Photographing these particular images began after visiting a local cemetery. I was taken aback by the weathered faces of some of the early statuary and the emotions that were coaxed from the stone by the stonemasons. Emotions that have intensified with the seasons, sorrow, resoluteness, prayerfulness, thoughtfulness, were evident to me. I determined that these images, the Guardians of the Graves, would best be portrayed by printing them as gold-toned salt prints.
For me photography is an emotional pursuit. As I look around I feel a connection to an object before taking a picture. The strength of this connection determines my direction. Attempting to keep an open mind and being prepared for the surprises that invariably arise, I strive to be faithful to that which I have become connected. Photographing primarily with medium or large format cameras I like shooting film and the processes involved.
Salted paper prints are created through contact of a negative and a properly sensitized paper of sodium chloride and silver nitrate and exposure to UV light. After exposure, gold-toning, fixing, washing, and drying the images are ready for framing. This is the oldest silver paper process and one which, I believe, best captures the essence of the Guardians of the Graves.