Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Work Is What Matters Most

I found this video tonight on youtube, I think it expresses very well one of the reasons why I use the fake name Gerry Yaum in my work.

"Ultimately these photographs will go beyond what I did with my life, beyond who I was, what I was and have their own being in themselves, they'll have their own life and create other lives for other people. I think that's ultimately the essense of the history of art, that the art becomes more important than the person who created the art."

Roger Ballen (Photographer)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Another 13 Hour Plus Darkroom Night

Tonight is my last night before I am off to security work for 1 week. I am putting in another all nighter, this time concentrating on re-printing 3 photographs, I also completed 1 new neg print. The new photograph was of a man from the slum who worked as a truck driver, the people who introduced me to him seemed a bit scared of him and he had a rather fierce expression. I ended up spending some time in this mans slum home which was very small and had a lopsided bottom floor area that the man (forget his name now need to check my notes) told me was flooded each year forcing him to sleep on the 2nd floor.

Linhof 4x5 with 150mm lens, Tri-x and reflector.
I need to get back to the darkroom now and finish my final re-print. I wanted to start working on a second new photograph as well as bleach and tone all the prints I did today but am getting tired, I have to find my second wind now after a quick meal.

The photograph below is the last of the re-prints. I had trouble with dry down on my last printing attempt, the print dried to dark. I made 4 versions of the print this time, different exposures and 1/4 differences in contrast. This is as close as I have gotten to a Sebastiao Salgado or W. Eugene Smith style print. I want to do more of this work in the future with the Leica's and Tri-x a grainy and gutsy warm toned print that deals with a human condition theme.

Leica M6 and 28mm Lens, Tri-x Rated At 200 ASA.
Feel quite tired but did a quick RC print for a mask (photograph below hanging in my film dryer) on my next neg and am quite excited by it. I want to try to make a fine print of them, got to push myself more. I wish I could work 24 hours in a row in the darkroom un-medicated (Eugene Smith used to take amphetamines and work 2 or 3 days straight). I will make 2 quick prints of this neg and then move onto to some bleaching and toning before sleeping. The photograph is at the same home as an interior I did earlier (of fridge and TV), this man would collect bottles all day using his motorbike them sell them to support himself. He told me stories of police corruption and how his son was in jail on drug charges because he could not afford the bribe to keep the boy out of jail. I guess they police charge more money based on the height of the person charged, the taller you are the more expensive the bribe is.

Fuji 6x9 and Tri-x with a mix of flash and daylight.
Did a little staying alert trick, the last 4 hours in the darkroom I worked with bare feet on the cold floor, it helped me stay more aware and concentrate better. I have 6 prints washing now, I will have to wake up every 2 hours and change them out for another 6 and then another and another.

Final new print of a long darkroom night,  this is my first attempt, I made 3 variations.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

More Portable 4x5 Flash Idea?

Been thinking of the best way to do the 4x5 flash thing, carrying 2 tripods, a flash and a Linhof around a dump site might be a bit problematic. This set up with the Banarama 2 camera might work just as well and be much more portable. The good thing about having a ton of gear is you have lots of options whenever you come up with a photo idea, and at no added expense. Witth the larger flash and battery pack there are 2 advantages, a quicker recycle time and a F16-f22 of flash POWER! The F16-f22 will allow more depth of field and help me over come the underexposure and lack of sharpness I experienced in earlier 4x5 camera flash attempts.

All I need to do is find the flash bulb and I can give this a try.

High Of Highs!

Working on a good photograph in the dark with the music pumping and the occasional scream of "Lets Go!!!" from yours truly is the high of highs for me, the greatest f-ckin feeling in the world.

I had an inspiration for doing another type of photograph while looking at my second print (flash 4x5) of the older boxer trainer. I did lots of negs that were under exposed and out of focus using a smaller flash unit so why not take another flash entirely to do the photos. I have a larger Quantum Q Flash, if I hook up this flash to its own separate stand and battery and then shoot 4x5 portraits with it might create a really expressive unique look, the flash would help isolate the subject (thanks Diane). It would require carrying more gear, and would be more work in general but that has never stopped me before, a little work is a good thing, it should not be to easy to do this.

