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Frank Sirona
No compromises
Artist's statement
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Frank Sirona with large format camera

My first shot with a semi-serious camera (my parent's Rollei) came when I was 12 years old: a slightly blurred, deserted beach scene on the North Sea. Today my pictures are mostly in focus, but still scapes of land untouched by people. The search for nature undisturbed by humanity is why I'm drawn again and again away from civilization to these areas - first to the unique desert landscapes in the southwest of the United States.

My love affair with the American Southwest began about ten years before my first trip there. One day (I must have been about 15 years old at the time) I was skimming through a Time Life Book from my father's library when the picture "Sunrise on Cliffs and River Edge" weiter by famous landscape photographer Eliot Porter popped out at me. He had taken it in 1961 during one of his visits to Glen Canyon of heron tracks along the sand bank of the Colorado showing in the golden morning light.

This image had such a craft and beauty that I had never seen in a photograph before. This shot is to me a symbol of impermanence on two levels: on the one hand the tracks in the sand could only exist for a short time before they disappear, and on the other hand the entire scene doesn't exist anymore because the whole system of the Glen Canyon, including nearly a hundred nearby canyons between 1963 and 1980 were flooded, resulting in a gigantic reservoir called Lake Powell that stretches for nearly 200 miles.

The lures of photography for me were many - one appeared in the form of a blonde beauty in a neighboring class, who was working in a study group in our school getting aquainted with black and white photography. Nevertheless, at this time my fascination for the natural sciences took over, also partly because said bombshell had her own plans, which didn't include me. So after high school I began to study chemistry and biology.

After the completion of these studies, after years of struggling with such things as evolutionary biology, finding technologies to decode the human genome, or studying the causes of depression disorders, then followed by the most expendable experience of them all, of starting up a biotechnology company amidst a low stock market, finally I found myself living the daydreams I had at the age of 15: with a large format camera moving through the countryside in search of untouched territory. I probably could have come to this path sooner, but it felt as though society expected you and pushed you to get a degree. However, sometimes life takes you on a detour…sometimes very far away.

These days photography is a wonderful excuse for me to be outdoors, far away from any contact by phone or email, where my daily routine and my inspiration for pictures is driven by the rhythm of nature. Which could also perhaps mean being woken up freezing cold in my tent in the middle of the night in January, or reluctantly peeling back the sleeping bag after just 3 hours of sleep in order to be "on location" and on time before the sun rises, just to capture the right light I need. After all you can't make something out of nothing. I do my best, and my results are presented on this website.

[short version]