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Q&A with Award Winner Sandy LeBrun-Evans

The January All-Media exhibit in The Art League Gallery includes a wide variety of great works of art by Art League members in all media — you can see for yourself on our flickr page or by dropping by the gallery, open seven days a week.

Juror Allen Beland, a photographer, chose this month’s award-winners, giving the Second Place Award to a photograph by Sandy LeBrun-Evans depicting a broken-down, beautifully weathered truck in a remote setting. We asked Sandy about her work in photography and mixed media, the transition to digital, and the award winner, Truck.

"Truck" by Sandy LeBrun-Evans

Is there a story behind Truck? Where was the photograph taken?
Sandy: Truck was shot in Cisco, Utah. I was traveling through Utah searching out “abandoned” and “forgotten” places and things. The Truck had about 25 spent shells around it where locals had leaned on the hood target shooting (I hope). Of course, I picked up a few of those shells for possible use in some mixed media work.

What camera do you use? How do you process the image?
A Nikon D700. I shot and processed five images of the Truck through Photomatix HDR software and then fine-tuned in Photoshop CS5.

Is Truck part of a series?
Truck is part of a series entitled Forgotten. My family and I ski in Park City, Utah every year, so I planned to stay an extra week photographing in southeastern Utah. I did some Internet searching, located abandoned areas and started driving. Some of the areas designated as abandoned towns were gifts, and some were just a spot of land that was truly abandoned — nothing there!

After the jump, Sandy talks about shooting with an iPhone and adding mixed media into her work:

What is your mixed media work like? How did that get started?
My mixed media consists mostly of using one of my photographs mixed with either wax, glass, adding paint, papers or other elements. I usually always start with the photograph. However, of late, I have done some pieces without a photograph.

Why do you work in photography (and mixed media)? How has your creative process changed with your switch to digital?
I started photography in 1990 shooting black-and-white film and darkroom processing. After switching to digital, I really missed the hands-on element of the darkroom. I just feel more creative when I can get my hands on my images. After going digital, I kept searching for something that I could get my hands on and fell in love with the encaustic process in 2008.

What technical element — color, composition, etc. — is most important to you, or what do you look for in a photograph?
What do I look for in a photograph? — that is very difficult as I love photographing so many different things. I guess what I really look for is something that moves me. When I photographed the Forgotten series, what moved me was thinking about what that town was like in its day: who drove that Truck, was the Truck used for work on the farm or getting back and forth to the silver or copper mines, did kids ride in the back on Sundays, etc.

What do you want the viewer to come away with?
For the Truck image, I incorporated the buildings in the background to show that the Truck was in some sort of town — I wanted viewers to walk up to the image, look into the truck and wonder …

What are you working on now?
Currently, I am shooting with my iPhone, studying apps and processing images on the iPhone and iPad. Some of the iPhoneography art is truly amazing. It is so freeing to take and process a photograph with just this little iPhone — not carrying 25 pounds on my back and not getting “the looks” when I take out my big boy camera.  The iPhone is not so threatening to possible subjects.  I still love my DSLR but it is truly amazing what this little camera and the more than 9,000 photo apps can do! (No, I don’t have them all.) People are always shocked when they see a matted image and you tell them it was an iPhone capture. Actually, I remember the same sort of responses and arguments when digital photography first appeared on the scene.

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