All photographs by Caitlin Fullam. Used with permission. For extra tales like this, subscribe to The Phoblographer.
“These pictures had been an escape for me throughout a darkish time,” photographer Caitlin Fullam tells me. “I created a whimsical world of surreal pastel landscapes as a result of I felt caught. I craved new locations, heat, and coloration.” This previous winter, Caitlin spent early mornings and late nights on the highway and within the mountains, exploring landscapes throughout Colorado and New Mexico. She used double exposures on movie to doc the journeys she took on these limitless December and January days, throughout rugged terrain and into the depths of her personal creativeness.
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As soon as, she noticed the total moon set and the solar rise concurrently over Loveland Go, watching the skies flip pink at twelve thousand toes. The air hovered round zero levels Fahrenheit, however there she stood, respiration it in. In between clicks of the shutter, she saved her fingers toasty with a pair of rechargeable hand heaters, tucked into her ski mittens.
After months of COVID-19 restrictions, the pure world beckoned Caitlin with guarantees of brighter days and hotter horizons. When she answered its name, she discovered the once-familiar and well-trodden landscapes of Colorado and New Mexico reworked into scenes from a dream, with strangeness and magic at each flip. We requested her concerning the undertaking.
Phoblographer: What was taking place in your life once you made these photographs, and the way did what you had been feeling inform what we see right here?
Caitlin Fullam: I shot this collection from December 2020 by means of January 2021. Throughout winter in Colorado, I discovered my environment to be uninspiring and gloomy. The lifeless bushes and brief days mixed with pandemic restrictions and the load of the world’s collective grief had me feeling down.
I had just lately determined to take a protracted break from digital pictures after feeling burnt out and uncertain about my profession path. I made a decision to change to movie and problem myself to seek out the sweetness near dwelling, to create a magical world for myself regardless of the pandemic blues.
Phoblographer: How did you discover these landscapes? Are they well-known or off the crushed path?
Caitlin Fullam: A number of these landscapes I shot from my yard in Boulder, Colorado. I’ve been fortunate to spend the pandemic renting a cottage with wonderful mountain views, and meaning getting to simply watch wonderful sunrises and sunsets every day. The opposite landscapes on this collection I shot at Loveland Go, Colorado, which is a really accessible spot I at all times advocate for sunrises. There are additionally a couple of pictures taken in Taos, from an Airbnb I rented close to Arroyo Seco.
Discovering quiet locations that I can expertise alone is one thing I hunt down however not often discover. Getting out for dawn actually helps, and naturally, having a personal view of the mountains at house is a treasured luxurious. Typically I lease Airbnbs or automotive camp in distant locations with the categorical goal of having fun with solitude inside a magical panorama, as I did in Taos.
Phoblographer: Have you ever at all times been drawn to wide-open areas?
Caitlin Fullam: Nature performed a giant position in my very energetic childhood. I grew up in New Jersey and spent loads of time taking part in outdoors within the lush woods close to my home, climbing bushes, working round my neighborhood barefoot, taking part in in grime, and swimming within the ocean.
Although I used to be an adventurous child, I didn’t develop a radical appreciation for nature’s magnificence till a couple of years in the past once I bought into tenting within the West. I might credit score my solo highway journey by means of Montana and Banff in August 2018 with really falling in love with huge landscapes.
Phoblographer: You shot this undertaking on Portra 160 and Portra 400 35mm. Why did you select these movie shares, specifically? What qualities drew you to them?
Caitlin Fullam: I didn’t have very a lot expertise in movie, so I used to be simply experimenting and didn’t know what to anticipate. I did some analysis on-line and crossed my fingers for pastel outcomes, significantly for pinks and purples.
Previous to this collection, I had most likely shot fewer than a dozen rolls in my life. Although I used to be inexperienced, taking pictures movie turned out to be a giant aid from the stress I used to be feeling round pictures. A brand new wave of inspiration motivated me to hunt out sunrises and sunsets and actually take my time to assume by means of compositions.
