Friday, September 30, 2016

Email: Apples

I have been in Radium Hot Springs (British Columbia) relaxing the last few nights, here is an email I sent to a friend.

Saw something rather cool tonight. A heard of bighorn sheep came to our hotel parking lot in Radium. Just outside the hotel is a barbecue area with a bunch of trees. Eventually a large group of big horns gathered and the biggest male (balls a swinging in the wind) with large very curved horns started ramming a tree. I could hear and see him repeatedly attackin the tree with his head/horns, thump! thump! THUMP!. At first I thought he was pissed or something, establishing his maleness, as males tend to do. But then I realized what he was doing was knocking down apples from the trees. He would ram his head against the trunk until the apples fell, sometimes 4 or 5 times in a row then everyone would feast.

The two largest and oldest males would bump heads sometime the crack would be quite loud, it was more aggressive than with the trees. Those bangs would be alpha male dominance type stuff. It is surprising how strong these creatures are, stocky and muscular. They could do some real damage if they charged a man.

Amazing animals.


120mm "Forgotten Laughter" And Other Trip Shots #16

Some more from the last trip to Thailand in April-May 2016.

Boy taking bath in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Dump dog, Mae Sot Thailand April 2016
Chimiko in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Family from the dump, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
Woman on street, Bangkok Thailand April 2016
Young girl in front of dump shack, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Smiling man in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
Cow skull in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April -May 2016
Man carrying bag of bottles in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Happy child near her dump home, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Photo Story: Young Muay Thai Boxer

This photo was made in the Klong Toey Muay Thai gym in Bangkok. I photographed in this gym numerous times over the years, probably over 15 times. The boys in the gym are sometimes orphans and often come from poor parents, some with substance abuse issues. Most of the young boxers that I know at the gym (there is a very high turnover) are great kids until they get into the ring. In the ring, when the competition is on they become TIGERS!

This picture was shot with a Leica M6 rangefinder and I think a 28mm F2 lens. The film was Tri-x pushed to 800 and then given STAND development for 2 hours in Rodinal 1/50. Agitation in STAND is given for the first 30 seconds then very lightly for 1 minute (swirls like in a wine glass) ever 30 minutes.

Young boxer, in ring at the Klong Toey Muay Thai, Bangko

120mm "Forgotten Laughter" And Other Trip Shots #15

Some more photos from the last trip.

Woman working the dump garbage, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Young Chimiko in his family shack at the dump, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
Young Klong Toey  slum child, Bangkok Thailand April 2016
Young girl fishing in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Budda picture in the dump #1, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Railway trracks KLong Toey slum, Bangkok Thailand April 2016
Buddhist picture #2 i then dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Little Chimiko, son of the birde and groom, Mae Sot Thailand April - May 2016
Laughing baby in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
Doll at Buddhist shrine, Klong Toey Slum, Bangkok April 2016

Sunday, September 25, 2016

View Camera Workshop Scheduled

Have a  view camera workshop scheduled for the 14th. The student seems like a very dedicated person, they are driving all the way up from Calgary (3+ hours there and 3+ hours back). I will use the money $150 towards the purchase of 120mm film for my next trip. Promoting photography, buying film to make more pics, wins all round.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Links: Bought Me A Tempest Alto Saxophone

I bought a new alto saxaphone! I decided to pay a bit more, intially was thinking to get one for around $500 CAD, ended up paying $1095 and a few bucks for tax and shipping. Dad always told me to pay a bit more to get something better and to not buy garbage. This saxophone is obviously too much instrument for a rank beginner like me but maybe with many years of work I can grow into it. If I do learn to play and love the instrument I can purchase a lower tone more expensive tenor sax later.

This is a lot of money for a non photo type buy thing but heck you only live once. I am 52 years old, if I want to learn to play an instrument before I die I better get off my fat ass and start! I have a aunt who I am close to who was recently diagnosed with skin cancer, she will be undergoing regular chemo and possibly experimental chemo. Life is too short to screw with, while I am healthy and have a chance I want to grab as much of it as I can. I always wanted to play a musical instrument, so today I thought why not! F-ck it, lets spend the money. This might lead no where and could be another case of wasted money but it also might lead to much personal joy, comfort and creativity! I decided not to live putting stuff off and HOPING to do it someday and jumped straight into this newest adventure.
The Saxophone I bought of Amazon'

I can now use YouTube and my security night gig (when no one is around) to practise, practise and practise some more. I will also no doubt have to take some lessons. Maybe in 5 years time I can make some music. Am quite excited by this chance, almost as excited as when I buy a camera :))).

