Laura Plageman

Her idea of the use of Photography is very unique. I like the way she changed the subject of photography.




Photography Research Detlef Schlich
Photographer Laura Plageman loves landscapes, but they don’t always turn out the way she wants. To fix that, Plageman uses her hands, and sometimes her whole body, to manually manipulate her prints, and in doing so creates a new topography on the photographs themselves.
Photography Research Detlef Schlich
“I was feeling frustrated by a certain photograph and needed to change it, and I just kind of went for it physically,” she says. “Then I realized I enjoyed working that way.”
Photography Research Detlef Schlich
The images in Plageman’s Response series start as landscape photos taken around the U.S. with medium-format and digital cameras. The photos are then printed in various sizes for testing. When she finds the size that works best for a given landscape, Plageman begins to warp and deform the photos.
Photography Research Detlef Schlich
“I try to treat each image as its own thing,” she says. “So some photos have really subtle manipulation, there’s maybe one ding or something, and then others are a lot more willfully … tortured, I guess is the word.”
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Deliberately teasing new effects from the photo, she plays the landscape it depicts against the texture she’s creating on its surface. “I care about what’s in the photograph and how the manipulation is interacting with the content of the photograph,” she says. “I don‘t want to just be crumpling a picture to crumple a picture — it’s not random.”
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After all that, the purposefully mangled result gets photographed one final time, arranged so that the light interacts with the creases in just the right way. In a way this is like photographing a whole new landscape, she’s “back to moving my camera around and looking for the spaces within the picture that come alive.”

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