 I might do some tests with this set up before I go to Thai.

7 Prints? How Many Can I Do In A Day?

I had a very good long sleep, now I am into a heavy darkroom printing session. I found 7 negs I like and might try to print. These negs are all on 4x5 film so they will be a bit easier to make than the problematic 35mm stuff. Am doing tests on the first print on the first photograph a flash 4x5 shot of a laughing 70+ year old trainer (have to check his name and age in my notes), the photograph was shot at the Muay Thai boxing gym in Klong Toey slum. I like the image because it shows a bit of joy which will help mix up the mood of the overall show, it cannot all be grim and glum! There was lots of joy and happiness when I made the pics, I got to show some of that as well.

Hopefully I can print at least 4 negs today, tomorrow I want to do secondary printing on some of the dried prints from the last 2 weeks of darkroom work. I need to do the final stages of bleaching and toning on these photographs, plus a hypo clear and second longer wash and drying before Monday. This coming work week I want to spot and frame another 10+ photographs bringing my overall number of completed images to 32. If I can get to about 32 with 1 week left it will take off some of the final minute pressure to get work done.

This is my first try at the laughing older trainer neg.

Steps so far:

- Developed in dectol 1/1 as I am out of Agfa WA developer.
- Exposure of 1 minute at F11, filter 2.
- Dodge face -10 seconds.
- Dodge each hand 17 seconds.
- Burn background lights backbackground shirt and white belt on shorts for 50 seconds at filter 0 with burning mask.

I have to see how this print looks dried, its probably to dark, I might play with the contrast also. It usually takes me about 3-6 prints to get a print down, this one is a bit simpler to print so expect to get it at 3 or 4.

This is the first attempt at my second neg, a photograph head shot of a young boy from the slum, I have his age and name in my notes. I will have to lighten parts of this print also, as it dries down the tones will shift to dark.

Steps so far:

- Exposure 95 seconds at F8 with filter 2.
- Dodge left eye 10 seconds one point.
- Dodge neck area 45 seconds spread out.
- Burn mask #1, 1 minutes 15 seconds (burn shoulders).
- Burn mask #2, 40 seconds (background behind boy).
- Burn mask #3, 2 minutes filter 0 (background white areas).

The final print of the night, the first attempt. I wanted to do 4 but its been 12 or so hours now (probably 14 or 15 before I am done) in the dark (with a few meal breaks) and I am spent. This portrait is of a older ex boxer in the gym, he was visiting on one of the days I was making photographs. He had such a sad melancholy expression, it makes the photograph. I need to improve the burn lines in the next prints and burn down some of the highlights on the face, I might try brightening the back highlights a bit also.

Steps so far:

- Exposure 90 seconds at F8 with filter 1 1/2.
- Burn arms, neck with mask #1 for 45 seconds with filter -1.
- Burn face highlights with mask #1 for 35 seconds.
- Burn background highlights with mask #2 for 2 minutes 15 seconds at F5.6.

Kodak Tmax 3200 Discontinued

 Another kodak film bites the dust:

At least the Ilford version is still around both in 35mm and 120.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Developing 4x5 Sheet Film In A Patterson Tank

This company sells some interesting products and has some good how to vids. I might buy the 4x5 holder to develop sheet film in my patterson tanks.

Things Coming Together

The trip to Thai is a ways off yet but am preparing my gear. I bought a second pair of light pants, another long sleeve sweat shirt and some cheap short ankle level rubber boots (for walking in the dump area of Mae Sot).  I plan on traveling very light, the boots and a pair of old sandles, one pair of socks for the plane, 2 light pants, 3 love sleeve sweat shirts, 3 boxers and that's it for clothing.

The camera gear is a bit more problematic. One Leica M6 with 28mm lens (if it is repaired in time), the Linhof 4x5 with 150mm lens are for sure takes. I am wondering thou on these maybe take with me items, a second M6 body, a 21mm lens and or a 50 mm lens. The other possibles are a Hasselblad Xpan camera with 45mm lens and maybe even the 90mm lens. I am also considering taking the 75mm, 90mm and 300mm lens for the Linhof.  How much film should I take?

