Chris Hornaman Photography
What we collect
Links us to the past.
What we create
Binds us to the future.
I make photographs because I cannot paint.
My artistic interests are in natural as well as man made subjects. I may photograph the familiar but it is the unfamiliar that captures my imagination. I do not previsualise an image. My first priority is to observe the world around us. I then look for opportunities to make a photograph. I know what I am looking for after I have found it. These are the scenes I photograph.
I make photographs almost anywhere, from my own backyard to the bushveld of Africa. I am equally comfortable with landscapes, manmade historic sites, and wildlife. All wildlife photographs are taken in the wild, my favorite locations being the national parks of Africa. I always disclose the location where the photo was taken.
The art of making a photograph is equally comprised of image capture and image printing. Film based black and white images are hand printed on silver based papers in my own darkroom or by scanning and printing digitally. Digital images are captured in color. I convert many of these to black & white. Currently, I print digital images using archival pigment inks and papers. I mount and mat all photos using archival board.
When I made the transition from film to digital capture I established a personal philosophy. While I may apply an artistic interpretation to an image, I will not do anything with a digital image that cannot be done in a traditional darkroom. This includes adjusting contrast, brightness, and color balance. I may also dodge and/or burn sections of the image. I may crop an image. However, I will not remove objects that detract from the picture nor will I combine parts of images to make a composite. I treat each image as though it is on film.
Taking pictures has been a life long endeavor. For 35 years it was a creative outlet and therapy from my day job as a chemist. In 1995 I became serious and began to show and sell my photographs. After retiring from the corporate world photography became my primary avocation.
Initially I focused on fine art black and white using silver based films and traditional chemical darkroom processing and printing. Subject matter was primarily landscapes and historic sites. In 1999 I started doing wildlife photography while on safari in Africa.
All my work has been on 35mm film or equivalent digital format. Early work was film based but I switched to digital in 2005. I resisted the transition to digital for a long time. Not that there is anything wrong with digital, I just felt more comfortable having images on a solid piece of film rather than as a collection of organized electrons tucked away as bits and bytes in a black box. I treat each image as though it is on film.
I am mostly self taught, though I have had some formal training in black and white technique and wildlife photography.
My formal education is a B.S. in Chemistry from Penn State and M.S. in Chemistry from University of Colorado. My working career was as an industrial chemist. I am an experimentalist by nature and photography satisfies my need for a creative outlet.
Highest Honors, Windland Smith Rice Awards (Natures Best) 2008
1st Place B&W, Your Vision of America Photography Contest (Philly Pops), 2009
Semi-finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition
2008 (10 images), 2009 (8 images), 2011 (6 images)
Juried entrant in Phillips Mill Photographic Exhibition, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
Honorable Mention in Photography, Tinicum Arts Festival 2008
First Place in Photography, Art in the Park, West Park, Allentown, PA 2002, 2004, 2005, 2011
Juried Member Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen
Past exhibitor at
The Artisans Touch Coop,
Connexions Gallery, Easton, PA