Category Archives: Artists Photographic and Other

Otto Steinert: 1915-1978, Subjective Photography

Otto Steinert, a German medical doctor and photographer who worked for the State School of Arts and Crafts, founded the Fotoform photography group in 1949. Then went on to teach at the Folkwag Hochschule of Design in Essen. He abandoned medicine to become a photographer in 1947 and focused on portraits. The Fotoform group primarily created abstract images from closeups of patterns from nature, in the group were: Peter Keetman, Siegfried Lauterwasser, Wolfgang Reisewitz, Toni Schneiders, and Ludwig Windstosser. However, he abandoned the group in the 1950s and eventually became the director of Staatliche Werkunstule. During this period, he was the director of Folkswagshule in Essen.

His influential exhibitions in the 50s called Subjective Fotografie emphasized abstraction and included László Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray.

His description of subjective photography is expressed in some of the following quotes from his writings:

  • Photographs composed with regard to their form and content.
  • The frame-work embracing all aspects of individual photographic creation from the non-objective photograph to profound an aesthetically satisfying reportage.
  • “Humanized, individualized photography and implies the handling of a camera in order to win from the single object the views expressive of its character.” (pages 26, 27. Otto Steinert’s text)

Subjective Photography attempts to overcome the distinction between “straight photograph” and “experimental photography” by superseding it with the concept of selection. A photographer working from a subjective photograph includes both straight and experimental photography but focuses on how the photographer selects.

Steinert focused on experimental methods such as photograms, highly reduced black and white images, extensively cropped images and multiple exposures mostly carried out in the darkroom. 

Steinert’s approach to photography, he felt, can be distinguished by five elements: the act of isolating an image from nature; the transformation that occurs through the optics of lenses (which, unlike the human eye, is a static capture rather than a roving focus and peripheral impressions); transposition of the tone and colour; and how a photograph isolates the temporal. 


Photographic Print Making

Bob Carnie

Bob Carnie, whose brick-and-mortar studio and gallery are located at the centre of the art district of Toronto, also mentors those interested produce prints. He provides expertise which includes photo printing, framing, and archiving negatives.

The attached gallery is a non-representational gallery that displays the work of artists he has enjoyed and supported. His particular interest is gum over palladium prints. These prints are hand coated onto artist-quality rag paper, and the image sits within the fibre of the paper, giving them an inner glow that is not obvious in other printing methods. Then a gum layer is added to the print, increasing contrast, depth and colour. He suggests it is a similar process to what Edward Steichen used when printing his photograph The Pond – Moonlight (1904).

As you can see on his website, he uses several other printing methods, including jet ink pigment prints and silver gelatin.

Bill Schwab, North Light Photographic Workshops

Bill Schwab, runs North Light Photographic Workshops in northern Michigan. He has posted many YouTube instructional videos on creating digital negatives, palladium prints, and wet plate collodion. He also runs on-site workshops and conducts photo tours.

Ken G. Miner

Ken Miner, whose studio is located in Victoria, BC, works with handmade wet collodion photographs and Tintypes & Ambrotypes. He does conduct individual workshops in the wet plate process, and film developing & printing on request and frequently does group wet plate workshops.

Christina Z. Anderson

Christina Z Anderson is another experimental photographer who has produced gum, salt, cyanotype, and other alternative photographic processes. She is a professor at Montana State University and does workshops all over the United States and Europe.

Photopolymer Photogravure – Silvi Glattauer

Silvi uses a photopolymer to create a photographic print from a plate or a photo intaglio print. The photopolymer plate is created using an Epson jet ink printer, bypassing the need for etching acids and complex resists on a metal plate. It goes directly from the printer to a UV lamp, and it is then developed in water before being inked and run through a press.

Kris Bochenek on Salt Prints

Ian Worth Platinum Palladium Prints


Saul Leiter

Saul Leiter was a photographer who worked in the fashion industry for many years, but in his studio, he was both a painter and a photographer. His exploration of colour photography began in 1948 so he was one of the early photographers to explore colour. I really enjoy the painterly quality of the images with his unique compositional style. A lot of his most interesting images are within his local neighbourhood, he feels most people lack the ability to see the beauty that surrounds them.

Saul Leiter Photographs

The Saul Leiter Foundation website has more detailed information about him.

Saul Leiter Paintings