Todd Schlemmer.

I’ve been a follower of ‘The Schlem’ for quite some time now and one of my favourite things about this man is that he constantly surprises me with his persistently innovative eye and originality. 

FED мутант’ is, in short, one of the most subtly handled collection of black and white pinhole photography I’ve come across to date. His Flickr account is awash with experimentation - a testament to the dedication to the advancement of his art (click here to take a peak at the magnitude of his genius). His extraordinary results serve to compliment said dedication. I consider him a forefront in a ‘contemporary’ pinhole scene. 

With the sheer myriad of work Todd has produced, I felt it necessary to ask whether or not he has one particular piece he’s especially proud of. To which he replied:

“My wife and I traveled to Amsterdam for Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day last year, meeting up with a bunch of amazing (pinhole) photographers from all over Europe and the US. For the most part, no one had ever met face to face before, having only interacted on Facebook and Twitter. It was a grand social media experiment and it totally rocked. We rendezvoused in Portland, Oregon this year. We’re planning to meet
in Barcelona, Spain next year.

All of which is a preamble to this anecdote: On our return from Amsterdam, we spent a few days in London and then a few more in Reykjavik, Iceland. We bombed around Reykjavik and tasted whale and quaffed $10US Icelandic beer. On the way to the airport, we arranged for a slight side trip to the Blue Lagoon, a silica-rich hot springs spa (that is actually the outfall of a geothermal power generating station, but I digress).
It was expensive, and the spa charged extra money for things like towels and
lockers and flip flops. I was grumpy about leaving Europe, I felt like I hadn’t
seen enough Iceland, and now the vikings were prying my wallet open just as I
was needing to leave. After soaking for a while, we snacked on overpriced and
unremarkable sandwiches in the last minutes before we had to catch the bus to
the airport. I was done. 

And then I heard a voice in my head bemoaning that I may never return to this beautiful and other-worldly place. The voice asked me why the hell I carry cameras with me. I weighed my exhaustion and mood against photographic possibilities. I left Beehive to finish her lunch and quickly stepped outside with my light meter and camera.”

Please, do take a moment to view the stunning result, ’Blue Lagoon, Reykjavik, Iceland’ below.

If you’re in need of some inspiration, please take the time to follow those links and treat your brain to some phenomenal art. For now though, I’ll leave you with Todd’s own words, for they are surely much clearer than my own…

“I guess I’d call it whole brain photography: Designing a camera in software is very left brain, and using that camera to make photographic art is very right brain. Ultimately, the technology of photography is numerical and analytical, but the art of photography comes from aesthetics, vision, and imagination. I feel like I am still trying to refine my style, but certain patterns and themes emerge in the thousands of pinhole photographs I have made.”

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