Nancy Spencer
Beth 1, San Francisco Hot Springs, NM
1996
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 2, San Francisco Hot Springs, NM
2004
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 3, San Francisco Hot Springs, NM
1996
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 4, San Francisco Hot Springs, NM
2004
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 1, Mimbres Hot Springs, New Mexico
1996
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 2, Mimbres Hot Springs, New Mexico
2004
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 3, Mimbres Hot Springs, New Mexico
1996
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 4, Mimbres Hot Springs, New Mexico
2004
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 5, Mimbres Hot Springs, New Mexico
1996
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"Beth 6, Mimbres Hot Springs, New Mexico
2004
zone plate photograph
archival pigment print
13"x20"
REPHOTOGRAPHING BETH
1992-2008
1992-2008
These photographs were begun in 1992, using a 6" Leonardo pinhole 4"x5" camera with a zone plate attached, rather than a pinhole. In 2008, I manipulated the original negatives.

Zone plate photography is a first cousin to pinhole photography. Rather than making an image through a tiny pinhole, the image enters through a series of clear and opaque concentric circles that look like a target. Light that would normally be destroyed when entering a pinhole is blocked by the dark circles. The resulting image is somewhat softer than pinhole; vegetation can take on an otherworldly look.

Beth, my daughter, was eighteen years old when I made these photographs of her lying in hot springs pools near our home in New Mexico. According to folk lore, ancient Native Americans in the Southwest put down their weapons and bathed together in hot springs pools, believed to be places of natural healing. I was attempting to capture Beth being one with the land and again one with me, her mother.


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