Photographer Emil Schildt

Photo copyright by Emil Schildt
Photo copyright by Emil Schildt
Photo copyright by Emil Schildt
Photo copyright by Emil Schildt
Photo copyright by Emil Schildt
Photo copyright by Emil Schildt

I became aware of Emil Schildt’s photographs some years ago through one of the print publications to which I subscribe. The name of that publication escapes my memory at this moment. I was re-introduced to Emil’s work again through Facebook.

Here is his artist’s statement:

As photography in Denmark isn’t regarded as anything worthwhile, and selling images is next to impossible, I work as a teacher in photography at Vraa Folk high school in DK

Got my first camera by coincidence in 1980.

Autodidact – never attended any formal training.

Discovered the painting with light technique around 1990 and have rehearsed it ever since.

I am an all-analogue photographer, and I plan to stay that way.

The film is very important to me. I prefer medium format or large format film, and I have a tendency to “kill” them.

I use mainly a fine Rolleiflex SL 66E for the medium format, but if taken pictures outside in the nature, I prefer the awesome DIANA camera, as it can render the nature as a place with feelings, moods and mystery.

For my LF photography I use a Sinar Norma (4×5) or my beloved GANDOLFI High precision.(8×10)

I prefer the now absolute Polaroid 665 pos/neg for my painting with light, as the negatives are so fantastic. Also the large format film Type 55 is a clear favourite.

As I have no formal education, I actually don’t consider myself a photographer, but more an image maker. The methods to achieve an image starts with the camera, but my goal is, to make images – not merely photographs.

That puts me, I think, in the pictorialist genre.

This is maybe also why I don’t like the digital world. I miss the negative – the grains – the slowness of the image making.

I have always made a lot of nudes. Being male, it started out as a celebration to the other sex.

Beauty was the key. But a time went by, the nudity became less important. I still prefer my models to be nude as a starting point, but I want the image to contain more than beauty. A story – a certain mood – feelings.

I love to do portraits too. To see whether I can get the soul of the model in the silver.

Still life’s are much fun too! Old fashioned, but with a twist. Some surrealism.

Nature is hard to do – by my DIANA gives me what I want.

All in all, my many different cameras are tools to an end – not the end it self.

I have always experimented in different printing techniques. My goal is, to see what technique that gives the best rendering of the image chosen. That can be hard work – but it is FUN!

Especially if I succeed….;-)

My preferred printing methods are : straight B/W on very good papers!

Liquid emulsion has been my favourite method for years.

But I have also been using Cyanotype, Photopolymer gravure, Van Dyke’s, and lately I have done a lot of Bromoils. As I have not been able to get good bromoils the “normal” way, I discovered that using my beloved Liquid emulsion, I got exactly what I wished for.

The “built in” imperfections are perfect for my types of images. But as I have used liquid emulsion for many years, I can apply the emulsion quite nicely should I wish to.

The liquid emulsion as matrix gives really nice deep shadows, and fine subtle highlights.

The tactility of the end result is very nice.

The liquid emulsion also gives me a variety of possibilities.

After the development of the image, the surface can be manipulated in different ways. An example could be to melt the emulsion with hot water, using a brush – mess around a bit, and then let it dry up again. Then bromoil bleach it and make a bromoils.

This will put the bromoils even closer to the pictorialist genre, having the original photograph disappear a little, getting closer to painting. An image is made.

I use a liquid emulsion from FOMA, but the emulsion can be hand made quite easily with a few ingredients.

This is good news in this all digital world, where the materials for making these old techniques diminishes by the day.

My first year of bromoils making has mostly been about exploring what motives that goes best for this technique. Not surprisingly, “old fashioned” looking motives almost automatically goes well.

The quest is now to explore somewhat newer types of motives, and then give them the extra dimension, that bromoils can do.

I am looking forward to explore.

© Emil Schildt (July 2006)

By Jim McKinniss


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