Update* I wonder if someday I could write a song, a sax tune that expresses my feelings towards my father, our life together, losing him or possibly just a tribute song to dad. I could call it "Eddy's Blues". I am good at names but not so good at finishing projects I plan. Still it is a thought and a POSSIBLE future thingy that COULD, MAYBE, MIGHT happen.

For fun check these alto sax tunes:

The first by Charlez360
A beautiful solo - Marty Paoletta
"Georgia On My Mind"
A great tune to learn - Chris Gable
"Hotel California" 
Romantic sax solo - Indio See
"I Will Always Love You"
Professional Tempest Alto Saxaphone

Friday, September 23, 2016

Email: Music Man?

Sent an email to a friend this afternnoo, here is snippet from it:

With a rediscovery of Dupree's music I have been pulled back into the world of Jazz, a place I left in my late 20s. I bought a traditional record player (Vinyl) off Amazon and am listening to those beautiful rich sound in my darkroom. I pulled all my old albums out of storage, and have been buying Monk, Dextor Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane and Miles Davis (the last 2 Sonny's favs). Wondrous sounds filled with so much emotion and feeling, This is real music for me that connects on a personal level. I would compare it with the social documentary photography I try to do, about real lives and basic universal truths. It seems so simple but that hides its immense complexity.

Been thinking lately of learning (finally) a musical instrument. I have studied accordion and drums in my lifetime but those instruments never really connected with my heart. I am now thinking SAXOPHONE..there is a melancholy and beauty in the voice of that instrument I really love. I think it might be a bit easier for a beginner to start out on. I tried playing a trumpet back when I was in Oakland at Sonny's place (he owned one) and could not make a sound!!! Would take years of effort but learning the sax could add so much to a persons personal growth. It might also help the photographic growth. It would also just be simply relaxing, fun and rewarding.

You told me you wanted to learn an instrument before you died, what would that be? What type of music would you want to play? With what instrument would you play?

Note* Not sure how feasable this would be, but it would certainly be fun to try.
Alto Sax, there are also tenor, soprano, baritone bass versions
Check out the LOW sounding baritones here:
Baritone, Bass Saxophone Duet
Soprano, Bass Saxaphone Duet

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Help From David Burnett

Yesterday I sent an email out to the world class photojournalist David Burnett. I asked him to help me me with attaching a reflex viewfinder to my Speed Graphic Kodak Aero Ektar camera. On initially researching the camera I had found an online photo of Mr. Burnett's holding his. Today less then a day later he was kind enough to help me. He sent an email with details on the finder he used and the photo shop where I could get the necessary parts made to add it to the back of my camera.

The ironic part of this story is that in the first or one of the first photo mags I ever owned (Photo Life? American Photographer?) there was a story on a young photographer named David Burnett. At the time this article had a big influence on me. I remember thinking "I want to make those kinds of pictueres." Occasionally through the years I would stumble on something other written about Mr. Burnett which I would eagerly read. Now after all those years of knowing about this guy only through magazine stories I reach out to him for help and he responds the very next day. I guess I was right to admire and be influenced by him. Thanks David for your help, your a great guy!

David Burnett and his speedgraphic with Aero Ektar lens.

Link: Blown Away - Dupree Bolton Memory

I had a rather surreal blown away moment today when I got to work. It is a bit of a long story but I wanted to share it, here it goes.

Back in 1985-86 during my time in Oakland with Dupree/Sonny and the gang I went to see the movie "Round Midnight" with Dextor Gordon playing a down and out saxophone player named Dale Turner who was touring in France. In the movie Mr. Gordon who in real life was a world class jazz artist played a variant of his real life person. The movie story is about a young white man who admires and loves the Gordon characters music, he worships the man. He gets to meet his hero and tries to help him straighten out his life, he becomes a saviour of sorts.

