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L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet'
First Place-Chris Peregoy
L.A. Photo Curator: Global Photography Awards - 'Where Photography & Philanthropy Meet' First Place-Chris Peregoy (Click on image for larger view)
LIGHT MODULATOR- 021 by Chris Peregoy
First Place
(Click on image for larger view)

Review by Curator Diana Bloomfield:
"The First Place award goes to Chris Peregoy’s Light Modulator series, with the winning image, Light Modulator-021.  I could never get this work out of my head, and still can’t.  The seeming simplicity of these images belies a rich complexity.  I love that, at its core, the images are all about photography— that is, simply working with light. 

The circularity of these shapes, with repetition in the shadows, and the way the light falls on the edges of each torn paper edge, I found stunningly beautiful and smartly executed.  The dry plate collodion process was an inspired choice. 

I am drawn to the warmth of 
Light Modulator-021, especially, with those jagged and imprecise blue edges, which echo the torn edges of the paper curls.  The imperfection of that process itself also provides an intriguing contrast to those perfect repeating circles. 

One of my favorite photographers is František Drtikol, a Czech photographer from the 1930’s who created paper cutouts of the human form, working with light, shadow, and form, in some similar ways. 

The influence of László Moholy-Nagy is also seen here in those geometric shapes, and- again- in the exploration of light, shadow, form and shape.  While Peregoy’s images, and his process, might give a nod to past influences, his images are all his own.  They are unique, original, and exquisitely realized.  I so enjoyed looking at them, again and again.


Chris, can you tell us something about your influences in creating
these particular kinds of images?"  


Chris Peregoy: "I was looking for a winter project last year and was toying with wetplate still lifes. The summer before I taught my wetplate students about lighting with window light that early portrait artists used before electric lighting. Since wetplate requires UV light I thought my third floor sunroom would be perfect for this. I quickly tired out as my darkroom is in the basement.

I had stumbled upon the Dryplate Collodion at the end of that previous summer and thought this might be a good alternative. I tried some flowers and fruit but then thought of a project my first photo teacher, Jaromir Stephany gave our class.

He had us photograph a piece of paper cut and shaped to reflect light and cast shadows. He called them Light Modulators.

I’ve since found that this was popular in photo curriculum from teachers that were taught at the New Bauhaus founded by Moholy-Nagy in Chicago in 1937. Jaromir’s
teacher was Henry Holmes Smith."

Bloomfield: "How difficult is it to create these types of images, ones that are so minimal and deceptively basic—yet also incredibly rich and compelling?"

Peregoy: "The hardest part of Dryplate Collodion is the waiting time. Dryplate Collodion is six times slower then Wetplate Collodion. 

My exposure could range to over an hour. During that time the sun would have moved and changed my composition. I placed my studio table on wheels and rolled it around my sunroom literally chasing the sun.

Cloudy days were days off. Partly cloudy was difficult due to stopping the timer and starting again when the sun came back. Depth of field was also an issue. Wide open my exposure was 2-4 minutes but gave little depth of focus especially with close focus. I used a variety of lenses, some commercially made and some home made.

My favorite was an objective lens from
a WWI binocular that I got from my grandfather. Many of my images are made
from large sheets of drawing paper cut into patterns. The winning entry came about by cutting my backdrop paper smaller on my chop saw. I then cut the short end into a couple of one-inch-wide spools.

This image uses three of those rings. During my wait I would work on new paper
sculptures and wish I had more room to start another exposure with another camera. I tried working with paper negatives but love the look of the Dryplates when scanned."

Bloomfield: "And tell us about your process, and why— among all the process choices out there— you chose the dry plate collodion for these particular images?"

Peregoy: "Dryplate is an off shoot of Wetplate Collodion. It was first mentioned in the Silver Sunbeam by John Towler in 1864. It is also known as the Tannin Process.

A glass plate is cleaned and prepped as for wetplate but after silvering the excess silver is rinsed off then placed into a bath
of 3.3% tannic acid for a few minutes then dried in the dark. The plates remain active for up to a year.

