Thursday, October 27, 2016

20x24 Dad "Pain" Photograph

After a bit of laziness today I got into the dark, turned on the John Coltrane jazz (a new LP "Stardust") and got back to work on my first exhibition print. This photograph is part of the 7 I will make from the last week of my fathers life. I decided to print these pictures darker and with more contrast. My hope is to slap the viewer and pull them out of their apathy. I want to draw them deep into the photographs, disturb them a bit, get them emotionally involved, talking and thinking.

The photo shown below is printed on 20x24 Ilford FB warmtone paper. I am using 2 types of masks, one for a fog burn on the upper right corner and the other is a blocking mask (invented that term I think) to protect the parts of the image I do not want to go black. In the upper right corner of this neg is some serious light fog. I found the best and most dramatic way to deal with it is to use the two masks then expose the paper in the easel using a normal flashlight. I hold the lower blocking mask down with magnets, I also use magnets on the printing metal frame arms to avoid any partial light leaks. Another thing I needed to do was to add long strips of black plastic round the outer edges of the print frame arms to keep the paper white there.

Here are the other printing steps involved.

- F2.8 on El Nikkor 50mm lens
- Filter 3.5-150 second main exposure, with dodges of 100 seconds on the face and 50 seconds on the lower left corner (using round tools, large and small circles).
- Filter 1-80 second burn of the blanket (using my hands) also burn the upper top left black at the same time.
- Filter 1- 50 second additional burn on the highlights of the blanket.
- I then do the flashlight burn of the fogged areas as listed above.
- Development is 3 minutes in Dectol 1/1 (1500ml /1500ml for the large tray).
- The enlarger (my favorite) is a Durst 1200 condenser which was given to me by a good friend.

Later I will bleach each print, especially in areas around the mouth and eyes using a q-tip. I want to create as much drama in the image as I can. This printing style of darkness with sharp contrast and bleaching of 35mm negs is influenced by the great W. Eugene Smith (my photography idol).

Note* The picture is razor sharp with pronounced grain and contrast. Some of the GoPro pictures below show blurring that does not exist in the print.

Note** This is the 3rd attempt at the print, the first 2 had serious problems as a result of mistakes during the flashlight fog burn. Those problems seem to be solved in this version (the invention and use of the blocking mask). I plan on making 1 maybe 2  more print versions then bleaching. Once that is completed I will then run the prints through my secondary process. A second fix,  hypo clear, selenium tone and archival wash before air drying, flattening, spotting, matting and framing. Gosh that is lots of steps!!!

Update* I wonder if should mat the print so there is a thin white line around the edges, it might create a nice look. I prefer to have a free standing print that can be rewashed at a future date, I never dry-mount my photographs as that is not an archival process. The glue and mat board used in the dry-mounting process are not good for the longevity of the prints life.

Update** On print #4 I added 2 burns. 50 seconds to the pillow-blanket area to the right of dads head and 40 seconds to the bottom right corner, both burns were done with filter #1 at F2.8.

Update*** On the #5 print I extended the second blanket burn at filter #1 from 50 seconds to 8 seconds (used my hands as burn tool).

Update**** I gave the 3 prints a second fix bath of 2 minutes, then a hypo clear of 5+ minutes followed by a toning in 1/20 Selenium (100ml Selenium to 2000 water) for 2 minutes. The toning seemed to give a slight (more silver warm) color change and will add permanent protective coating to the print. I also gave the prints a 2 hour archival wash. Will let them air dry and see where I am at tomorrow.

3rd attempt dad "Pain" photograph, pics made with GoPro 2

Quote: Richard Pryor

On experiencing racism.

"I was just on the TODAY show and they were telling me how wonderful I was and I walk out into the reality of America and I can't get a cab."

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Quote: Henning Mankell (Writer)

"People aways leave traces. No person is without a shadow." The Troubled Man

Dancing In The Dark!

What of the joys of working the darkroom is dancing in the dark. The music is playing, your in the zone making a print and then the fever hits you and you dance. Spinning and moving and feeling the music. You got to love it! Hopefully in 4 or 5 years I can join in and play the sax to the tunes I am listening to :)). Playing the sax in the dark under the safelight, SWEET!

Great Day Ahead

I am very well rested and plan a great day ahead. I will print for next years exhibition at the AGSA and listen to jazz LPs while working. Does anything top that? It should be a truly wonderful day. Update and pics to follow :))

Update* Today for the first time I tried bleaching with a q-tip (cotton stick). The q-tip seems to give greater control to smaller areas. I am using it to bleach the areas around dads eyes for the "Pain"photograph. I quite like using these things. I use a new one for each image, then toss them away, a nice bonus is they are cheap and easy to buy.

Monday, October 24, 2016

15 Minute Sleep And Dad Dream

Fell asleep for 15 minutes and went straight into a dream about dad. We were at his home in the family room. I was talking to him about dying, about how the men died first in our family, we talked of how the married people on my mothers side died first. It upset dad and he looked weak, he said "I don't want to talk about it!" I asked him to sit down in the chair to relax. I told him he would feel better after he sat. Then I woke up.

Not much of a dream this time round, not to emotional. I was surprised how quickly (15 minute sleep) I started to dream yet another dream about dad. With all the scheduled printing for the AGSA exhibition in the next 6 months or so I will probably have dozens of similar dreams. Dreams with dad, dying themes to them. I hope there are some cheerful ones in that bunch as well!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Quotes: Jack Nicholson

"With my sunglasses on, I'm Jack Nicholson. Without them, I'm fat and seventy."
"Star quality is if you're on stage and a cat walks on and they still watch you."
"I only take viagra when I am with more than one woman."

Saturday, October 22, 2016

120mm "Forgotten Laughter" And Other Trip Shots #17

Here are the latest "Families of the Dump-Forgotten Laughter" scans from the Mae Sot dump. Yet more photos that seem destined to never be exhibited. I feel I let all these people down, their story will not be told because of my failings to get the job done.

Woman digging in the dump, Mae Sot THailand April-May 2016
Father getting massage in dump, Mae Sot Thailand April 2016
Young girl in her dump home, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Dump baby, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Mother with son in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April 2016
Khune Anapon homeless man, Bangkok Thailand April 2016
Young boy in dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Girl in tree, Mae Sot dump, Thailand April 2016
Young girl standing in garbage, Mae Sot Thailand April 2016 
Young girl held by her mother in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Jazz Vinyl Record Collection Continues To Grow

Well my Jazz record collection continues to grow, both in vinyl LPs and Cds (mostly records). I am concentrating on the sax players. John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, Curtis Amy, Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz and of course the great great Charlie Parker. So much sublime, challenging, moving and truly beautiful music. The rest of my darkroom years, printing my lifetime of negs will be filled with the wonderful sounds these musicians created. You got to love how joyous and emotional their lyrical music life was. With what and how did they create this jazz? I hope someday to be able to make a tiny fraction, a bit of slightly comparable sounds with my alto sax.

A Drone For Documentary Film?

I have been thinking of getting a drone to use in my upcoming documentary film attempt.  This is the unit I might purchase, the DJI Mavi Pro. It is compact, small, very stable and can do 4K video.
DJI Mavic Pro Test Video

The JVI Mavic Pro drone with 4K video, retails at $1349 CAD with free shipping from Amazon