Prior to now, my shoot fashion was much less considerate and extra alongside the strains of, “journey to a lovely location and shoot as many pictures as I can.” So having the constraints of a set variety of frames, not having the ability to see the outcomes instantly, and never having the ability to journey a lot, I needed to get extra artistic and revel within the slowness.
Phoblographer: Are you able to inform us extra about your gear arrange normally?
Caitlin Fullam: For this collection, I used a Canon Rebel 2000 SLR, and two lenses: Canon 24-70mm f2.8 and a Canon 70-200mm f2.8. Typically for a double publicity, I would take one body with the broader lens, then swap to the telephoto for the second body.
Phoblographer: How did you create these double exposures?
Caitlin Fullam: A lot of the double exposures on this collection I shot in-camera, and a few them I mixed later in Photoshop. For those I shot in-camera, the Canon Insurgent 2000 has a nifty a number of publicity perform that you should use to set the variety of exposures; I principally selected two or three.
Then for every body, I underexposed by a cease or two. After I look by means of my viewfinder, there’s a focusing grid of containers, which I used as a marker to rigorously line up compositions. I additionally preserve a pocket book the place I roughly sketch out double publicity concepts.
Phoblographer: Why double exposures? What did double exposures seize about your experiences, recollections, and emotions that single exposures may not?
Caitlin Fullam: There are a couple of causes. I typically purpose for a barely surreal aptitude in my work, so in-camera movie double exposures present an ideal option to create a dreamlike scene or surreality with out having to spend numerous time on my laptop computer later fiddling round.
Additionally, double exposures really feel so playful and fascinating to me! I really like the concept of making a narrative by deliberately combining two separate photographs. The method itself is enjoyable as a result of I creatively assemble the scene in my head prior after which attempt to deliver it to life, which is far simpler mentioned than performed.
I discovered it very satisfying and thrilling to compose photographs, not realizing if they might end up or not. Probably the most thrilling one for me was the picture of avenue lamps and clouds. I made it by taking pictures one body of avenue lamps handheld at night time throughout a snowstorm and the following body the next morning throughout a cloud inversion. I bought such a giddy rush when the scans got here again to see that the picture got here collectively so completely.
Phoblographer: Are you the individual in a few of these photographs? If that’s the case, why was it essential so that you can bounce into the body?
Caitlin Fullam: Sure, I’m the individual within the pictures. I’ve been taking pictures self-portraits for years as a way of self-expression. The double publicity of me strolling by means of a collection of archways right into a mountainous wonderland displays my methods of dealing with grief and concern throughout the pandemic: daydreaming, nature, creativity, and retreating into myself.
Phoblographer: How did you resolve on the colour palette for this collection, and would possibly you inform us the way you achieved these extraordinary hues?
Caitlin Fullam: Colour has at all times been probably the most essential components of my pictures, so I knew what I used to be on the lookout for going into it: purply blues, pink tones, reddish oranges. That’s how I edit my digital pictures in Lightroom, so I didn’t wish to deviate a lot from my traditional fashion, principally as a result of it’s simply what appeals to me. Nevertheless, the scans I bought again weren’t precisely what I had in thoughts, so I tinkered round in Lightroom utilizing break up firming to realize the additional punch of coloration and consistency in tones.
Phoblographer: What drew you to pictures within the first place, and in what methods, if any, did engaged on this undertaking remind you of the explanations you had been first drawn to the medium?
Caitlin Fullam: I purchased my first severe DSLR at a time once I knew I wished to create however had no clue what or how, having buried my inventive facet for a few years. Making artwork simply felt out of attain on the time, like a locked door I’d misplaced the important thing to, however a voice inside me insisted that I strive.
“So I stop my desk job on the time and determined to simply begin from scratch: watching Youtube tutorials, taking pictures all the pieces, and struggling for years till I discovered my fashion. Taking up this undertaking of movie pictures was a bit related in that it was a revolt towards the suffocating stress of my profession and a giant step away from it to create only for me.
In each circumstances, I listened to the voice inside that was telling me to cease and check out one thing new. Now I’m again to taking pictures digital once more along with movie, however I really feel like my relationship to pictures, on the entire, has dramatically improved since embarking on this undertaking.