Other essentials include a tripod (probably go with the lightweight smaller version Chinese carbon fiber I own) and the reflector. I need to take a film changing tent and spot meter as well. Another decision that needs to be made is do I go with the plastic 4x5 holders like in the past or switch to 3 or 4 Grafmatic backs. If I choose the Grafmatic way I need to confirm there are no light leaks in the backs I choose.

My rather loose fitting size 13 green rubber boots.

Another Night In The Dark

Went to a Oiler hockey game tonight with my friend Rob so had a delayed entry into the darkroom. I figured thou with the show deadline time ticking away I could not afford to not go into the dark tonight so I pulled up my courage, overcame the impulse to take a nap and mixed up my last 350ml of Agfa WA developer (now discontinued, along with Agfa's photography business).

Since I was tired and was using the last of this paper developer I thought I would just do some reprints. Reprints are easier because I have the printing instructions written up from my previous work on the neg. I reprinted a Ai 4x5 neg portrait which I had over bleached and a 35mm shot of a young boy with white face that I had printed to dark. With slight adjustments I was able to print out 2 decent looking prints of both negs rather quickly (3-31/2 hours). I will wash and dry them before deciding if I need to print more.

Since things went so well I decided I would also print up a new negative and selected a 4x5 portrait of a young boxer who I grew to like when I was in Thailand. This young man had a quiet dignity to him, he just worked hard and kept to himself mostly. He had a darker skin color than most of the boys and young men at the gym, a real beautiful smooth skin, in a way his look reminded me of a young Muhammad Ali. The portrait of this young man also  reminds me of a young monk head shot I did back in 2010 that was selected and did quite well in the provincial open a while back.

Beautiful skin can really stand out in 4x5 negs, I need to take this camera when I return to Thai soon, I want to use it to photograph the Burmese people who populate Mae Sot. I should be able to make some strong portraits with this camera of the children and adults at the Mae Sot dump site.

Fiber re-print of Ai and test trip of young boxer.
RC paper print of the young boxer which I will use for a burning mask,
Re-print of boy on the tracks, printed it lighter this time.
It's amazing what effect a strong negative will have on me, how it excites and encourages me to work harder, its like a shot of adrenalin. I was pretty tried after the first 2 re-prints but now I will work until I get the boxer portrait done. You got to love the natural highs photography can give you!!

Ain't Photography Grand!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Diane Arbus Biography

Reading a new book on Diane Arbus, quite fascinating, well worth a purchase and read.

"An Emergency In Slow Motion" William Todd Schultz

More Submissions

Made some quicky email submissions today. I love the email format for submitting as it saves me loads of time. I submitted to:

- The Alberta Open 2013 Photo Competition.
- VASA Human Figure Submission.
- Gallery 44 (High end photography gallery in Ontario Canada).

Todays Darkroom Work

Am still struggling with the opening print of the show, this is my 5th attempt. I will have to redo it to limit visible burn lines and to adjust some areas up up and down in tone a bit (darken right bottom corner, light back girl body on left), hopefully by try 7 or 8 I should have a good enough quality photo. I need to move past this print and at least complete one more today.

Update* Lost count of the print attempt count, think its around 9 now. This is a very difficult neg so far I am up to 13 different exposure, burning and dodging steps. I think I will take a break with this negative and see how things look with a fresh head tomorrow. I will move on to my second neg before I get to tired, the clock is ticking on the deadline.

Every time I try to work on my blog this little creature (Leng Mao) comes for her pet, she sort of climbs all over me and demands attention.

Well another 12+ hour darkroom shift, this is the second and final print, it is a lot easier to print than the first one, only 3 steps so far. I will wash these 2 prints then put them to dry for tomorrow, when I can have a new look with fresh eyes. This shot is the interior of one of the more prosperous Klong Toey shacks. The photograph was made with a Fuji 6x9 camera, I really hit and miss with this machine, lots of poor focused/out of focus shots, but then I also got some wonderful images out of it. I hope to use 3 photographs made with this camera in the show.

