Saturday, November 28, 2009

This is a photograph I took back in the 70's at the Kamm House.  I found this very funny movie made by two local Portlanders, Tim Smith and Matt Groening that used it as a gate way to a bad drug trip in a funny little  film made in Portland back in 71' called Killers or Dillers . The movie begins at point 2:15.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another one.

I tried fitting some 11x14 prints on to my 10.5x13 inch scanner surface with limited results. I am also experimenting with the new post editor in Blogger.
I have recently made a significant breakthrough in my relationship with the writings of Ursula K. Leguin. I have always felt a deep respect for her as a writer and a fellow Portlander. I think she is a great writer that Portland can claim as their own. Her work despite most of it taking place on other planets is rooted here in the Pacific NW and its  values, a place which at times can seem like another planet.  More unique then weird. I was never really able to become absorbed in her work and always felt I was really missing something.  I loved The Left Hand of Darkness, sort of liked Lathe of Heavan, and her short story April in Paris was a wonderful little dessert of a story but I was that juvenile picky eater when it came to what she dished up. I like this, I can tolerate that, I'll hide whatever this is in my napkin and dispose of later.

I was first introduced to her in a science fiction class at PSU back in 1975.  I was accustomned to reading the work of people like Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clark.  Serious scientific work told in a straight forward narrative.  I was totally lost in my first reading of Leguin.  She just seemed to drop you into an Alien environment and leave you on your own to figure it all out. No straight forward narrative,  distorted time, multiple perspectives.  Despite always being an "advanced reader" I was lost in her books and usually turned around and headed for familiar territory.  It was my loss at the time.

It's taken 30 years but I believe now I have reached a point where I can begin to appreciate the way she presents her stories.  I am presently reading what has been called the Hainish Cycle.  She refers to this body of work as the Ekumen, a unique spelling of the greek word oikumene meaning household.  Her definition in her words is "I needed a word that might imply a still wider humanity spread out from one original hearth."

The orginal hearth is the Planet Hain but the stories take place long after their migration to other Solar systems where like Darwins finches they have evolved in to variations on a common human theme.  The planet Hain so far in what I have read is never visited, and for the most part the Hainish people are secondary characters.  The stories deal more with the hainish descendents and the Hainish peoples attempts to try and bring about the occaisional reunion and organization of their progeny who do not always get along.

The "Hainish Cycle" or stories of the Ekumen are a collection of novels and short stories written in no particular order and with quite a few gaps as Leguin refers to it them like the fabric of a worn out but still comfortable old sweater.  Some of the short stories are embroidery of a particular novel and some novels are patches over the gaps of  a particular short story and vice versa.  Most of the novels; Rocannons World, Planet of Exile, City of Illusions, are more like Novelettes then true Novels but the plots have an epic scope and yet told in a distilled, a refined form that is a wonder to appreciate in its economy of beautiful language.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have really been in to sepia toning the last couple of weeks. I haven't been able to take the time to work in the darkroom and new work so I spend my time practicing retouching, mat-cutting and toning instead. I like to experiment with how sepia toning impacts different photographic papers.

Some quick snapshots of some orchids in my window taken with a simple digital camera. I'm surprised at times at how good of a picture I can take with this old Canon Powershot 5mp camera especially if I use the manual settings and play with the camera controls. I didn't feel like moving them to a better location for the photograph. I took the pictures
against the window but used the on camera flash set at a low output for the main light source. I set the lens at a greater focal length to soften the background and the results at least for posting online were more then satisfactory.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Results from last sepia toning session drying on racks. I liked the top one best. A cold toned mat ilford paper.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pictures below before sepia toning.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Some further experiments with sepia toning. I noticed that the results are better if the prints are pulled from the bleach bath after about 30-45 seconds. The bottom print pleased me the most printed on a cold tone mat paper. The top print was on warm tone mat paper, the middle one on warm tone gloss.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Also spent a short time at Hollywood Camera. I love these two old enlargers, the worlds biggest film tank and I scored these great enamel 11x14 trays which Ed sold to me for a very, very nice price.

I saw these beautiful Daguerreotypes today at B. Rogers Gallery & Plan-B at 2415 N.E. Broadway. The show is of a private collection that will be exhibited through the month of November. A very rare opportunity to see a true wonder of pre-industrial aged technology. This was a wonderful way to cleanse my aesthetic palate after enduring work like this at the show at Newspace. The top photo is a death portrait.
Here is a link to an interview with Brad Rogers about the show.

The show at the Flying Cat Coffee Company was a nice mix of work in a very homey environment.

First Friday in 2 Portland Eastside Galleries.

Newspace had a show of the work of Jessica Skloven a photographer from San Francisco who was selected from a juried show held in 2008 at Newspace for a show of her own. Most of the work was large and colorful and printed on a type of digital printing paper with a silvery metallic sheen to it which complimented some of the photos very well.

Friday, November 06, 2009

"No distinction was drawn between the arts and the crafts; art was not considered as having a place in life, but as being a basic technique of life..."

The definition of art on the planet Annarres from the Ursula K. Leguin novel 'The Dispossessed'

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