Brooklyn-based photographer Joni Sternbach is best known for her tintypes of surfers and surf culture. During her six week Art Park/Atlantic Artist Residency in Byron Bay, Australia, filmmaker Johnny Abegg created a video about Sternbach’s work and process.
“I had begun to hate photography” Sternbach states in a voiceover as she describes the turning point that led her to make the tintypes of surfers. To revive her relationship with the medium, Sternbach began a solitary project photographing the ocean during which time she would tell the surfers to get out of her frame (“Arrogant, huh?” she says in the film) before changing the entire body of work and seeking them out, making the people the focus and moving the ocean to the background. The footage of Sternbach working on the shoreline, interacting with her subjects, and processing the collodion while accompanied by voiceover presents a great behind the scenes look at this photographer’s process. Sternbach has now published two books on the subject, Surfland and Surf Site Tin Type.
View more of Sternbach’s work on her website.
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