I also plan to do an interior photograph of a poorer home that belonged to a motorcycle taxi driver his wife and young child (who was sick when I photographed the home, the father refused the money I offered for medicine, he said they had enough, he was proud and independent). I might try to do that photograph tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Opening Reception Date Changed

My opening reception for the "'The Train Is Coming' Portraits From Klong Toey Slum" show has changed, it will be held Tuesday April 16th from 7-9pm. Food and drinks will be provided for up to 50 people! Not sure I can get 50 folks into the space but I will try. The show is being held at the Northern Jubilee Auditorium, in their basement Kaasa Gallery.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Super Cool, Got To Try This!

I do not really understand this new product (from the Impossible project folks) or the processes in the videos that well but I think it would super cool to try this, especially the emulsion transfer in the one video. The cost of each exposure would be $19USD plus the shipping cost of the film!!!

Quotes: Diane Arbus

“A picture is a secret about a secret, the more it tells you the less you know.” 

"I get to keep what nobody needs."

"Praise is very unsettling." 

Video: More Youtube Darkroom Vids Added

Over the last few days I have posted some more short and shaky darkroom vids to my youtube channel. The channel can be viewed directly via the link in the top left corner of this blog. Here are the new ones:

Burning a print:

Yaba man story:

A rather long winded video of a trip through the darkroom, telling some stories about some things I have collected through the years, there might be a part 2 and part 3 to this baby!

The "Train Is Coming" show title story:

22 Of 35 Show Prints Completed

Well I just finished framing prints 21 and 22, that leaves about 13 to go. I have 5 or 6 maybe prints in my print case and another 5 prints partially completed (they still need to be bleached and toned). Today before I went to work I also found another 30 possible negs. I will probably print 10 or so of these new negs, along with reprints on 3 or 4 poorly made prints. I should have around 50 prints to choose my 35 from. Heck if I can I might try to sneak a few more photographs into the show. I think I have 38 total frames and its a big space, it might work out. Wait a minute!! I just made more work for myself. I have 2 non work weeks to finish all this off, lets do the 35 first and if I have time I can try to do the extra 2 or 3.

Boy am I tired of all of this, tired of printing, matting, framing tired of thinking about this project all the time and most of all I am tired of the time pressure to meet the March 18th deadline.

March 19th should be a great day! I can sleep!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Jeffery A Warner Journalism "Life Amidst the Rubbish"

An interesting and informative photo essay on a day at the Mae Sot garbage dump.  

Video: More Mae Sot Garbage Dump Video Links

This is the place I will go to make photographs in May, I want to work  for about 3 weeks making photographs of the families who live in the garbage dump. I hope to make some friends and learn about these peoples lives, then document what I find. I might end up taking all 3-3 week trips this year to be with these people and the surrounding areas. 

Quote: Jeffery A Warner (Photographer And Free Spirt)

"Although I may remain unintentionally ignorant, I do realize that people are people simply doing the same things, differently. Regardless of ethnicity, all humans harbor the same basic needs of acceptance, caring and understanding. And it is our supposed differences, the variety among all creatures, that makes life beautiful."

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

3 Weeks x 3 Trips

I think I have finally settled on my trips for this year. The opening and closing of the "The Train Is Coming" Show along with the PhotoNOLA photography festival opening made figuring out when I could and could not go difficult. When you throw in statuary pay day shifts at work (I am trying not to miss any of these days as they pay 2.5 times an hour) and the holidays of other guards, it was near impossible to figure things out.

The way my security schedule works is I work 1 week on and 1 week off (12 hour shifts), so if I take a week of holidays I actually can get 3 weeks off work, 2 weeks can turn into 5 and 3 weeks can become 7. I only get a total of 3 weeks holiday time as a guard even thou I have worked security for over 16 years. As I pointed out thou with my current shift schedule I can come off a weeks work and fly the next day allowing me to extend the time I can be away from the job.

