Written by Florian Kazimirski

On January 26, 2020

Wade Comer: Between Finding and Making (aotw 4/20)

Our minimalist photographer of the week is Wade Comer (Canada) with his amazing long exposures on 4×5 inch negatives. How does one come to work with the large format camera in times of #phoneography and what exactly is it that makes his pictures so blurry? We want to take a closer look at his work and especially the series “Time Passages”.

4x5inch

By 2013, Wade Comer had had enough of digital photography. He felt he was losing touch with his craft and so he decided to return to his roots. To his 4x5inch large format camera and photographing on analogue film material.

Regain the control

Comer wanted to regain control over the process of photographing. A process that had lost its attraction to him due to the speed and ease of digital photography. For on top of that, he decided to use his traditional tools of the trade in a new way to give chance a decisive place in his process.

“Photography is a very prescribed and controlled process. Using a large format camera, and 4×5 film leads to its own set of challenges. To make things more complex, I wanted to incorporate chance into the process and somehow relinquish some of that control, and do it using the technique of long-exposures”

This concept took shape in 2013, on a ferry trip between Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, and culminated in a long series with several subtopics entitled “Time Passages”.

Wade Comers “Time Passages”

In “Time Passages” visualizes Wade Comer the flow of life. How everything is constantly changing. He cuts large pieces from time and space and captures them in a single layer. But he does not compress. It doesn’t freeze. Space and time remain alive and can be experienced in his works.

“Leaving the shutter open – often for up to two minutes – turns the camera into a paintbrush (…) As the camera moves through space, blocks of time are captured and then rendered as a single image.”

What do you think of Wade Comers work?⁠ Let us know in the comments and if you also want to become our artist of the week, just click here.

"No man ever steps in the same river twice"

Heraclitus

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