make photographs like it is the last time

sometimes i make a photograph and it is the last time i see whatever it is i am photographing.

 

this is a gas station that was on this corner for decades, and it was torn down in 2011

to make way for a new gas station.  the new gas station was a giant self service kind of place, it has

something like 10 or 12 pumps and a shack in the middle.  it has no ” character or charm ”   it is just a gas station.

 

before the station was built i wanted to photograph the old one.  i wanted to photograph the building and lights because when

they tore it down i wouldn’t be able to remember what was there.  i’d eventually forget like most people what it was like

how shabby, run down and  dirty it was.  the gas station wasn’t one of a kind, and it didn’t win any awards for uniqueness, but

in this day and age of cookie cutter everything, it was kind of nice to see something that was from maybe the 1940s or 50s, from the

last cookie cutter age.  this filling station lasted maybe 50 years, i don’t think the new station they put in its place will last half that long.

it will  look shabby and run down faster and that’s ok because it really didn’t take as much effort to make.

there is no polished ceramic tile, or gull wing lights, its just a least effort gas station.

maybe in a few years when it starts to look bad and maybe have some character, i might decide to photograph it.

 

gas station sandy lane

torn down 2011

Posted in photographs

10 year old epson 4870 vs all in one epson xp-640

i do my best to listen to people who know more than me and try to be informed whenever i purchase something new.  recently i had to do a little research because our canon printer pixma 4200 stopped working.  it wasn’t a high end printer but not the bottom of the barrel and it lasted about 11 years.  i went online and tried to unclog the head but it didn’t do much good, so, after looking around to try to find something that might print “stuff”  decided to get an epson xp-640.  it looks about the same size as the canon but it is higher.  it has a scanner built in ( no transparency lid ) and works as a “copier” and scans to a file.  i have never really been a fan of these all in one printers, i thought they were a good way to buy something with “extra stuff” that might not even be useful, and i was wrong.  first off, the scanner uses wifi so i don’t need to deal with cables, which is great because i don’t really want all these cables.  the ink is pretty affordable.  no, i’m not being paid by anyone to say that.  with the canon, i was buying all the inks about once every 6 months.  it cost me about $70-80 to buy the ink, canon ink, not off-brand that might clog my printer head ( i know, it clogged the head anyways .. )  the epson printer cost less than the inks i would have bought for the canon, and the replacement tanks cost a fraction of what the canon was costing me.  when i asked the sales guy, and a friend at a camera store, what sort of lifespan i should get out of the printer and scanner i was told a few years, so i bought the extended warranty too, for a few dollars extra so if something does go wrong, it isn’t pro rated and i get a replacement/$$. i used to have an epson printer, before the canon, and i kind of liked it, so i was looking forward to setting it up and using it.  i had a little trouble with the wifi, so i called and someone at epson helped me set it up, and it was painless.

before i bought the printer i talked to a friend i trusted at a camera store and asked him about the scanner.  i have been using a 4870 for about as long as i had been using the canon, so i am used to it, and like how it has a transparency lid big enough to scan a 5×7 negative.  i have never really had trouble with scans not looking OK, and it has  treated me well over the years.  i have had problems with it over the years and had to take it apart from time to time.  i found information online that helped me when i  needed it.  i was able to wipe the schmutz out from under the glass and clean it, and i was able to lubricate the scanning bar when it was making a clunky noise.   that all happened a few years ago, now i just dodge the little marks on the scan glass and i am used to “dust removal” as a necessity (with photoshop).  anyhow i asked my friend what the scanner on the printer was like and he said that it was probably at least as good as the 4870, seeing it was old and the printer/scanner is new.  i wasn’t really sure if i should believe him or not, after all sales people like to sell things.