Initially like last year I wanted to spread my 3 weeks of holidays over a 3 week trip and a 5 week trip, that did not work out. Then I thought of taking all 3 in a row, allowing me a 7 week trip. I think thou I will go the most expensive way and the most tiring way (lots of airplane time) but also the way that will give me the most shooting days, a total of 9 weeks.

3-3 week trips will cost a fortune in airfare but it gives me loads of options. I can go 3 times to Mae Sot to work on "The Families Of The Mae Sot Dump" project, which is what I will do if I can get the grant from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. If I do not get the grant I can use the trips in different ways. I will take the first trip to Mae Sot and then after that I can either return or take trips to other locals, Cambodia? Burma? Africa? Central America? heck I might even go to photograph Inuit people in Northern Canada. Not sure how I am going to pay for all this yet, I might try for another travel grant from the Edmonton Arts Council.

It will all be very expensive but the flexibility and the 9 whole weeks (including travel time) to make photographs is something I cannot pass up. I have to make the photos while I am physically fit enough and in good enough health to do them, I am 48 and counting.

I feel optimistic about the future, I think my weight and physical fitness is also improving. Things are looking good for future photographs, there are so many stories I want to tell, so many faces and lives I want to show others.

Now if I can just print this coming Kaasa show without collapsing in my developer, everything will be great!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quote: Camille Pissarro (Painter)

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Drymounting, Is It Achival?

I had a discussion with some photo group friends on Saturday about dry mounting and whether it was archival. I found this article online today. The linked site written by photographer Daniel Joder is worth checking out, it has many interesting photography related articles.

Is dry mounting an archival process?

 By Daniel Joder

It all depends.
It depends on whether you consider just the photograph itself to be the work of art, or if you consider the photograph along with the attached, signed backing board to be the work of art.
If you are party to the first opinion, then dry mounting is not an option and most museums would also agree. Museums typically consider the mounting of a photographic print to be archival only if the photograph itself can be easily removed from its presentation environment (mat, frame, or whatever) and transferred, all without suffering damage. Since a dry mounted photograph is very, very difficult to remove without damage, it therefore isn’t accepted by most museums as archival (or, to be more precise, it isn’t accepted as an effective “conservation” method).
If you want to present your images in a way that meets the museum standards of “conservation” and “archival” you obviously must not press, stick or glue your print to the backing board. Instead, you’ll need to afix the print with acid-free archival materials that can easily be removed. Two common ways to do this is are with a V or T hinge or with photo corners .
Having said all this, there are others who claim that dry mounting is indeed archival and they cite some pretty persuasive reasons. First, and most importantly, they start with the assumption that it is not just the print that is the work of art, but the backing board as well–it is all one unit. Indeed, in many cases, the artist will sign the work just below the image on the backing board and will often add another certification sticker or signature stamp to the reverse side of the board. Obviously, those things are important and integral to the print itself.
Furthermore, it is also quite simple to choose and use acid-free materials in all steps of the dry mounting process–from the dry mounting tissue to the backing board to the outer mat. Many argue that the print is actually protected from the environment better this way than with the more loose V or T hinge-type mounts preferred by the purists. In the latter case, they argue, damaging substances can more easily get at and eat away at the photograph.
Personally, I prefer the dry mount option. The print lies flat and will never curl, it can be easily handled even without the top mat in place, and I also like having the signature on the board (with additional certification/signature stamp on the back) rather than on the photograph itself. If the whole unit–backing board and print–is well-crafted with museum-quality, acid-free, archival materials, (and quality inks and paper are used in the print) I think it stands a good chance of outlasting most of us alive today.
What you do will depend very much on the type of photography you do and which way you decide to go in this “archival debate.” In fact, you may also decide to do neither. You could, instead, mount your images with thumbtacks, or on aluminum, cloth, wood, or plastic…or use any number of other, more imaginative methods of presentation.
This is art, after all…and there really are no rules!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mother And Daughter Photograph First Attemp

After the very difficult to print market panoramic neg this next one (last one of the day) is going to be very easy to print. The print only requires a simple small burn on the girls shirt and a bit of edge burning. I might burn in the moms shirt a bit on print two. After I make 2 or 3 prints of this image its off to bed, I got to get some sleep for my next 12 hour darkroom shift!

