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David McCleery

Photography, Piping, Publishing, Writing

   Prairie Chair , from the forthcoming solo exhibition: “Summer Abandoned: An exhibition of black and white pinhole and altered camera photographs of faded summers, and an essay.” State of Nebraska Governor's Residence Gallery.

Prairie Chair, from the forthcoming solo exhibition: “Summer Abandoned: An exhibition of black and white pinhole and altered camera photographs of faded summers, and an essay.” State of Nebraska Governor's Residence Gallery.

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3/2018 Migrant Tales, CD Jewel Case Photography for

The Nelson Brothers, folk-rock group out of the UK.

Upcoming

Solo Exhibition

Forthcoming:

The photo exhibition "Summer Abandoned" will be presented in the State of Nebraska Governor's Residence Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska, with support provided by the Nebraska Arts Council.

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  Lifeguard Chair, from the forthcoming solo exhibition: “Summer Abandoned: An exhibition of black and white pinhole and altered camera photographs of faded summers, and an essay.” State of Nebraska Governor's Residence Gallery.

Lifeguard Chair, from the forthcoming solo exhibition: “Summer Abandoned: An exhibition of black and white pinhole and altered camera photographs of faded summers, and an essay.” State of Nebraska Governor's Residence Gallery.

 The 2018 Summer issue of  Midwestern Gothic  is now available. I'm grateful to the editors of this fine literary magazine for using my image, "Greenwood Cemetery", on the title page of their last four issues.  Midwestern Gothic  is an American literary magazine based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois.  Midwestern Gothic  also runs frequent interviews with influential  Midwestern  authors and poets, such as Charles Baxter, Matt Bell, Marianne Boruch, Peter Ho Davies, Stuart Dybek, Alice Friman, V.V.

The 2018 Summer issue of Midwestern Gothic is now available. I'm grateful to the editors of this fine literary magazine for using my image, "Greenwood Cemetery", on the title page of their last four issues. Midwestern Gothic is an American literary magazine based in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Chicago, Illinois. Midwestern Gothic also runs frequent interviews with influential Midwestern authors and poets, such as Charles Baxter, Matt Bell, Marianne Boruch, Peter Ho Davies, Stuart Dybek, Alice Friman, V.V.

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PRINTS

Images are printed on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 heavy art paper. All work is signed on the back.

If you’re interested in purchasing a print please contact me at 402-217-8170 or through the "contact" page of this website.

Small Prints – $65
Signed and Numbered (open edition)
8 X 8 Square

Medium Prints – $105

Signed and Numbered (open edition)
12 X 12 Square

Large Prints – $125
Signed and Numbered (open edition)
16 X 16 Square

Very Large Prints – $150
Signed and Numbered (open edition) 
20 X 20 Square

 JULY 20, 2012 •  BY CORY MATTESON /LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR  DENTON -- Despite forcing himself out of bed at 5 a.m. or so, David McCleery didn’t have much of a plan for when he arrived at the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center on Thursday morning.  This trip was mostly a reconnaissance mission, he said as he carried a Hasselblad 501-cm camera mounted to a tripod over his shoulder and walked along the trail. “I don’t hunt, so, in a sense, it’s a way to do that,” he said.  McCleery started to get into photography only 2 1/2 years ago. “Really, I’m just trying to do photos that please myself,” he said. And if others enjoy them, he said, even better. Earlier this month, he received an email that confirmed that a panel of judges with ties to National Geographic, Time, the New York Times and a host of other international publications, were fond of his work. McCleery submitted a photo in the amateur landscape photography competition of the Paris-based Prix de la Photographie (Px3). The email told him he had won, and invited him to fly to France for the awards ceremony. He didn’t bother to look up the cost of a last-minute flight, but was nonetheless excited to have won.  McCleery shot the winning photo, which was of seven black-and-white trees on the horizon of the cloud-covered Nine-Mile Prairie in northwest Lincoln, last February. He entered just the one photo, compared to the photographers who placed silver and bronze, who each submitted multiple shots of their subjects. It was not lost on him that his stark interpretation of the still Nebraska plains somehow bested the silver-medal subject, the Matterhorn. “You can go right to the edge of Lincoln and take a photograph that’s appreciated,” he said.  So far, he has done them with considerable limitations. He shoots with black-and-white film only, with one lens (an 80 millimeter) and develops them in a darkroom at his house. He’s only begun to experiment with a second camera, of the handmade pinhole variety, which is even more primitive than his first.  “It’s a way to really slow down the process,” he said, and he’s OK with slow. He ventured to Nine-Mile Prairie five times before capturing the shot he wanted. He took his favorite photograph, an image of the Roca grain elevator, after it caught his eye on crack-of-dawn drives. One day he decided to set up his camera across from it and take a 3 1/2-minute long exposure of it at 4 a.m. “It’s as lovely as anything you can find in the world,” he said.

