Calumet Newsletter

Calumet Newsletter for the Photographic Artist

Volume #9, 1998

Chip Hooper’s photography was featured in this issue of Calumet Photographic’s “Newsletter for the Photographic Artist.” The following is the text that accompanied his photographs:

“As I look at my photographs it becomes clear to me that the images I feel strongest about, and that seem to elicit the most response from others, provide me with a strong feeling of spirit, solitude, and the passing of time.

I sometimes photograph with other people, yet I rarely see anything that inspires me to make a picture until we have done our own way and I have had a chance to settle into an area and begin to appreciate what is presented. It is at this time I find myself seeing things that I feel are special. As I explore my surroundings, I develop a feeling for the place, the light, and the setting I may want to photographs. As this process takes shape over a period of time, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, often times even days, it becomes very clear to me what to photograph, if anything at all. The best pictures most often come when I have taken the time to settle into place and find the solitude it has to offer. I have always enjoyed sharing these private encounters, through my photography, with others. For me, sharing these experiences completes the process.

When it comes to printing, my process is similar to that in the field, in that I do my best work when I allow myself to slow down and take the time to figure out how a negative best prints. The more I allow myself to settle in a comfortable, relaxed pace, the easier (and usually the quicker) the good prints come. Sometimes this takes a few minutes, sometimes it takes days. The amount of time is not important. The feeling of the final print is extremely important.

For me, the process of creating photographs is a contemplative one. It is an exploration of my feelings as much as it is an exploration of what I am seeing. The best images always happen when what I am feeling becomes one with what I am seeing.