Capturing Emotion in the American West :: Laura Campbell: Featured Artist

See Laura’s Work

Erosion, Death Valley, CA
Abandoned Car, Rhyolite
Paved Road Again. Ballarat, CA
Rusted. Ballarat, CA
Near Saline Valley Road, Death Valley, CA
44 Years, Death Valley, CA
Laura's Boots
Roy's Cafe, Amboy, CA
Water Returned to the Lower Owens River
Toxic Dust, Owens Lake
Inyo Mountains and Clouds
Cloud and Badland, Death Valley, CA
Irrigated Tree, Manzanar
Cabin, Death Valley, CA
Sierra and Boulder

Featured Artist

Laura Campbell appeared on the f295 forums a couple years ago with a set of beautiful pinholes from the desert of California. She has since gone on to create evocotive and sensuous photogravure images that are reminiscent of the works of Paul Strand and Edward Steichen. She is this issue’s featured artist.

Where are you located?
I was raised in Europe and the Bay Area. I currently live in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, near the San Francisco de Asis Church. The landscape, architecture, and rich cultural heritage of Northern New Mexico provide me with endless photographic opportunities.

How long have you been doing pinhole work?
I made pinhole photographs for the first time in 1997.

San Lorenzo Mission, photogravure
San Lorenzo Mission, photogravure

In 2007, I began to explore the medium in-depth while on a three month camping trip in the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley National Park. One image from this series was selected for the show “Photography at High Speed: A Historical and Contemporary Exhibit” at the Los Angeles County Fair. My photograph was awarded the finalist and legacy awards.

What camera (s) do you use?
I use a Zero Image 4×5 Deluxe designed by Zernike Au. I particularly enjoy the camera’s three different focal lengths, and unique shutter system.

What is your favorite camera for pinhole work?
Zero Image 4×5 Deluxe. I selected the Zero Image because of its shutter system, and its precision drilled pinhole. This camera is lightweight and compact, is beautifully crafted, and the manual system allows for outstanding control over exposure.

Runway at Manzanar
Runway at Manzanar

What’s your favorite subject?
While I’m drawn to subjects such as mountains, plants, and historic architecture, the subject matter has to fit a certain criteria for me to engage in photographing it. The most important criteria is my emotional response to what I see. If at any stage while photographing something, I lose my emotional connection to the subject, I pack up the camera and walk away. Conversely, if my connection to the subject continues to grow, I will explore it until my curiosity is fulfilled.

Twenty Mule Team Canyon, Death Valley
Twenty Mule Team Canyon, Death Valley

See more of Laura’s work at her website and in her flickr stream


  1. I love Laura’s pictures. The black & white desert shots give a whole new, otherworldly feeling to that landscape. I can relate to her emotional connection – its a surefire way to capture something magical and her work proves it. 🙂

  2. Laura, your lf work..particularly the photogravures is absolutely spellbinding.

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