: no one else can ever see quite what you have seen, and the picture that emerges is unique, never before made, and never to be repeated. The picture - and this is fundamental - has the unity of an organism. Its elements were not put together, with whatever skill or taste, or ingenuity. It came into being as an act of sight."
I might add that the "sight" deserves to be recorded in all gradual detail and without quantization; hence I believe in analog capture on large format film and using archival printing processes. The final presentation in utmost perfection shall not distract from feeling the emotion captured. While being a scientist, I am in pursuit of transcending my training and believe in touching people emotionally with my black and white photography.