Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black and White Ball in Black and White

Held in Directors Park on Saturday August 28th.  I photographed this at the request of a facebook friend who was the daughter of my 6th grade teacher at Oak Grove Grade School.  It's been awhile since I have photographed a dance but this one was outdoors in the early evening when I could still use available light.  It might have been fun to shoot some photos using flash and the Mamiya 6x6 to get some photographs like those wonderful Diane Arbus pictures of Drag Queens dances and New Years Eve parties. I used Tri-X pan and as the sun set and light faded I was shooting at 125th of a second which was not enough to slow down the movement in some cases and exposures in the 1.4-2.8 range.  I brought along my 85 mm, 50mm and 24mm lenses but only used the 50 and 24.  I wish now I had brought out the 85 but with people moving and the short focal range of that lens I probably would have had a lot of out of focus images.  The nice thing about the 24 is that I bearly have to focus it at all, the 50mm worked well but I did have a few too many images out of focus but when I did get someone in nice and sharp the images were pretty nice.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Two new pictures from this weekends darkroom work.
The Dispossessed.  I read this book earlier this year and blogged about it and the works of Ursula Leguin.  The first time I tried to read The Dispossessed I recall not liking it and never finished it though at the time I remember thinking that it was a really good book that I needed to read someday when I was ready for it.  That is kind of the way the works of Ursula Leguin work.  Here though is a really excellent review from the excellent web site Io9.  A critical review that is more about critical thinking than criticizing the work even though he does some of that.  He writes a review about a good book that he didn't like but he doesn't dismiss it as a bad book instead explaining why he didn't like it but someone else might.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Always make a contact sheet.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A new roll of film developed and drying and waiting for a date with the enlarger.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Some more work from this weekend darkroom session. 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stone House in Oak Grove, Oregon

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I did some higher definition scans of single frames on the contact sheet just to see what the pictures might look like if enlarged.  The stone house from Oak Grove looks interesting.  It was a dark cloudy day and it was a dark place.  Amazing house though. Another picture was taken on the grounds of the closed Washington High School.  I see this building with it's large smoke stack behind it everyday on my bus ride to work and always thought it might make an interesting subject for a picture.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Forget the guy on a tightrope juggling flaming junk.  There is a girl in the crowd with a MAMIYA TWIN LENS!  Now that is something you don't see every day.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New shipment of 11x14 ilford paper. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

In this mornings Oregonian there was an article about Brad Rogers a local gallerist who bought my photograph from the Resurrection show two years ago.  Not that it means anything.  I just like to point it out.
Trying to get a decent print from this  negative I made a few weeks ago in early evening before sunset of this statue in the South Park Blocks near the Museum.  The bronze statue is displayed within a structure so the light is hitting it from the side and the statue is bronze so it will print out in black to dark gray on the zone scale. I wanted the statue to appear close to the mid range so it would stand out hopefully with a little shadow detail against a darker background and shadows.  The arch to the left of the statue and the base are very reflective so with that exposure it is overexposed and loses all surface detail printing out at near paper base.  I liked that I got some of the detail of interior ceiling which was picking up reflected light from the base.  I thought the easiest solution in printing would be to pre-flash the paper eliminating the highest zone 9 and shifted all print zones down one zone.  The print on the left has had the paper pre-flashed 2 seconds and the print on the right has received the identical cumulative exposure without pre-flashing. The best way to calculate the pre-flash exposure is to run a test strip using small increments of time which is much easier now with my new exposure timer that can set an exposure of as little as 1/10 of a second.  Here I did a series of 1/2 second exposures using the same contrast and aperture settings I was going to use for the print.  I develop the test strip and than look for the first sign of exposure to the paper and than use the exposure before that.  In this case it was 2.5 seconds so I pre-flashed the paper 2 seconds.  Later I noticed after the paper dried that the actual first sign of exposure was 2 seconds and I probably could have used a pre-flash exposure of less than 2 seconds.  In the future I may want to consider this dry down issue and I may want to consider further experiments with printing this negative using a shorter pre-flash exposure and see if I like the results.  Less pre-exposure might lighten the print up a bit and bring out the ceiling a bit better and better shadow detail in the statue.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This weekend it was the 6th anniversary of completing my darkroom and working it it for the first time.  I was able to devote a few hours to photography and darkroom work ; mixing chemicals, something I actually like doing, shooting a few pictures Saturday morning to finish a roll of film and then developing the film.  I love that anticipation as you open up the film tank to see what you have, a little like Christmas.  This morning I got up early to produce a contact sheet from the developed negatives and selected a single negative to work on.  I could have spent the whole day in the darkroom but I have other responsibilities so after devoting a couple of hours to produce a passable print I had to let go until next weekend when I can allow myself a few hours to continue working with a new set of negatives. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

No need to apologize.
Kind of shocked that Newspace managed to pull in someone like this, or would even care for that matter.  A real photographer.  Imagine that. The Oregonian also included a nice Q&A .

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A series of images of this bird nest I found last year.  I recently added a new print to the collection.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Today I worked on printing 11x14 prints.  I go with a roughly 7x10 image size on an 11x14 sheet of paper.  I can accomodate 5 8x10 trays in my darkroom space but only 3 11x14 so it takes a little more effort to produce 11x14 prints.  My solution is to move the second fixing bath to outside the darkroom near the sinks and the print washer.  When I work this way though I have to get one print through the first fixing bath and out of the darkroom before I can start on the next print.  I like though that I get to use these great vintage 11x14 enamel trays that I found at Hollywood Camera .  For 35mm I use a 50mm el-nikkor lens that makes enlargement to this size easy without having to raise the enlarger head to far above the easel.  Today I worked with Dektol developer and Ilford paper both in warm tone and cold tone.  The 35mm negatives I worked with were from Agfa 25 and 100 ASA so there was very little grain in the enlargements and the prints came out beautiful.  I believe when you start working in sizes beyond 8x10 you can produce a high quality, archival black and white print for much cheaper than if you were working digitally.  A lot more time involved but materials and equipment is much more reasonable.  In my opinion.  A silver gelatin print is much more durable than anything that could be made even with carbon based inks.  These prints will last for hundreds of years something no digital print would be capable of.

A print from yesterdays darkroom session.  An unfinished nest photographed against a lit white background.  Film used was Agfa 25 printed out on a Zone VI gloss paper developed in Dektol.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Work with the Nikon from 1993.

I wasn't using my Nikon camera much once the lightmeter stopped working and I was having trouble focusing it with my much older set of eyes.  Still when my children were born I felt I should record the event with my Nikon camera that I had used for so many other events in my life and my families.  I recently came across some of the prints and reevaluated them as not so bad.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Yesterdays Printing session

New prints from the roll of Tri-X pan I developed last weekend.  Pictures taken on my lunch hour breaks and some photos taken after work.  The time after 5:00 p.m. is interesting because of the angle of light that produces long shadows and the weird illumination that results from western facing buildings with lots of shiny reflective surfaces illuminating areas indirectly.  These are not examples of that type of light but I am noticing it especially when I don't have a camera with me and I need to explore this while Summer is still with us. 
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