The images of Michelangelo’s David above are among the first exposures I ever made. It was the Summer of 1987 and I was just learning how to use a camera. My cousin John had sold me his Pentax K-1000 kit, including a 50mm lens, and I was shooting Tri-X 400 film. You couldn’t get more basic. Later that summer I had the chance to make prints from these negatives onto high-contrast Kodalith film and litho paper. With some toning, the image to the right above was the result.
Years later, I took a course in posterization at the San Francisco Photography Center. The instructor had devised a complicated and labor intensive system of photographing a negative at multiple exposures with different colored filters. The image on the left above is just one of many variations we created by the end of the class. Of course, today one can produce litho-like or posterized images quite easily with a few clicks and adjustments in Adobe Photoshop. Still, both experiences opened up for me the many possibilities of photography, and allowed for experimentation with what were admittedly a tourist’s run-of-the-mill shots.