Last Updated on 03/16/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
All images by Anthony Ponteiro Browning. Used with permission.
With everyone essentially being a photographer with their smartphone cameras, DSLRs, and compact cameras, the need to create photographs that stand out from the rest has become increasingly important. With this, we tip our hats to photographers who push the creative boundaries of their chosen craft. Today, our spotlight is on Anthony Ponterio Browning, a Los Angeles-based photographer and graffiti artist, who creates hypnotic multiple exposure photos without the aid of Photoshop.
Anthony has been shooting and painting for over two decades, having found his passion for photography and graffiti art around the same time. He worked at a studio as an events and wedding photographer after high school, and did that for over 10 years. Eventually, he decided to focus on his art.
“My passion has always been to try to create something different. I have always loved the darkroom and the freedom that comes with it. Thats where my love of multiple exposures started from — experimenting in the darkroom. There are no rules in art to me and that’s what I love. It’s infinite.”
It’s these darkroom experiments that inspired him to keep doing multiple exposures with today’s DSLR cameras. To achieve his creative vision, he had to make his own tool with the help of a machinist. The result was a device he called the Octaexposure, which he uses to mount the camera in such a way that allows him to shoot long exposure multiple exposure images for long periods of time.
“I wanted to be able to shoot long exposure multiple exposure images with the ability to shoot at different degrees. I went to every camera store to see if I could rig some sort of device to mount the camera on but no one had anything that would allow me to rotate the camera 360 degrees. So, I found this machinist that worked with me for months and months trying to figure out the best way to make this come to life and we finally did. I call it Octaexposure because it allows me to mount 8 tripod plates on it. I made a video showing my whole process so you can see what it looks like.”
“My process is very different from the normal shooting process because this is very time consuming. Usually going out to shoot you would probably get hundreds of images or shooting events a couple thousand images. Some of these images can take up to 15 to 20 minutes or longer to shoot 1 image. These images are shot in camera and no Photoshop is used in creating them. Sometimes I will shoot medium format film too but it gets very expensive.”
“Shooting all day or night, I will be lucky to get around 60-80 images or more. Hopefully, one of those is a keeper. Then, some I will print to canvas and start painting. I have been a Canon shooter for decades but that does not mean I do not love Fuji, Sony, Nikon or any of the rest they all have a unique look to them. The reason I shoot Canon mainly is because it is one of the few systems that offers multiple exposure shooting of up to 9 images. Pentax 645z and K1 is the only camera that allows you to shoot as many multiple exposures as you like.”