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Work Samples

Worried

My studio practice has been to organize my images into series that explore various ways to abstract reality by photographic means. For part of 2018, though, my work has become focused on national politics. When the Trump administration began separating immigrant children from their parents and families at the US/Mexico border, the political atmosphere in this country became so dark and disturbing, that I could not continue my work on abstraction.

Linear Condensate

Water condensing on this window obscures and abstracts the nature of the landscape behind it and creates a linear design which is colored by the landscape. Often photographers are not granted access to spaces where they would like to photograph. Sometimes, though, if we are observant enough, we discover surprisingly interesting images from our restricted vantage points. This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment inks on satin photographic paper.

Emerald Glow

Camera focus coupled with movement can allow a photographer to explore and capture color and light effects that exist in the world without the distraction of photographic detail. This abstracted view captures the lusciousness of a summer garden and has the moisture laden effect of a watercolor painting. The 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment inks on satin photographic paper.

Diaphanous Sections

Camera movement captures and transforms the highlights reflected from a plant's fronds, accentuating and abstracting the linear structure of the leaves. The camera has been used to create forms that don't exist. This 20" x 30" photograph is printed with pigment inks on photographic rag paper.

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About Dottie

Baltimore City

Dottie Campbell's picture
My studio practice has been to organize my images into series that explore various ways to abstract reality by photographic means. For part of 2018, though, my visual work has become focused on national politics.   When the Trump administration began separating immigrant children from their parents and families at the US/Mexico border, the political atmosphere in this country became so dark and disturbing, that I could not continue my work with abstraction. I never thought that, in my lifetime,... more

My New Home

My studio practice has been to organize my images into series that explore various ways to abstract reality by photographic means. For part of 2018, though, my visual work has become focused on national politics.

In May, when the Trump administration began separating immigrant children from their parents and families at the US/Mexico border, the political atmosphere in this country became so dark and disturbing, that I could not work. I never thought that, in my lifetime, I would see such a thing happen in the United States. I needed to do something, however small, to express my outcry over the traumatic separations. Since I am an artist, a photographer, the most potent way for me to express my feelings is with the visual image.

With this series of twenty-five photographs, I do not remain silent.

Photographic Essences

The Photographic Essences portfolio delves deep into the abstraction that is a result of my camera movement at the time of capture. I used larger, freer movements of the camera in order to free compositions of photographic detail and to create in them a softening of form and blending of color. In some images, the subject matter was already moving and it suggested the movement pattern for the camera. Throughout this portfolio, I wanted to express the painterly attributes of a photographic image.

Patina Paintings

The images in the Patina Painting portfolio achieve their abstraction by avoiding context. The compositions are found in the painted metal surfaces of old trucks and they mimic abstract expressionist paintings. They are painterly photographs of paint. This mimicry, the lack of context, and the large scale of the photographs combine to create this type of photographic abstraction.

Obscuration

The images of this portfolio use methods of obscuring the subject matter to achieve their photographic abstraction. The photographs visually fuse the two realities of “this” side and “that” side, and the overlapping compositions create the abstraction. The subject matter on the other side of the obscuration adds tantalizing elements to the composition. It is the part of the composition that becomes most abstracted.

When I am denied access to places where I would like to photograph, I begin to compose my photographs using the barriers preventing my access as compositional material. This can make me feel fortunate, indeed, that I am on my particular side of the barrier. Without the barrier, I would have missed some wonderful images.

  • Linear Condensate

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • A Run in the Dew

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Light Through the Train

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Spring Screen

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Long Form

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Garden Guardians

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Droplet Collector

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Space Between Slats

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Etched

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Seeing Through the Curtain

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.

Textural Abstraction

As photographic images approach black and white, the focus is on texture and tonal range. The images of this portfolio stay securely rooted in the exploration of texture and tone with color becoming a mere accent in the composition. Abstraction is accomplished by my moving camera capture techniques and adds the energy of motion to these images. The photographs of this portfolio are some of my more abstract images having only a tenuous connection to photographic reality.

Geons

In 1987, American vision scientist Irving Biederman theorized that human beings mentally break down images into simple geometric shapes in order to make sense of them. These simple geometric shapes are called geons.
Geons are used to anchor the abstraction in this portfolio of photographs. The geons are embellished and softened by my moving camera capture. The context of these photographs is not clear and the photographic detail is blurred, but the geons allow the viewer a safe platform, an organizing structure, from which they can investigate the abstraction of the images.

