In late January I was in south Florida at FOTOfusion, the annual festival of photography and digital imaging that is hosted by the Palm Beach Photographic Centre . One of the things that I enjoy most about coming here every year to be a presenter is the chance to see friends and colleagues from all over the country and one of the people whom I always look forward to spending time with is my friend Dan Burkholder.
Dan is a noted fine art photographer and master platinum printer. He was also a pioneer of the digital contact printing technique, creating his first digital negatives in 1992. He wrote the first book on this topic, Making Digital Negatives for Contact Printing, and it is still considered to be the definitive work on this subject. On top of all this, he is a really great guy, with a warm and generous spirit and a wonderful sense of humor. I'm always laughing a lot whenever I spend time with Dan!
In 2006, Dan's experiments with the High Dynamic Range (HDR) digital imaging technique coincided with several visits to hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. The result of these explorations is an amazing new book, The Color of Loss: An Intimate Portrait of New Orleans after Katrina . This collection of 55 painterly images shows a haunting personal side to the destruction wrought by Katrina through the portraits of ravaged home interiors still filled with the belongings of the residents who fled the flood waters let loose by the breached levees.
In the Foreword, author, poet and New Orleans resident Andrei Codrescu writes:
""The wonder of these photographs is that they look like paintings, yet the objects depicted within them are not idealized. The dying domestic objects of the people to whom these interiors belong are no longer of this world. They have been captured on their journey to becoming indistinct trash. At the moment of their capture, they still looked like what they used to be, but moments after they were photographed, they no longer were anything. Their last breath of life is in these photographs; their only other existence is in the memories of their owners."