Category Archives: photographs

examples of latest photography i have been involved in

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

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 ..

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far away places

so many people need to go to far away places.  they save their money and materials and buy tickets or gas

they sign up for workshops in the desert or to someplace remote.  they  photograph for a week or a few days, return and loved their experience.

i’ve never been able to do that, and part of me is jelous of photo-safarians.

when i go to someplace i am not used to, i am struck by what i see, the unfamiliar sometimes overwhelms me.  that isn’t to say i can’t make any photographs, but

i’ll be on auto pilot and make exposures of what comes to mind, what might remind me of the familiar, things i am used to, things i am comfortable with — the usual.

a lot of what i photograph for the most part is the unfamiliar familiar.

i am usually within a short distance from where i live, or have spent a lot of time and i am familiar with the scene

that i am able to read it differently and notice things i hadn’t noticed before.  very much like a portrait photographer might make a portrait .

there are only a handful of head and face shapes, ways of making a portrait, and even if the person is a complete stranger, a portrait photographer is able to

not only make a familiar light and head position and camera position but make the person feel at ease.

 

its no too late to photograph things close by, things you know by heart, things you see every day but don’t bother because they are too familiar.

sometimes the familiar make the best subjects.

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wait 9 month or a year and see what happens …

i admit it, sometimes i don’t want to process film.  i get tired of standing there and agitating, or shuffling sheets in a tray in the dark.  i started doing stand development because i didn’t want to deal, my version of stand development only lasts for maybe 1/2 hour if i remember to come back in time, sometimesit lasts even more.  i use the same develop my every day film in, sumatra coffee, washing soda,vitamin c and some dektol.  i shake the bubbles off and leave.  sometimes i put of processing film for a few weeks or sometimes i am not very good and put it off for a few months, 9 or 10 months this time.

 

the film sat in a ziplock bag for all this time.  i would process sheets, i would develop paper negatives, i would make contact prints,  even make emulsions and developers from scratch, coat things, and develop them, but i wouldn’t process the rolls of film.  i’d think about it sometimes

painted cyanotype with watercolors

film reels cyanotype with watercolors

finally i processed the film, at least, some of it. i had about 15 or 20 rolls to get through, and i made it through 9 of them.  i loaded the film into the metal reels.  it took a while since i was out of practice.  some reels roll easier than others, and for the first time in a long while i had a few areas touch and not develop.  that’s ok.  after the film was hung and dried and sleeved i began scanning them.  i will eventually print them

but i figured scanning is as good a way as any to see what i have, so i scanned, and scanned and scanned. i remember most of the photographs, sort of. but not really.  it was a nice feeling to have distance.  there wasn’t any sort of importance or need or “i have to see this or that”  they were just negatives.

i remember seeing a show on garry winogrand years ago and how he exposed the film and left it for a year or more before he processed it.  ( i think there were 10 thousand rolls of film to process after he died. )  and i can see why he did what he did.  the distance adds to the editing process.  there isn’t a ” this exposure is going to be SO GOOD !” and process the film 20 seconds after it was unloaded. the film is just there and ready when you are, if it is good, its good, if it is bad, you probably don’t remember even making the photograph, so it is OK.

these photographs are from a handful of long walks i took.  sometimes they were made walking home from my mechanic;s place abotu 5 miles away.  i took 3 differnt routes home.  some were taken on the way or way back from picking up beer making supplies.  it was a road i used to travel often with a camera but no so much anymore.  time sat still and the places were virtually the same.

anyways … it’s ok to leave film for a while before you process it,

it mght even be a good thing.

 

colored black and whtite photo

colored black and whtite photo

shadow and textured wall

shadow and textured wall

retina print

retina print

run down fieldstone buildingjakes antiques

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writing about photography

in a recent interview with on the onwardphoto blog, jorg colberg spoke about the importance of writing about photography.

http://tinyurl.com/qalulvr   i couldn’t agree more with what he said.  often times people who make photographs have trouble talking about them.

i am guilty too … it is HARD to write about photography, but with a little practice it gets a little easier.

