St. Johns


by Terry "Bud" Colby

There is a natural softness created through the antique brown-tone photographic processes of Van Dyke, Bromoil, and Kallitype. The earth tones are soothing to my soul, encouraging me to linger on the subject, absorbing it with a different intensity than I would otherwise. It captivates me and holds my attention.

Although these antique methods are visually pleasing, they are chemically intensive. Hence, I began a quest to recreate the visual warmth through digital means. The goal is not to mimic the brown-tone processes, but to create images that are inspired by them. It took three years to achieve success.

These photographs are a reflection of my personal relationship with the great American West. They embody the timelessness of an era gone by. There is a calmness that takes us away from our frenetic lives and we are emotionally transported to places of solitude, tranquility, and calm.


All of these elements come together to make the whole.

Cerrillos Rails

A stunning image, printed in earth-toned hues on brown Kraft - that's where it starts. The soothing colors contrast with the heroically rough texture of the unrefined paper. When combined with deckeled edging, a feeling of unsophisticated antiquity flows throughout.

Hand-cut double shadowed matting gives a heightened sense of depth, allowing the image to pull back into the frame. Then, to provide separation, the image is floated off the background, enabling an ethereal shadow effect. The solid waxed-walnut frame (manually cut & assembled) is the perfect compliment to the image - containing it, yet delicately isolating the subject from the surrounding background.

The art is greater than the sum of the parts.