Maura Brennan Valentine
I am currently (7-20) redoing my website, and I'm setting up my Print on Demand feature, so look for that soon. Thanks.
Please enjoy visiting my galleries, and let me know if you have any questions or comments.
For print sales, exhibitions, commissions, collaborations or private portraits, contact me through my site.
All images copyrighted by Maura Brennan Valentine.
I'm photographer and artist, and I live in Los Angeles, CA.
I am lover of Nature,and of the landscape and lifestyle of California and the West.
I have been photographing with film for many years.
I use the Holga medium format film camera and the Nikon FM2n 35mm camera.
I am a big fan of iPhone photography.
I studied painting and photography in college.
I hand paint on photos and do other types of painting, as well.
I love to travel and see new places.
Lately, and for the foreseeable future, I am enjoying my garden and my four walls.
I have started making Cyanotypes, which is fun and addicting.
I am working on my archive, and making new work.
How I See
As I look through the viewfinder, I am imagining a two dimensional painting. I am always aware of composition and I look at colors, shapes and angles,and how they fit into my frame. I carefully select or edit out elements visually by pointing the camera or moving around, until it is just right. I like to print full frame, without cropping. This is my approach no matter what camera I am using. When making a double exposure, there is more of an element of chance or educated guess. Sometimes it all comes together and makes something even better than I imagined. I enjoy making multiple exposures, where the magic is in seeing how the exposures work
From the cool, neon lights of Hollywood at night, to Malibu's glorious sunlit 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 black and white 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 capture of multiple moments in time frees the image from that static one moment usually captured.. I do also like to make images of single moments in time. When I look through my viewfinder, in my mind’s eye I imagine the scene as a two dimensional canvas.
I look at light, color and composition today in much the same way that they taught us in art school. There is much joy and challenge in the experimentation itself.
I spend a lot of time at Leo Carrillo 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 the city, but far enough away to feel like a getaway. 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 sf eagulls passing through. There are tide pools, cliffs and caves, starfish and dolphins. This is the place where I really taught myself to photograph with the Holga camera.
These images are a diary of my effort 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 I take as many road trips as I can to see the beauty of the Western landscape. I also visit the Arizona desert in Tucson, where I was born. Edward Weston and Ansel Adams are two of my favorite photographers,
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 photograph is printed from the film negative. I usually print full frame, maintaining the integrity of the negative. Black and white images are printed in the darkroom. I welcome the limits and the possibilities of my camera and film, and I like the fact that I have an archive of physical negatives of my images. I continue to push forward in discovery of technique and subject matter and break new ground for myself, in my creative exploration.
With my Nikon and cowgirl hat, visiting the California Gold Rush ghost town of Bodie.