Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More from the Old World series

Hi all. There are no shortage of cutbacks these days, so it is more important than ever to continue your work, whatever that may be. Your work is not necessarily what you do to pay the bills (but it can be). It is what you do for your spirit, what your inner life drives you to do. Pursuing your work aligns you with natural order. It pays dividends to your friends, loved ones, co-workers, and community. When times are tough, it does not become less important, it becomes vital to your being.

Part of my work right now is to make these tiny images and share them with folks. Here are some 6 x 9 centimeter direct positives on multi-grade resin coated silver gelatin paper.

My next step in the process was to produce images on fiber based photographic paper, which has a longer exposure and processing time and, I believe, a richer tonal range. I am happy with the results so far. An hour and 45 minutes per print gives me some time to blog.

its only castles burning

Have a wonderful day, friends.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Long Exposures

This is a cellphone photo of the pinhole projection exposure process. The shutter stays open for about an hour and I try to keep people and other light sources out of the room while it is happening. The prints on paper have different tonal considerations than film because they react to different colors of light. Black and white film is designed to have an equal sensitivity to different colors while paper has separate emulsions in order to manipulate contrast. The dark black tones are more reactive to magenta and the grays are affected by yellow light. As a result, the compliments of these colors (because of the reversal) leave distinct marks on the paper. Greens appear as dark black and saturated blues appear as gray.

I learned that automatic computer screen pop-ups can be more than annoying, they can also ruin an hour long exposure by sneaking into your photograph. Notice the Norton security message on the bottom left hand side?

My next step forward will be to attempt these photos on fiber base paper. It offers the possibility of rich tones and handles sepia toning like a dream. Take care and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Positive Pinholes

So, where were we? Ah yes, the modified Mamiya pinhole camera. The plan was to photograph projections in order to revisit and possibly re-contextualize digital images from Greece. I have subject and camera, the next decision is about choice of film. The Mamiya removable back is designed to hold 120 or 220 medium format film. I had envisioned this project as black and white, which also lends itself well to long exposures when compared to color film that can have different levels of sensitivity among the separate emulsions over time.

Along with film, I also had the option of using a piece of photographic paper to capture light. This would make the camera a "single shot" and I would be forced to load and unload the camera back under a red safe light. This, understandably, is not an ideal process for traveling and is well suited for operations that are close to the darkroom. In my case, the darkroom is two doors down the hall from where I plan on photographing my projections(I am fortunate.) One advantage of paper is the ability to quickly process each individual exposure after it is made. This can be important to experimental projects such as pinhole which rely on trial and error to achieve ideal exposure.

I decided to go with paper because I love the instant feedback. My first thought was to create a paper negative, then contact print that to make a positive. At that point, I would using this generational progression:

generation 1: digital image
generation 2: projection
generation 3: paper negative
generation 4: paper positive

It occurred to me that I could use the computer to skip a generation by inverting the digital projection in order to create a one of a kind direct positive. That idea, in a way, subverts the nature of digital images that can be reproduced, sent, and shared any number of times with no loss of information. My image could lose information through its generational process and exist as an individual.

This was my first result, an hour exposure on multigrade RC paper. it came out a little light for my taste, and reversed from right to left. I reversed the projection and tried again for a longer time and liked the result.

This is the Hephastion in Athens, dedicated to the ancient blacksmith god. It is a one of a kind 6 x 9 centimeter direct pinhole positive and I am quite happy with this little print.