Elias Mina is an explorer of photography for over 40 years, with particular interest in alternate photographic techniques ranging from hand-colouring to making gum-bichromate prints. His current work is created by digitally painting from photographs using a stylus and a tablet.
I have been a student of photography for over 40 years. I started learning Black and White printing at Ryerson in a darkroom. It was not long after that when I became interested in studying alternate photographic techniques ranging from hand-colouring to making gum-bichromate prints.
Today, I am learning to digitally paint from photographs using a stylus and a tablet. What is most remarkable about the journey is that the learning and the maturing has never ceased or stagnated. I feel fortunate to have participated in and witnessed the growth of this popular medium from its analog black and white roots to the remarkable achievements of digital that have surpassed all our wildest expectations. I was a skeptic too and took my time making the transition.
The medium is vast in scope and no one can profess to know everything about it. From early on, I followed my passion for learning about digital printing on watercolour papers from the first time I read about it. I was quick to sign on to learn the process from one of the pioneers of archival digital printing and master printer, Jon Cone at his studio in Vermont.
My greatest joy today is realized when I am making a print for a particular client or for public exhibition. Instead of working with numbered or limited edition print sets I prefer to approach each print as a one-of-a-kind. I start the process from the original file to invoke all the recently acquired skills and tools that are current and presently in my repertoire. I also choose media that is highest rated for longevity and appropriate for my subject matter.