With a style that is clean and direct yet evocative and sometimes otherworldly, Daria Panichas’s monochromatic fine art photographs are intimate, thoughtful meditations on simple, often seemingly mundane things in her immediate environment.By distilling these unassuming subjects into unexpected, graceful forms, they morph into new shapes and scenes that often provoke fascinating associations and memories among viewers.
Although initially drawn to photography through the street and documentary work of Sebastião Salgado, Clemens Kalischer and Josef Koudelka, her primary inspiration and influence is early 20th century Japanese American photography, as well as the philosophical approach of photographers Sean Tucker and Douglas Beasley.
Daria graduated from Lafayette College with a bachelor’s degree in art and philosophy, completing an honors thesis in painting. After earning a master’s degree in social work at Boston University, she also became certified in web design and development. Her photography education has been self-directed, through classes, workshops and interactions with artists.
“I dwell in Possibility” — Emily Dickinson
Nothing beats a day spent prowling around streets or creeks, under sun or sleet, looking to capture fleeting or elusive qualities in the people and places around me. I like mutable moments, such as the swell of a crowd or the quick flicker of an animal’s eyes, as well as humble things—a frost crusted weed, a mushroom in the sun—that often escape notice but with the warmth of attention will yield whole hidden worlds.
My process is simple, my cameras light and unintrusive. I shoot in manual mode, use only available light, and work within the given conditions. Sometimes the light is wonky, everything’s in flux, my lens isn’t ideal, and/or my subject is wiggling; other times it’s a stellar still moment that all but guarantees a perfect shot. Either way my task is always the same: slow down, breathe, look for possibilities, wait for my gut to say yes, and press the shutter button. This practice is calming and meditative whether I’m contemplating a creek or navigating a street protest; the world slips away even as it’s brought into sharp relief.
To distill my images into their richest expression, I have custom-designed a range of monochromatic filters that are based on early 20th-century silvertone, sepia, and cyanotype photography. Yet aside from these filters and some light editing, I do not manipulate or “Photoshop” my images in any way; what is shown is what was there. The results are sometimes clean and direct, sometimes reflective and abstract, but always aim to look viewers right in their mind’s eye. Even in the midst of movement I seek to convey a stillness, one that may then make you go still, just as I did, dwelling in that possibility.
Poetry, The Washington Post
Poetry, Many Mountains Moving
Short Story, Apiary Magazine
2000 Boston University, Boston, MA Certification in Web Design and Development
1999 Boston University, Boston, MA Masters, Social Work
1993 Lafayette College, Easton, PA Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy & Art Honors, Studio Art
Continuing Education SE Center for Photography, Greenville, SC Various workshops in Photography
TILT Institute for the Contemporary Image, Philadelphia, PA Class in Photography
Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA Various classes in Painting, Drawing & Bookmaking
University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA Course in Nonfiction Writing