Fred Dusel is a man who has worn many hats. A Vietnam veteran, rock musician, machinist, freemason, and attorney, Dusel’s range of careers is one that attests to the diversity of his interests, the effects of a persistently inquisitive mind. Yet throughout his lifelong evolution, there has remained a consistent ardor for Dusel: His love of photography.
Born in San Francisco in 1946, Dusel’s life was rooted on the west coast until 1998 when he was admitted to Vanderbilt University School of Law in Nashville, TN. After retiring from his law practice in 2012 due to health reasons, Dusel began to study carbon transfer printing, a highly-complex photographic process originally developed during photography’s advent in the 1860s. A further testament to Dusel’s avid commitment to lifelong growth, he pursued this process in 2015 through a tutorial held by Clemson University photography professor emeritus Sandy King, one of the only carbon printing scholars in the world. Dusel was drawn to carbon transfer printing for its ability to render shadow contrasts and tonal scales that surpass typical silver gelatin print capacities. A practice that Dusel describes as “extremely time-consuming and disaster-ridden,” when successful carbon transfers nonetheless produce imagery that supersede the visual qualities of standard photography.
The Arts Company is pleased to present a collection of photographs taken by Dusel 30 years ago. Capturing lush scenes of natural beauty undisturbed by human intervention in and around the California coast and High Sierras, Dusel hopes that his work will inspire viewers to “connect with their spiritual nature through allegory and symbolism.”
WHAT MAKES CARBON PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS UNIQUE?
Carbon printing is virtually a lost art in the world of contemporary photography. But Fred Dusel is captivated by the process and results. The print results are considered the ultimate photographic standard--even above palladium and platinum prints--for the longevity, clarity, depth of image, and quality of each print. Each print is unique. This challenging and exacting process became popular in the 1860s, and fell out of favor the late-19th, early 20-century when printing techniques began to evolve in simpler ways. Only a very few people currently use this process.