Russian Cameras, Keralan Landscapes At London's AOP Gallery

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 06 November 2007
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black and white panoramic photo of lots of palm and banana trees

Backwater Palms. © Jake Polonsky

Visitors to London’s AOP Gallery will have the chance to see Jake Polonsky’s stunning photographs at a short exhibition running until November 10 2007.

The display, Horizon: Russian Cameras, Kerelan Landscapes, shows Polonsky’s series of landscapes focusing on the state of Kerala at the southern tip of India.

He has captured the region’s combination of coastline, plantations, canals and mountains using Russian panoramic cameras loaded with specialist Kodak HIE infrared film.

“Kodak HIE infrared film is itself an endangered material,” said Polonsky.

black and white panoramic photo taken from a small wooden boat on a palm tree lined canal

Canal. © Jake Polonsky

“Originally used for aerial reconnaissance it is incredibly sensitive, requires delicate handling, and its lack of an anti-halation backing makes it very liable to flare. But this also gives a magical quality to my subjects – the blown out highlights of living vegetation literally glow with light.”

Polonsky has been travelling and documenting unspoilt landscapes for the last five years, concentrating on scenes where evidence of modern human interference is kept to a minimum.

His method of using HIE infrared film combined with a split toned printing technique creates a timeless atmosphere and the feeling of someone documenting these places on film for the first time.

black and white panoramic photo of a plain backed by a range of mountains with a solitary tree in the foreground

Jurassic Tree. © Jake Polonsky

Polonsky has been a fine art photographer for more than ten years and collaborated with Melvin Cambettie Davies on this series of prints.

“Though through experience I have a good idea of what my results will be,” explained Polonsky, “working with HIE is not so much documenting or recording landscape – because this material itself has this unknown quality (we are after all photographing part of the spectrum not visible to the naked eye) – as transforming it.”

The AOP Gallery is the exhibition space of the Association of Photographers, and has a regularly changing programme, with its next show, Marathon Man by Jamie Baker, running from November 12-18.

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