Randy Richmond works as a photographic artist. After spending 20 years in the dark(room) he carefully and suspiciously stepped into the light of a glowing computer monitor. His last years of strictly film based photography were spent lugging around a large Kodak 8X10 view camera. This made the transition from silver-halide to pixels a difficult one, but it also instilled in him a dedication to detail and a strong appreciation for the aesthetics of past photographic processes. Randy now pursues several photographic projects while subverting the photographic paradigm, by converting silver based materials to digital, as well as using imagery that began as pixels and transporting that imagery back in history to handmade fictional cabinet cards and Van Dyke Brown and Cyanotype prints. Most recently Randy has rediscovered the challenge of the traditional single image captured in both landscape and still-life. This body of work is printed on handmade Japanese Washi papers. He utilizes this cross-pollination of photographic mediums like ingredients in a photographic cookbook to communicate concepts and observations.
Randy has shown his work in numerous solo, group, invitational, and juried exhibits nationally, and internationally. His work has been selected for three of the traveling small print exhibitions, "Americas Biennial". The third exhibit was a special 10th anniversary edition showcasing the best of the previous five exhibits. His interpretation of environmental issues has been the focus of special exhibits created for the Door County Land Trust, the Keeweenaw Land Trust, and the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. His work is in permanent collections of The Center For Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado, Kishwaukee College in Malta Illinois, and Project Art of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, and the Figge art museum in Davenport, Iowa. He balances his creative time with teaching photography as an adjunct instructor at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
- The Print
I believe that a print is crucial in the artistic process of photography. It is the final word of intent on the part of the artist. For this reason, images that are displayed in my portfolio galleries on this site represent the image in it's final form. The print. My choice of medium for the final print is based on content of the image, as well as concept of a specific project/body of work. Medium choice is also based on edition size. Handmade prints come in editions of 5 and purely digital prints come in editions of 10. Images used to create numbered editions never exceed the native image size of the camera used in the original image capture; however numbered editions are available in smaller print sizes. This maintains the integrity and detail of the original image file.
Handmade van dyke brown prints, handmade cyanotype prints, archival digital prints on various Japanese kozo papers, and archival prints mounted on 4-ply matboard (fictional cabinet cards only) are the main mediums of choice that I utilize. Digital Baryta paper can be used universally for a more traditional photographic appearance.
Van Dyke Brown
The Van Dyke Brown print process was named for the resemblance of the print color to the brown oil paint named for the Flemish painter Van Dyck. This print method is based on the first iron-silver process, the argentotype, invented in 1842 by the English astronomer, Sir John Herschel. A silver nitrate solution is hand applied archival fine art paper. When the paper is dry it is sandwiched with a negative that is the size of the image, and exposed to the sun or other UV light source. The resulting image is processed through a series of washing baths in distilled water, a toning bath to insure permanence, and a final hour long wash. The final print is then coated with a mixture of lavender oil and beeswax. Because the silver sensitizer is absorbed deeply into the paper the image has an amazing tonal range and appears to be dyed into the base material. By hybridizing the latest in digital technology to create a large negative, with the 150 year old photographic process, I am able to create photographs with the depth of detail and tonal range of large format analog photography, but with the subtle control that technology adds to the process.
The Cyanotype process also has ties to Sir John Herchel. It is one of the first permanent photo processes. Potassium ferricyanide and Ferric ammonium citrate are mixed and applied the sameway as Van Dyke Brown sensitizer. The resulting prints have a distinctive Prussian blue tone. I tone my cyanotypes in black tea. The toning leaves the darker tones blue and shifts the mid to light tones warm. This creates an added feeling of depth. I feel that this process lends itself to a limited amount of imagery, but is very effective for the right type. For this reason I don't use this process often.
Kozo paper are made primarily from mulberry bark. Kozo paper has been around for over 1000 years and is still made using traditional means by several small paper mills. With a special inkjet coating, kozo paper offers amazing black density and sharpness not achieved with matte surface inkjet paper. The softness of the paper surface and the density of the kozo fibers allow the ink to be absorbed deeper into the paper surface, while maintaining detail. This produces an inkjet print that appears much less superficial. I use four different kozo papers that vary in thickness, and tone, based on the imagery being printed.