Sculpting with Light by Harold Ross
Harold is a professional photographer based in Pennsylvania. He graduated with a degree in Fine Art Photography from MICA, in Baltimore, in 1978, and after graduation, producing fine art, taught photography at college level for several years. He opened his commercial studio in 1987, and for almost 30 years, light painting has been the only method of lighting that he has employed. (He refers to his process as “Sculpting with Light”).
During that time, Harold has been creating distinctive work in the studio and at locations (such as museums), as well as in the night landscape. He also teaches workshops in light painting and regularly gives lectures on his work and process.
Harold’s large scale colour work has been exhibited, published and collected in the U.S. and internationally, in several publications such as, Photo China Magazine, the Italian magazine Progresso Fotografico and the Ukrainian magazine Ukraine Photographer. In his homeland, his work was featured in LensWork #93 and #121, The New York Times LENS blog, and Professional Photographer Magazine, amongst others. In 2011, Harold was invited to participate in an exhibition of landscape photography in Inner Mongolia, China along with 10 other American and 20 Chinese photographers. He was also chosen as one of four photographers to exhibit in the inaugural FRESH 2011, at Klompching Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
Harold lives in Lancaster County, PA, where he produces photographic work and teaches workshops in his process.
The Cambo Wide RS is my go-to camera for night landscapes and location work. The small size, quick levelling and set-up, shift movements, as well as the terrific quality of the wide angle lenses are a big plus. Absolute stability is required, and the Cambo fits the bill.
All of my photographs are made with light painting, and with a process and workflow that I developed called “Sculpting with Light”. I make multiple long exposures using Capture One (tethered) while painting the light onto the subject(s). This special method of lighting reveals information about the subject that isn’t clearly seen under normal lighting conditions. In other words, the depth, dimension and texture of these subjects is enhanced by my particular lighting techniques. These separate captures are then blended together using special masking techniques in Photoshop to create the final image.
I shoot a variety of subjects within my areas of interest, and my work is currently organized into several portfolios; Night (Landscapes shot at night), Still (still life work), Forged (images of things that were made by hand, in dedication to the people that used their hands to create the tools and machines of our past), Shopcraft (Similar to Forged, but concentrating on the places where people worked), Biltmore House (a standalone project of images made at The Biltmore House, America’s largest private residence), and Oil Cans (images of vintage oil cans).
In addition to Capture One and Photoshop, I also use X-Rite’s i1 Pro 2 and iPublish software for colour management.
Charles; Your photography is exceptional, are you shooting commercially or is your work personal projects?
Harold; I was a commercial photographer for my entire career, but I’m now concentrating on fine art photography and teaching workshops, so now, all of my work is “personal”. All of the Night images are shot with the Cambo system, as well as all of the location images in the Forged and Shopcraft portfolios, as well as the Biltmore House images.
Charles; Which Cambo camera system and lenses do you use?
Harold; I use a Cambo Wide RS, and a Cambo Wide, and a Cambo Wide Compact. All are used with Phase One digital backs. For lenses, I use a Schneider 24 Digitar XL, Schneider 35 Digitar XL, Schneider Digitar 47 XL and Rodenstock Apo 70 lenses. I am very interested in using the Actus-DB for studio work in the future, and I’ve already had students bring them to my workshops. The camera is very impressive and it’s definitely on my wish list!
Charles; Did you have a specific reason for buying Cambo cameras?
Harold; Several reasons actually; familiarity with the brand (I first used a Cambo view camera back in the 70’s), movements, and lens selection were the most important reasons. My first digital body was the Cambo Wide, so there was a natural progression to stay within the brand.
For further information about Cambo cameras and products contact your nearest dealer.