Paul Rogers Photography • Snow Plants Project

This project draws inspiration from high contract black and white prints I used to make in high school. I recall seeing Harry Callahan's well kown Weeds in Snow, Detroit, 1943* at that time, and experimented with high contrast subjects and printing.

For my current work, subjects are the same now as then: dead or dormant plants protruding from snow. No longer needing a contrasty, grade 5 Agfa Brovira paper to achieve the effect (and now allowing for more subtle tonalities), these images are adjusted in Lightroom and mastered in Photoshop. I choose (as Callahan did) to isolated these simple subjects in a featureless white environment. Subjects are no longer in their original environment, and they are no longer unbounded, but confined by a square pictorial frame in which it has to find balance.

Unlike my documentary projects, these images are manipulated for subject content and compositional preferences, and are retouched, though no elements are added or moved separately from one other.


* Regarding his Weeds in Snow experimentation, Callahan is quoted as saying: “I tried to print them like a so-called “classic” print— tone, texture, all that— and they didn’t look very good. So after maybe a month I printed them again, and finally I printed them with contrast, very black and white, which was sort of against what Ansel was talking about.”

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