 

i have a cyanotype i made a few weeks ago and i scanned it with the 2 different scanners, and 3 different drivers.  the epson 640 / epson scan 2, ( the bundled software that came with it ) vuescan /640, and the 4870 / epsonscan ( the bundled software that came with it ).  to be honest, i thought the scanner was going to be weak, after all it is an “all in one that cost something like 80$ ” so i set the bar low …

i have to admit it scans as good as the 4870, and vuescan is fantastic, i can’t say enough nice things about that product.  i bought vuescan BEFORE i bought the 4870 when i had an acer scanner and no driver, so something like 12  years ago i bought vuescan and have updated it flawlessly, over the years.

i’ve made a collage of the 3 scans from the two scanners, and can not tell any of them apart.  i originally scanned the envelope at 1200dpi and enlarged the bottom of the glass that says “anchor” and they all looked pretty much the same.  i put the vuescan image as the base, the 4870 as the top of the glass ( bottom of the image ) and scan 2 as the bottom of the glass/top of the image.

 

i guess the moral of the story is that all in one scanner/printers can be pretty nice, even if they cost 80$, maybe have a 2-3 years lifespan and you are a skeptic.

 

scanner show down

epson 4870 and all in one 640

Posted in Misc. Tagged , , |

more providence ri

i live not to far from the jewel of new england

and have taken up making digital photographs

of the skyline, and soon to be the pre 1950s architecture …

and making digital negatives at kinko’s copies

i’m not quite sure which i like better small or larger

i haven’t made a full 8×10 film negative yet, maybe with the right

image it will look nice, as is, i have made contact sheets and  1/2 8x10s

the camera has no issue, it would probably work OK even with a cheap cellphone snappy,

i’m certain film negatives would look great too.

 

here is the latest  …

 

1920s skyscraper, 1020s look

sun print digital negative

digital negative sun print

long view industiral natinal bank

sun print, digital negative

tower of the industrial national bank building

sun print digital negative

industrial national bank

digital negative

chimneys and roofs

kink

hybrid xerox negaive

Posted in photographs Tagged , , , , , , |

electric midnight blue

working on a new project i am going to call electric midnight blue

it uses a varient of the sunprints i have been making

these images were all made today in overcast sun in about 1-2 hours

next group will be cyanotypes, and thinking of making them really big down the road ..

for now they will be small

 

sun prints polymax rc

electric midnight providence

Posted in alternative process photography, Misc., photographs, technique and style Tagged , , , , |

contact sheets

aside from sending rolls of 110 or 127vp to the local drug store or fotomat, or mail away to yorks

i processed my own black and white film.  when i was in high school i learned about developing film,

and putting the developed, procesed black and white negatives into those plastic sleeves.  for the better part of 10 years

i put a sheet of photo paper under the developed film and exposed it in a bright light for  a few seconds, and then into the developer and fix and wash

like a lot of people, contact sheets were my go-to way of viewing negatives after they were shot, processed and ready to print.

i’d look at the sheets, and circle or “X” the views to print or not to print, and keep track of things.  in some cases the contact sheet is all i have left

after i had a flood and a bunch of my best negatives turned to clear film / emulsion soup.  as time wen ton

for some reason, maybe it was becasue $$ was scarce and i wanted to save my paper for prints, or because so many of my exposures were all over the place

that a contact sheet would only show part of the story, or maybe i just got lazy, and stopped making contact prints.  i got good at looking at the negative

and seeing the print reversed.  i saw the contrast and somehow decided it was good enough.

i miss making contact sheets, but unfortunately 27 years worth of procesed film to make contact sheets of ,or 4×5 or bigger negatives to make contact sheets of

is a daunting task and i would rather not bother.  back in the late 90s i bought a umax1200 scanner and it was fantastic.  it did everyting i needed, and i think

i still have it in a box.  it was nice becasue i could scann all size film upto 5×7.  and i started scanning film instead of making contact sheets and

it worked out as a good compromise.

i use a couple of nikon digital slr’s as well as film, they aren’t new but a d100 and d200,  they do what i need them to do, and i like that.  when i make a  bunch of exposures

i still make contact sheets of them believe it or not,  sometimes they are postiiveprooof sheets, and sometimes they are negatives.  today i wandered around the streets

or providence ri, and have plans for digital negatives.  i worked on the frames and turned them into contact sheets to bring to the xerox shop.

im not a machine gunner, i don’t click and look except once in a while to make sure the meter was working.   the camera is set to 1 frame at a time and

i take my time as if i am using a film camera.  if i had a film camera i would have shot just as many views and sat on the curb or stone wall to unload and load the camera

and maybe i would have runout of film.

