Alameda-based fine art photographer Peter Tonningsen scours the Bay’s shoreline for this series, Flotsam and Jetsam, which is all about the discarded items he finds while beachcombing. He cleans them up, scans them, puts them together in interesting associations and produces a digital archival pigment print—without using his camera.
“Made without a camera, film or paper coated with light-sensitive emulsion, I never imagined that I could make photographs without these essential components,” says Tonningsen, 49, a former accounting professional. “Image capture by scanning is nothing new, but it is a fresh exploration for me, and I am intrigued by its possibilities.”
“This project is about discovery, and it calls attention to cycles; things we possess and then discard, what the Bay leaves behind with the rising and falling of the sea and the repetitive process of finding, gathering, organizing and revitalizing such debris,” Tonningsen says in an artist’s statement.
Tonningsen studied art at the San Francisco Art Institute and San Jose State University and has taught at the Academy of Art University, the Art Institute, SJSU and Oakland’s Castlemont High School.