In 2018, Rfotofolio established the Denis Roussel Award to help continue the legacy of photographer Denis Roussel. We first met Denis in 2013 when he entered our call, What is Beauty? He worked on a broad range of projects including one where even the compost bin was his muse, showing us that there is beauty everywhere.
Denis was a photographer, educator, and family man. He loved sharing the beauty of the outdoors with his family and friends, and in his photography. He shared that beauty with us. In 2017, Denis lost his battle with cancer. He is missed not only by his family, friends,and students,but also by the entire photographic community.
The Denis Roussel Award is given to a photographer whose work is based on the historical/alternative photographic processes, including silver gelatin.
Thank you to Jill Enfield who spent long hours reviewing your submissions. Jill remarked about how impressed she was with the quality of the work she reviewed. Thank you to all of the photographers who applied for this award. You set the standard very high.
We are pleased to announce that Luther Gerlach has been awarded the 2018 Denis Roussel Award.
Statement from Jill Enfield
Denis Roussel’s work has always spoken to me, so when asked to judge the Denis Roussel Award, I was thrilled to embrace the worthiness of his legacy. Still the task, of selecting one prevailing portfolio amongst so many compelling images, was daunting.
Of the hundreds of entries, many spoke to me, and evoked personal contemplation, which in my estimation is one of the central responsibilities of an artist. There wasn’t one entry which I felt could not have been shown, and I wish I could have chosen more than one for this award.
We have arrived at the moment in the evolution of photography such that photographic film and darkroom related image-making has become an “Alternative Process.”
Still, as attested by the variety of techniques submitted for this award, dozens, too many techniques to name, there thankfully remains a myriad of relevant options for the artist who follows through on their need to express themselves and speak to personal situations of dreams, family, health, loss, place, and the ongoing complexity of human existence.
Having spent a number of years making hundreds of wet plate collodion portraits, I know that to get these perfect renditions in his portfolio “Fabrica”, required hours and hours and likely going back to the drawing board if any imperfections somehow found their way onto the glass. No imperfections are seen here which means that Luther Gerlach was passionately committed to getting these results. Luther explains his, “sense of loss,” when he learned that this factory was going to be repurposed into modern apartments, and any viewer of these images is immediately brought to similar thoughts of loss, of comparable scenarios in their own world.
These ethereal images are rich with narrative and tell the universal story of places and lives being expediently erased from our consciousness for the sake of “progress.” We should thank Luther for his,“…small way of saving this factory, archiving it’s history in light and shadow.“ Thank you Luther. Jill Enfield
Jill Enfield also selected the following photographers for recognition. The quality of your work made the juror’s review rewarding and challenging.
Photographers of Merit
Thank you to Rachel Wilson-Roussel for your encouragement and support.
Thank you Josephine Sacabo for your support and for funding the first year of the Denis Roussel Award.
Thank you to the following individuals and businesses.
Carol Boss and Hahnemühle paper.
Jill Enfield for agreeing to be juror and donating a copy of Jill Enfield’s Guide to Photographic Alternative Processes.
Mark Nelson and Precision Digital Negative.
Bostick & Sullivan for a two hundred-dollar gift certificate.
Josephine Sacabo and Luna Press.
Focal Press for a gift of books.
Thank you to all the photographers that applied in this inaugural year of the Denis Roussel Award. It was very rewarding to see the wonderful work being submitted.
To learn more about these photographers please click on their names.