Alexis Marie: I have loved sharing the stories and inspirations of some truly interesting individuals during the InFocus Alumni photography blog series. Are you excited about InFocus 2016? We will soon release the call for submissions and we would love to see your work. For now, I’m pleased to introduce Robert Pohl, a modern photographer engaging traditional processes.
My name is Rob Pohl. I was born in Edmonton over half a century ago and have lived here my entire life. I’ve been photographing the area specifically, but the world in general for about 35 years. I started out shooting film, and have stayed with it. I spend my working days in an office staring at a computer monitor. When I want to escape from that world and immerse myself in my photography, the last thing I want to do is spend yet more hours staring at a stupid monitor. While the masses have embraced digital photography and image manipulation software, I continue to work with film and traditional wet photography. I enjoy the relaxation and escape of the darkroom, the mixing of the chemistry, the experimentation, and the process of creating something with my hands. I shoot black and white film and process and print everything myself. In this age of digital photography that makes me a dinosaur. But I also think that it sets me apart from the masses that blast away with digital cameras. My approach is much more methodical and measured and I try to make every shot count.
Most of my work is shot with a large format 4″ x 5″ view camera. A dabble a little with medium format roll film, and with the even larger 8″ x 10″ format. I shoot mostly landscapes, landscape details, and historical images. It disturbs me somewhat that our province is falling victim to massive population growth and extensive development. Mankind seems too wrapped up in economic growth and development and seems to place little value on the natural world, and a responsibility to our planet. We all need to step back and take a deep breath and garner a little appreciation for the world around us, and what our lifestyle is doing to it. Hopefully my imagery helps to illustrate an appreciation for where we have come from, where we are going, and what the consequences are.
In early 2015 I became involved in the InFocus Photography Exhibition that has expanded from Calgary and Banff, to the provincial level. The YEG show in Edmonton that I was involved in was curated by Alexis Marie Chute. I felt privileged to be included in that show, and hope to take part in future exhibitions. I’ve included a selection of images that are typical of my work. I regularly post work to my Flickr account, and to my blog…