Nature Shoots Photographer : Keith Auerbach

Nature Shoots Photographer

Keith Auerbach

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12, 6-9 pm

Artist Talk: Saturday, September 14, 1-2 pm

First Friday; October 4, 12-9 pm

Exhibition Closes: Saturday, October 19, 6 pm


When a tornado ripped through Louisville in 2004, a huge pine tree crashed onto the roof of my photography studio and rain poured onto photographs and negatives. Heat and humidity produced a hot house atmosphere. Photographic emulsions liquified, ink dyes ran together, and the entire mess began to decay. As I tried to rescue my work, I pulled photos and negatives apart and -- quite unexpectedly -- was intrigued by unusual patterns and colors. I felt an "artistic thrill" as I imagined the potential for entirely new images. Entranced, I saved several damaged photos and negatives for future exploration.

This exhibit is the result of that exploration. I produced the original photographs using film. Nature then took its turn and created new starting points for me to consider. I discovered extraordinary images and used digital photographic technology to capture the accidental beauty of nature's impact.

For this exhibit I selected images that represent three stages in my collaboration with the natural forces released by the tornado:

  • Early stage: Images of people captured by film for my original photographs are clearly visible. Humidity and biological decay have begun to transform shapes and color.
  • Intermediate stage : The forces of nature are in control, creating new colors  and patterns. Portions of the original photographic image peak through.
  • Late stage : Nature has taken over. The image is abstract with no apparent link to the reality depicted in the original photo. My contribution is the selection and enhancement of images that I found astonishing and mysterious.