When I watched the movie I empathized with the white dude character because in a way I was trying to do some of the same things with my friend Dupree. Loving his music, trying to understand his life, trying in my small way to help a bit. One day shortly after seeing the film I spoke to Dupree in Sonny's club "My Favorite Things". I told him about the movie and that we should go see it together. I had the naive idea that the movie would help change his destructive drug behaviour. Dupree asked what it was about. I told him it was a jazz movie about a saxophone player and that the story was about a young white man trying to help the older jazz musician, trying to help him through his drug addiction problem. I think I told him it stared Dextor Gordon, am pretty sure I did that.

When I told him the part about the white young guy trying to help the older jazz player, Dupree gave me a look, a look of surprise and a look of kindness (probably the closest moment we ever had). I think he made the connection I was hinting at, I the foreign white guy was trying to help him the older African American jazz player with an addiction problem just like the story line of the movie. At that moment Dupree knew I cared about him, knew how I felt about him. Maybe I am reading to much into a simple look but that is what I felt. There was something in his eyes I had never seen before, a softness. We never spoke of it again and never did see the moving together but I will always remember that short special exchange we had, an unforgettable memory.

So now the story takes its rather surprising turn. Today Sept. 22, 2016 I am sitting in my car before coming into work my security night shift. I open up the Dupree Bolton music CD "FIRE BALL" that I had just received. Inside the CD there was a 40 page booklet on Dupree's life. I flip through the pictures and there on page 31 is a 1982 photo of Dupree standing next to DEXTOR GORDON. Dupree knew the man! He knew Dextor Gordon the man who starred in "Round Midnight". He never told me! He no doubt played with Gordon at some point as the picture was made at Bianca's (jazz club?) in Oklahoma City. Heck they could have been best friends!

That just blew me away, the fact that Dupree had spent time with Dextor Gordon just 3 or 4 years before our conversation about going to see the film. Dupree was such a quiet guy, he kept everything so close to the vest, who knew?  Life is strange sometimes, who knows what twists and turns it will take. Who knew 30 years later I would sit dumbfounded in my car on seeing the Dupree-Dexter photo.

I am happy that Dupree knew I cared, knew I worried about him and knew I wanted to help. I am happy to finally know and hear Dupree's real music. I am also happy to know that he played with some of the all time greats like Dextor Gordon.

Below is the trailer to the movie "Round Midnight" You can hear a bit of Dextor Gordon's tenor sax.
"Round Midnight" Starring Dextor Gordon

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another Show Rejection For "Forgotten Laughter"

Today got another gallery rejection for the "Forgotten Laughter: Families of the Dump" photographs. Their story it seems will never be told after yet another failure on my part to get that job done.

The little boy child below is "Chimiko" he is the young son of the bride and groom. This poor child lives in abject poverty, he has loving parents but not much else. He runs around half naked in the garbage and shits on the ground in front of his lean-too home. I watched one time as his mom used an old CD to pick up his waste and throw it into another part of the dump maybe 20 feet away from where the family slept.

I fucked up once again and yet again failed to tell this child's and the other children's story, the pictures were not good enough to be seen, their stories remains untold. No one gives a fuck and I did not make them care enough to show the work which is the job of all social documentary photographers. Some finacial-food-clothing-work equipment-education etc. help was given to the families through donations. but the project from a photographic level is a failure. As the person who made the pictures that failure falls on me. I let the children, the families and the people of the dump down.

Little Chimiko after his cry in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Here is the newest generic rejection email:

Dear Gerry,
Thank you for sending your submission to the Art Gallery of Regina.  The selection committee reviewed all submissions from the last deadline. We appreciated the opportunity to view your work. I regret that I can’t book your show at this time. This decision was in no way is a reflection on the quality of your work. We book our exhibition schedule two to three years in advance and have many factors to consider for our programming schedule.

We wish you the best of luck with your project.

----- ---
Art Gallery of Regina

Jazz Maxx, Gerry Yaum Super Article Link???

Gosh found this today. Not sure it is a SUPER article but it sure is a SUPER memory for me. The photo and link was on the jazz blog site, Funny how quickly things spread online. A few days back I posted the story on Dupree and now "Gerry Yaum's Photo Blog" site is linked to "Jazz Maxx and other jazz sites. Go figure!

