Although I develop my images, I do not digitally manipulate them in any way. My commitment to photographic integrity has been the most challenging part of my journey. I needed to learn how to take the perfect shot, and it would require the perfect scope. Enter: David Kalish.
There were 60 scopes in my aunt’s collection that I acquired after her death. I took photos of the interior of many of them. But the most consistent shot has always come from David Kalish’s kaleidoscopes. That is to say that the lighting, glass, length of the chamber, cells, stones in the cells, and the absence of air bubbles in the oil cell (this was a big problem in many of my earlier photos) all lead to no post-development editing. This is important to me because, in a digital age where so much of what we see in magazines and on gallery walls is digitally manipulated or generated, it is my earnest desire to produce work that is true. I was so confident in the consistency of his craftsmanship, I registered for a business licence with the sole purpose of taking photos of the interior of David’s scopes. My business name is Sea Green Photography.
What’s in a name? Well, my first name is Carla. C = Sea. My last name is Groen. Groen is Dutch for the colour green. Thus, Sea Green Photography. As a sailor, sea-green also happens to be one of my favourite colours, so the name seemed like a good fit for me. There is a Sea Green Photography company in the United States. This is not me, however, as I am in Canada, and I don’t take photographs of children, families, and otherwise living, breathing creatures. I take photographs of the interior of kaleidoscopes. Needless to say, it’s a pretty narrow niche, and narrower still because where I live (the most densely populated area of Canada, 40 minutes away from downtown Toronto to the east, and Niagara Falls to the south), no one makes kaleidoscopes. On one occasion I saw one (1) for sale in a specialty shop, but its quality was poor. And when people come to my house and ask about my work hanging on our walls, they have no idea how it’s done, let alone understand why anyone would want to do it. I don’t mind telling you that I think being the only person among 36 million doing what I do is pretty exciting.