Tema Stauffer

Matt Peiken | BPR News

When something catches Tema Stauffer’s eye, it’s through the lens of a camera using expandable bellows and 4-by-5-inch film.

“I can spend quite a bit of time getting every corner of that image in focus, and to spend the 15 minutes to half-hour setting that shot up and get it really precise,” Stauffer said. “And as someone who is learning at a much later stage shooting 4-by-5, it was a high learning curve.”

For her latest series, Stauffer took long drives to the homes and hometowns of some of the South’s most legendary novelists. Writers long-deceased inspired the series, titled “Southern Fiction,” so Stauffer’s images there are devoid of people. That context and subtext is necessary to fully appreciate the blend of beauty and neglect captured in her images.

The exhibition is on view through Dec. 23 at Tracey Morgan Gallery in Asheville.