I keep wondering what Dupree would think of all the attention he is getting now. My and Dupree's friend Sonny Land would probably get a big kick out of it. He loved Dupree's music before many others did. Sonny was a man who knew Jazz, thats for sure.

Dupree and the SUPER article link

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm F2.5 Lens With Speed Graphic Camera Has Arrived

Got My Kodak Aero Ektar 178mm F2.5 Lens With Speed Graphic Camera today.

The bad:
- There is no f-stop diaphragm on the Aero Ektar lens so I will need to shoot everything wide open  at F2.5. Not being able to change change the f-stops makes this lens a one trick pony.
- 90 mm Linhof lens is sort of lame and useless.
- 360mm Schneider lens has no shutter so will probably only be able to use it for wet plate if at all.

The good:
- The one trick the Aero Ektar creates a super cool bokeh picture. Tonight as I looked through the ground glass the lens seems to be creating images and a feel/emotion I have never seen/felt before. This lens is a truly unique piece. The glass is in very good condition, a lot better than the many versions of this lens I see on eBay. Many of the ebay Kodak Aero Ektar's havesuffered heavy mold, scratch, body damage etc.
- The lens also seems to have a 82mm filter ring fitted to it. I believe this is a later adaption to the lens. I should be able to use it with filters if I want to.I could at least might put on a UV filter to protect the lens. I wonder if that will affect the bokeh in any way.
- The 2 pinhole devices included should be fun to play with.
- The 100 sheet box of outdated (2010) Efke 25 4x5 is unopened. I might be able to sell it on eBay for a few bucks or use it myself for fun. Not sure if they make this film anymore.
- The 5-4x5 holders loaded with Velvia are fine, can always use more holders.
- The Speed Graphic camera body is in great shape outside of a crack on the ground glass. I should be able to use it for years in combo with the Aero Ektar. I bid on the auction for this camera/lens combo and I got a working unit.

The overall rank of this auction seems about a 7 or possibly 8 out of 10. I did not pay too much money and got a working Kodak Aero Ektar lens and camera, you got to love that. When I make the first good picture I will forget about all costs associated with this purchase. Pictures talk to me so when those pieces come along everything else fades. I will probably have to use this camera lens on a tripod as it is rather heavy and the depth of focus very very VERY shallow. Some people hand hold this type of unit, not sure I can, maybe at fast shutter of 1/500 or 1/125 and much practise with the focusing. This could be a very important future portrait lens, that I might try to use exclusively on a project/exhibition.

I might try placing a Linhof focusing hood on the camera body like photographer David Burnett has on his camera. I might also replace the glass ground glass with a my preferred plastic version.

David Burnett With His Speed Graphic And Kodak Aero Ektar

Several Possible Workshops

I have several possible teaching photography workshops lining up. Hope some of these come through, it has been a rather slow year for workshops.

I have interest for another workshop from an old friend and student Stu along with a gentleman from Calgary and another from far far off Atlanta Georgia. The man from Atlanta has friends here so he would come to Canada and multi task a visit to BC and a workshop in Edmonton. He found out about my work online through YouTube (guess he is a fan of the photography and has watched the videos multiple times).

Not sure if any of these 3 workshop teaching possibilities will come through. If any do thou its a good thing. I can help promote the beauties of film photography and as a side make a bit of money to buy film for my own work. I would like to buy 100 or so rolls of 120mm Tri-x for my next trip. Teaching more workshops leads to wins all round!

Dupree And Me "All That Jazz", A Write Up?

Got this short email this afternoon, there might be a online write up about Dupree Bolton"s story, a story about our time together. Here is the short email I received:

Would you like me to write up an article on Bolton and you for All About Jazz?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Developed My First Sheet of 11x14 HP5

Finally did the development on the single sheet of 11x14 HP5 I shot at "Cross Lake" a month or so back. Developed it in a tray with Rodinal 1/100 for 20 minutes at 20C.  The neg looks thin again, maybe a BF or development issue (I believe I got the exposure right). The other problem is as predicted the holder issue, I could not fit the film in well or after making the exposure close the dark slide properly. There is about a 1 inch fog on the side of the neg where that holder issue took place. I will need to fix the holders before using them again. So far so good with 11x14. That camera also seems to be functioning at 100% with a light tight bellows etc. I need to figure out my negative density issues (development times-agitation in a tray), and fix up the holders.

