Monday, June 28, 2010

Selenium Toning, before and after.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Did some selenium toning this morning.  Just got 10 rolls of Agfa 100 film with still a year left before expiration on e-bay for a little less than 5.00 per roll which was a pretty good deal.  Opened a box of 100 sheets of ilford paper though that I bought last year on e-bay and discovered it was seriously fogged.  Very pissed about that.  Going to check out my paper from now on.  Also been experimenting with good old Dektol as a general paper developer.  Last time I tried to mix Dektol it turned totally brown, this time it was kind of a beige.  Perhaps a lot of old stock is out there.  Going to have to start checking the expiration dates on chemicals before I purchase.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I am trying to decide if I like this image on the horizontal or the vertical.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"...And the leaves that are green turn to brown." 
Simon and Garfunkel

Monday, June 21, 2010

More Garibaldi views from last week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Here are the first three prints made from negatives I shot down around the abandoned moorage in Garibaldi built in the 1970's to accomodate all of the sports and charter fishing that was going on out of Tillamook Bay. In it's day my brother told me that fisherman with their boats on trailers were lined through the park all the way to 101 waiting for their turn to put in.  Not sure what brought about this decline in the industry but the results are dramatic. In the top photograph you can see to the left the giant smoke stack that is the only remaining renament of the large lumber mill that once occupied this space. For me though it was a wonderful subject that I could explore alone which is my favorite way to photograph.  It was also an ideal subject for black, white and gray scale photography.  I still have some additional images to print and I am looking forward to selenium toning a set of the prints to see how that works with the group.  All of these photographs were taken with a 24mm Nikkor lens, on 35mm Agfa 100 film, using a polarizing filter to bring out the sky in the landscapes and printed out on Ilford warmtone gloss fiber paper.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My brother and I took a trip this week down to Garibaldi where our parents had a beach house.  He wanted to drive in to the moorage in Garibaldi.  When our parents first bought their place the moorage was very busy with charter and sports fishing.  Garibaldi expanded the moorage and my father became good friends with a couple who opened up the Old Mill Restaurant right on the dock. He would go there every morning for coffee and chat with the locals.  It closed down years ago and the whole place has fallen in to decay.  I love decay as a subject and I shot a few pictures down around the old rotting buildings.  It was a perfect day with big clouds.  I would have never gone down there had I not been with my brother and the place was deserted and amazing.  I just developed the film yesterday and made some of my first prints this morning and the results were great.  The pictures made me think of H.P. Lovecrafts tale 'The Shadow over Innesmouth.'  This particular picture was my favorite.  As soon as I focused my camera on it I knew it would be great, I snapped one shot and then the tide started coming in and ruined the subject.  The one shot I did get was great though.  I love it.  It's so disgusting.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One of the first prints I made soon after I built my darkroom from the first roll of film I had developed in almost 30 years.  Lot of water under the bridge as they say.  I would have printed this out using my D-2 with probably a crude enlarger lens, using the condenser head, and printing on variable contrast paper without any filters since I didn't own any yet.  Very flat.  I should dig out the negative as as an exercise try reprinting it.  Been busy this week though with visiting with my younger brother who is in town so haven't been able to get down in to the darkroom in almost 2 weeks.  I do have an interesting roll of film though from some pictures I took while my brother and I were visiting Garibaldi, Rockaway and Barview where our parents had a beach house they built back in the 70's and we all spent a lot of quality time there but it was a special place for my younger brother who spent a lot of time there with my parents and especially our father fishing and fixing the place up. 

Here is my first blog entry from June 17, 2006 when I just started this blog not really knowing what I would do with it.  I had already had a darkroom for almost 2 years and had taken a few workshops but I was still learning the medium. 
I of course will always be a student of the medium.  The first entry shows my disdain for the digital.  That's lessened a bit and I do use digital photographs on occaision in the blog and my scans of my prints are "manipulation of mega-pixels".  So it goes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I also enjoy using the blog to instruct and illustrate what goes in to making a fine print.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another aspect of having a blog is the opportunity to make political commentary.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sheriff E.T. Mass

I also enjoy using my blog as a forum for my rage.  Here is a link to a story I posted about  the unfair treatment of my Grandfather a recently naturalized citizen of the United States, a husband and father of three small children who was committed to a mental hospital by a former Trolley Car driver who became the Sheriff of Clackamas County. He was held by the State Asylum System for 27 years and his wife and children left to fend for themselves. The State even took her to probate court to make her pay for his unconstitutional incarceration but it was demonstrated that she had nothing. Welcome to America Pavlina Hermanakova.

