© 2011 Michael Massaia All Rights Reserved
While perusing the web I discovered imagery that seemed to be almost from a parallel universe. An image from ”The Final House of Throes” a great series that portrays neighborhood houses in a whole different light caught my eye. Then Central park came to life and made me feel like walking into a magical land where the big bad wolf may very well be hiding in the fog. or a horse and carriage would be turning to go to a castle around the bend. Michael Massaia was the artist in charge of the beautiful sir real one shot images. The images have not been doctored in Photoshop. They are Platinum Palladium prints. To fin out more about this process click here.
His most recent work can be seen online at www.michaelmassaia.com “Seeing the Black Dog.”
He is having a solo show “Retrospective” here: 270 in New Jerseyhttp://www.gallery270.com/ Opening night is April 19th7pm-9pm
Naturally I had a few questions of my own. Horray for email here are the answers!
Pixfeedla: When you first started photographing did you automatically want to shoot Large format?
MMassaia: No, I started using 6x7 but was never completely satisfied with the results. Large format black and white film (when developed properly)has a three dimensional quality that I have never been able to obtain in any other/smaller format. Having full perspective controls/camera movements is also very important to my work, and while I use to use shift lenses on my 6x7, it does not even compare to having the full range of movements that my 8x10 view cameras offer.
Pixfeedla: Do you have any tips for people who may want to begin the transition
to Platinum Palladium printing?
MMassaia: I believe everything really comes down to the quality of your ideas, and while the printing process is a very important part of what I do, I do think people spend/waste to much time focusing on the printing process. The original idea is what really drives me, getting that original idea onto paper via a handmade printing process like platinum printing feels like a real accomplishment. I guess my only advice would be-never compromise your ideas for the sake of a printing process, do everything you can to force whatever printing process you are using to match the vision in your head(experiment constantly and don’t settle for anything short of what you’re seeing in you mind)
Pixfeedla: Do you see your work ever evolving into a digital format?
MMassaia: I think I will always use film for image capture. Large format black and white film has a quality that I’ve never seen a digital camera match. There is something to me that is completely nauseating about going out with digital camera and two hours later coming back with four thousand pictures. With that being said, digital printing does fascinate me, and I have been recently experimenting with making large format 44”x60”-60”x80” pigment prints print’s on the new types of Baryta papers. I’m really excited with the results, and the Baryta paper that companies like Hahnemuhle offer produce really beautiful results. As with my analog Platinum printing, I do all the digital pigment printing myself with no outside help.
Pixfeedla: Your still life work is mesmerizing. What type of lighting did you utilize?
MMassaia:Thanks. I shot all of them using a 8x10 Sinar f2, Tmax 100 film developed in Pyro. The lighting setup was very crude, simple painter’s lamps with tissue paper to diffuse the light. Most of the lighting effect was created with dodging masks during the platinum print exposure.