Joni Sternbach, ‘Wavelength’, 2010, Maharam
Joni Sternbach, ‘Wavelength’, 2010, Maharam

In her silver gelatin ocean portraits, photographer Joni Sternbach uses the familiarity of her subject matter as a blank screen for contemplation. Wavelength explores the elasticity of time, whether in permanent suspension or extending eternally.

About Joni Sternbach

Photographer Joni Sternbach says that her “methods are deliberate, antiquated, out of date. I don’t compete with the speed of the digital world.” She works with antique cameras to make unique, large-format prints using wet plate collodion photography—a laborious technique invented in the mid-19th century. Her tintypes and ambrotypes have the medium’s signature warm hue and a high-contrast monochromatic color range. Beaches, the ocean, and architecture make frequent appearances in her photographs, which she groups in series after a single subject. For example, “The Salt Effect” documented the desert in Utah, while “Abandoned” is a compilation of deserted waterfronts. While typically known for her land-and-seascapes, Sternbach has most recently been working on a series of portraits featuring surfers, titled “Surfland”, inspired by the ethnographies of August Sander.

American, Bronx, New York

Solo Shows

New York,
Surfland, Revisited 2006-2011