Another one of my favorite moments from my blog was my 15 minutes of valildation that I enjoyed with the acceptance of one of my pictures in what was the best photo show in Portland in 2008.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Another element of my blog was to post photographs taken in the 70's and 80's.  About a year after selling off most of my darkroom gear in 1977 because I needed the money I bought my first new camera a Leitz-Minolta CL a rangefinder that could use M-series Leica lenses so I could still practice photography or maybe even go in a different direction.  99% of these photos were crap and lots of rolls of film I never even bothered to get developed and printed out but between 1978-1987 and beyond I did take the occaisonal image that I am still proud of.  I only wish now I had shot black and white film but I never back then seriously thought I would one day work in a darkroom again or want too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My blog is approaching 4 years old in a few days.  I wanted to post some of my favorite posts from years back.  I started a category for "Photographers A-Z" and started off with my favorite photographer Diane Arbus who I feel so dramatically represented the best of the 1960's in her persona and her iconic imagery.

Image of Diane Arbus by another great photographer of that era Gary Winogrand.

Monday, June 07, 2010

I've been going over old negatives and reprinting them in hopes that I can improve them. Below is a scan of one of my first prints of this shot made in 2005.  Looking at the clouds I realize now that the upper print was from a different negative.  When looking for a negative to print I chose the most dense negative to print with. I looked at the detail in the road on the negative to select which one to print.  These negs were an early experiment with Infrared and I bracketed exposures.  With a standard Nikon Red Filter I found using an ASA setting of 10 was a good starting point for exposure.

I printed this negative of a subject I also had shot in color. 

Sunday, June 06, 2010

I worked this weekend on trying to improve the print for this negative.  The top image was done in April using my old D-2, with an ilford paper warmtone semi-matt and a #2 filter with no manipulation of the print.  I wasn't happy with the print it was flat and the details of the face of the Dragon on the left was too dark and lost in the background.  The bottom print was done this weekend using the Zone VI enlarger.  I dialed a much higher soft contrast setting, but then on top of that did a short exposure with only the hard contrast light to punch up the blacks.  I also pre-flashed the paper by .6 of a second to eliminate the pure white paper base and did a little burning in on the upper left.  I used a gloss paper. I really believe I am making better prints with the new enlarger.
Here are three pictures printed with the new zone vi enlarger with variable contrast head showing the differences in contrast possible.  All prints were made with the same exposure time, apeture and on the same paper with identical development.  I set the soft contrast setting at H and then shifted the hard contrast setting.  The bottom print was made using a setting of 'HB', the middle with 'HC', and the top image 'HE'.  As Ansel Adams liked to say, "The negative is the score, the print is the performance."  The images at the top are details of the bottom right corner of the image showing the impact in the darkest part of the print.  As the hard contrast is increased the shadow detail is lost

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Tree in Lone Fir taken with Infrared Film and recently printed on my new Enlarger

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Here are two more negatives from pictures I took downtown when I was still in High School but never got around to printing.  Details like the cars and  parked on the street and the ugly street lamps were easy clues but I also shot pictures downtown while going to PSU in the early 70's when I bought my own Camera in 72'.  The other clue that dated these images was the angle of view is wider than my 50 1.4 lens that was all I had for my Nikon F in the early 70's.  These images were taken with a 35mm 1.4 that my High School darkroom had and my Senior year I was able to take equipment home on the weekends. A beautiful lens that I wish I owned now.  I probably took these in the Winter of 1971 and I noticed the film was Kodak Plus X not the usual Tri-X pan I normally used.  These pictures are taken behind the old Paramount Theatre, now the Schnitzer Auditorium in the far North end of the South Park blocks that stretch up to PSU.  This is one of Portlands more lovely pieces of public art.  I was surprised a bit by the picture taken through the arch with the Art Museum in the background.  It's not a bad picture and I'm surprised I never bothered to print it until now.  I didn't really know how to print back then and these negatives that were pretty high contrast would have created problems for me since I probably would have either made them too flat or too contrasty.  My new enlarger has made printing and tweaking images much easier.  I am also a much more sophisticated printer now and I am rediscovering negatives all of the time that I would have dismissed 40 years ago because I lacked the skills to yield a good print from them.
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