Lisa McCarty

Gelatin silver prints and LightJet prints
Power Plant Gallery at ATC

Cassilhaus Gallery hours by appointment only; RSVP required for opening reception on 3/23.

MDCCCXXXIX combines images of the homes of photography pioneers Nicéphore Niépce, William Henry Fox Talbot, & Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and facsimiles of their pamphlets on photography, with images generated by handmade cameras of McCarty’s own design.



My work is an invitation to consider light, shadow, time, and the desire to capture. In aiming to explore the possibilities of photography itself through the creation and study of photographs, this work often fluctuates between two poles of inquiry. First, seeking out and documenting places important in the history of imagemaking. Second, foregrounding the unpredictable material processes that facilitate photography by systematically testing and creating a variety of films and image capture devices. This spectrum is bridged by a practice of reading, research, and written notation on the traditions and innovations of imagemaking. The resulting images test the limits of photographic materials as well as the idea of the document in both form and content.

Most recently my devotion to these pursuits has led me to make pilgrimages to the homes and studio locations of Nicéphore Niépce who is credited with fixing the first photographic images, Louis Daugerre who is credited with inventing the Daguerrotype, and William Henry Fox Talbot who is credited with inventing the first photographic negative. Concurrent with these expeditions I have also developed a practice of making images in my own home with cameras I craft by hand, much like the working methods of Niépce, Daugerre, and Talbot. As every aspect of the camera itself, as well as the exposure time, is in constant flux the output is truly unpredictable. Every image is a result that counts toward my ongoing experiment to discover the possibility or impossibility of capturing light.

​To see more of Lisa’s work visit her website at

Curriculum Vitae