Holga Film Work Statement
From the cool, neon lights of Hollywood
at night, to Malibu's glorious beaches,
my images celebrate the light, color and
life around me. I use a simple, plastic
medium format camera called the Holga as
my tool for experimentation, along with B&W
and color film. It may be a simple camera,
but it has required a daunting amount of
practice,patience and even obsession for me
to achieve my results.
I enjoy pushing the limits of what
is possible to do on a film negative.
I say "everything you see is on the negative".
Camera in hand, I will click the shutter
multiple times, or make time exposures and
panoramas. The possiblities are unlimited.
I do also like to make images of single
moments in time.
I must confess that when I look through my
viewfinder, in my mind’s eye I imagine the
scene as a painting. I look at light,color
and composition today in much the same way
that they taught us in art school.
Painterly effects seem to enhance my
self-expression. There is much joy in the
I spend a lot of time at Leo Carillo
State Beach, north on Pacific Coast Highway,
beyond Malibu, almost to the Ventura County
Line. This is my favorite beach in this
part of the world. It is close to Los
Angeles, but far enough away at the same
time. I return to this same location, year
after year, at all times of day, tide,
weather and season. My beach is rugged,
windswept and solitary, with occasional
surfers, lifeguards, and seagulls passing
through. There are tide pools, cliffs and
caves, pelicans and starfish and dolphins…
These images are a diary of my efforts
to stay sane, to cope in the pressure
cooker that is LA. They are a record of
sacred moments spent in contemplation and
communion with nature. I like to visit Yosemite
in the Springtime, and take as many roadtrips as
I can, as well, to see the beauty of the landscape.
Today, much of my time is spent immersed
in the urban experience, and so I photograph
what I see around me. LA is fast paced and
full of vibrant visual stimulation and
color. It is dynamic and multicultural, and
my work aims to convey that.
Everything you see in my photographs
is printed from the film negative, with
minimal use of Photoshop. I mostly print full
frame, without much digital alteration,
maintaining the integrity of my negative.
I welcome the limits and the possibilities
of my camera and film, and I like the fact
that I have an archive of negatives of all
my images. I am continuing to push forward
in my discovery of technique and subject
matter and break new ground for myself, in my
Abstractions in Nature/ Fertile Imagination Statement
I look for beauty all around me, even in my own front yard. I look for something special the everyday subjects all around me, like puddles and fallen flowers. Reflections of sky and nature make double universes in puddles after the rain. Flowers fall into the swimming pool and create exquisite and jewel-like compositions for my camera, I make use of double exposures to photograph unique, new combinations of form and color. The double exposures allow me to get more creative, and also can make the image seem like they are between two dimensions.
There is beauty in the moment, even though our world is in a constant state of change. I make a photograph as a record of the beauty of life itself. The photograph freezes time, and stops the flow of change, in order to celebrate one fleeting moment in the river of time. The puddles dry up and the blossoms wilt, but I enjoy making a record of the perfection of what I see in a moment. Appreciation of life and beauty makes us all feel good.
Maura Brennan Valentine