Jane Alynn was born in 1944 in Portland, Oregon, and currently lives and works in Anacortes, Washington. She began photographing seriously in 1982, studying the work of masters and taking workshops with gifted teachers. In addition to her psychotherapy practice, she led creative vision workshops in Washington, Canada, and in the Southwest. In 1999, now living in the Skagit Valley, she retired to devote full time to making art. In 2002 she received an M.F.A. in poetry, published in the next eight years two books of poetry, and then turned her poetic impulse back to making photographs. Her photographs are exhibited regularly, have won several awards, and are collected in the New Mexico History Museum, Palace of the Governors Photo Archives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and in Western Washington University.
I am a fine art photographer best known for my black and white film-based zone plate images.
A zone plate is a non-lens optical device, similar to a pinhole. It diffracts light, which softens the image and creates a glow or “halo,” infusing forms with a glint of the numinous. Used with a high-grain film it introduces an element of ambiguity, nudging the boundaries of abstraction, which helps to shift perception toward a sensual experience and tempt the imagination to see beyond the literal.
It is these qualities that enable me to explore my interest in dream states, liminality, memory, and metaphor, creating images that evoke a sense of the fragile, fleeting, ethereal. I love the mystery and dark beauty these lensless images convey visually. And I love the fact that I never quite know what I am getting because of the high unpredictability with zone plate work.