Image of Arne Croell, above, copyright Shari Feth 2013. All other images copyright Arne Croell. “White Sands, NM (4)”, 4×5 inch film on a Linhof Technikardan, below
One begins to sense, from the moment of setting eyes on the photographic images of Arne Croell, the inner and outer worlds, the microcosms and macrocosms from which our planet is composed. There is the mark of a seasoned explorer, content in the wilderness—and that of an avid voyager capable of handling bulky 4×5 and 8×10 view cameras with ease, finding them the perfect tools with which to record. Aside from his splendid works in photography, Arne is a scientist, his early studies having led him, in 1988, to obtain his PhD in Crystallography. Today he is Professor of Crystallography at the University of Freiburg in Germany.
Among Arne’s many fascinating photographic subjects are his “Crystalscapes,” which illustrate incredible natural patterns found in his scientific samples. These delightful studies, once again exposed on film, are shot with a 35mm camera mounted to a microscope, below left. More patterns of Nature, but those of trees and snow, are revealed in “On Schauinsland Mountain, Black Forest, Germany” taken on 4×5 film,using a Linhof Technikardan, below.
Historic Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses, Collection Arne Croell, above right
Among Arne’s outstanding silver and gelatin photographs one presents the sight of a small creek rambling down under an antediluvian, humpback bridge of roughly-hewn stones, somewhere in Scotland. Seeing this, one instantly feels the enchanting solitude of far flung places. Arne seems to emphasize once again—not really as a scientist, but as a man who loves to discover and express the workings of this world—a recurring theme seen in his precious works that, at its most tranquil, and unmolested, Nature frolics.
Scene in Carrbridge, Scotland, above, 4×5 inch Linhof Technikardan
graphs perhaps—are Arne’s in-depth technical writings, especially those on the historical development of large format optical lenses and lens manufacturing plants, such as his articles on early large format Voigtlander lenses, http://www.arnecroell.com/voigtlaendar.pdf and lens manufacturing at Zeiss Oberkochen, http://www.arnecroell.com/zeissoberkochen.pdf—holy grail readings for large format devotees. A much wider range of Arne’s publications, including publishings in View Camera magazine can be seen at: http://www.arnecroell.com/publication.