Jan Manzi enjoys photographing a range of man-made and natural subjects — often abstracting or isolating them in a way to bring attention to things that might not ordinarily be noticed. As she says, “I find myself responding to the wonderful play of light and shadow that can transform the appearance of a building, a forgotten object, a plant, or a rock.” Sometimes the results are a bit quirky, which can cause viewers to say “what is that?”… followed by surprise at how there can be a quiet beauty in so much that surrounds them, if they only take a little time to look and see.
Jan Manzi first became interested in photography in college when she was able to learn the basics of working in a traditional darkroom and photographing a wide range of subjects. She began large format work after attending her first photography workshop, the Owens Valley Photography Workshop with Ray MacSavaney, John Sexton and Bruce Barnbaum as instructors. Inspired by the work of the instructors and Brett Weston, who welcomed participants to his home, Jan began to see things differently. Using a view camera helped her slow down and to pay more attention to how light can change textures and shapes. Most of Manzi’s work is with a 4x5 view camera and some with a 6x7 medium format camera. When she didn’t have access to a darkroom for a time, she used 5x7 and 8x10 cameras so she could contact-print the negatives. She has been fortunate to attend workshops over the years and to learn from many photographers, including Randy Efros, Mark Citret and Gene Kennedy.
Manzi has spent most of her life in Southern California, becoming a Northern Californian just over eleven years ago when work brought her to Davis. This move also brought her greater access to Viewpoint’s excellent field trips and workshops. She continues to use film and print gelatin-silver photographs in her home darkroom.
Shaw's Agave, © Jan Cordova Manzi
Light Beam, © Jan Cordova Manzi
Moving On, © Jan Cordova Manzi