Heinz Danzberger – photographer – fine art printer
living and working in Mount Shasta, California
My ventures into photography began in my teens and continued as a self taught photographer, during my Munich University days in the 1980′s as a biological technical assistant at the Max Planck Institute Seewiesen with electro-microscopic photography work on live insects as my first real photography assignment, while studying biology and art history.
Periods of travel and photographic studies, medium format B&W work and free lance work in many fields; photography, motion picture work, interior design installations, while traveling extensively between Europe and the West Coast. Immigrated to the US in 1992, raised a son with a managerial business career in a rural area.
First exhibition with the Deutsche Bank Price in 1984, “Young Innovative Photography”
selected and participated in a Europe wide exhibition with the work “Into The City”
Recent Shows: West Coast Biennial at Turtle Bay Museum 2013, showing triptych “Quarry No 1″
West Coast Biennial 2015, showing Diptych “Edgewood and Slough”
After seeking an opportunity to return to professional photography work in 2006, I studied, worked and caught up with the digital evolution as an art reproduction photographer and digital fine art print specialist. The opportunity allowed me to return to my own photographic roots, evolving into a traditional photographer with modern digital tools in his hands. My present work style bridges the film and digital era, combining an old fashioned and traditional photographer with the newest digital print technology to push the boundaries of high resolution photography and large size archival pigment print work.
In my youth, I was occupied by the idealized pursuit of that elusive, decisive moment, the search for a perfect exposure/negative with the content and story of an image finalized at the precise moment of an exposure – over time I have progressed to a refocus on the final print work as the most important factor in my work, defining my capture work to serve oversize, detail saturated print work. Back in the younger years, print work was a simple finishing step of an un-cropped negative. “Spaziergang am Staffelsee” [*] is such an earlier sample of my work. The importance in my photography rests in creating the content/image at the moment of exposure and a dark room style finishing process in the digital lab, while my photography work has progressed with my desire for large size print work without the use of interpolation, or computer based image creation, my work is optically created traditional photography supported by modern tools.
I am utilizing all facets of camera techniques at my disposal with a traditional mindset in play. I do not employ illustration, or interpolation techniques, but use exceptional classic film lenses on a matching sensor/film to create high resolution files of 1 to 2 GB, controlling my high resolution goals by optical means, solid lens work. My recent prints are created on a Epson 7900 / Canon IPF 8300 and are designed to be at about 20 – 40″ inches at the short side.
I would condense my own visual philosophy as being a very traditional photographer, in the general tradition of the established film area parameters, while having moved beyond accepting industrial, hardware, or technical design factors to be binding, even a dictating force, to my final art work, other than being a tool for a specific purpose in mind. In the end and since the days of the camera obscura, it all has been about one thing in the end: a good work of art on an excellent wall. My photography is also defined by my split life, one foot in Europe and one on the West Coast, albeit late in the game, just another set of European eyes fascinated by the American landscape and lifestyle.
Over the course of my life, urban landscapes, natural landscapes with the human foot print in it’s modern and dominant state, have been my focus. Photography to me is that awesome, everlasting fraction of an hour, minute or second long clash of humanity with it’s perceived reality and had me in its gentle grip since I exposed the first roll of 120 at a young childhood age. The precise and moment of capture/exposure still defines all the content of my imagery and is the creative moment in my work, post production is handled in the established dark room fashion of finalizing an image with minor general corrections, while leaving the image content /story in the place it has found at exposure.
These indeed are the most vibrant days to be a photographer and I find a good deal of satisfaction in being able to bring together the recent generations of imaging technology for my work!
Sincerely, Heinz Danzberger
Foot Note:[*]“Spaziergang am Staffelsee”, “Into the City”, “Wilshire Blvd” are samples of my work in MF ( Pentax 6×7 ) in the early 1980′s – please go to: http://heinzdanzberger.com/project/traditional-photography/ for more examples.
Closing Note: my work is traditional photography without self imposed restraints due to a single technique or tool selection. The thin line between camera born/based photography and computer driven illustration becomes clear once one does alter any content / story of an image, eg, removing or adding pixels, content, lines changing the exposure results in post processing. Traditional Photography to me is defined as an image content/story created at the moment of exposure, in a specific time and place, not in post production at an undefined timeline. General dark room procedures are applied in my photography, from spot cleaning to BW conversations, filter work w/o altering the actual content of the image in such processes.
The creative process in photography still resides in that fraction of a second or minutes, even hours, of actual exposure of the photograph with various camera systems. There is a good deal of mislabeling and confusion today with e.g. illustration work and computer created images thrown in with the medium and in need of a better classification to evolve.