Saturday, February 21, 2015

In the mid-90's, I was living away from home for the first time and becoming increasingly interested in making photographs. This was the decade I experimented with my parents honeymoon camera, a Voigtländer Perkeo I,  which led to my first twin lens reflex a Minolta Autocord followed by my favorite camera, the Rolleiflex Automat TLR. 

In the past I have avoided talking gear for fear of betraying my camera nerdery. At some point in the 1990's, maybe around 1997, I went over to my parents house. My mom was crocheting on the back porch which is a slab of concrete that is sheltered from the sun by the second story deck which overlooks Mission Bay. I had the Rolleiflex, a set of close-up lenses and a desire to photograph my mom's hands, the yarn she used to crochet and the fabric of her dress. 

Six frames were dedicated to a close-up of her trying to teach me a pearl stitch. I don't remember why the portrait session had turned into a knitting lesson. Maybe it was a strategy for me get permission to photograph her. More than likely, it was my attempt to photograph the steps of the pearl stitch so that I could try it on my own. Maybe it was the bachelor in me thinking that in the future I would need to crochet a pair of socks or a sweater. 

I must have grown impatient with the TLR and its parallax which made the framing of objects close to the camera an educated guess, for partway through the roll, I made two images of my mom from a converstational distance. Only two before going back to make four more attempts at recording the yarn on her lap. 

Only a contact sheet was made of the Crochet Lesson. I never made individual prints of her hands. Next month as part of an exhibition of portraits of parents, I am including a reprinted version of this contact sheet made on a paper I used to print with during the 1990's, Oriental Seagull Variable Contrast Glossy (the one in the blue box with the purple sticker). 

My name is Francis Schanberger and I am a photo nerd. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of Year Shout Out

Last month I was asked to design a poster for Pecha Kucha Dayton based upon my presentation in early November. This poster was placed in local businesses to provide the date, time and location for the last Pecha Kucha presentation of the year.

I chose the anthotype of a nightgown with evening gloves that Bridgette affectionately titled "Flapper". This morning PK Dayton provided a link to a Tumblr of the best PK posters made since 2012 and this poster was included. Here is a link to the Tumblr  and below you can find a jpeg of the poster.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Out of Italy

This morning, around all of the hubbub of the week, I received an email regarding an art and design blog that was featuring my work with anthotypes.

Nice surprise from Italy. Thank you LanciaTrendVisions! Lancia Trend Visions is an online magazine acting as a talent scout for emerging artists, designers, architects, and other creative types.

The blog can be accessed at

Friday, September 19, 2014

Almost all my eggs in one basket

Missing Trains, 2011, Purple Iris on Washi

The last twelve calendar months have been rewarding as far as making work but difficult in regards to finding an audience for it. The somnambulist project has engaged me like no other photographic project but it has many features to it that really have kept it from gaining traction.

Scale, permanence, and similarity to to work done by Adam Fuss and Karen Savage have led to some push back. I go blindly into my photographic projects. They do marry technique and concept although I will be the first to admit that I get lost in materials and processes.

Although I have been feeling this, there has been a spot of good news this week. The New Orleans Photography Alliance has announced the finalists for the 2014 Clarence John Laughlin Award. I am one of the thirteen photographers selected. Also included in this group are Keliy Anderson-Staley, Anne Berry,  Susan Burnstine,  Benjamin Dimmitt,  William Guion,  Leslie Hall Brown,  Jaime Johnson, Meghann Riepenhoff,  Euphus Ruth, J Michael Skaggs, Cheryle St. Onge, and S. Gayle Stevens.

Friday, August 22, 2014

camera work part II, serpent mound

Before too much time passes, I am compelled to write about a quick half day trip to Serpent Mound near Peebles, Ohio. This is an indigenous peoples site used for not only burying the dead but also perhaps for marking key recurring astronomical events such as the shortest day of the year and the summer solstice. Current theories and testing of the site suggests that the first use of the site occurred around 321 BCE. Read more about the current status of Serpent Mound here at Indian Country Today.

Bridgette and I went to visit a friend of hers, Martine Myrup, from her time at the Glasgow School of Art almost 16 years ago. On August 4th we met in Cincinnati mid-day and drove to Peebles. Here are some of the images from that day all shot with my Windsor, a Diana clone, camera.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Camera Work, part I

During the late spring and most of this summer, grinding up pigments, collecting flowers, coating paper and arranging clothing into the exposure set- ups have taken up a lot of my studio time. In other words, I've been making only anthotypes. Perhaps "only" is the wrong word. Three weeks ago I broke out the view camera to photograph support stockings laid out on the grass.

I am working with anti-embolism stockings as a way of looking back to my father who wore them late in his life. I would find them in the laundry area or see him wearing them with his summer pajamas as he watched the "Tonight Show" in the 1980's and 1990's.

Although he didn't wear white thigh highs, I wore these for about three hours. I am now at the age that my father was when I noticed him wearing support socks and my primary care physician is encouraging me to adopt them for daily use. 

So in late July I tried the three hour experiment in the morning and then set up the camera in the backyard around 3 pm. Accompanied by a squadron of mosquitos I made four exposures, which I finally began printing this week. 

It is only the second time this year I have used the 8x10 camera and it was a struggle especially with the elastic of the dark cloth around the film back area. Forgetting the numerous mosquito bites, I feel like I am ready to get back to more camera work.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

words without pictures

In March and April of this year I met with Tanya Maus to be interviewed for a project she was doing for a six-month radio production training program at 91.3 WYSO in Yellow Springs (in Ohio). The goal of the interview was to give her a chance to edit many minutes of audio into a smaller four to six minute story that would eventually be broadcast on the station.

We met twice and I talked at length about the anthotype work as well as the continuing vandyke brown projects. I haven't heard it yet but those of you who know me well, know that I hate my "Telephone Voice".

It is scheduled to air this Wednesday, August 20th at 6:30 am and 8:30 am E.S.T. during Morning Edition. For those of you living outside the Miami Valley area who wish to hear it, WYSO will have a live stream via iTunes. Please go to to listen to WYSO live on iTunes radio.