I have an option to buy 4 -11x14 and 2-14x17 holders for a cheaper price from this same seller. I will probably go with the 14x17s not sure on the 11x14s just yet.

Things are coming along slowly but surely on my ULF learning curve. Brick by brick builds the Grand Cathedral.

More X-Ray FIlm Thoughts

I extended my development on the last  X-Ray film sheets to 10 minutes which helped a bit with the density of the neg while adding minor contrast. Next time out I will try exposing the film at 10 ASA and and develop at 10 minutes (in a tray) to see how that turns out. Eventually if I use this type of film to do a portrait series I may confine myself to the 1 sided emulsion X-Ray film I learned of a while back as that will scratch less. I have some 8x10 sheets of that film in my freezer so will give those a try before ordering the more expensive 14x17 size.

I developed this last batch of X-Ray stuff under a dim yellow darkroom safelight (online recommendation) which did not fog the film. It was a rather strange experience, one of the bonuses of X-Ray film I guess, they are not sensitive to that type of light.

Even when the negs are underexposed you get a cool warm tone Ambrotype feel to the images when they are washed in a black plastic washer. I will try making some contact prints on RC paper in the coming days from these negs.

Here is a link to the various 8x10 X-Ray films I am going to play with, the Carestream stuff is the one sided emulsion style mentioned above.

Underexposed X-Ray negative
Badly underexposed X-Ray negative

First Tries At X-Ray Film

Shot my first 4 sheets of 14x17 X-Ray Green sensitive film on Saturday, developed them today. For a first attempt shot in the dark type thingy the film turned out OK, seems a tad thin, not sure if that is what X-Ray film should be like or if I underexposed or underdeveloped a bit (probably under exposed).

This is my procedure on this first attempt.

- shot and exposed at 50 ASA (maybe under did the bellows factor by 1/2 a stop)
- developed 1/200 for 6 minutes 30 seconds in Rodinal, constant slow agitation, flipping the film ever 45 seconds or so.
- Stop 30 seconds, fix 6 minutes (hardening fixer), Hypo Clear 5 minutes, wash 5 minutes. I ran the film through fairly fast to try and avoid scratches. X-Ray film scratches very easily.
- Dried in my negative drying cabinet.

The neg looks thin to my eye but also holds what seems to be lots of subtle detail. I will try making some contact prints later this week. The film has a blue tinge to it which is a bit off putting and rounded corners. I think thou it should work great for my proposed portrait work. I might try exposing it longer in daylight. The trick is if there is more blue light then you get more exposure, if you get less you need longer exposures (not sure how to judge that!).

The great bit of news in these experiments is that my new 14x17 camera performed very well, no bellows light leaks or such. I will continue to fix up the camera here and there, and figure out the best working systems such as moving the person subject closer or farther from the camera instead of trying to move the huge camera and tripod : ))

Anyway a good deal all round for my first attempt. I am happy. Here are a few pics:

Camera set up in my campsite
Washing X-Ray film neg 
The rather thin neg reflecting me.
Update* On arriving home I found my rather expensive 14x17 Chinese made dark cloth waiting for me. I hope I can use this for the 16x20 and 11x14 cameras also. I will no longer have to use the shitty semi transparent grey cloth like in the above pics.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dupree Bolton Update-He Gave Trumpet Lessons!

I got an nice email today from a man who also knew Dupree Bolton, here it is. Isn't the internet a wonderful place!

Note* I edited the gentleman's name to protect his privacy.

       I read your article in Jazz Wax about Dupree Bolton with great interest.   I am a trumpet player in LA, and knew Dupree.  In fact, I had a trumpet lesson with him, probably about in 1986.   He had just gotten out "of detention" and came out here, where he had spent a lot of his younger years.  He was an old friend of my jazz teacher, George Lewis, a great pianist.  Anyway, George introduced me to Dupree, and I wound up having a very good trumpet/jazz lesson with him.  He didn't stay in town for very long; shortly afterwords, he moved up to the Bay Area, where I heard that he was playing in the streets for tips.  He went up there with a sax player named, Clifford Woods.
     Back in the '80's, I met and hung out with quite a few older, African-American musicians and music fans.  There was among them a strong identity with the jazz culture of the 1950's when they were all young adults, and the music was in a near constant state of stylistic innovation.   It was a great thrill for me to be a part of that scene in the '80's, particularly as I was originally an "outsider": from Indianapolis and Jewish.
    Of course, the tragic issue in almost all of their lives was drug addiction and alcoholism.   Very few of them made it to 60 years old, including my teacher.
    There is also a Harold Land album, in which Dupree is playing; as well as a video from a tv show, viewable  on youtube, in which he is playing, I believe, with Curtis Amy.
    Best regards,
                         E----- C----