This is my formula:
•    Tannic Acid Preservative Solution:
Distilled Water - 100ml, heat this and slowly add Tannic Acid - 3.3g,
after fully mixed and cooled add 95% Grain Alcohol - 1ml. Filter before using.
The shelf life should be indefinite.

•    Developer:
Stock Solution #1 Pyrogallic Acid - 4.7g, 95% Grain Alcohol - 30ml.
Place solution in dropper bottle for convenience for when making working developer solution. The shelf life should be indefinite.
•    Stock Solution #2 Silver Nitrate - 1.3g, Citric Acid - 1.3g,
Distilled Water - 30ml

Here are the steps to developing a Dry Plate Collodion Negative.

1. Start with 40mm of distilled water. Add to this 20 drops of solution
#1 and 44 drops of solution #2. Swirl graduate to mix.
2. Soak plate in tap water for a minute or two.
3. Hold plate emulsion side up and gently flow the developer onto the plate. Try to keep the developer moving but on top of the plate. Periodically pour more developer on plate. Development should be about 5
minutes.
4. Use water to stop the development
5. Fix for 5 minutes
6. Wash for 20 minutes
You can modify the developer if you notice your plates are consistently too light or too
dark. If the sky quickly becomes dark but the other details are slow to develop, the exposure was too short, add 10-15 drops
of solution #1 to the plate developer for the next plate. If all parts of the plate develop simultaneously, the exposure was too long, add a few drops of #2 so that the sky will not be too dense.
    
I started using this process in the summer of 2016 with landscape images. I calculate my exposure time by setting my meter to  ISO to 3 and multiplying the result by 512 or 1024. An easy way to do this is to
take the shutter speed and divide the denominator fraction into 1024. I
wanted to share my results with fiends on Instagram so I scanned the plate. I forgot to set my scanner to greyscale and when I inverted the image I saw the lovely tones the Pyro developer makes and I fell in love
with the process. I haven’t entered these in many alternative process shows because they all call for alternative process for the final print.

My work is alternative capture with homemade lenses and Dryplate
Collodion plates."

More about Peregoy:
Chris Peregoy is an artist who has been actively showing photographically derived art works for the past 40 years. Originally
trained in traditional photographic practices, his current work crosses the boundaries between digital, traditional and primitive photography and marries digital image making with historic photographic processes and painting. Much of his work deals with forgotten or imagined
memories. 
 
His work has been shown in North and South America, throughout Europe, and in Japan. He has received a His work has been shown in North and
South America, throughout Europe, and in Japan. He has received two Maryland State Individual Artist Grants.
 
Peregoy's work with pinhole photography led him to form his own company, the Pinhole Blender Company, which sells his uniquely designed cameras
throughout the world.
 
CV
 
GRANTS & AWARDS
 
Maryland State Arts Council, Individual Artists Award, 2001
Maryland State Arts Council, Individual Artists Award, 1991
 
SOLO EXHIBITIONS
 
Evocative Ireland, Metropolitan, Baltimore MD February, 2006
The Anatomy of the Camera, Chesapeake Gallery, Harford Community
Collage,
Belair MD, March, 2002
Fleckenstein Gallery, Towson MD Jan, 2001
Camera Familia, Halcyon Gallery, Baltimore MD July-Aug 2000 
School 33 Arts Center, Baltimore MD March, 1995
Theater Project Gallery, Baltimore MD, 1988
 
