Saturday, October 24, 2015

Solo Exhibit - Thirty Years of Salt Life

I am very pleased to announce my solo exhibit titled 'David Durbak - Thirty Years of Salt Life' which will open at the Ross Bagwell Art Gallery in Knoxville, Tennessee, on November 5, 2015. The exhibit is a retrospective of the past thirty years of my photography and features selected images from three of my Florida-based series; Floridays, Oceanids, and Source. It is difficult to believe that 30 years, three whole decades, have passed since my wife, Janice, first gifted me with a Hasselblad camera in order to start this wonderful career in photography. My, how the time has flown and what a crazy, fun-filled time it has been!

The images are all film-based and were created using various methods that match the intent and narrative of each series:
 - Floridays, based upon my memories of 'Old Florida' as well as the songs of troubadour Jimmy Buffett, were created using a simple, mostly out-of-focus Holga toy camera
 - Oceanids, based upon my love for Greek and Roman mythology (and my many hours of reading and re-reading the Iliad and Odyssey), and Source, based upon Florida's unique waters, were created using that now 30-year old Hasselblad camera
 - while the Floridays and Source series were printed using modern carbon piezography methods, the Oceanids images were printed using the antique cyanotype process.

My grateful thanks to all of my clients, family, friends, and supporters who have made the past thirty years possible, and my special thanks to you, Janice, for starting this whole whirlwind.

I hope you get a chance to visit the gallery and share my images and my memories.

A sample image from the Source series is shown above and I'll be posting images of the exhibit in the gallery soon.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Disruption of Design

Photography students are often told to search for patterns and repetition in creating images with good design, but sometimes, disruption of the patterns and/or the repetition can be just as interesting, as seen in this image of a fence that has fallen over on the lawn of a residence in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, Texas.

I do wonder how the mailman works around the precarious position of the mailbox.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Texas Flood

I was perusing some images from a few years back while listening to some old vinyl LPs, when I came across this image which just seemed to fit the lyrics of "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughn.

"Texas Flood"

Well, there's floodin' down in Texas,
All of the telephone lines are down.
Well, there's floodin' down in Texas,
All of the telephone lines are down.
And, I've been tryin' to call my baby,
Lord, and I can't get a single sound...

The Ubiquitous Quonset Hut

At one time, the quonset hut was a ubiquitous sight across America, used in a multitude of purposes from storage facilities, to living quarters, to recording studios (like the famous Columbia Records' Studio B in Nashville, TN), and many more applications.

Based upon the design of the Nissen hut which was developed by the British during World War I, the 'quonset' in the name comes from Quonset Point at the Davisville Naval Construction Battalion Center in Davisville, Rhode Island, their first manufacture site. The first quonset huts were developed in 1941 for the U.S. Navy, which needed a lightweight, all-purpose building that could be shipped anywhere and built by virtually any unskilled laborer.

This particular quonset hut is located in Rice, Texas, and was captured on film just as the sun illuminated its gleaming metal side.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Light and Time

"What makes photography a strange invention - with unforeseeable consequences - is that its primary raw materials are light and time" - John Berger

Photography is truly painting with light, and with the light ever changing by every single instant, a photographer, like a Boy Scout, needs always be prepared. Henri Cartier-Bresson speaks of the decisive moment, but that moment in time and that particular light cannot be recorded unless the photographer is prepared with camera at hand and with a keen eye for what is to come - to anticipate the scene that is about to unfold.

Very early morning street scene, Dallas, Texas, 2008.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Heartland - Farm, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

This scene in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was just a few blocks from my hotel and seemed to be begging to be photographed and added to my Heartland series. An early morning sun, a nice Midwestern sky, along with some judicious framing produced this image on Ilford Delta 100 film.

I used my Hasselblad X-pan on the normal 35mm frame ratio setting, rather than the panoramic ratio setting. The ability to switch between two different capture ratios makes it a quite versatile camera for me.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Heartland - Grapevine, Texas

Grain mills and silos are ubiquitous within the Midwest landscape and have always been a photographic attraction for me. I happened upon this series of silos at just the right moment when the sun was highlighting a single cylinder.

Storage silos, Grapevine, Texas, 2008

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Unique Print

There is an intimate pleasure in creating tactile art; a pleasure that is sorely missing from computer-based art. Art of the hand is much more satisfying to the psyche and allows for unique, one-of-a-kind artwork that, while filled with all of the foibles and artifacts and inaccuracies that occur with handmade art, give the art life, and perhaps, even a soul.

I am currently revisiting using instant film in my art, creating emulsion lifts and emulsion transfers, modifying old techniques for the modern emulsions that are coming out of Ilford and Fujifilm. They are quirky, inaccurate, and a bit frustrating at times due to working with cameras and lenses that are 30 to 70 years old, but, they are oh, so satisfying.

Calla Lilies, Anniversary model Speed Graphic camera, Polaroid 4x5 film, Arches watercolour paper

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

I have a ritual of creating new images on the first day of each new year and this year has been no exception. A visit to the downtown and sponge docks area of Tarpon Springs is always fruitful as it seems that there is something interesting to photograph on each and every street corner and all the points in between.

I decided to experiment with my Polaroid Spectra camera using The Impossible Project Silver Shade film. This image was created with the original version of the film, so it's quite unpredictable and every image is a surprise. (Sometimes it's a surprise to simply get any image.) The film needs to be shielded from sunlight, so it's imperative to slip each image immediately into a light-tight container or, at the least, a coat pocket. I'm looking forward to trying the new formula which is supposed to be more stable.

I wish everyone a peaceful and creative New Year in 2015.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Anartia jatrophae

"Anartia jatrophae" is the title of a new print of mine that will be on display at the gallery opening on July 12, 2014, at the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

Each one of the 16 individual carbon piezography prints on bamboo that combine to create the finished 24" x 32" (60.96 cm x 81.28 cm) piece of artwork  is hand-pinned to the substrate, much in the manner of a captured butterfly in a collection.

The piece is also available in a finished size of 48" x 64" (121.92 cm x 162.56 cm).

I hope to see you at the exhibition opening.