Bob Carnie is a Toronto-based photo-printmaker and photographer. Since graduating from the Fanshawe College’s photography program in 1976, Bob has not only continued his own photography practice but also garnered an international reputation for printing traditional and digital fine art. A master printer, he’s worked with many acclaimed photographers, printing for personal portfolios, private collections, gallery exhibitions and museum installations. Bob’s passion for photography is fueled by this hands-on work in the darkroom, where he’s most in his element – a passion that’s evident in his own work. Using a combination of skills in historical and vintage processes, at times enhanced by contemporary technology, Bob’s combinations of skills, artistry and (hard-boiled) perceptiveness bring a unique richness to his work – from the early landscapes seen on this website, through to his current body of work which contemplates the value, beauty, and ephemerality of everyday objects.
THE PRINTING PROCESS
I shoot all my images with simple lighting to clearly delineate the object using large format film colour and Black and White.
In the darkroom, I add solarization of light to play with the visual tonalities and colour balances. The bulk of my images is either silver gelatin or up-to six layers of gum bichromate, or multiple gum over palladium prints. My silver gelatin pieces are made via enlarger, where I will solarize using William Jolly's formula and then use chemical toners for colour effect.
Also, I digitally scan the original solarized or cross-processed film and manipulate the file in photoshop to create the image I like. Then, I separate the file by tone (black and white, cyan, magenta, and yellow) using an inkjet printer onto a receiving film. Sometimes, I will only create one sheet of inkjet film, depending on the print type I aim to create.
Much of my work is gum bichromate layers over palladium, and my subject-based images are full gum bichromate prints. In both processes, it takes four days to garner a full-colour image. If I am looking for a more realistic look, I will use Palladium as the base coating. However, if the original image is really abstract, I will stick with four layers of gum. I prefer the use of raw pigments to create a unique colour pallet. This method is important to my process because preservation is vital in my work - this process generates archival images that will be around for centuries.