Through the Lens

Bryan Geary
Nick '21 experiments with abstract photography

Several of Fifth Former Nick Shepard’s photos were featured in the recent exhibit at the School’s Crumpacker Gallery. The show featured many incredible photos, but you won’t find anything like Shepard’s work. “He’s diving deep into film development chemistry right now by focusing on a process known as SLOFilm,” says Leigh Kaulbach ’08, Shepard’s photography instructor. “Nick has been pushing the possibilities of this process and is exploring abstraction in his photography.”
“It's basically a technique that you can use when using film that allows for more contrast, which is what I like about it,” says Shepard. “It's done by using a combination of using different f-stops on the camera. The ones that I use the most are f/4 at 8, and then f/11 at 1. The long exposure time as well, allows me to get this element of motion blur that you see. Then when you develop a slow film, you use colder water – normally it's 68 degrees. For slow film, you want it to be 55.”
Shepard believes that the success of his work is more in the process that in the act of capturing a photo. “I never really know how it’s going to turn out until I look at everything,” he says. “And when I look at everything that’s when I have to drop what I was hoping it would look like. I think that’s super important in all aspects of creating. You can’t get fixated on something because if you do, you then refuse to deviate from that.”