Barbara Probst takes a unique approach to her photography. She shoots one location or studio set up simultaneously with up to 12 different cameras at a time. The resulting series of diptych and triptych images compares and contrasts what the “reality” of a photograph can tell us by combining completely different angles of the same scene. Each set or group is printed on a large scale to involve the viewer in each perspective of that split second in time.
Nicole Pasulka of The Morning News wrote a great interview with Barbara furthering exploring the concepts of her photographic process. Found via John Nack on Adobe.
How do you set up these shots?
When I photograph there are always at least two and sometimes as many as 12 cameras involved. There is no way for me to look through the viewfinder during shooting, since all cameras release at the same time. Therefore, I have to set up the cameras and instruct the models very deliberately to get every camera to frame the scene in the right way. Needless to say, there is “accidentiality” involved, which I enjoy working with. The results are never quite as planned, but usually there’s something I can work with. I am not interested in manipulating images on the computer. My work is based on an investigation of the conditions of photography and its relationship to reality.
When I look at some of your work—like Exposure #35, for example—it doesn’t seem possible that the photos could be the same shot. Do you consider your diptychs or triptychs to be photographs of the same thing? What’s each panel’s relationship to the other or others?
The images of each series are always shot in exactly the same instant. Each series show at least two simultaneous views on one and the same thing from different angles, distances, and contexts. This simultaneity is essential to my work. The relationship of the images is based on it. The simultaneity makes the images comparable. The viewer gets involved in the work by shifting his or her view from image to image —back and forth—and by comparing the images and bundling up the different points of view the images are made from in his or her own point of view. This analytical way of looking leads to questions about perception and raises of doubts about our ability to recognize truth.
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