Local photographer uses basic camera to achieve artistic results

| 28 Sep 2011 | 03:01

WARWICK - During the last year, Thayne Yungman has been using what he calls a “toy camera” to photograph old barns and other farm scenes in Warwick and Ithaca. The result, a series of photographs called “Silent Statues” now on display at Pennings Market, shows the decay of the area’s once dominating agricultural industry. “During my time at Ithaca College,” said Yungman, “I became aware of the same phenomenon occurring in the agricultural industry of Tompkins County. These photographs attempt to articulate a general underlying ideal in my work. And growing up in a farming family, I have always been sensitive to the changing environment in Warwick.” The artist’s parents, Terry and Stephanie Yungman, are both members of local farm families. Terry comes from the black dirt area of Pine Island and Stephanie is the brother of Steve Pennings, owner of Pennings Market. Yungman’s “toy camera” is actually a Holga, an inexpensive plastic 120-film medium format camera with only one shutter speed. Many people dismiss it as a cheap plastic toy camera, very similar to the old Brownies used to take family photos generations ago. Nevertheless, experts have learned to take astonishingly unique photos with it. “I have embraced the simplicity of the tool,” said Yungman, “accepting both its flaws as a tool of photographic representation and its ability to create an image that has a different aura than many digital images captured today. The light leaks and shifts in color are all directly related to the ‘toy’ nature of the camera and in my view, are an asset to the character of the photograph.” “Silent Statues,” is worth a visit for students or anyone interested in seeing unique photographs taken with a “toy” camera.