And My Reply

Thanks E----- for the great story. I did not know he gave lessons. Heck until a little while ago I thought I was the only one who knew the man had existed. When I knew him he was playing in San Fran Chinatown for money form tourists. This was when I was 21-22 years old so around 1985-86. I left Edmonton when I was 21 and came back 6 months later. 

Thanks for the update on Dupree and a bit of behind the scenes history. Sonny the man I mention in the story had a closed down jazz club/restaurant that I hung in with Dupree (he would shoot heroin there at times as would several others). The club was called "My Favourite Things" after the  great John Coltrane piece. Sonny (Sonny Land) taught me much about Jazz, he was a huge Miles Davis and John Coltrane fan and understood jazz much better than I did. He told me that Dupree was good, not Miles level good but still very good. I never realized he was as good as he turned out to be. Dupree always treated me with respect so liked the guy quite a bit. I can still remember his voice, very low, unique sounding. I have seen the youtube video you mentioned, I hardly recognized him. He looked almost nothing like that man in the video when I knew him. What might have been without the drug use.

I have some photos of him playing on the street in Chinatown, will try to send some to you later if I can get them scanned, nothing special but you will get a bit of a feel for what his life was like. I know what you mean about being an outsider. I was this Canadian white kid in a African American American (west Oakland) ghetto with all these different people. Strange thing was they allowed me to be there and allowed me to fit in, made me a friend. 

Writing this I remembered one other thing Dupree said to me. He told me that his people could not make up their mind what to call themselves...he said FIRST WE WERE NEGROS, THEN COLOURED, THEN BLACKS NOW AFRICAN AMERICANS! WE CAN'T MAKE UP OUR MINDS (or words to that affect)..He thought that was funny and strange, he shook his head and smiled when he told me that. 

I remember him as being a loner, a guy who kept mostly to himself but I also remember these little moments in time, fun moment, real stuff. I remember one sad thing he told me...THAT THE DRUGS TOOK AWAY HIS APPETITE AND HIS SEX DRIVE..which I understand is common. I also remember that he loved to play real music just for the sake of hearing it, like the time he brought in a piano player and they played just for themselves and for me as I was sleeping nearby (that was in the jazz club mentioned earlier "My Favourite Things" So even thou he was a drug addict and a man who was wasting away bit by bit, he still played at times for the sheer joy of the music.

You got to love that.

Thanks again Gerry

Friday, September 16, 2016

Link: Chemistry Buys

I did a big chemical buy of Kodak D-76 and Fixer yesterday from my local photo supply store McBain Camera.  Came away with something like 19 bags of D-76 and 14 of Fix. Luckily I got the old price which was still on the packages. The old price was substantially cheaper then the new cost will be. Each bag I think is going up around $5-$7 a package. Been buying at McBains for most all of my photo life, almost 40 years now. I think thou that might be it for my darkroom chemistry. Stopped buying photo paper there years ago for the same reason, rising prices.

A few minutes ago I did my first online buy of D-76, Fixer and 3-5 litre bottles of Ilford's rapid fix from B&H in New York. With free delivery from the States and the cheapest prices available B&H Photo Video seems the likely place I will get my chemistry for the rest of my darkroom life. I also have the option of mixing everything from scratch in the coming years. I would just need to buy bulk chemistry and mix D-76, Dectol, Fix etc. by hand.
B&H Chemicals

Haunted By Glass PIctures

The look and feel of clear and coloured glass photographs have started to overwhelm my thoughts. I have always loved metal based wet plate like tintypes and alumitypes etc but there is something truly special about having an image on glass. An image you can see as both a negative and positive by twisting and moving it a bit in the light. The 3 dimensional feel of it is so exciting and unique. It seems less like a photo and more like you have captured a piece of that persons soul INSIDE THE GLASS.

