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Chris McCaw's Sunburns

By: Linda Connor

Between my involvement as a teacher and with PhotoAlliance, I have the opportunity to see some very innovative work. This past year I have had the great pleasure of watching Chris McCaw develop a wonderfully inventive series called Sunburns. Chris is a young photographer living here in San Francisco known for his platinum printing and view camera work. He has been using very out-dated silver based photographic paper in place of film, placed directly in his larger-format cameras. He then frames his picture to include the sun and during exposures of various length (some all day, some many hours) he allows the sun to scorch its trail onto his paper negative, creating one of a kind images. He has to stand guard to ensure that the scorching does not turn into actual flames. The silver rich papers partially print out during these long exposures, but are also developed and fixed thus creating unique prints that are attuned to reflect the movements of our universe. I find them really wonderful and his form seems to be a good vehicle to share this innovative work.

Sunburned GSP#193(SF Bay), 2007. 8x10
Sunburned GSP#193(SF Bay), 2007. 8"x10"
unique gelatin silver paper negative
Sunburn GSP #269 Pacific Ocean Summer Solstice Sunburn
Sunburn GSP #269(Pacific Ocean/Summer solstice), 2008. 2-8"x10"
unique gelatin silver paper negatives.
Sunburned GSP #214 (Pacific Ocean), 2008. 8x10
Sunburned GSP#214(Pacific Ocean), 2008. 8"x10"
unique gelatin silver paper negative
Sunburned GSP #193 (SF Bay), 2007. 8x10
Sunburned GSP#193(SF Bay), 2007. 8"x10"
unique gelatin silver paper negative
Sunburned GSP #125 (Mojave), 2007. 16x20
Sunburned GSP#125(Mojave), 2007. 16"x20"
unique gelatin silver paper negative
Sunburned GSP #199 (San Francisco/every 10 minutes), 2008. 16x20
Sunburned GSP#199 (San Francisco/every 10 minutes), 2008. 16"x20"
unique gelatin silver paper negative