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Paolo and Po by Joachim Froese

Paolo and Po

Joachim Froese

About the artwork and sitter

Paolo Magagnoli is a photo historian and Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland. Po is a pedigree chihuahua who isn’t interested in photography but loves salted potato crisps.

This piece is a mixed media work of Paolo and his beloved pet. It combines digital photography with salt printing, the oldest working photographic process pioneered by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839.

The image was first shot on a mobile phone, edited and manipulated in Photoshop and then turned into a digitally printed negative. It has then been used to create photographic paper by coating watercolour paper with a light sensitive solution based on table salt and silver nitrate. The digital negative is exposed onto this paper, processed, toned in gold, and finally fixed.

About the artist

Joachim Froese is photographer and educator who lives and works in Brisbane and Berlin.

His images have been shown in exhibitions across Australia, Europe, Asia and North America and his work is held in numerous public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, and QAGOMA.

“I digitally combined two seperate photos of Paolo and Po which I took on my phone while we were playing chess."

Behind the scenes

How much work was done in Photoshop?

I digitally combined two separate photos of Paolo and Po which I took on my phone while we were playing chess. I then evened out the light on Paolo’s face and shirt and removed some shadows.

Why is this print so small?

Salt printing is a contact printing process, which means that the dimension of the final image is determined by the size of the negative I use. The size of the negative is defined by the output of my desktop printer and the size of the printing frame I use.