Today we’d like to introduce you to Ted Preuss.
Ted, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I am mainly a self-taught photographer. I picked up my first camera at the age of seven and fell in love with medium. After spending many years photographing family vacations my passion for photography led me to a career as a freelance architectural photographer for a decade in Boston and San Francisco. After moving to Chicago and having a personal tour through the photography vaults at the Art Institute of Chicago, this is where I encountered photography as an art form. Everything I learned about lines, shapes, and shadows became an integral part of my art today.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I solely work in black and white using traditional techniques, including vintage view cameras with century old lenses. I feel black and white images have a timeless character to them with greater depth. To me shooting is just half the job of creating my art. It’s always a great thrill to see a print appear in the developer tray for the first time.
I enjoy working with many 19th century processes, but my favorite is platinum palladium. Platinum palladium prints are distinguished by their nuance, subtlety and wide tonal range. This process involves mixing small amounts of platinum and palladium with a light sensitive solution containing ferric oxalate. This mixture can then be spread onto the paper surface with a brush and left to dry. After the emulsion is completely dried, the paper is placed in contact with a negative and then exposed to sunlight for 3-5 minutes. Finally, the exposed print is processed, and then cleared by washing out the ferric then dried. They are among the most permanent graphic images in any photographic medium.
Photography has become the primary method of expressing my creative vision. As an artist, I’m always viewing the world as a photograph. I spend more time looking at my surroundings and the light. I feel it makes me appreciate the world a little more. I hope viewers are drawn in by the simplistic beauty and see my images poetic and timeless. In the words of photographer Diane Arbus, the image becomes “a secret about a secret. The more you know, the less it tells you.”
What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
I think it’s about satisfaction in knowing that you absolutely tried your best. I feel successful when I’ve taken time to devote to my art even if it just going to a museum. We are each successful as long as we don’t stop creating. I always think about a quote from Albert Schweitzer “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can view many of my series at ZIA Gallery in Winnetka, IL www.ziagallery.net
- Website: www.tedpreuss.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/preussphotography
- Other: www.helmuthgallery.com