In this shot I like the look of love in the mothers eyes, the strange distortion of the moms head and the young girls pose. This Leica 21mm lens shot should make it into the show.

Pushing Hard

I am pushing myself hard to get the show printed in time. I worked a minimum of 8 hours a day in the darkroom all this week, somedays 12 hours and today something like 14 hours (with a few lunch breaks). I am running out of time to get this all done, after tonight I will only have 2 more free weeks to get this finished. I also have a bunch of other regular living things I need to do as well, I cannot live on photography alone.

I think starting this week I will have to put in 2 or 3 hours a day into more darkroom work after my 12 hour security nightshifts, maybe I can use these extra hours to do reprints which are easier to handle. I also need to find time to spot the prints and finish sanding and putting together all the frames, plus write up the opening statement, choose/scan a display picture (for upstairs in the Jubilee Auditorium building) and make up a title list.

Friday, February 8, 2013

To Many Cameras!

I just did a bit of more work in the darkroom, I made up some RC prints of some previously forgotten negs from Klong Toey. Last night I looked through several binders and pulled some possible negs to print for the show, what is a bit surprising is I found stuff in some weirder formats that I quite like.

I found 4 possible images made with the fuji 6x9 camera that I might print, one shot of a school girl on the tracks dressed in uniform will probably make the show selection, another of an interior of a Klong Toey residents home as he is watching TV is probably a show neg.

What I was surprised to find thou were 2 Xpan panoramic shots that I liked quite a bit. I find the Xpan format extremely hard to compose (to much empty useless space in the shot). The 2 shots I just worked on are quite nice and fill that large neg with important details. One is a semi close up shot of a bus and 2 passengers (kind of wish there were a few more passengers). The second shot was made in Klong Toey Market and is filled with moving people from edge to edge, this one is just fun to look at, everyone is in their own little worlds as they walk to or from the camera.

I will start working on these 4 negs tomorrow. It looks like I will have the following formats in the show, 35mm, 35mm panoramic, 6x9 and 4x5. Gosh thats a lot of different cameras, I will look like a guy who can't make up his mind, like a guy who changes off cameras constantly, which is very true!

Now I have another dilemma looming! I have to many cameras I want to take to Asia this next short 3 week trip. The Xpan has entered into the equation as I would love to try to do more bus/people shots. That format might also work well if I can use it to photograph multiple people scavenging in the dump at Mae Sot. Another bonus is this format will be different than the dozens of photogs who have shot and will shoot the people who work in Mae Sot, like the recent Polish photog who emailed me. Photos made with the Xpan camera  have a unique look and feel to them, and when they work, they work quite well.

Right now (could change tomorrow) my probable cameras for the trip will be:

Leica M6 with 28 F2 lens and 21mm F2.8 lens (maybe only the 28mm).
Xpan with 45mm F 4 lens (allows me to shoot panoramic or standard 35mm .
Linhof 4x5 with 150mm F5.6 lens.

So much for traveling light!

I Rock!

Got this email today as a result of my recent uploads on youtube (music vids of darkroom work). Guess I have to make more of these in the future, people are actually subscribing to my channel, did not even know I had a channel till that happened.

"o...... sent you a message: this is great i think you rock"

Change Of Date For Opening Reception:"The Train Is Coming" Show

The Jubilee Auditorium (Kaasa Gallery) folks changed the date of my opening reception. The opening will now happen on Tuesday April 16th from 7-9pm not on April 29th as they earlier indicated.  This is good and bad news for me. The good is now I can do a late April early May trip to Thai if I want but the bad is I gave a April 29th opening date to the jury in my latest submission grant package. I will need to get the jurors the new date somehow, not sure how I can do that.

