I am Ken Merfeld and this is my Blog, expressing my opinions, philosophies, musings, random thoughts, and reviews about art, photography, and the creative process. Is this site only about Wet-Plate Collodion and other alternative processes ? No. Art encompasses all mediums, techniques, and methods of expression. What is Collodion and who is Ken Merfeld ? See pull down menus above. Why should we listen to, or engage in conversation with Ken Merfeld ? I invite past photo and seminar students, peers, and art world junkies to offer their opinions if they have had experience with Merfeld and the results.
I will offer the following :
I am and have been a darkroom fanatic since the first day photography entered my life. I highly value the not-so-current trend of being well-versed in photo history. I have been a commercial photographer (www.merfeldphotography.com) and have earned a living with my camera for 25 years. I have continuously explored personal portrait and fine art projects via film and traditional silver printing. I have been a photographic educator, editor of portfolios, and designer of personal projects for photographers and artists for the same time period. I continue to teach and also extend a critiquing service (“Photo Soup”) from my studio offering project, portfolio, and design reviews, and career direction / advice for students, grads, mid-career artists, art therapists and psychologists.
I still shoot commercially. I still shoot film. I look forward to the return of Polaroid. I put images on glass and tin. I also shoot digital and, in effect, combine 21st. Century technology with 19th. Century process, to create current bodies of work for reproduction and exhibitions.
Photography is my life, which I am fortunate to share with an incredibly supportive wife and two amazingly stubborn cats. I do things other than photography, which will be discussed in future writing. As Josef Sudek said, “… if you take photography seriously, you must also get interested in another art form.”
What won’t be happening on this site ? I won’t be discussing what I had for breakfast, when I brush my teeth, how many friends I have, nor how much weight I have gained or lost for whatever godforsaken reasons. Let’s avoid politics, religion, and sex as I hate to discuss the first two and prefer to keep the third personal – unless, of course, these topics are powerfully reproduced in visually compelling, inviting, emotional, communicative pieces of art ! Then we must chat.
My desire is to inspire yet question, motivate yet provoke, communicate yet challenge about our art. Point our minds and employ our hearts in our work, sometimes actually having a thought or concept to spring from, other times shutting off your brain and relying on intuition, chance, spontaneity, even mistakes !
To those of you who have asked me to do something like this for years, I thank you for your persistence and your patience. I will try to write as often as possible although an every day entry would probably be an unrealistic expectation. Welcome to my Blog. Let’s see what happens and where we can take it !
Ken Merfeld Sept. 14, 2010