‘Press Pictures’ photo series
takes printing off the page
By Catherine Harper
Paper, metal and ink: These basic elements of printing presses may not seem to hold much meaning or visual allure. But with an artistic eye, the machines come alive with color and form through their role of delivering information to newsrooms and people worldwide.
“Press Pictures” by Mike Osborne, a lecturer in photography at the Texas State University School of Art and Design, is a photo series that tells a story about the modern printing press. Far from Gutenberg’s original printing press, the machines and news rooms featured in Osborne’s photo series are a visual landscape of history with modern technology.
From press rooms worldwide in countries such as Taiwan and Germany to local press rooms at the Austin American-Statesman and the San Antonio Express-News, Osborne shows that through news and published writing, information comes alive.
“The correspondence between the printed matter, the machines themselves, and the raw inks is an important part of the project,” Osborne says.
Having created the series in 2005, Osborne has gathered critical acclaim and has been featured in photography blogs and exhibitions around the world. Recently, the series was featured in Lens, the New York Times photo blog, and last December was on display in a Dallas exhibit at the Holly Johnson Gallery along with his “Underground” series which shows a unique perspective on German subway stations.
As an instructor at Texas State, Osborne teaches Introduction to Traditional Photography and Advanced Traditional Photography, which focus on black and white photographic imaging and the photography process.