 

i’ll be heading out to staples tomorrow to see what is what.  my local copy shop charges 10x what staples charges for regular copies, so whilei want to support my local shop

im not that rich.  i’ll be getting paper as well as OHP film to see if there is a difference and making cyanotypes soon.

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

contact sheet

walkabout

Posted in alternative process photography, Misc., photographs Tagged , , , |

TMY retina image

as i have been making long exposures again

here is another one on kodak tmax 400 film

this is a very long exposure,

reversed negative

tweeked levels and color removed and then tint added in photoshop

retina

multi hour retina image
reversed tinted with photoshop

Posted in alternative process photography, film development technique, Misc., technique and style Tagged , , |

stuff for sale

i typically buy, and never sell,

its time to sell off some of my stuff

 

polaroid procam  untested, $50

polaroid 1step with a bunch of old film $25

pentax auto110 camera, winder, tele, wide and normal lens, teleconverter
bunch of filters
bunch of film
ratty-pouch

toyo cx “KIT”

camera, recessed lens board, flat lens board, speed graphic to cx lensboard ( RARE, NOT MADE ANYMORE ) bag bellows  $800

 

silver magnets – 70$

trickle tanks  – 216$

 

cameras made to order to make retina prints  ( prices vary ) $30 and up

reproductions of original photography ( http://jnanian.imagekind.com )

Posted in Misc., things for sale

clarification

retina images are NEGATIVES made IN a CAMERA

sun prints are contact prints or photograms.

 

the images are ephemeral, they are not light safe, they usually turn whtie if fixed

they usually can not be developed or they turn black from the long exposure.

 

they can be made with dektol soaked paper, and sometimes loolk like they are COLOR photos, not BLACK and WHITE.

 

there are ways to fix them, but  its a lot of trouble so i don’t bother.

 

EVERY image that i have made is the result of a copying an original

with SCANNER and using PHOTOSHOP.

 

 

after the image is scanned, i treat it like any other negative.

invert ( postive>negative or neg>positive)

levels to adjust contrast since they get damaged/degrade from the scanner

cropping /straightening out  since i can’t put them perfectly in the scanner,or they were made with a camera i can’t compose with

desaturating/tinting / colorizing  i remove tone of the image and add color to make it more like a color image, or painting or something else

 

i call them retina prints after niepce’s experiments with silver chloride paper

http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/permanent/firstphotograph/niepce/

i don’t use silver chloride paper, but made with modern materials, handmade materials.

Posted in film development technique, Misc. Tagged , |

tmy 400 retina film negative

like the last image i uploaded

this one is also on photographic film

black white kodak tmy 400.

great film for all around photography.

it is also a nice film for making 2 hour long exposures.

2:30-4:30 sunday nov 27

made with a speed graphic and ilex seminat lens ( at 3.5 )

outside was bright, the plant was backlit, with very little room light on it

after 2 hours i grabbed the film and scanned it and inverted it, and tweaked the levels a bit

( i made a large slow scan and the film was extremely grey from the light beam )

instead of cropping the junk out of the image, i cropped the image in the film.

