Peter Liepke led a fairly conventional life as a studio and commercial photographer for the majority of his career. Then, taking his formidable, commercial photographic skills and knowledge from the last 20 years he turned it toward creating a unique body of fine art photography. Pursuing his imagery solely to uplift and inspire Peters work stands out in stark opposition to the current “ADD” way of living today. Never seeming to have the time to really stop and enjoy something for long due to the interruptions of a text message, cell phone call or e-mail, cutting off the connection and then moving in a completely new direction.
Peter takes his time, he observes, waits and skillfully captures a fleeting moment with his 100-year-old Graflex, which is the antithesis of today’s modern electronic camera and only requires aiming. It’s quite startling to find out that none of Peter’s photographs are set up in advance, since the compositions are so perfectly framed and his captured moments are short-lived. In addition to his skill and patience in making the image he additionally adds the time consuming nature of the gum and platinum process. Peter then crafts a completely handmade frame, chosen and stained to complement the final image. Only by seeing a complete Peter Liepke work in person can the complementary and prodigious skill set he employs as a photographer, printmaker and woodworker be appreciated.
Peter is a master of two terribly difficult and painstaking processes: platinum/palladium and gum bichromate printing. If called for a particular image, his real tour de force is the combination of both processes in one print. Comparatively, few people still use either process and he may be one of a handful in the world that combines the two. Recently adding a third antique process, cyanotype some of his latest work combines all three photographic processes.