Associate 1990-91

Beatrice Nettles

Art + Design

The Creation of Mural Prints Incorporating Digital and Chemical Photographic Imagery

For many years, Professor Nettles has been aware of the exciting developments in the field of digital photography through the use of computers. Until recently, she has been unable to imagine a satisfactory way to produce exhibition quality images from a monitor. After much thought and some initial research, she has made some progress toward this goal.

Professor Nettles plans to create a body of mural prints which combine two types of photographic images: those that can be produced by a traditional camera in a studio and digital images produced on a computer through scanning. It is her hope that by blending these two technologies, she can produce powerful and aesthetically satisfying images. Using a Macintosh IICX, she has begun to master various programs that enable her to copy and manipulate flat materials through the use of a scanner and will do additional research to explore the creative potential of this equipment. The files produced will then be turned into negatives. The technology exists to print them directly onto film, but at the the moment, it is expensive and time consuming. She will employ it nonetheless, but will also produce negatives by rephotographing high quality printout currently available. She intends to continue to produce negatives in her traditional studio as well. Her final creative work with be the printing of large mural images, in modular sections measuring 20" x 40". These murals will be combinations of the digitally and chemically created negatives. These sessions in the darkroom will not be purely mechanical, but should involve and element of spontaneity and experimentation.

Major groups of the professor's past work have involved the combination of negatives from many sources including found images, family snapshots, and new negatives. The computer promises to speed up this collection of source material. The computer will also cause her to think about images in new ways. The use of traditional negatives will enable her to modulate and control the harshness of the digitized image in a highly personal way.