Chicago West Loop Art Market
Featured Artist of the Month: Ted Preuss

  In the digital age, most photographers are seeking out the latest technologies to advance their artistic capabilities. Nevertheless, photographer Ted Preuss has fought the lure of the digital mania and has gone back in time by using old-fashioned cameras and a more traditional method of developing. The results are timeless and stunning photographs.

  A long time commercial and architectural photographer, Preuss was looking for an outlet for his creativity. In the past he had done everything from stock photography to furniture design. However, it was only recently that he came across platinum printing and shot his first series, Simple Beauty, using the method. Preuss says platinum printing allows the photographer to achieve a precision and radiance that regular printing methods cannot capture. The process involves mixing very small amounts of platinum with a sensitizing solution containing ferric oxalate. This mixture can then be spread onto any type of surface and is left to dry. After the coating and drying, the paper is placed into contact with the negative the same size as the final print and is exposed to ultra-violet light. The solution reacts with the ultra-light to reduce the platinum metal and embeds the particles within the fibers of the surface.

  Preuss first collaborated with a friend and did not know if he could even produce any good prints, but through trial and error he taught himself the platinum printing method. Preuss’s first body of work is concentrated on women. Despite the fact that this was his first time photographing people, he has captured the essence, or what he refers to as the “inner-self”, of his subjects. He attributes this to meeting the models first and getting to know their interests. Preuss says since he started this series models have actually sought him out to make portraits of them and he repays them with their photographs.

  Preuss also draws inspiration from vintage and classical art and artists. Consequently the images he captures have a distinct vintage feel about them, dreamlike and mysterious. Despite his vintage influence, there is also a quality of timelessness in Preuss’s photographs. There are few photographs that one can look at and not be able to place in a distinct time period, but with Preuss’s style and methods, one can never be sure if they are looking at an actual vintage photograph or one taken recently. Currently he is working on expanding his series and he is also experimenting with different surfaces to print on. He has successfully used dried tree leaves to print some of his favorite images on.

To see more of his work visit www.preussphotography.com

By Farnaz Hakimian

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All Photographs Copyright 2016 © by Ted Preuss, All Rights Reserved