The Imagined World

The Photographs of Karen Strom

Tumacacori Mission

The world I see is composed of many different layers, scales and moments. When making an image, I explore the relationships between multiple facets of the world, integrating them into a single vision in an attempt to mimic the manner in which the mind forms composite impressions from the array of images that are constantly impinging upon you. While the resulting images often evoke disparate, even conflicting, responses, they ultimately capture a more complete impression of a landscape or object: details are synthesized into broader views; interiors integrated into exterior views. It is the ambiguity of my images, the feelings evoked by differing scales, perspectives and viewpoints, that together work to yield an integrated image of a landscape. It is these visions that I then attempt to translate into a single image, hoping to evoke similar emotional and intellectual responses in the viewer.

The first version of some of these images were made many years ago in the darkroom, using photolith masks and a pin registration system, restricting me to a single image size. I was also restricted by the difficulty of making the photolith masks to a small sample of available mask geometries. The software now available actually allows me to work in a manner consistent with my original conception of the images. There is infinite flexibility in the construction of the masks, with the ability to adapt them individually to each image. The new papers available for ink jet printers and the archival ink sets for printing grayscale images combine to make me excited about making images again and to try to achieve my original concept.

Just Published! An Armchair Traveler's Guide to Death Valley for the iPad and Mavericks desktop. Visit the website for an introductory video or pick up a free sample at the iTunes bookstore.
Five portfolios are now available as ebooks, in iBook and PDF formats. Visit our ebooks website.
Newly updated for IOS 7 and Mavericks, Sticks and Stones: an alphabet book for the 21st century is now available in an electronic version for the iBook reader on the iPad and on the Mavericks desktop. Visit the book website for more information.

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© 2006 - Text and Photographs - Karen M. Strom