Jo Ann Tooley is a fine art photographer who specializes in black & white. She shoots mostly with film and uses a medium format camera. Her favorite locales for shooting are in and aroundWashington D.C. and West Virginia. Many of her images reflect isolation and solitude. Certain scenes, especially ones she remembers from her youth—flowers growing wild in open fields, empty roads with sun filtering through the trees, or a lone tree sitting in the middle of a field—evoke strong feelings that she tries to recapture with her camera. She prints her images digitally using the finest papers and archival inks. Her work has been exhibited throughout Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia.
Jo Ann Tooley grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, a town surrounded by mountains, lakes, farms, dirt roads, and dilapidated buildings. Her parents ran a photography business, and her father also photographed events around town. But whenever there was extra time, he packed up his large format Linhof camera and he and Jo Ann headed to the countryside. It was there she first witnessed the beauty of early morning light streaming through the trees, a fast-moving creek rushing down the side of a mountain, or a farmhouse badly in need of paint. These are the things she still loves to photograph today with her medium-format film camera. Like her father, she still shoots with film but once she’s finished a roll, she lets technology take over.
She takes her film to a lab for processing, then scans the negatives into the computer and prints the images digitally. She prints her images on Epson’s Velvet Fine Art paper--which is one of the finest archival papers. It is highly textured and resembles watercolor paper.
The late Mark Power, who was known as the “Father of Washington Photography,” once compared her photographs to those of Wright Morris, an early 20th photographer known in part for his rural scenes and abandoned buildings.
She is a juried member of the Torpedo Factory and her work is regularly on the walls of the historic art center. Her work also appears regularly at the Mosaic Gallery, which is located in the Mosaic Shopping District in Merrifield, Va.
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