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Cynthia Biles

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Methodist Curch
The first time Cynthia tried to use a 35 mm SLR camera was in a Parks & Recreation Class in the Bay Area in 1995, remembering, in her embarrassment, whispering questions to her neighboring classmate.  To her surprise, she got hooked on photography!  Over the next four years she immersed herself in photography classes in the Bay Area and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Early on, rather than focusing on particular subject matters, her interests gravitated toward exploring alternative black-and-white darkroom processes including painting with toners, painting with developer, bromoil transfers, Polaroid transfers, solarization, liquid silver emulsion, and handtinting.   Over the next several years she sought out training in specialized alternative processes taught by accomplished photographers, many of whom have since retired from the field.

But perhaps the most interesting period of her photographic history was teaching traditional black-and-white photography, including some of the alternative darkroom processes, to high school students.   It was fascinating, and often humbling, experiencing the creative viewpoints of these young minds.

Cynthia finally broke down and joined the digital world, which has opened up a vast new arena for her creativity.  Her newest project is born from a fusion of film photography, the alternative darkroom process of silver emulsion, digital photography, Photoshop, and matting and framing skills.  Cynthia calls it “Photo-Stones”.  It involves printing black-and-white photos from a film negative onto stones.

Traditional photography is a dying art and Cynthia is one of a dying breed.  Very few photographers still dabble in traditional photography, and even fewer still are familiar with the alternative processes.  Since 1995, her work has been exhibited in venues including local art shows and art galleries in the East Bay of San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Utah, Portland and Sisters, Oregon, and the Sierra foothills.   She resides on the western side of Calaveras County with her husband and family of cats.

Artist’s prices beginning at $95.00.

A sampling of Cynthia’s work at Petroglyphe Gallery (click any image to enlarge and scroll through)