Shipping Case

I got my shipping case today, it looks good, a bit beat up but not bad. The case weights 15.2 pounds which gives me about 35 pounds to play with for the aluminum plate mounted prints. I am not sure how much the plates will weigh but if I can get in 10 plates and still be under the 50 pound airline weight restriction I will be ok, a few extra prints would even be better. I will need to make the plate sizes a tiny bit under 16 inches wide as that would be a bit to snug. I will probably make the plates 15.5 x 19x5 then print the sex worker images on 16x20 paper but at a smaller size maybe 13.5 x 17.5 (or even a bit smaller). As long as I can dry mount onto aluminum, figure out someway to hang the plates and the weight is not to much this should work. Still lots of ifs!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Wish I Had Me One Of These! Digital Enlarger

This enlarger would be a blast, I could take digital files and print them onto silver gelatin fibre paper! I could use a digital file like I would a negative and make beautiful prints with full tonal ranges onto real photographic paper with nice deep beautiful blacks (something digi prints never seem to have).

From there online sales pitch:

Digital in the Darkroom
Photograhpic paper a low-cost media that is generally accepted to produce best quality results.
The DE VERE 504DS creates a "virtual negative" of your digital files which can be projected, sized and exposed onto photographic paper and then processed in the normal way - just like a real negative!
The DE VERE 504DS chassis allows printing in all sizes up to 20x24 inches (50cm x 60cm). However the degree of enlargement possible depends on the resolution of the input file.
The DE VERE 504DS operating system is extremely simple to use, allowing image adjustments to be made before printing.
Orders can be entered and stored ready to be printed when required and the system can be controlled either within the darkroom or remotely via an additional workstation.
The versatility of being able to easily and effortlessly print different sizes one after another, offers cost-effective digital flexibility not previously available.
DigiLite Tungsten Light Source
The DigiLite head uses a standard 24 volt 250 watt lamp and is operated via a shutter to give constant light over a long period of time.
Specifically formulated RGB filters are operated by a new express action buffer control for maximum speed output.
The filtered efficient light box transmits the filtered light through the LCD in exact combination with the three emulsion layers.
The DigiLite is fixed and only uses one light box for all magnifications to give the greatest consistency.
A switchable constant voltage power supply is included as part of the system.
LED Light Source
The LED light source uses the latest LED technology to give fast exposure times for both colour and black & white. The Unit is compact, silent and totally vibration-free.
LCD Digital Negative Panel
Incorporating the patented spread-optic for absolute evenness, the 17 megapixel LCD panel produces red, green and blue layered images to build the fullest exposure via the DE VERE 504DS software operating software.
This works in conjunction with the LED or DigiLite head to give the correct exposing light. The panel gives an average of 300 dpi printing resolution, is maintenance-free and extremely long lasting.
The workstation is built around a powerful Windows XP computer thar runs the DE VERE 504DS operating software.
Images can be entered via many different means, i.e. film scanner, CD, Flash card, networking, etc.
Images can be sorted in an order queue, adjusted as required ready for printing. The image to be printed is then downloaded, the exposure entered and printed via the exposure control of the enlarger.
The machine can be networked with other work stations outside the darkroom.

Swiss Corner Redux?

I had a meal with my friend Larry last night and he told me about a print of his that is going to be shown in London as part of Royal National Geographic show. The print will be shown along with 50 others under acrylic with swiss corners, the photograph will bleed right to the plastic edge with no over mat. Heck if they can show prints that way in London at a more major show than mine, then why can't I do it at the photoNOLA photography festival?

I am still going to proceed with the aluminum mounting (for the Scott Edwards gallery sex worker photos) but I am a bit worried about the overall weight of the package. If I have weight or mounting problems with the aluminum I will revert back to the swiss corner acrylic idea. If is good enough for Larry's London show at an important venue, it is certainly good enough for Mr. Yaum.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Darkroom Clutter Photos

I am getting surrounded by all my prints and darkroom clutter, I think a cleaning job is in order soon!

Here are a few more darkroom pix, my favourite place in the world.

Future Vids?