 

here it is:

retina image (film )

2 hours, inverted+levels tweaked in photoshop

 

it is kind of interesting that i was exposing this image today because i was having a online conversation on apug about transparancy of naming images and processes.

i found it strange that some folks make commercial photo paper paper negatives and refer to them as calotype or salt prints or talbot types and was asking what other people thought about

people.  and i was questioned about why i call these long exposed images retina prints.  a link to a post here was posted into the thread

and it was suggested that i am less than honest about how i describe these images.  it was suggested that these images, even just the negative is so different from

Nicéphore Niépce’s original process that it isn’t truthful that i call them the same thing.  it was suggested that i do not say the images were scanned

or inverted in photoshop,or that i tint the images in photoshop sometimes and add color,which all seemed a bit strange seeing i can’t imagine how i would get the images

on the internet without scanning them, and whenever i talk about these images i say they were inverted in photoshop &c.

maybe i shouldn’t call them retina prints?  but i can’t really think of what else to call them seeing they are pretty much the same thing

except i haven’t used salted paper, but have used everyting else under the sun ( glass, metal, plastic paper coated with bottled emulson or home made emulsion,

store bought photo paper ( rc or fiber based ) as well as color and black and white film.  maybe it is because the thing i am scanning is the retina image

and i don’t come right out and say “a scan of”  seems like it is implied whether i say it or not.  maybe i will just call them long exposed photographs instead

of a name game.

Posted in Misc., photographs Tagged , |

retina FILM print

yeah i know photo paper + retina print

but i have made retina film prints before

and even retina glass plate images too !

 

 

inverted, desaturated contrast-tweaked and a little brownish tone added

inverted, desaturated contrast-tweaked and a little brownish tone added

 

retina print

porch

 

today i made with ilford film  ( it seems  )

a retina print tinted.

 

you would think paper is so slow it would take a huge exposure for paper and none for film but

this film was exposed for at least an hour.  unlike the color film or plate experiment it was not 1-4 hours ….

and the results were OK but not like a super exposed image, unfortunately the sun sets early in the fall !

NEXT TIME i’ll do this in the am or early afternoon so i get more sun !

anyhow

here is the tinted ( photoshop! ) retina print

tweeted

inverted and colorized

Posted in Misc.

negative printing service

so, you are over a certain age, you know what old fashioned photographs are.

you know about or have heard about or have

seen a shoe box full of photographs that are tucked away in a closet, under the bed, in a cabinet

or in the basement … someplace, or maybe the prints are in a photo album.

they are physical objects, they are something you can hold in your hands, look at and enjoy.

until only a few years ago people sent film out to be developed

and it was returned in one of those envelopes that held negatives and prints.

nowadays some people probably bring a memory card down to the kiosk and fumbled with

the software, that’s great.  its important to make prints.

but, it can be a pain in the neck to make prints.

maybe you bought the ink jet printer and the prints don’t look like whats in the camera,

it makes the photos look all green or magenta or blue.  or maybe you bring your memory card

to the pharmacy and use the kiosk software, but is time consuming and a pain, and

even though they don’t come out all green or blue, the prints still don’t look like you hoped,

now, the files might be in the camera, or a full memory card, or usb drive

or on the computer and never printed.  sure, the images are sometimes shared on social media

but they are never seen or printed because the experience is so frustrating.

i have solution:  contact ME.

send ME your files and i will have the prints made for you.

i will do the photo editing and bring them to a lab i trust, you will get 4×6 or 5×7 prints.

i will send you a bill, and ship them to you.

you can put the prints in a frame, or give them as presents to family and friends, or put them in

photo albums or the shoe box, and pass them on.

cellphones + tablets

i know cellphone images, and iPad images are sometimes not what they seem.  they seem HUGE, like 90,000×45,000

but in reality they are about 3×4” if printed at a lab.  what if you want something bigger than 3×4?

I have a solution:  contact ME.

i will edit and enlarge cellphone images too so you can have 4×6 or 5×7” prints.

why send them to me?

i have been using photo editing software since the 1990s, and i have a lab that i trust.  i have worked

as a professional photofinisher, i am used to the whole process that might be a PITA to you.

i don’t mind editing and adjusting to make the images look good, and i will pass my 20+ years experience to you.

and … if you are interested in something a little special like a cyanotype print made from your digital files,

i will do that as well. convert your color images to black and white, we can work together

and i can send you the photographs or photo illustration you want.

