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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Lindy Smith

Active:  US
American contemporary photographer.

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Straight West
Lindy Smith was raised in Iowa and spend childhood summers camping in the West with her family, riding and photographing dude ranch horses. Her interest in the West returned in 1992 when she photographed a five day horsemanship clinic in Wyoming. This led to years of traveling with her husband, horses and dogs between their home in rural New York State and ranches from Montana to the Mexico border, photographing along the way. In 1999, Lyons Press suggested these images become a book, which was published as Straight West: Portraits and Scenes from American Ranch Life, in 2000. Many of the images were originally printed in platinum. Lindy views this as a lifelong project and continues to photograph horsemanship clinics and ranch life in her frequent trips west.
In 1999, I began gardening on the small farm my husband and I had purchased two years earlier. That is, I began weeding. The property had sat empty for several years before we bought it, and it was choked with weeds and wildflowers. I found myself becoming more interested in the beauty of these unwanted plants than in the task of finding the cultivated flowers and shrubs they were hiding.
Iíd been making platinum photographs for several years, and I remembered a photo-process called sun-printing. I decided to try it myself, using the plants as negatives and printing outside. When I first began, the plant and its identity were my focus, making a traditional botanical sample. As the project has evolved, Iíve become more interested in space, edges, texture, and color. Iíve learned to love the painterly quality of this process as much as the impression the plants themselves make.
Kallitype Statement
The Kallitype process was developed in 1842 in England, using a base sensitizer of iron salts (in this case ferric oxalate) and silver nitrate. These metal salts were mixed with water and coated onto paper. An object was placed on the paper and laid under sunlight to expose. We know images made in this manner as photograms or sunprints. The term Kallitype refers to the metals used in this process. Similar techniques are VanDyke prints and Cyanotypes. Small kits for children to make these are often seen in museum shops and toy stores 
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