Currently on display in Olio Food and Wine Cafe in Mancos, are two very different, very distinct collections of photography. One of those collections belongs to Mark Montgomery, a McElmo Canyon resident and San Diego native. His 14-piece collection of digital, hand-tinted photographs are hanging in the restaurant. His abstract style is showcased in old, rusty automobiles disguised as nature.
How long have you been a photographer?
Since 1985. I do mostly black and white photos.
Describe your photography.
I do mostly film and digital photography. I have a 1958 Airstream trailer that is my darkroom. I develop the film and hand color the photos using oils and pastels. My digital work is very abstract in design.
What inspired you to hand tint your photographs?
Ive always liked the older photos, before there was color photography, that were hand tinted. There is a certain unique quality about them. Its very beautiful the way they would make each one individualized. That caught my attention. I use toothpicks with cotton on the ends for detailed work. I got into changing up the picture to make it look quite different from the actual shot.
What is the theme for your current collection?
It is called Junk in the Trunk. They are photos of old rusted automobiles that I blew up digitally then went in with pastels to make them more vibrant and unique.
What was the process for creating this collection?
I went out with my camera, tripod and a macro close-up lens. I studied each car. I studied the rust and paint and tried to find something that really popped and stood out. Then I blew up the photo and I could see those smaller details. You can see colorful scenes of nature that you wouldnt know came off of an old car. You cant even tell they are old cars.
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
Throughout the years, its changed, but I really love nature. Im also working in abstract right now. I just like all that deep, detailed stuff that you wouldnt see unless you were up close. Things that you see everyday and dont take notice of.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
I really like Diane Arbus. I like the way she captures moments in time. She captured images that we normally wouldnt see in our everyday lives. They are very moving. I also like Mary Ellen Mark and Ansel Adams.
What do you think makes a great photo?
Something that captures attention and makes you want to look. Something you want to hang on a wall and continue to look at. It reminds you of something special. I dont like to name my photographs. I want people to see it how they want and interpret it in their own way. Let it be the persons who sees it. Montgomerys collection will run through Nov. 3 at Olio located at 114 West Grand Avenue in Mancos.