Posted in photographs, things for sale Tagged , , , , , , , |

cyclone negative cyanotype

a couple of days ago i was making some more cyanotypes

i loaded up some contact frames with waxed negatives to see if

i could get a better print than i did with my old coated paper

some of those prints just didnt’ work out ..  and at the same time

i found an old hand coated paper negative made with the cyclone #3

a while ago, that was just sitting on the tabletop.  i had cleaned up quite a bit

a week or 2 ago:  i swept the floor;  i organized;  i put things away;  i stacked things;

i found things i hadn’t seen in a while.  the paper negative was a rediscovery, even though

it wasn’t really lost.  it seems like it was coated on xerox paper, it is thin and durable.  not sure

what emulsion is on it, maybe foma?  maybe my home-brew, not sure.  it has a nice contrast and look and

i stuck it in the contact frame.  the waxed negatives took a ton of time before to expose, so

i was banking on a day or 2 in the sun for all 3 of the cyanotypes.  it was a lot more diffuclt in late october because

the sun is low, and it moves across the sky differently than before, so i had to really follow the sun around with the print frames.

i did OK i suppose, but i was more in open shade than i was in the sun, and that is OK too.

the print is made from the same classic formula i coated the others with.  and after 2 days in the sun

i washed it in water and added a little hydrogen peroxide to finish the development, and eventually i painted

some areas of the print with dilute washing soda to give a yellowish hue to some areas.

anyhow, its the kitchen table and window and chairs.

not sure if i am going to add my own colors or leave it, the blue tones of cyanotypes are starting to grow on me.

 

classic, and blue

window table and chairs
classic cyanotype H2O2 to develop out faster as i always do, and a little washing soda to bleach and ad color

http://jnanian.imagekind.com/store/Images.aspx/e7b40dbc-7aba-4bf2-ae7f-355201cb53c4/RecentUploads

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper, using vintage equipment Tagged , , , , , , , |

the honey jar

there is a bee keeper on the other side of town i like to buy honey from.  i usually drive down his driveway

which looks like it isn’t really there from the head of the street, but you just make a left and follow the dirt road.

you arrive and there are honey bees flying around doing their thing.  if i was my younger self i wouldn’t be very

happy, i’ve been bitten by bees or yellow jackets and wasps and hornets when i was a kid, and i have a healthy

misunderstood fear about honey bees.  they just do their thing, its the other “stuff” that want to sting you.  just

yesterday i was talking with an old friend who told me about how he moved a school desk in his back yard

and a cyclone of thousands of yellow jackets came out and chased him inside.  he’s the same guy who told me a

story years ago, when i mentioned we had yellow jackets flying out of a hole in the ground, he told me about

hiking in california or someplace and stopping at an overlook of some sort and he heard the hum of high tension

wires / electricity.  he looked around and there were no power lines but he noticed yellow jackets coming out of

the ground.  he was standing on a giant hive …  he kind of kept walking and didn’t look back.

anyways, the bee keeper …

i’ve gone there a few times and told friends and family about him.  he goes by the name papa roger

in case you want some, or want to buy some bees or bee keeping supplies

https://sites.google.com/site/paparogersfarm/contact

the first batch of honey i got from him was in a big quart jar, and it was black as tar, and amazing.  the 2nd

batches were in smaller jars and the usual amber color.  we’re out now and i have to bring my jars

back to papa roger to be re-filled with his local honey.  some say that consuming honey is good if you

have allergies to pollen, hay fever &c.  im not sure if it is true, or not, i just like his honey.

this is one of the jars.

