scott b. davis | tracings of light
Tracings of Light marks the foundation for my work made since 2013. Examining the limitations of 19th century printing technology, each photograph is made by placing sheets of sensitized platinum paper into large view cameras and exposing each for hours to a landscape of intense mid-day sunlight. The platinum/palladium process, sensitive to ultraviolet light, literally makes pictures of what we cannot see—in essence photographing the invisible. The works in tracings of light include one-of-a-kind platinum paper negatives and high key positive prints, both of which carry a palpable sense of unrestrained desert light and a rich quality known to platinum/palladium printing. The prints suggest the aesthetic concerns of drawing, marking an additional connection to photography’s pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot, who used drawing aids such as the camera lucida and camera obscura.