Montague Fendt Selected Photography Work 2017/2018
In ‘Diagonal Compositions’, Montague plays with minimalist ideas and the dimension of time within a still image. The monochrome landscapes carefully framed and exposure calculated end up strangely pictorial as they get flooded with sunlight over several hours. Long exposures during daytime result in a very surreal and brushstroke feel. Triggered by a period of solitude after over a decade abroad, he set out to find selected scenes and landscapes from his memories and give them a new form. The process of the creation is as important as the results itself. Each photograph is carefully planned and during its execution, creates a time to reflect on the place and the experience. It is also an excercice of discipline and concentration, a silent protest to the speed at which images are made nowadays.
All prints are available for sale in sizes 44cm x 55cm & 80cm x 100cm
Singles, Abstracts, Mask Work
'I tend to pre-visualize my shots extensively. Sometimes I wake up with a certain scene in mind, a specific portrait, technique, look… It will not go away until I have captured it. Sometimes I arrive at a place and see an image unfold in front of my eyes. I check the path of the sun, framing the scene in my head and planning on how exactly I want to capture this scene to capture its essence.'
'To me, large format is a truly great experimental system due to all the easily accessible parts. After all it is just a lens, bellows and a ground glass. I love abstract imagery and furthermore get easily bored by conventional photographic processes. The large format system is a great tool for me to get right out there, creating masks, in-camera split images, work with what I call ‘in-camera contact prints’, various negatives stuck on top of each other to create a new take on double-exposure. I end up using my camera almost as a brush to ‘paint’ surrealist scenes just by exposing specific parts of in-camera masks multiple times, creating different shades of grey by exposure compensation, a technique I call 'Exposure-graphs'. Large format is often looked upon as a sort of conservative photographic approach, landscapes or portraits in a clean manner, which is great and beautiful. However, I just want more, I want to expand my work beyond the ordinary and into a more surreal and abstract realm.'
Silver Glass, Wood, Stone
A never ending journey of experimentation led Montague to work with liquid emulsions and home made 4x5 plates. Conventionally, liquid emulsions on unorthodox surfaces are exposed in the dark room under an enlarger. However, Montague choses to take an other path and actually expose the coated surfaces in-camera with a custom made film holder.
Land & City
Montague's way of exploring a place is through the lens. Heavily inspired by the balance of bustling metropolises and the beauty of nature he often sets out on a mission to capture pre-visualized images, always on the hunt of the perfect mountain, tree, building, sunset.
All prints are available for sale on RUG matte archive paper in several sizes.
A filmmaker at heart, Montague is a huge fan of the wide aspect ratio and an avid X-Pan shooter.
In ‘Black Suns’, Montague plays with solarization of direct positive paper, overloading the emulsion and rendering the sun black in the process, an interesting surreal touch on ordinary landscape photography. An on-going series.
All prints are available in 44cm x 55cm.
‘Wu Da!’ translated from Chinese means 'Heavy Fog'. It is also an answer you get in Beijing if you ask people what's wrong with the sky. But this fog has little to do with humidity in the air.
Most mornings I wake up to the humming of an air filter. A common item for people living in Beijing for a long period of time. As one would check the weather, we check the air quality. The AQI (air quality index) is measured at various parts of the city and gives a reading of the smog. On bad days we take necessary steps, close windows, wear pollution masks and turn our air filters to the maximum setting. Is this our world's future? It already is daily life in China's capital for about 2/3 of each year.
The AQI is a scale from 0-500 measuring pollution. An average day in Switzerland reaches around 10, a heavily polluted day in Los Angeles as high as 120. The yearly average in Beijing is 179, with some record values of 879, cracking the scale. A surreal array of colors fills the sky and from a visual perspective, there is a strange beauty. A soft light that covers everything like a winter storm. The ‘Wu Da!’ series is not only documentation, but also a study of colors, texture and contrast. Cityscapes drowning in the mist.
The series is shot on medium format, it’s not graded, not cropped or adjusting in any way. I aimed at a pure look, showing the smog in a realistic but dreamy way. All photos are named after the AQI of the moment they were taken.
Selected candid and travel photography, between 2003 - 2018
Advertising & Film Work
For the last decade, Montague is working in the film and advertising industry of China and all over the world. Specializing in car and lifestyle ads, he combines directing and cinematography. For showreel and selected work please visit www.vimeo.com/montaguefendt