Monday, November 27, 2006

Gold Toned Print. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nelsons Gold Toner For me one of the attractions of analog photography is the chemistry or in this case the alchemy of analog photography. The opportunity to mix chemical elixers and experiment. I purchased a kit of Gold Toner from The Photographers' Formulary and mixed it this weekend . A combination of sodium thiosulfate, potasium persulfate, silver nitrate, sodium chloride, mixed, combined and then to this concoction one adds a small amount of gold chloride. The mixture sits overnight to settle and then slowly decanted in to a tray and heated to 100-110 farenheit. A wet print is placed in the mixture and the silver deposits within the print are coated with gold. The results vary depending on type of paper, print contrast, duration in the toner and with the toner bath being heated the concentration of the mixture changes over time as the water evaporates. Warmtone papers take on a more yellow cast, coldtone papers more of a red. The print is then washed, refixed, and then washed again. Each print was a bit of a surprise. Great fun.
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Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Thanksgiving memory. Twenty years ago the woman, who would become my wife, and I shared our first Thanksgiving together. For the previous 33 years I had always had dinner with my family but that year they had all decided to go to Hawaii and have a family dinner with my younger brother who had moved there the year before. It would be the first Thanksgiving that I would not have dinner with my family and the first Thanksgiving that would require me to prepare my own if I wanted one. That Summer I met a woman in the neighborhood and we became a couple. Together that year we prepared a dinner for the two of us and began a long tradition that continues to this day. The pies came out of the oven awhile ago, the turkey went in and I'm taking a break before I start working on the rest of dinner. The largest tasks are completed and a little of my anxiety has lifted. I do miss the time when my Mother took care of everthing and all I had to do was sit down and eat and take a long nap afterwards but at some point in our lives we become the grownups and pick up the tasks of our parents. My Mom now gets to sit down to the table I've prepared along with my wife and our sons and she can just eat and nap afterwards. Traditions are work, but worth the effort. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 20, 2006

Lone Fir Crypt. I photograph this part of the McClay crypt frequently. This is a print from a negative where a lot of things went wrong, over exposure, over development, wrong lens shade for the lens. Yet with all the mistakes the end result is an image much different then if everything had worked. The overexposure eliminates all the textural detail from the stone face of the crypt, but allows the illumination of the interior of the crypt seem to glow and the gate is in sharp focus making it stand out against the surreal exterior. Sometimes bad negatives can produce interesting images. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Omega D-2. This is my set up for printing. A wonderful old Omega D-2 with the condenser head as well as the Omegalite 'cold light' head. Every weekend or any other day I'm not at work I rise early and descend in to my basement darkroom where I spend the morning and sometimes the entire day working on one selected negative trying to make a perfect print. The digital scans of the images really do not do justice to a well made print. Something you can hold in your hand or hang on a wall. Something you had to spend much time in the acquisition of skill even to bring it in to being. A print if properly made and taken care of will be around long after the person who brought it in to being is gone. A moment of time preserved. A fossil. Evidence of a vision.
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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Scan of orginal print made in 1972. This print was cropped on the sides and top. I like the uncopped print much better done on a higher quality fb matt paper. The uncropped image takes advantage of more of the reflection in the window with the street lamp and buildings across the street. More of the environment. Looking at the print from 1972 and the one I made this weekend also demonstrates how much better I am now at printing. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hare Krishna devotees Portland 1972 Taken in front of the Meier and Franks building across the street where George McGovern was giving a speech before the 1972 election between him and Richard Nixon. The first election I was old enough to vote. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why do I photograph? At a formative time in my life I became connected to photography. I was drawn to it and practiced it for many years and became by association 'a photographer' within a small and limited community made up of my family, my high school and my friends. I embraced this identity because it was so much better then any other label that I was associated with at the time like shy, awkward, etc. etc. etc. Why I didn't become a photographer is so much water under the bridge now that to dwell on it is to tap in to unpleasant feelings of regret, and self-contempt so I try not to go there. When I quit practicing photography in 1977 I had accomplished little, a box of photos, unprinted negatives, rolls of undeveloped film, in other words not much to put on a resume or to fill a portfolio. I could never let go of my camera though and in the years that followed I had sporadic bursts of creative energy that as time went on became further and further apart. As I approached 50 I had a desire to finish what I started and bring it to some conclusion that I could live with. I wanted to put together a portfolio of work that demonstrated to myself and to anyone who cared to look that I am a photographer. Posted by Picasa
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