JULY 20, 2012 •

BY CORY MATTESON /LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR

DENTON -- Despite forcing himself out of bed at 5 a.m. or so, David McCleery didn’t have much of a plan for when he arrived at the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center on Thursday morning.

This trip was mostly a reconnaissance mission, he said as he carried a Hasselblad 501-cm camera mounted to a tripod over his shoulder and walked along the trail. “I don’t hunt, so, in a sense, it’s a way to do that,” he said.

McCleery started to get into photography only 2 1/2 years ago. “Really, I’m just trying to do photos that please myself,” he said. And if others enjoy them, he said, even better. Earlier this month, he received an email that confirmed that a panel of judges with ties to National Geographic, Time, the New York Times and a host of other international publications, were fond of his work. McCleery submitted a photo in the amateur landscape photography competition of the Paris-based Prix de la Photographie (Px3). The email told him he had won, and invited him to fly to France for the awards ceremony. He didn’t bother to look up the cost of a last-minute flight, but was nonetheless excited to have won.

McCleery shot the winning photo, which was of seven black-and-white trees on the horizon of the cloud-covered Nine-Mile Prairie in northwest Lincoln, last February. He entered just the one photo, compared to the photographers who placed silver and bronze, who each submitted multiple shots of their subjects. It was not lost on him that his stark interpretation of the still Nebraska plains somehow bested the silver-medal subject, the Matterhorn. “You can go right to the edge of Lincoln and take a photograph that’s appreciated,” he said.

So far, he has done them with considerable limitations. He shoots with black-and-white film only, with one lens (an 80 millimeter) and develops them in a darkroom at his house. He’s only begun to experiment with a second camera, of the handmade pinhole variety, which is even more primitive than his first.

“It’s a way to really slow down the process,” he said, and he’s OK with slow. He ventured to Nine-Mile Prairie five times before capturing the shot he wanted. He took his favorite photograph, an image of the Roca grain elevator, after it caught his eye on crack-of-dawn drives. One day he decided to set up his camera across from it and take a 3 1/2-minute long exposure of it at 4 a.m. “It’s as lovely as anything you can find in the world,” he said.

In early 2011 I was looking for a new creative pursuit.  I thought it would be challenging to become a student of black and white film photography.  After much deliberation, I narrowed my choice to medium format black and white film and purchased a Hasselblad with an 80mm lens.  I converted a room in our basement into a darkroom and filled it with all the paraphernalia of the photographer's trade. 

When I began, I had no ambitions and low expectations.   I shot medium format film in a variety of cameras, both historical and handmade, both technologically advanced (for a film camera) and very basic (such as pinhole cameras).  I create photographs in the margins of my time and share my home base here in Lincoln, Nebraska with my wife, Robin.  We spend part of the year just north of Tucson, Arizona, near the Santa Catalina Mountains.

  “Prairie Tress” Gold Medal Fine Art Landscape, Prix de la Photographie, Paris    (Px3, Paris Photo Prize)

“Prairie Tress” Gold Medal Fine Art Landscape, Prix de la Photographie, Paris

(Px3, Paris Photo Prize)

Why shoot film?