It is all so internal and subtle but these feelings towards the glass image excite and motivate me. The need to make photographs like this, my own Ambrotypes will propel me down the long difficult road of this very temperamental process. This feeling will get me off may lazy ass and working to create something special. Photography is always such a new and exciting journey for me, it continues with this my latest voyage.

This partially damaged Ambrotype of a young women, one of the cheaper ones I bought at  $12.35 USD, inspires and haunts me. I will carry this piece of glass with me the next few days, watch and think over the message it is sending me. It should lead me down an important inspirational pathway.

Haunting effect of photos made on glass

Thursday, September 15, 2016

120mm "Forgotten Laughter" And Other Trip Shots #14

Here are some of the last groups of scans. I still have some film to develop but the roll numbers are dwindling.

Note* Many of the children I have portraits of from the dump in this series of links have shaved heads. The shaved head can either because of their Buddhist faith or because of the lice problem in the dump.  I think more often than not their heads are shaved to remove lice or prevent lice from attaching to the child.

Smiling young girl in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
Young boy in dump, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Boy in dump, Mae Sot Thailand April 2016
Anapon homeless man laughing, Bangkok Thailand April 2016
Boy sitting in dump chair, Mae Sot April-May 2016
Young girl in front of her lean-two dump home, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
50 year old man (Old Man) in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand 2016
The old mans youngest son in the dump, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016
Baby in dump shack, held by his proud mother, Mae Sot Thailand April-May 2016
Young Chimiko (bride and grooms son) outside his dump lean-two home, Mae Sot Thailand May 2016

Blow Off The Dust, Lets Hear Some Music!

Went off into a deep dark and dusty closet to dig out my old records. I took out probably 30 or so, everything from Bronski Beat to BB King. Jazz, Classical, Rock, even the Disco LPs are back up and living! It will be a joy to be listening to all my old friends again.

Check out the band Bronski Beat and the great song I just listened to "Tell Me Why" about homophobia. Their first hit "Small Time Boy" is also moving and powerful, about gay hate, intolerance and bashing people because of their sexuality. Why do we so fear those that are different than us? The power of music and of photography can help unite and eliminate those perceived differences. Art can highlight our shared humanity.
"Tell Me Why by Bronski Beat"

First Try At X-Ray FIlm

Going to try to shoot 4 sheets of X-Ray film in the next few days. The film is green sensitive Agfa NIF 100, I got 100 sheets of it off eBay for $88 USD plus shipping. Will take 2 portraits and 2 landscapes on a trip I am making to Jasper on Friday.

I loaded 4 sheets quite easily into my holders and spent most of the rest of my morning researching possible development methods, times, chemistry and the ASA for shooting in daylight.

I will try this to start:
- 50 ASA in daylight
- Rodinal 1/200 for 6 minutes 30 seconds in a tray.
- Will be very careful of scratching during the wet phase. This film has a double sided emulsion (some X Ray films only have emulsion on one side) and is very susceptible to scratching when wet.

Lets see how this goes. If this X Ray experiment does not work for me will use only film and wet plate in my 14x17 ULF camera.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photo Idea: Hanging Glass Exhibition Portraits

After looking over a newly arrived Ambrotype of a Victorian lady I had a photo exhibition idea. Why not do a series of glass plates, large plates, 11x14 or larger and hang them (not sure how) in a gallery space for exhibition. I could have black-brown-burgundy on the walls around the image and the viewer could walk around the images and see the true beauty of Ambrotypes on glass. Portraiture, Ambrotypes, 3 dimensional display, this idea could work on so many different exciting levels.

Victorian lady, what the clear glass and brown velvet backed glass looks like
How to make the glass plates? One thought occurs, I could do 4x5 transparency portraits in the new Speed Graphic camera with the great bokeh Kodak Aero Ektar. Then I could make the large Ambrotype plates in the darkroom where I would have total control.

This newest idea might go no where or might end up being something grand! My friend Larry often talks of a show he loved. He saw super large Daido Moriyama prints dramatically hanging in spotlight inside a completely darkened hall. Another example, one time I saw smaller images (glass?, forget now) hanging in a gallery in New Orleans, they were impressive. The thought that the viewer could interact with the portraits, walking around them, seeing them on the glass as both negatives and off the walls as positives, is very appealing. Throw in compelling subject matter like brothel workers "Lost Innocence" or children working and living in a garbage dump "Forgotten Laughter" and you might have a very strong, moving and important  interactive show.