i have a series of portraits i have been making since i was 19 ( more than half my life ).  the project began years before and i didn’t even know it … when i was reading studds turkel’s book “working”, a book about people talking about what they do for work …  i began my project by cold calling businesses and asking if i could photograph people who worked there.  i was a fly on the wall, sometimes, other times i would have conversations with the subject to learn about what it was they were doing, and i would photograph where they worked too.  i documented  people that worked in slaugherhouses, were gravediggers, machineshop operators, mechanics, factory workers, butchers …  people from all walks of life.  i enjoyed talking with these strangers and learning about who they were, and creating almost a story that surrounded each portrait i took.  eventually i began photographing people on the streets as i wandered their neighborhood with a camera,  or where they had a late night snack, or breakfast.  i continued with these portraits, even letting them lead me into paying jobs photographing people for magazines and newspapers, and i never stopped interviewing my subjects to learn a little bit about them.

when i worked for a eileen mcclure, she told me tricks she would do to get her subjects to loosen up a little bit.  she only had seconds to do this seeing she had appointments every 20 minutes all day long …  and she said she had it easy because she was a little old lady, and people don’t feel threatened by little old ladies.  my trick ended up being just having a conversation, and because i was no longer a guy with a camera but someone else.  over the years i think the project has taken a different shape, and really tells more about me than it does my subjects.  if i wrote about the project,  i would write about who my subjects were, and how meeting them changed how i look at portrait photography in general, but how i have learned that people are pretty much the same, whether they are rich, poor, a corporate titan, leader of a state, or someone sitting on their porch, who didn’t remember who i was or who she was a few weeks later when i returned with a print.

i couldn’t agree more with the idea that one should be able to write something, anything, about what it is they do or did with their camera.

 

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what did i mean by paper negative test?

i recently mentioned something about a paper negative test.

i suggested bracketing exposures and judging your negatives …

here, i have uploaded 3 images

 

the first

not photoshopped

cyclone #3 maybe f11

as the caption reads ..  it was taken with a cyclone #3 which i guess is around f11

light meter was set to iso 6 and it suggested  5 seconds

i count fast …  so i counted to 6.

the developer was 2 day old dektol, it is cold in my darkroom but the image appeared at around 20 sconds

so from previous experience, ( making prints in dektol ) i let it develop out fot at least 1 minute.

the negative looks ok.  there is a roundness to it because the lens has a big hot spot,

the edges are light the middle of the negative is dark.

the inversion ( #2 )

straight inversion, of a straight scan

f 11 6 seconds 15 year old polymax rc

the inverted positive looks OK

( kodak paper has writing on the back so i don’t bother contact printing kodak paper negatives )

the center of the image is light, the sides are dark, the background blown out.

this is expected.

today was an overcast day

this was about 145pm

the sky has a lot of blue light but where i was ..  was filtered a little so my meter gave me

a false reading.  for the deck where i was it was OK, the wood, the deck chairs and flower pots

seem to be OK exposed  …  if i was to multiple expose or burn in .. while making the exposure

i would under expose the sky and trees

with a little PS – love

it doesn’t look much different ..

i adjusted the woods a little bit, evened out a little bit the roundness and brightness / contrast

brightness, lightness burning in selective contrast

cyclone might have needed an extra few seconds for the woods
maybe burn in ..

 

next exposure will be tomorrow …

maybe i will try 6 seconds and in camera dodge out the sky

the developer might be a little easier to work with too …

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paper negatives

some people hate paper negatives.

they have trouble with them because they don’t realize how they need to be exposed

and treat them like film.  they develop them like regular prints, and think that a “beefy” paper negative will print great like a “beefy negative”.

photo paper is not film, it isn’t sensitive to the same light as film and its sensitivity changed.

what does this mean ?

in a simple way of putting it is  film is panchromatic, so it is sensitive to red, green blue light.

think of it as being  sensitive to all light …and unless you are using color film, light is light.

photo paper is sensitive to blue light, and sometimes to green light.  different times of the day, different light conditions

(shade, open shade, bright sunlight, cloudy day &c ) different amounts of blue light are around, so

even though it might seem “bright” it might not be …  this might not make much sense.  but you can do a little experiment.

if you have a “hot light”  the old fashioned ones that use tungsten bulbs make an exposure with that bulb as your light source, and then

use a different light source, maybe a CF bulb that has mostly red in it …  and make the same exposure with your paper…  you might notice

one negative “better” than the other.  its also the reason at least with multi contrast papers why you can use filters to adjust the contrast of the image …

anyways, photo paper might be fast in one light condition and slow in another, AND different manufacturers use different light sensitive emulsions

on their paper so they will have different “speeds” too.  you might see speeds listed on the box of paper, they are not the same as film speeds, but

only relative to the paper.   as a point of reference, regular photo paper typically has a iso ( asa ) relative to film about 6, sometimes as high as 25

if you plan on shooting paper negatives, its best to do exposure tests .    bracket exposures, like you would for film,

and take notes if that is your sort of thing.  years ago there were oodles of papers on the market, and i did paper exposures for maybe 15 different ones

these days there aren’t as many so it might be a little easier.

