During my residency, I photographed the park trail crew, associated volunteers, and the Youth Conservation Corps in their work setting at Acadia National Park; creating environmental portraits documenting the individual, their dedication to their work, and their connection to the natural surroundings of the park. My intent was to build a small project portfolio that highlights the importance of stewardship and land management in ensuring the long-term integrity of our shared natural heritage.
To accomplish this, I used black and white film and large and medium format cameras to capture images. I chose to use these larger formats as my medium because the dynamics of the camera near-forces the photographer to contemplate and concentrate on each individual image. The enhanced creative involvement associated with larger formats exposes the artist to the photographic process different from the quick decisions making that is intrinsic to a 35mm digital camera. With larger film formats, creating each photographic image is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and therefore, I believe, helps the photographer to have a more intimate visual experience. As such, this photographic process has equated to a best expression and communication of my own personal experience, and my own way of seeing and describing the world around me through my embrace of process. My film was hand processed and used to produce fine silver gelatin enlarged prints in a traditional wet darkroom using the negatives, an enlarger, light-sensitive silver coated paper, and chemicals. Film provided the added benefit of its timeless look, and proven archival properties of the negative and museum quality silver enlargements.
– Dan Grenier