This week I am looking for photographers who are also poets. Poets who write, words for their images, poets who’s writings stimulate/inspire me to write. I have my image methodology down for my FMP; now I have to write poetry for the images. I want the audience to understand what I am attemting to communicate with out being denotative, I would like the images to be though provoking and stimulate the consumer in a way that they can relate their own lives, thuis may be a little easier.
Today was the first day of Mural Printing Workshop. The photo lab is very well laid out. The wet and dry areas are separate. In the first room the paper is cut and hung on the wall, and kept in place with magnets. (see Fig 1A. below)
The enlarger is a Beseler 45MXT (4×5) Fig. 3 below with the head tilted through 90 degrees to expose the negative onto the wall. (as seen Fig.1 above)
I loaded the LVT negative in the negative carrier, and exposed a test strip 1 ft wide x 40″ long. Gave six test strip exposures at f8 at 20/40/60/80/100 seconds. I chose an exposure of f8 at 45 seconds then made a second test print strip 1ft wide x 40″ long at the chosen 45 seconds selected with a #2 contrast filter. The single exposure at 45seconds looked very good. Very good highlights (Zone IX) perfect blacks (Zone 0) and the midtones where very nicely graded from light to dark gray.
The full print was made at the chosen exposure, then developed for 2.5 minutes by rolling the the paper back and fourth in a large tray 42″ x 30″ then put in stop bath for 6 rolls back and forth then fixed for 5 minutes by rolling the paper back and forth in the fixer. The print was washed for 10 minutes, squeegee dried (Fig.4 below) then laid on a big window screen to dry.
I am very happy to see such a large print, the focus is excellent, the tonal range is perfect. I did want to burn the corners, as I normally do with all my prints, however did not do this on the large print, and the fall off at two of the corners is substantial.
As there are 3 other people in the workshop, so I may not be able to re-print the first image. I do have another one I will print tomorrow, and if there is time, I will ask for a reprint of the first negative, if I cannot, I will attempt to correct the areas with Marshall’s spotting ink. I will attempt a glaze (an oil painting technique) starting with very light gray and build it up until it matches the midtones, then keep going, building the layer densities until it matches the shadow regions in the corner.
Over all, very good experience to-day [8 on the happiness/satisfaction scale on the first print] Will see if I can improve the second to-morrow, and hopefully reprint the first. I would like to have two mural prints for my FMP, and quite surprisingly, I like the RC paper for large prints far more than I do for small prints. It looks far nicer in the mural form. I learned from this workshop that RC paper is a better choice for murals than fibre. It’s tougher, more scratch resistant, cheaper, looks surprisingly good, needs less washing time and dries flat.
I created these two images this module, so I will use them for my exhibition. I am figuring a way I can make big prints at home. I have the enlarger the baby brother of the 45MXT the 23CIII, and a room I can use next to my bathroom darkroom, so I will be looking into that possibility. Be nice to be able to print a few big prints for the FMP over and above these two I am printing now.
We used Ilford RC MG pearl to-day, but will print on Foma Velvet to-morrow. It is also an RC paper, but it has a matte finish. I am very interested to see and feel the texture of that paper. I saw a test strip up on the wall of a former workshop and i was very impressed with the feel and look of the Foma. I have used Foma 111, it is fibre base paper, very beautiful. Before this workshop, I was stuck on using fibre bas paper alone, however, after seeing the RC in mural format and touched it myself, I have changed my mind and will use RC for my mural prints. I learned something very interesting to-day: size matters!!!
Day two of the Mural Printing Workshop.
Andrew came up to me and mentioned he did not like the fact that the corners had fall-off and that I could do another print. One of the workshoppers called in ill so that left 3 of us for the day.
We printed the second prints of the others workshoppers, then reprinted mine. Andrew re-alingned the condenser lens of the Beseler, we checked the edge to edge illumination and all was fine, so I reprinted the image, I also gave it a 5 second edge/corner burn, this time the print was perfect. All the corners and edges had good density, and we moved onto my second print. This one was printed on Foma RC Matte (312) I had seen a test strip of the paper and was very pleased the way it looked. Very rich matte blacks and chalky whites with nice middle tones. It looked very good for an RC paper. I never thought I would ever say this about RC, but the tests and the prints convinced me that RC can be very beautiful.
The test print came out a little flat, so we increased the filter form a #2 to a #3 1/2. and increased the exposure by 5 seconds to 25seconds on the strip test. (the move from a #2 to #31\2 requies an exposure increase. At 50secs exposure The whites were a little dull and the blacks had a slight dark gray appearance, so we decreased the exposure time from 50 seconds to 40, and gave the shadows a 10 second burn with a #5. The tones came out perfectly on the final print from dark shadows, midtones to white highlights. However the edges of the print got dimpled and there are two very slight creases in the middle of the image. I can trim of the edges by about 5mm on each side, and with dry mounting to board, it may hide the creases. I learned that the handeling of that large piece of photo paper needs very careful handling, all the way through from exposure to the final wash and dry. I got two very acceptable prints from the workshop and learned a good deal about handeling and exposing such large pieces of photograhich paper. The biggest prints I have made in my photo career so far. The workshop helped me decisions on RC and Fibre Base paper for the FMP exhibition. RC for the Murals and Fibre Base for the small prints up to 20X24″
This week I will be looking at the works of Stephen Gill, who creates work thought destruction of the negative. In the last module, I went through my destruction phase (leaving prints out in the elements) however, my approach has grown out of that into creating images by using some of the elements of destruction and past imagery to create new images. To build, construct and grow new images using parts of the old. Like temple builders of old, they used some of the old material in the new construction. I figure every artist has to go through a destructive stage (like John Baldessari who burnt all his work.)
it’s part of the ‘rise of the phoenix’ the return from the ashes. Been there, done that, I’m interested in moving forward in creating something new. I think that is what art is about. Every era has the art of its time, a new way of producing work.