i made some cyanotypes from it.  i used fresh mixed cyanotype emulsion, the “classic” recipe

there are as many recipes for making classic cyanotypes as there are people who make them

the one i used:

50 g. Ferric Ammonium Citrate (8 oz. H2O)

Part B 35 g. Potassium Ferricyanide ( 8oz. H2O)

the blues are deep and dark and beautiful.  the cyanotypes i had been making the last few weeks

were made with pre-coated paper from 7+ months ago, i could see the difference immediately

the fresh coated, fresh made paper is more sensitive to light, and depending on the batch i used

the blue can be more intense.  the contrast is really high so i have decided to use the sun in open shade

if i can for at least part of the exposure and direct sun for part of the exposure, it gives a fuller image.

anyways here are 3 honey jars

3 jars

hydrogen peroxide added to wash water, then a tiny bit of washing soda.

Posted in alternative process photography, images on hand coated paper Tagged , , , , |

making color where there is only black and white

i’ve been toying with tri chromes, or tri chrome-esque photographs for a few years now.  i first learned about trichromes

after reading and seeing the photographs made by the russian photographer before world war 1.
(http://mentalfloss.com/article/29615/100-year-old-color-photos-pre-revolution-russia )

i knew this process existed, even before i saw those beautiful russian photos when i visited an uncle

and he told me you can take 3 black and white negatives, one with a red filter, one with a blue and one with a green

and print them on color paper together and make color photographs.  i never did this until a few years ago, and i was hooked.

 

i’ve even thought about buying an big old rickety camera that takes 3 exposures at once, but i’ve settled on an old polaroid

camera called a portrait land 600 that takes 6 exposures at once on a sheet of 4×5 film.  its a passport camera and was

given to me by my friend whitey, a collector of fun-stuff, and great photographer to boot !

well, this entry isn’t about making trichromes using black and white film, or black and white separation negatives

in-camera but something i have been trying to figure out for a couple of years:  how to take a regular black and white photo

and turn it into a  color one.  i figured it wasn’t one of those things that was super hard, after all ted turner colorized all those

classic movies, but it was something that i couldnt’ figure out until today.

i frequent dpug ( digital photo user group ) and have posted the question there but i always got complicated answers.  i made t

the mistake of doing the 10 day free trial for afinity photo ( i didn’t get it, long story short, no customer support ! ) and didn’t

get it, BUT i did manage to see interesting videos on how to do stuff, and one was a technicolor photo effect.  affinity doesn’t

work completely like photoshop, and i have been using PS since the 90s, so i was looking for hints …  it was extremely

complicated making layers and nesting cmy adjustment layers.  the guy made it look really easy though.

today i watched youtube photoshop tutorials for doing similar things.  one guy just gets rid of the blue layer and adds a green one

it was kind of fun.  another guy showed me how to make SIMPLE separatoin negatives.

so i took what i needed from affinity ( what levels to put the cmy levels ) and the simple separation files and this is what i did …

 

sorry i don’t have charts or graphs &c but it is pretty simple, and i have done it with b/w files and it was fun to turn them into color

photos …

 

you open your image file and get your channel / layers dialog box, and click color channels.  there is a little arrow and click it

and use the ” channel splitter ” it will give you 3 identical files labled red green blue  and for each one go to mode and change

them each from grey scale to rgb.  go to hue / saturation  for each file and click “colorize”

for red put the top slider at 180 (cyan ) for blue put the slider to 60 ( yellow ) and for green put it to 300 ( magenta ).

now select the whole image edit>copy  and file new and go into the channel palette and drop each file

into the individual color channels r -g-b and at then … there you go, you have a color photograph

or, sort of a color photograph

 

trichrome technique

centerville mill

Posted in technique and style Tagged , , , , |

this is a great piece of writing !

The Last Photo

 

i’m a little late to find this, but i did and i am posting it here.

i’ve made a lot of last photos, looking back at them they kind of make me feel sad.

but life goes on ..

Posted in photographs Tagged |