Ray Tysdal

Artist of the Black Hills member Ray Tysdal

The development of 35 mm cameras, fast films and fast telephoto lenses gave us the tools for photographing wildlife. These developments coincided with the development of color film giving birth to modern wildlife photography. I have gone back to concentrate on black & white images of wildlife, an area that has been largely ignored. My training in journalistic press photography taught me the beauty of “grainy” images. Using even faster films (I use a 3200 ISO speed film which I push to speeds of 6,400, 12,800 and even 25,600). gives me photographs with even larger grain. I am experimenting with a darkroom technique known as reticulation (combining higher developer temperature with lower fixer temperature ) to increase the impressionistic characteristics of the biggest grain possible. I rely heavily on the darkroom techniques of pushing development, dodging and burning, and tone my prints with selenium to give them archival permanence.

I began photographing at the age of eight. For many years I attempted to show the world in the same terms it shows itself. Only when I began to show the world in my terms did I become an artist. Animals provide us with a visual exercise in light and shade. By isolating them from their natural habitat and surrounding them with pure white or black I allow the audience to examine the rich texture of each animal’s physical characteristics as well as their personality and spirituality.

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Taurus Americanus
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