  • Spikes On

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Artistic Maryland

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Fit

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Entering Through

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Record

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • A Slow Burn

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Transparent Fusion

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Grooved Garage

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.

Freezing Speed

Speed. Life today moves along at an ever-quickening pace. Visual artists, affected by the accelerated tempo of their lives, respond in a visual way. They create art where the fast pace of life is made visible.

It has become evident to me that my recent photographic work is strongly influenced by the accelerated pace of modern life. This influence extends not only to the images themselves but also to my capture and field techniques.

My camera, these days, is often moving when I capture an image and I have developed a series of techniques that I call moving camera capture. The images of this portfolio exemplify one aspects of this technique: the ability to simulate movement in the image, the sense of something racing by us. In the process of revealing this speed, the photographic composition is abstracted.

  • Upper Stories

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Neighbor's Gate

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Late

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Closely Mosaic

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Passing Along

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Pattern Dividers

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Perforated Light

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Washed Sky Square

    This 20" x 20" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Storm Winds

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.

Vehicular Landscapes

Superimposed layers of reality, the distortion of reflection, and the framing of the composition all combine to photographically abstract these images of automobiles. One’s focus in the image vacillates between two realities: the reflecting surface of the vehicle itself and that of the landscape reflection carried on the vehicle's surface. I love this restless abstraction. It is a familiar and accessible kind of abstraction because we all have seen reflections in cars, but the photographs of this portfolio make us wonder about, and long to see more clearly, the realities from which the photographs were captured. The abstraction causes a lingering visual question about both the vehicle and the landscape.

  • Red

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Presented with Pollen

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Anomalous Landscape

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Unrevealed

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Contiguity

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Black Buick Cottonwood

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Fade

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Picnic

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Blue Shine

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Curvalinear Capture

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.

Thespian Landscapes

Since a steady camera is not required for my moving camera capture, I am able to photograph in environments where the light is very low. In these low light environments, my camera motion has a painterly and flattening effect. The movement-created textures in the images can be very complex because the slow shutter speed enables more choreography of camera movements. This portfolio is designed to have a theatrical effect, like landscapes illuminated and set on a stage.

  • Diaphanous Sections

    This 20” x 30” photograph is printed with pigment ink on photographic rag paper.
  • Transmuted Glade

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Nocturnal Germination

    This 20” x 30” photograph is printed with pigment ink on photographic rag paper.
  • Budding Escarpment

    This 20” x 30” photograph is printed with pigment ink on photographic rag paper.
  • Circumscribed Undergrowth

    This 24” x 20” photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Windswept Light

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Ancient Lair

    This 30” x 20” photograph is printed with pigment ink on photographic rag paper.
  • Unstable Atmosphere

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Sky Intrusion

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Filtered Daylight

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.

Luminous Looking Glass

The motion, surface texture, and reflective nature of water create abstraction of a photographic image. The organizing principles of perspective are distorted and landscapes reflected in water look strangely unfamiliar. There are many layers of abstraction at work here. The moving, distorted landscape reflection interacts with the water’s surface texture, and it is also possible to look through them both to the see things underneath the water. All these layers combine and are frozen in a photographic image. The photographs have a painterly quality about them with colors blending and “brushstrokes” being formed by wind on the water’s surface. I like it that the water has a hand in the photographic composition. In the time it takes for the camera’s shutter to be released, the composition that was seen in the viewfinder has changed.

  • Deep Woods Dream

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Celestial Equine

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Mirrored Surface

    This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Watercolor Hide & Seek

    I was so caught up in the reflected landscape, the water's ripples, and the surface of the pool's bottom, that when I captured the image, I didn't see the two turtles that had wanted their pictures taken, too. This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Surface Gold

    A gold colored statue colored the sparkling surface water of this fountain with an abstract design. This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Spring Energies

    The shadows of trees along the water's edge play across the distorted reflection of a spring green tree. They add a deep coolness to the abstraction. This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Netted Waters

    An expanse of water abstracts and reflects the glass-covered atrium above it. The captured image created an impression of the soaring architectural curves inside which was more complete than one could see with the eye. This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • Earth and Water Dreams

    Reflections from glass and water create this abstracted landscape. In this kind of situation, it is challenging to find the photographic point of view where all the realities are meshed together into a composition that works. This 36" x 24" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper. .
  • Liquid Losing Color

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.
  • The Water Dance of Trees

    This 24" x 36" photograph is printed with pigment ink on satin photographic paper.

Dottie's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.