This is a color photograph of orange stone features in Moab with a flock of vultures flying above.

Doris Mitsch writes: “I’m looking for perspectives on this heartbreaking, beautiful world. A review once described my work as ‘fleshy and tender.’ That’s more or less what I’m after.”

A few notes about process:
The photos of flight trails (birds, bees, etc.) are not time-lapse images, but composite digital photographs combining hundreds and sometimes thousands of shots taken over the course of a few seconds or a couple of minutes, showing the same animals in different positions in space over time.

And the process employed for some of the still lifes is a bit unusual, with digital technology replacing not only the darkroom, but the camera as well. Mitsch sometimes uses a flatbed scanner as a camera, which offers interesting opportunities and limitations. Unlike a traditional camera, a scanner captures an image by slowly moving both the light and the lens across the subject, essentially lighting and photographing it from multiple angles in one long exposure. This produces a single image stitched together from thousands of tiny slivers, to which the artist then makes endless, minute adjustments. This offers a view that cannot be seen through a camera lens or by the naked eye, and a kind of illumination that cannot be duplicated with fixed lights. It also offers a uniquely detailed view, as the artist magnifies each image and works on it down to a level of detail that will never be seen in the finished print. Full-resolution prints of some of the images can be as wide as sixty inches, and enlargements as big as 300 inches (25 feet) wide have been made without significant loss of detail.

People sometimes refer to this kind of work as scanner photography, scanography, scanograms, art scans, scanning, and so on. Mitsch still refers to it as photography, because “photo-graph” means a picture made with light, and today there are many alternative processes for making photographs, including various camera-less methods.


This is a color photograph of the flight patterns of masses of birds in a blue sky.
Starling Murmurations

Doris Mitsch writes: “Like anyone who witnesses one, I’m fascinated by starling murmurations and …

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