Pure Photography

Photography is "drawing with light". Pure photography means that the light itself, its color and/or its brightness creates an abstract image on a light-sensitive medium (film or camera chip) without beeing affected by a subject from the human world of experience or, as the Bauhaus Master L. Moholy-Nagy wrote in 1927, the light-sensitive plate fixes the light modelled by mirrors, lenses or transparent crystals etc.

In traditional, lense-based photography the camera creates an image of something around us - a subject. In microphotography, the camera attached to a microscope does not photograph the object itself but rather a magnified image of the object. This situation is fundamentally different from normal photography, and the physical principles of microscopy allow interesting interventions into the pathway of the light normally used to create and contrast the magnified image of an object. Without an object under the microscope the light passes the microscope uneffected and falls directly on the camera chip - pure photography. In this project I study the artistic possibilities of pure photography using the physics of light and of light microscopy.

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Triptych: Exposed with Yellow Light

Practically, the microscope is used as kind of an optical bench, and the light passing the instrument is modelled by an optically active sample (pinhole, slit, diffraction grating, opaque stop, spherical lens, color filters etc.). As a result the camera chip captures geometric light patterns, often colorful toned because of the spectral splitting of white light due to light diffraction and dispersion.

May be this explanation sounds terribly scientific, but the project "Pure Photography" is in no way documentary scientific photography. Scientifically, the images are useless, but only an aesthetic outcome of pure photography". My playful approach to pure photography is a very personal and exciting journey using endless optical possibilities that lead into a new image world, an image world in which the camera has lost its traditional documentary function.

The short videoclip below illustrates the raw material for some images of the Series "Lightscapes"