It’s rare to find someone from the next generation of photographers who prefers to shoot film over digital. This year’s LexJet Sunset Award winner for Best Quality Print and Presentation at the Plymouth Center for the Arts competition and exhibition, The Fine Art of Photography, is more than just a throwback to traditional photography.
Elizabeth Ellenwood enjoys the interaction of the historical and the modern in both her photography process and in the subjects of her photography. Her winning print of Boston architecture exemplifies this seeming contradiction.
“The image is from a series I started for my senior thesis at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. I started photographing Boston architecture because I enjoy the combination of historical and modern architecture that overlays each other,” says Ellenwood. “I photograph with a Tachihara Field Camera, which renders everything in the viewfinder upside down and in reverse. It’s great to work with architecture from an almost abstract point of view. I’m a film person at heart; it’s what interested me in photography in the first place and it still holds true for me.”
Ellenwood scanned the color negative, printed it on the school’s Epson 9800 on Epson Premium Luster Photo Paper, then matted and framed it herself. Like the image itself, it was a unique blend of history and modernity using analog and digital tools.
Ellenwood was introduced to the Plymouth Center for the Arts exhibition by another Sunset Award winner, Neal Rantoul. A year after Rantoul won the award, Ellenwood took one home.
“When I moved to Boston I started to get involved in the local photography community and met Neal, who became a mentor to me and was very inspiring. He sent me an email about the Plymouth show and encouraged me to enter. It was exciting for me because this photographer I really admire won the same award the year before,” says Ellenwood.