Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One of my favorite blogger sites.  I love this guy or at least his blog where he often writes about Portland from New York.  He made me laugh with this posting and I really needed a laugh.  Here are some pictures of me with some of my sweetest rides through the ages.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The April opening of this exhibit at 23 Sandy  looks really good.

"These new images explore the notion that the time spent ‘crafting’ a photograph versus ‘taking’ a photograph gives the photographer space for thought."  Laura Moya.

Do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring always makes me think of youth when you are anticipating your life beginning, and fall is like old age when you realize that pretty much everything that's going to happen has already happened and all you can do is remember and regret.  Like Ursula Leguins novel Planet of Exile where the seasons last over 20 years and you are born in Spring and you die in Winter.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last night I went to a show put on by a class taught by Sharon O' Keefe who has started Northwest Center for Photography.  This was her last class with PCC now that she is going to devote her time to NWCP which I noted here in my Blog in January sounded like an interesting place and hopefully an alternative to Newspace which I think is kind of stagnating.  She seemed a very enthusiastic and motivated instructor and now that I have met her I want to check out what she is doing.  She had a very inspired group of students many who were gifted photographers like my friend Lorita.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Three different prints from the same negative printed at different times with different enlarger heads.  Top image done this weekend using my Zone VI enlarger, the middle one done in 2006 using the Omega D-2 condenser head using contrast filters and probably selenium toning to soften the darker areas. The bottom one done with the Omega D-2 with the  V-54 cold light bulb using a 1-1/2 filter.  I feel like the bottom picture has the mid range covered but the blacks need to be "blacker".  The middle one is all washed out in the highlights and too dark in the shadows.  I don't like any of them.  Shooting in to the sun, even though it wasn't high in the sky yet was a big mistake. If I had taken the photograph earlier before the sun had made the sky so bright I would have had more even lighting. The upper center and to the right is the problem area.  Pre-flashing might have solved the high light problems but it would have made the middle values too dark.  I was only testing a new lens for my Koni-Omega camera and wasn't really thinking about the picture all that much but I discovered the childs grave with the teddy bears after developing the image and liked that so I worked on it some more but I'm tired of working with it for now.  Maybe someday I can figure out how to make a good print from the negative.
                                                            New negative carrier

Yesterday I did some work with my new Zone VI negative carrier that will hold 120 format film.  The carrier is cut for a 6x7 negative but I can also use it for 6x6 as I did for the bottom negative which I took back in 1970.  I had been using pieces of glass before but a good negative carrier that holds the negative nice and flat and centered over the lens sure makes the work easier.  Also the negative cleaning process is harder with pieces of glass since you have to clean all 4 sides of the two glass sheets, as well as both sides of the negative before you can start printing.  I try to minimize the amount of retouching I have to do because I am not very good at it so if I can reduce dust spots on a print to just a few problem areas I call it good.  The cold light  does eliminate a lot of the problems one has with dust, scratches, and chips in the negative emulsion and I do not notice any drop in print sharpness.  I had a variety of negative carriers and lens boards with my Omega but I have only found one extra negative carrier now for the Zone VI and I have only one lens board which will accomodate a lens with a 39mm mount.  Nikon fortunately made all of it's el-nikkors with the 39mm mount so I can use any of my el-nikkor lenses; 50,75,105,135mm with my Zone VI enlarger.  For these two prints I used a 105 el-nikkor.  With my Omega though I had a custom built lens carrier that would accomodate Nikon camera lenses and I used to do all my printing for medium format negatives with a very high quality Nikkor 105mm bellows lens.  I am hoping someday to find a 4x5 negative carrier and a 150mm el-nikkor or another lens board that can accomodate my 150mm Rodenstock enlarger lens so I can start working again with my view camera.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Working with the Zone VI enlarger.

Here is an example of the two test exposures I made one with the soft contrast light, the other with the hard contrast light and the final print done with two seperate exposure based on my best guess at what combination of exposures will give me a mid zone gray and a true black.  The upper left image is the soft contrast print. The light from the soft contrast lamp is much brighter but takes a much longer exposure to impact the paper in this case 25 units of time with the dial on the soft light set at G.  This gave a unit of exposure that was about .5 of a second in real time.  The hard contrast lamp units of exposure were from 2.4 to 5.8 units though each unit of time was probably over 2 seconds in real time with the hard contrast light set at E.  I settled on a 5 unit exposure with the hard contrast bulb.  Two exposures one for 25 units of soft contrast light and 5 units of hard contrast light were probably closer to 23 seconds in real time.  The Zone VI enlarger has way too many variables and it is taking me time to get a handle on how to make a proper print.  At this point in time I am still hanging on to my old Omega enlarger with a V-54 cold light  that I can use with filters and variable contrast paper.  The Zone VI enlarger uses two seperate bulbs and contrast is a variation on time and light volume from each bulb.  I haven't been able to find a definitive instruction guide to using the Zone VI so I am still experiementing. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Here are a couple new pictures taken in November for my "Oak Grove Gothic" an ongoing project I have been working on since 2006.  The top picture was taken along the "Trolley Trail" at the Evergreen stop along the old rail bed left over from the historic Inter Urban Trolley line that connected Oregon City to Portland.  The bottom picture is of course the decaying Bomber which once stood over the  famous Gas Station along Super Highway 99.  Here is a really well made web site showing old pictures taken along the interurban line. 

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I was able to finally get another negative carrier for my Zone VI, 3 of them came up for sale on E-bay and no one bid real high.  Last year when I tried to get one for 6x6 the bids went up to over a hundred bucks and I wasn't going to pay that for a negative carrier.  This time 3 came up for bid, a 6x6, 6x7 and 4x5 all for the 1st model of the Zone VI which is what I have.  I bid on all three but the 6x7 was the only one I got.  I could still use it for 6x6 I'll just have to crop on the enlarger.  I do have a 6x7 camera, the Koni Omega 200.  Great Camera.

I worked in the darkroom yesterday.  These are from my last roll of developed film shot between August 2010 to January 2011.  These are three pictures from a street near my house called "Peacock Lane" where every home is under orders to decorate for Christmas and it's a big draw in the evening when they turn on all the lights.  There's no crowd during the day though and for the most part you get left alone though one old woman came out and wondered why I was taking pictures during the day when it is so pretty at night.  I told her that the deflated Santa really captured my mood during the holidays.  She just shook her head and walked away.  What can I say?  "I was born this way" as Lady Gaga says.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I took this photograph in 2009 in waterfront park.  She was very cooperative which for me as a photographer only requires that you ignore me and allow me to photograph.   I had never seen her before and she reminded me of a friend of mine who is also a harpist and used to play locally back in the 70's and 80's before she left town.  Anyway after  I took her picture I didn't get a chance to talk to her and find out who she was so I could send her a copy of the picture later.  Recently I saw her name mentioned in a Willamette Week Article on local street musicians.  I googled her name and found her website hoping to finally send her a copy of this picture so she could use it if she wanted.  Surprise she already had it.
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