Cristian Rusu vs. Hiroshi Sugimoto

Left: Cristian Rusu, Untitled, 2008, photography, dimensions variable
[source: Plan B Gallery]

Right: Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sea of Japan, 1997, dimensions variable
Hiroshi Sugimoto's working space in New York is similar to many traditional artists' studios: by facing north, direct sunlight is avoided, and the light quality is stabilized. Some of Sugimoto's photographs are taken here, but most are shot in other locations.
The artist uses a 19th century-style, large-format camera.

The blurring effect in Sugimoto's Joe series originates from his unconventional use of infinity, which refers to the farthest reaches of the background. While the furthest a traditional lens can focus is infinity, his large format camera can be forced to double the infinity-effect, which results in the blurring of the photograph.
Sugimoto considers himself a craftsman in the tradition of early photography:

People used to feel the light and how the light affected the surface of the object. The sky, lights from the window are constantly changing every second, every minute. So you really had to guess what was going to happen. You had to develop your own sense of the best balance of F-stop and shutter speed. I trained myself very well spending thirty years doing this. So the machine cannot measure some things, very intimate factors. What the early photographer gained from the study of nature, now people tend to rely on the computer or machines for. That's not good enough. You need something more than that. [Tradition, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Art:21 Interview. 2005. Art:21 PBS. 17 April 2006.]