Photograph with deep blue tint of a nude man, with his back to viewer, sitting on a porch railing, looking out into into the night. On the viewer's right, along the front of the porch, there is abundant vegetation.
Seeing the natural and everyday as supernatural, spiritual, and special. Dugdale's use of antique photographic techniques gives his work a timeless that speaks to issues of memory, togetherness, and loss. That aura of mortality hangs over this tender image of love and anticipation of togetherness.
March 28, 2009
My photographic vision is clearer now than when I could see.
John Dugdale lost all but a small portion of his peripheral vision due to complications from AIDS. Previously a successful commercial photographer, he now shoots mostly around his home in upstate New York with a large format camera from 1912. Using sunlight, Dugdale contact-prints the 8 x 10 negatives onto photosensitive paper coated in a solution of iron—the source of the ethereal blue that lends an aura of time fleeting and eternal. The large-scale process enables him to communicate his unique vision. “I’m not flooded with images,” he says. “I think it leaves me with a clearer slate to imagine my pictures on…They start as a thought instead of something that I see.” The frame is his design as well.