If Joni Sternbach’s title is acquainted, it’s in all probability due to the pictures she’s been making of surfers in Montauk, Santa Barbara, Waikiki, and different seashores—from Australia to France—on and off for almost twenty years now. Her footage are memorable partially as a result of they’re true portraits, not wave-riding motion photographs, and since their stillness and formal magnificence recall a few of images’s earliest photographs. Sternbach makes use of the identical vintage, accident-prone course of that Sally Mann has used for her most evocative work, involving moist plates, slathered chemical substances, and a giant outdated picket eight-by-ten digital camera on a tripod. The ensuing photographs are distinctive tintypes, giving Sternbach’s up to date topics, of their wetsuits and bikinis, the poignance and presence of figures unmoored in time.
Sternbach was set to return to Hawaii when the pandemic arrived. As a substitute, she returned to a ebook venture she’d already begun of images made within the nineteen-seventies, when she was in her twenties and simply beginning out in New York. “As A lot As,” a home made and hand-sewn model of that ebook, with solely seventeen tipped-in pictures, was accomplished in late 2020 and printed in a small version. However months of isolation gave Sternbach time to delve additional into her information, and a a lot expanded ebook, titled “Kissing a Stranger” (Dürer Editions), got here out on the finish of final 12 months.