Los Angeles photographer by way of Chicago, Sarah Hadley, shares work by Al Davalle on Lenscratch today. Sarah is an accomplished photographer in her own right, and this year, also took on the task of spearheading a new photo festival in Chicago, the 2010 Filter Photo Festival. Her work was featured on Lenscratch in 2009.
By Sarah Hadley
I first came across the work of Al Davalle on the Lenswork website. His ghostly, abstract black-and white images caught my eye because they were like nothing I had ever seen before, and when I found out that they are images of wood dust frozen by strobe lights, I was intrigued. It turns out Al has been working with wood for over 25 years and he loves wood and loves trees and so was prodded to do a photo project about this passion by his friend, the amazing photographer and teacher Jeff Curto.
Over several months, Al said he shot hundreds of images of wood – of the furniture he was making, his woodworking tools, wood varnishes, and even the trees in the woods behind his house. None of these photographs stuck with him. But one day, while sitting in his wood shop, he saw the light hitting the wood dust floating through the air and he realized how beautiful it was and thought he’d try to capture it.