Limited Edition | Silver Gelatin, and Archival Pigment Prints
Michael Kahn’s seascape and sailing photographs are exhibited in art galleries and museums throughout the world. Michael’s handmade photographs are each signed and created in limited editions. With his 1950’s camera, Michael travels extensively to photograph the world’s finest boats and pristine seascapes. He captures his images on traditional black and white film and produces luminous silver gelatin prints in his darkroom. His traditional technique united with his distinctive sense of form, vision, and composition has helped him to be one of the most memorable photographers of our time.
Born in 1960, Michael Kahn is a life-long resident of Chester County, Pennsylvania. During his childhood, his family summered on the coasts of Maine and Topsail Island, North Carolina. This is where his love of the sea and sailing originated. After high school, Michael apprenticed in a portrait studio where they used Hasselblad cameras with a square 6x6 cm film format. Here, Michael received hands on training in film handling and black and white printmaking. Several years later, the owner of the studio changed the business model and became a commercial/advertising photographer. Michael stayed on as an assistant, learning skills in advertising, product and editorial photography.
From there, Michael branched off on his own, shooting for magazines and other commercial clients. In 1990 he published a book of black and white photographs of the Brandywine River in Southeastern Pennsylvania. In the mid-90’s, Michael took his first sailing photograph of a small boat in the fog on a lake in the Adirondacks. This image launched his nautical photography career. Michael made the decision to stay with his film cameras instead of going with the new trends in digital equipment, and continues to make handmade photographs in his darkroom.
“I have learned that the essence of photography is being there: really being present, experiencing the entire moment, being fully engaged with all of the senses. If I can be present in the situation, I can react to what is happening around me.
Contemporary society is very good at providing busyness and distractions. We can only realize art in the present moment. The photograph can only be captured “now.” I work toward bringing my emotional response to the final print. I actually see the finished image when I am taking the photograph; I see the tonal relationships, the contrast, and how it combines to create a certain mood.
If the photograph is successful, then the viewer responds emotionally the way I did when I witnessed the happening. My art is created using composition and tonal relationship. The strength of the image lies in these fundamental components: line and light. Shape and tone equals impact; impact equals emotion, which in turn, equals art.”