Craig Cutler: Vegetables Through a Vintage Lens

Step into a recent segment of Craig Cutler‘s photographic journey where everyday “Vegetables” brilliantly metamorphose into sculptures, all captured through the vintage lens of a 4×5 view camera—an endeavor that garnered him a prestigious Graphis Photography Gold award. Stripping away the digital conveniences of the modern era, Cutler employs the timeless quality of Tri-X film, capturing textures and deeply contrasting shadows that bring each vegetable to life. His self-initiated project reflects the enduring magic of film and Cutler’s unerring focus on craft, style, and lighting. In this quiet corner of his studio, free from the buzz of digital cameras and assistants, Cutler demonstrates that sometimes, the simplest objects can become extraordinary when viewed through a particular lens.

By: Craig Cutler

I always like the idea of taking objects out of context when shooting personal still life. For this project, I wanted to turn vegetables into standing sculptures. I never had a preconceived idea of what I would find or what I was looking for at the market, but it was important that the shapes worked together as a series with texture and shape.

The second most important part of the process was how they were photographed. Not using a digital camera but photographed using a 4 x 5 view camera with Tri-X film. The lens was kept wide open to allow the focus to be just on the standing object that was resting on charcoal paper. Only one light was used to create contrast and a deep fall-off in the shadows. Finally, drum scans were made from the 4 x 5 film, which I still believe is the purest and cleanest scan.

There is something about creating images with actual film and a view camera that can never be simulated or recreated with any digital camera. It is important to know that I do this process alone in my studio without any assistants. It allows me to create without any interference or distractions.

Craig Cutler‘s meticulous combination of craft and style brings an element of art to his work as a director and photographer. Conceptual thinking lays the foundation for both his print and film approach. Each of his projects, editorial or commercial ads, begins with concepts that take shape initially as sketches and evolve through a series of revisions and additions until a final direction is honed. Craig’s work is further differentiated by his focus on lighting. He strips each piece of its setting and uses lighting to evoke the message integral to his concept.

A frequent recipient of awards, Craig blends his experience with a contemporary vision to create timeless art. He frequently collaborates on projects with his creative agency, CutlerBremner. Craig is an avid swimmer who travels around the country with his wife and their dog.

Social Media: Instagram

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Author: Graphis