About the Artist and Process

Peter J Galea is a photographer living and working in Napa.  Inspired by Edward Weston, Galea utilizes an 8×10 view camera, film, and contact printing to capture and share his vision of the natural world. Starting his photographic journey at an early age he has worked in many facets of the craft.  Peter has been published in newspapers, wire services, and marketing materials. Large format portraiture has been his main focus.


Large format photography is a slow meditative process requiring pre-visualization. The scene is composed on the ground glass and exposure determined. After the negative is exposed, it is processed in a traditional darkroom using “development by inspection.” Pyro staining developer is used in total darkness. Halfway through development, the negative is viewed using a dim green light. Once complete it is washed, dried, and ready for printing.


The negative is contact printed with no enlargement by placing the negative atop a piece of silver chloride photographic paper covered by a heavy piece of glass. This method ensures all information on the negative is transferred to the print. The paper is exposed with a 300W bulb for the correct time, then developed in Amidol for one minute and evaluated. Additional printing may be required to reach the final image. The print is toned for permanence, mounted, and matted.


Kodak’s Plus-X, Super-XX black and white film, and Azo silver chloride paper, long discontinued and “rare” are Galea’s favorite materials for their unique characteristics of tonality, gradation, and resolution. Processed in the tradition of Edward Weston, using Michael A. Smith’s formulas and procedures with technical advice from master photographer Paula Chamlee, Galea finds this the best way to represent the scene, formalize his style and share his vision.

Contact Me



Napa, CA