developer  …

you should develop your paper negatives the same way you develop your prints ” to completion”  …  don’t pull the print out of the developer when

“it looks right”  because you won’t get a good print, just like you won’t get a good negative.  contrast comes out first then the mid tones afterwards.

a beefy negative or a thin one …

i guess it all depends on what the negative will be used for.  will you make a contact print with it ?  will you scan and invert it ?  will you make a sun print with it?

if you plan on contact printing your paper negatives thin ones sometimes work best, too dense it is hard for the light to pass through and you will get a thin positive print.

if you plan on scanning and inverting, a dense negative might suite your needs ..  i guess it depends on how good your photoshop skills are.

sun prints are a bit different.  it takes a long time for the sun’s light to pass through the photo paper.  i have waxed the negative with paraffin and made it

somewhat translucent and light passed through a bit easier.  i can’t help you there, you have to experiment to see what works best for your situation.

 

 

why do i like paper negatives ?

photo paper is cheap compared to film, and it is instant compared to film.  i find exposing paper negatives

whether they are negatives i coated by hand with liquid or home made emulsion or in a box to be more fun …

there is a sense of the unknown sometimes … with film, you pretty much know what you are going to get  …

also, i would rather make a long exposure than an instant one …  while instantaneous fraction of a second exposures have their place

portraits of fidgety kids, maybe pet photography, large groups where everyone seems to be moving, sports, science / nature photography

there is a thing about long exposures that almost makes a scene or person come to life  …  but that is another entry for another time.

Also posted in alternative process photography, technique and style Tagged , , , |

dektol paper negatives

i am a little rusty at making paper negatives with anything but ansco 130

with the 130 i used to leave a tray out till it turned black and was still active

and use it as a 2nd bath along with a tray of fresh developer.

since  dektol doesn’t have glycin in it it doesn’t have the same long lifespan as ansco130

so when it turns black i spike it with a capful of stock solution.

i haven’t nailed the right exposures with the paper, or the right split yet

but it is fun putzing around trying to start over again using a new developer with past experiences i learned from another.

sometimes they can be just transfered ( i did this with 1 developer it should and does do the same thing with another )

and sometimes it is just totally different … ( i did this with 1 developer, and my contrast with the new developer is too much )

luckily i have shelves full of paper and a few packets of dektol so i don’t think i won’t learn the the technique with the new developer.

 

yesterday i burned a few paper negatives and processed them in fresh dektol maybe 1:1.5

i split processed the paper in a tray of sumatranol –

harsh outside light soft inside light

split D + sumC

 

cyclone

toning down the dektol, used caffenol c as a 2nd bath

 

cyclone + 10-15 year old polymax rc

split dektol and caffenol

 

 

 

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ive made it to 480!

it might not seem like a feat but

i have posted over 480 photographs on imagekind.com

all but maybe 15 of them are flim, paper emulsion and otherwise careated

in a way that does not use a digital camera.  after the negative or positive is created

i might edit it in photo shop, add colors, remove dust or whatever it might be

but they did not originate with a sensor.

 

most recently i have created a small series of paper negative light paintings.

they were created using liquid emulsion and hand coating it onto photo paper,

then exposing it in a camera and developing that negative out.  i then scan the image

into the computer and add colors in photo shop.  i don’t manipulate the original paper negative / photographic image

i don’t change the structure of the image, just add colors.

 

imagined liquid light landscape

hand colorized photograph

 

liquid light painting

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working with lumenized prints again

i am never quite sure what to call sun prints using regular old photo paper.  with plant materials and the same paper they are called lumen prints, with a pinhole camera stashed in a tree for 6months they are called solargraphs, long exposed in a camera they can be called retina prints  but what are contact prints called ?  they aren’t POP prints ( printing out paper ) where they are developed with water and toned+fixed.  whatever they might be called, i’m doing them again as part of a new project …

these prints are part film, part lumenized, part inverted negative and soon to be part cyanotype.
(i have to coat some paper )
this is a triple image, so please click on it so you see all three

 

negative, inverted positive, luminized

30 year old film, split processed coffee and ansco 130

 

negative, positive, lumanized print

 

 

this one is 4 images, not 3

springtime flowers

4 lumanized prints

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