GROUP EXHIBITIONS    
 
An Expansive Vision, Cassilhaus Gallery, Chapel Hill NC Feb 2014
Faculty Show, PenlandGallery, Penland NC August 2011
Pinhole Dreams, Nexus Foundation, Philadelphia PA, Oct. 2010
Faculty Show, CADVC Gallery, UMBC, Catonsville MD Sept. 2008
R.S.V.P.,  Galería de Arte Fotográfico Melitón Rodríguez, Medellín,
Colombia, June 2008 and Clos de l'Abbaye, Paris France, Fall 2007
JPPS06, Koto-Ku Cultural Center, Tokyo, Japan, August 2006
Krappy Kamera VIII, Soho Photo, NYC, March 2006
Mixed Messages. Columbia Art Center. Columbia, MD October 2005
Slow Vision, Nord-Norsk Kunstnersentrum, Lofoten, Norway, May 2004
Through the Lens of September 11th, Soho Photo Gallery, NYC, Sept. 2002
Site, Arts Institute of Medellin, Medellin, Colombia Summer 2002
Trans Positions, Rosenberg Gallery, Goucher College, Towson MD, March
2001
Krappy Kamera III, Soho Photo, NYC, March 2001
Why Pinhole, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY Feb 2001
The Magic Mirror of Life, Loyola College Art Gallery, Baltimore, MD
Sept. 2000
Faculty Biennial, UMBC Fine Arts Gallery, Catonsville MD Sept. 2000
Contemporary Maryland Artists, Government House, Annapolis MD, Aug.2000
Artscape Annual, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore MD, Aug 2000
Krappy Kamera II, Soho Photo, NYC, March 2000 (award)
18@2, Halcyon Gallery, Baltimore, MD 1999 (award)
Graduate Thesis Show, UMBC Fine Arts Gallery, Catonsville MD April,
1999.
Digital Salon, School of Visual Arts, NYC, November 1996.
Dada/Data, Maryland Art Place, Baltimore MD Oct. 1991.
Divergence, G.H. Dalsheimer Gallery, Baltimore MD 1983.
Configurations, Dimock Gallery, George Washington University, Wash. DC
1981.
Arts on Paper, Maryland Federation of Art Gallery, Annapolis MD 1981.
 
OTHER
WORKS 
 
Critical Path, performed in collaboration with Kenneth King & Dancers,
 Saint Marks Church, New York, NY 1986.
Planet X, performed in collaboration with Kenneth King & Dancers, Saint
Marks Church, New York, NY 1985.
Complete Electric Discharge, performed in collaboration with Kenneth
King & Dancers. Performance toured to; Saint Marks NYC, Feb. 1984;The
International Festival of Modern Dance, Stadsschoowgurg; Theater Blauwe
Zaal; Theater T'Hoogt, Utrecht, The Netherlands;Tanz'84, The Secession,
Vienna, Austria; The American Center,Paris, France, March 1984;
 
VISITING ARTIST
 
Arlington County Schools. Visiting Artist at Jamestown and Oakridge
Elementry Schools, taught pinhole photography to the 5th grade class as
a weeklong arts project. 2013 & 2014
The Alternative Print, Penland School of Art and Crafts, Penland NC,
August 2011
Villa Julie College, Baltimore MD, November 2006
Japan Pinhole Photography Society, Tokyo, Japan, August 2006
Roonee 247 Photography Gallery, Yotsuya Tokyo, August 2006
Goucher College, Towson MD 2004
Harford Community College, Belair MD 2002
 
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
 
Locus, Issue 01: Small Is Beautiful, Baltimore, MD, October 2006
Nippon Camera, page 91, Camera Annual January 2006
Ashiha Camera, September 2006
Chiba Television Japan, Asamaru (morning television show) March 2006
Nippon Camera, Camera Annual January 2006, review of the Pinhole
Blender, page 91
NHK Good Morning in Japan, (morning television show) December 13, 2005
Through the Lens of September 11th, Soho Photo Gallery, catalogue,
September 2002
Arthur Hirsch, Fells Point through a Pinhole, the Baltimore Sun, Sunday
August 20, 2000, Art & Society, page 6F
Baltimore City Paper, review of Pinhole Politician by Mike Giuliano,
April 12, 1995 
Village Voice Centerfold by Guy Trebay, March 26, 1985
The New York Times, review of Planet X by Barry Laine, March 17, 1985
The Village Voice, review of Complete Electric Discharge by Deborah
Jowitt, Mar.13, 1984
The New York Times, review of Complete Discharge by Anna Kisselgoff, Feb
25, 1984
Newsday, review of Paid on Both Sides by Amei Wallach, May 18, 1983
The New York Times, review of Scream at Me tomorrow by Jack Anderson,
March 23, 1983
 
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