There is the tactile feeling of craft to the process of shooting black and white film; the action of loading medium format film into a camera, hearing the shutter fire, the scent of darkroom chemicals.  There are other pleasures too; the reading of the light, setting the aperture and shutter, taking over an hour to make twelve exposures, being outside and looking closely at the world.  And when that part is finished, letting the film rest in their paper cocoons and sit forgotten, sometimes for weeks, until you go into the dark where the film is developed.  The thin negatives, as transparent as the wings of a cicada, are held up to the light.  Sometimes you are surprised by what you find, often disappointed.  That’s a part of it.

Half my work is comprised of images using the sharp lens of a Hasselblad.  But as of late I find myself reaching for primitive handmade pinhole and historic medium format cameras.  I’ve gotten somewhat adept at altering cameras to produce dream-like visions entirely in-camera*.  These images feel like the most personal and purest form of photography I've attempted.  Pinhole and altered cameras create photographs less real, more dream-laden, than photographs produced by more advanced technological means.  The images seek to be both intimate and introspective in their depiction of objects and landscapes.  They are not always clean and focused.  These images are flawed in some of the same manner as dreams or memories.  They are marred and blemished, they have blurred and undefined areas, they drift in and out of awareness and clarity.  I’ve been leaving the film edge of the negative intact on many images to remind the viewer that they are analog-based and there is a limit to the information available. I am excited about where my continued exploration of film photography will lead as I avidly pursue an idiosyncratic and alternative process to create a deeply personal visual landscape.

*A Few of the altered camera effects I employ to make my images: Clear tape and white dry erase markers on glass or glass filters. Cloth threads draped in front of the aperture to achieve soft focus. Placing pinhole and other cameras in clear plastic bags and then using vaseline at times to achieve soft focus and vignette around the edges. Using old reading glass lenses as filters.

Solo Exhibitions:

Forthcoming:  With support from the Nebraska Arts Council, "Summer Abandoned, An Essay and An Exhibition", will be presented in the State of Nebraska Governor's Residence Gallery, Lincoln, Nebraska.

2014     Goshen Art House, Goshen, Indiana, in conjunction with the independent award-winning documentary film  "Medora."

2013      Fred Simon Gallery at the Nebraska Arts Council, Omaha, Nebraska
2012     "Close Proximity" County-City Building, Lincoln, Nebraska
              
Group Exhibitions: 
2018     The Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud Opera House Gallery, Red Cloud, Nebraska

2016      The Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud Opera House Gallery, Red Cloud, Nebraska

2015     The Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud Opera House Gallery, Red Cloud, Nebraska

2013     The Willa Cather Foundation, Red Cloud Opera House Gallery, Red Cloud, Nebraska

2012     NVAL International Juried Exhibition, Carter House Gallery, Redding California

Awards:
2012 Gold Medal Fine Art Landscape, Prix de la Photographie, Paris (Paris Photo Prize)

2012 IPA International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention, Fine Art, Landscapes

Permanent Collections:

Willa Cather Foundation Art Collection

Publications:

Summer 2018             Midwestern Gothic Summer 2018

February 2018             Midwestern Gothic Winter 2018

November 2017          Willa Cather Review Fall 2017

August 2017               Midwestern Gothic Summer 2017

February 2017             Midwestern Gothic Winter 2017

February 2012             Px3 (Paris Photo Prize) Annual publication of awarded photographs

Album Covers/CD Jewel Case  Photography:

2018   Migrant Tales, the fourth release from the UK folk-rock band The Nelson Brothers

Book Cover:

2018    Grassland, a novel by Asa Hawk, A Slow Tempo Press

 

I am happy to discuss creating prints on different surfaces and in different sizes when working in collaboration with publishers, musicians, art consultants, architects, and interior designers.

To acquire about exhibit or license the images, or to discuss collaborating on upcoming projects, contact the artist directly.

Thank You, Dave McCleery

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  Portraits:   Inquire on the contact page for reservations for one of a kind classic black and white film based portraits of your friends and family.

Portraits:

Inquire on the contact page for reservations for one of a kind classic black and white film based portraits of your friends and family.

  Young Explorer

Young Explorer

  Dave McCleery

Dave McCleery