It is possible to look out over a vast expanse of water and not feel the weight of time’s passage? Susan Dobson’s “Viewfinder”, a stunning series of large-scale photographs of water, were produced in the Great Lakes region between Canada and the U.S., usually under dramatic banks of clouds, or at sunrise or sunset. Dobson then digitally overlaid her photographs with scans of the ground glass from old large-format cameras, used by photographers historically to compose their photos. While the bodies of water can be read as universal places, the unique markings of each vintage camera lens – and the stains, chips, marks and fingerprints left behind by previous users – reminds us that, not too long ago, being a photographer required genuine expertise and a lot of equipment.
Susan Dobson is a photographer based in Guelph. She has an MFA from the University of Guelph. Her work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the U.S. and internationally, most recently at the Images Festival in Vevey, Switzerland, where selections from the “Viewfinder” series were installed on the façade of the city’s Swiss Camera Museum.