Am now thinking of doing some vids next trip to post on the blog. The vids might come from places I shoot at like the garbage dump at Mae Sot and possibly the Burmese refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border. Background vids? Interview vids? Vids of the portrait sessions? Anything is possible in this advanced communication age. I might even be able to post them from Asia as I am making the pictures, stayed tuned for that!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Video: Darkroom Process, Bleaching, Toning And Washing

A little walk through my darkroom process. I am doing the secondary processing of my archival prints tonight. I decided to post these vids on youtube as the quality is a bit better there. Here are my first few fun attempts at making a few darkroom vids.  Youtube also has a much larger audience, the vids might help the work and also might encourage people to go back to working in the darkroom. Hopefully people can enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed making them, the darkroom can be a great  and fun place to be!

Little talk through the process:

Toning snippet:

Fun one (Hammer Time!):

Darkroom Work Video And Digi Photos

Playing a bit with my new point and shoot digi camera. Here are some photos from tonights darkroom session.

Monday, February 4, 2013

And Yet Another Photo Project Idea

Well its another day and I have another idea for a photography project! (whats that? 10 different series in the planning?). Tonight while reading CNN online I saw the photograph below with a story on Hillary Clinton and came up with an idea for a series I might try to do. What If I took a large format camera possibly the 8x10 and did head shot portraits of the girls who are part of this recovery centre (or another similar centre). The photographs would be head shot portraits and tell their story by looking close up at the facial expressions and eyes of the girls.. I could then print them large to 20x24 on a warm tone paper highlighting their humanity, innocence and the effect of the abuse on them. The work would be an attempt at extremely compassionate close up portraiture. 

Getting access to make the photos might be difficult, the people who run the place (rightfully so) are no doubt extremely protective of the girls who stay there. Working with the girls might be difficult also because of the abuse they have faced and communication difficulties. They would most likely be Cambodians or Vietnamese speakers, I can speak a  tiny bit of Khmer but know no Vietnamese, this might lead to more language tapes.

If I got a international or large city Canadian show I could include information detailing where donations could be made to help the center and the victims of sex trafficking. I could also put links on my blog or anywhere else online the work is shown that would direct people to where they could donate some money to help the centre. Maybe the photographs would help raise awareness and more practically maybe the work could raise money for the center.

"Lost Innocence" might work as a title for this work as well, this project is very similar to my other idea to photograph women who work the gogo bars of Thailand and the Philippines. I wonder if I could incorporate audio recordings somehow, have them telling their stories in their own words. First let them speak in their own voice and language on the tape, hen blending into an female English translator? More thought needed.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a 2010 tour of a shelter run for sex trafficking victims in Cambodia.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Things Are Coming Together

Well the "The Train Is Coming" show is coming together nicely. I have the mats cuts for the most part, I might need a few things cut here and there, the frames are ready for pickup next week, thou I still have to put them together. I am coming along with the printing, step by small step, and I have 3 long weeks left to finish things up. I also have 2 more boxes of 16x20 photo paper being shipped in from Winnipeg, I should have those next week sometime.

I still have to write up the opening wall statement and scan the show photo (not sure which to use yet), but overall I am pleased with the progress.

Here are some digi photos of prints that will probably be in the show, some with over mats cut.

The bottom two are the same images under different lighting, I kin\nd of like the warm toned one better. Warm tones in portraits some how makes people seem more real to me, more alive.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Working Out Towards Making New Photographs

I have so many plans for what I want to do with my photography, what I want to photograph, how I am going to do it etc etc. One thing I often forget is that I need to be physically able to do it. I need to take better care of myself and get better physically fit for the challenges to come. I am 48 years old, 6 foot 2 and a whopping 246 pounds. I need to bring down that 246 number to at least the 220 area. If I continue gaining wait like I have been I will be a big ball of fat when I am in my 60s, it will be impossible to carry an 8x10 camera in Asia unless I drop weight and work on my physical conditioning. It will be impossible to chase down the photographs I need to make if I continue to be so un fit.

I need to eat better and to work out more, slow but sure I need to proceed forward. Its like learning a new language, do a bit everyday, and little by little you achieve your goal.

Today's routine was 90 sit-ups, 90 push ups, 30 minutes of stretching and I controlled my eating. Tomorrow is another day, need to keep my discipline, its for making pictures after all!