More thought needed on this.

Note* I have lots of 4x5 transparency film, way outdated that might work for this idea. I have trying to figure out a way to use this stuff up for years. Probably have over 500 sheets of various types.  I could also shoot 120mm transparency in a camera like my other newby the Mamiya RZ67. With positives (transparencies) of any kind you can make up Ambrotypes in the darkroom.

Update* You can can get most anything and learn most anything online now. This idea could happen, I have the camera, the film, can do the Ambrotypes and can get the E-6 chemistry to develop the slides. I might be able to use the techniques outlined in the second link to hang the plates. I would have to put the glass plate Amobrotype in a wood or metal frame before hanging. I could attach the hanging wire to the frame.
Argentix (Based in Quebec) E-6 And Other Colour Chemical Options
Hanging Stain Glass

Update ** Here is a link to some glass hanging supplies. Suction cups might also be an option for the lighter and smaller plates (2-3 per glass plate). If the Ambrotypes fall then they fall, I can always make another one in the darkroom. It would be important to hang everything securely to avoid any falling glass injuries.
Glass Hanging Supplies

Update*** Maybe I could call this hanging contraption of Ambrotypes, an Ambrolight (it is sort of like a chandeler).
Hanging stain glass samples

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Old Is New Again! Back Listening To LPs

Got my record player-turntable today, just hooked it up and it sounds wonderful. I am playing some classical music (Beethoven) I got at the Good Will store for a few dollars. I will now be able to spend hours and hours listening and printing in the darkroom. My turntable is a Denon DP-300F, I got it off Amazon for $369.99 CAD with free shipping.

Music is such a wonderful art form, ranks just below the visual arts in my personal scale of things. I can't wait to listen to 20 inches of recently purchased albums. I  bought them at Goodwill, various pawn shops, Value Village and the like for 50 cents to $4 for an album. I also have a bunch of old records (if I can find them) I want to re-hear again including such diverse artists as Bronski Beat and BB King in concert. When Dupree's jazz album comes in the mail soon I can immediately hear it. This is going to be FUN!

How long will  this machine last before breaking down? Hopefully 10 years+. So much joy will be had in the dark, listening to music and printing photographs. Memories flowing freely, feelings overwhelming me. I will dance and sing and swear and scream. What joy! Such is the darkroom world to me.

"Ain't Life Grand!"

Note* Originally I planned on getting a cheaper model turntable for around $150. I cancelled that order and paid about 2 times that price to get this Denon. It is not up to a audiophiles need level but this machine should work well for me.

Update** I now feel LPs do sound better than CDs and certainly way better than MP3s or cassettes.

Denon DP-300F

Monday, September 12, 2016

HOO, HOO, HOO!! - We Are "OWL"

Had a great meeting tonight with the boys from my photo group "owl". Yes we finally decided on a name. We wanted something simple and unpretentious. The intelligent, big eyed, all seeing, all hearing hunter  "THE OWL" came up (thanks Jan) so we went with that.  I wanted to stay away from pretentious (we are so important) word play when using words like Guild or Collective in the name. I argued we keep away from such SILLINESS and POMPOSITY! "owl" (small text) has no literal meaning, it is what it is, it is our group of photographers, nuff said on that. We are "owl".

There will be an "Instagram" page set up in the future under a name connected to "owl", the term will also be in all our hash tags. Me being the social media great that I am, I learned what "HASHTAGS" are tonight!

A fun meeting tonight, 7 guys attended and it was hosted at the Derrick Country Club on the South side of the city (a very nice place0. We projected and spoke about images from a major project, photographing various neighborhood's in the city. This first area chosen was around 118ave.  It is nice hanging with these guys, were looking to get some ladies into the group. All the members are very serious about their photography and we sort of feed off each others passion.

Cool note of the night I learned of a boxing gym that is located on 118 ave. Dan one of are members told me about it. I might try to photograph in the gym at some future date. The place is called the "Avenue Boxing Club".

My photos from the first joint project are below. Tech note, Canon 5D Mark II.