PMA November 2008 : Page 31

Trends & Technology on the south side of Mount Monadnock, a place she describes as “very rural, secluded, an Emersonian place.” Monadnock, she notes, “has been an inspiration for New England artists, poets, and writers for centuries. Emerson and Thoreau hiked nearby.” Studio work A small barn and her home are her studio, “with projects happening at different times in nearly every room. Yet, in a certain way, my entire photo studio is electronic and almost invisible … it could be considered just my camera and computer.” Alderman’s camera gear is certainly not esoteric. She uses either an 8-megapixel Canon PowerShot Pro 1 or a 6-megapixel Nikon Coolpix L11. She has also used a 5-megapixel Canon camera. Her large prints are made at Superior Giclee in Woburn, Mass., where she works closely with Daniel Saccardo, a master printmaker. “I created all the photo banners for the special exhibition at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site [in Cornish, N.H.], using my iMac in my living room An arch in the formal neoclassical dining room of the National Academy Museum on Fifth Avenue, New York, contains a mural by Holly Alderman showing the Bethesda Statue of Central Park crossing paths with the ubiquitous traffic signal of Manhattan, with reflections in Bergdorf Goodman Men’s Store window. through the winter and spring, right next to the wood stove. I made murals for the Junior League Decorators Show House on the ping-pong table in the living room, screens for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in the kitchen and hall, and murals for the Humane Society and other locations in the dining room.” She uses her own cameras, for the most part, to capture the images; but some- times she needs a larger camera. She has turned to Todd May of Mays Photogra- phy, Rockland, Mass., for images of more than 300MB for digital murals or antique wallpaper reproductions. May uses a scan back by BetterLight, harnessed to a Toyo 4-by-5 view camera to deliver the higher-resolution images. Digital beginnings Alderman admits, for the first seven years of painting murals she used one-time-use cameras to record the finished work. Then a friend gave her a digital camera. The mural fellowship in New York “changed my life.” In the fellowship mural competition, the need to arrange many images into one composition led her to try Photoshop as a canvas. “But my imagination moved into the zone of photography during the process of plan- ning to paint large, formal murals in the competition. It was almost an accident!” Instead of placing images beside each other on the computer screen, Alderman placed them in layers and looked through. “Something magical occurred. Without being part of a plan, what I saw was an The banner, Pan’s Flute Magic by Holly Alderman, at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Continued on page 32 PMA — November 2008 — www.pmai.org 31

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