Podcast: The Digital Photo Collage

On this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome two artists whose work blurs the line between street photography, documentary, installation and digital art, while cultivating a contemporary interpretation of the art and craft of collage. Both artists utilize photography-based processes and take urban architecture and street scenes as their subject, but from there, the work goes in very different directions.

Jennifer Williams creates large, often site-specific collages that inspect but distort the architectural scenes she documents. As she has stated, “The rectilinear shape that is the traditional photograph never fulfilled my desire to show everything in space," and that will be immediately clear upon seeing her work. Layering images of buildings upon one another, she creates angular and abstract collages while still providing a path for the viewer to connect the image she creates with the neighborhood or street that she photographed. Williams speaks about her process, including the original imaging, her manipulation in post-process, and her large-scale installations, often made on Photo Tex media.

Tommy Mintz wrote a software program that creates "automated digital collages" and he has experimented over the years how he (and the program) composes the street scenes he photographs. The tools he uses for image capture and computation have evolved and become more powerful, but unlike the painstaking control Williams exercises over her collages, the key element in Mintz's process is the random arrangement and layering of images that the software creates. This is not to say that his images are out of control—after all, he wrote the program. He selects scenes to photograph and he does adjust the final product in Photoshop, but the software-generated placement of images creates layers, unexpected shadows, multiple exposures and even seeming glitches that add up to an intriguing and whimsical take on street photography.

Join us as we learn about the conceptualizations and processes of these two visual artists and hear how they integrate Nodal Ninja, Epson 24" printers, and the Sigma dp2 Quattro Digital Camera into their workflow.

Guests: Jennifer Williams and Tommy Mintz

City of Tommorow - Manhatten: Billionaire's Row (57th Street) © Jennifer Williams
City of Tommorow - Manhatten: Billionaire's Row (57th Street) © Jennifer Williams
Blacksburg Unfurled (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia) © Jennifer Williams
Blacksburg Unfurled (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia) © Jennifer Williams
Surveying Liberty (Newbugrh, NY) © Jennifer Williams
Surveying Liberty (Newbugrh, NY) © Jennifer Williams
The High Line Effect: Approaching Hudson Yards © Jennifer Williams
The High Line Effect: Approaching Hudson Yards © Jennifer Williams
Ladders (Installed at Robert Mann Gallery) © Jennifer Williams
Ladders (Installed at Robert Mann Gallery) © Jennifer Williams
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
© Tommy Mintz
Jennifer Williams, Tommy Mintz, and Allan Weitz © John Harris
Jennifer Williams, Tommy Mintz, and Allan Weitz © John Harris

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