I looked at the webite of Stephen Gill. and ordered his book. “Best Before End” As far as his website goes there is a lot of work, and it is well organized into albums. I like this, it’s easy to navigate. Each album has a title, and each title contains the images. I will organize my albums in a similar way. This style and outlay works for me. I like easy to navigate and easy access to the work.
I also see that he publishes his own books, and his company is: Nobody Books. He has quite a few books published. Maintains he can have full control of the images and work.”All decisions made during production are therefore directed by the requirements of the work rather than any external influences or considerations.” Ansel Adams had the same approach with his printing all his own images. They were all under his control. (This is why I have decided to print my own analogue images instead of sending them out to a lab)
Had a GREAT 1-2-1 with Dr.Wendy. She has a great way to reel me in when I go out on a tangent. She brings me back in focus on: Work! on the FMP and how to do the best work possible for the exhibition.
Areas to focus on are:
To keep my CRJ up to date. She mentioned that I was doing that, as evidenced by her looking at it in our 1-2-1 and seeing my entries.
To included ongoing research, written and visual, on my work and on other practitioners.
To make work this next two weeks for a show and tell on next meeting.
Present a PDF in our next meeting, both images and writing and text, Wendy wants to see the text of the images.
The concept behind the PDF is to start sequencing the work, and to Riff on images.
Wendy introduced me to the work of Stephen Gill, I ordered his book and looked at his website, I like the way he groups his projects onto one page, then they expand out into the gallery. Simple, clean website, just the way I like it.
Go down to Hollywood to Freestyle Photo to purchase some film and Kodak HC-110.
Darkroom work, start printing.
Went back out and retraced my steps to re-photograph some of the images I missed by not having film in the camera, it’s nice to be reminded -once in a while- that I am not perfect. This time I could think about the images more than the first time. There is something about re-turning to re-photograph something a few days later. Used on roll of the expired Kodak Tri-X 5063 form the 1978 100ft roll. I will develop in D76, I read online that someone had developed it using Kodak HC-110. I have not used this developer, however it has a restrainer, and he mentioned that even though the film was from 1973, the restrainer cut the base fog way down. So I will develop with D76 and if Base and fog is too high, I will develop the next roll with Kodak HC-110.
Developed the film at 68°F Kodak (Tri-X 5063) Developed as recommended by Kodak for 8 minutes. (look for the Tri-X 5063, there are other emulsions listed as well with different developing times) Used stop bath for 30 seconds, Fixed with Kodafix 1:3 for 5 minutes. Washed for 10minutes final rinse with photoflood (Kodak brand) use photoflood as recommended 1:200. Too much will cause a oily film on the base and emulsion.
Exposure looks very good. Good highlight and shadow detail. The base fog is high, however, I am VERY happy with the results. These negatives will scan very well. I think my next roll I will expose at 250ASA instead of 125 and I will decrease development time down to 7minutes from recommended 8. I will also buy some HC-110 and see if the fog level goes down. I hope to do some analogue fibre based prints later on to see how the negs will print with a high base fog. Very exciting. to see images on film that expired in 1978, I was 21 when that film was made. What a time warp. Digi people have no idea what they are missing.
Went down to Freestyle photo to buy some HC-110, this developer is no longer available in small quantity, and the litre bottle is around $35, I decided against it, as I will use split grade printing and with this method, any negative can be printed, I use mainly two developers, Kodak D-76 and Rodinal. If I run out of D-76 I use the Rodinal, it has a very long shelf life, so an open bottle can last two years, as a backup/emergency it is the ideal developer. I also use their paper developer for the same reason (it’s shelf life opened/unmixed is very stable) and will be using the paper developer this week to make some test prints. (which I bought in Dec/Jan 2019. I am highly considering making my own prints for the FMP. So split grade testing will be made this week. I bought some film HP5+, and 25 sheets of Foma (8X10) 111 a bright, double weight, fiber base paper to run some tests.
Contacted Bowhaus, spoke to Joe, he makes the LVT’s. I sent in two files (large TIFF format) to have the LVT’s made for the Mural Printing Workshop this week end. Turn around is normally 10 days, however they will rush it and get them done by Wed/Thurs of this week. (I will have the LVT’s made with a black surround, D-max) so that I can have a white border around the image, because I consulted with Andrew the instructor, and he mentioned that with the Mural Prints there is no cropping.
A high density around the image, is therefore crucial, this way it will print a white border and I will crop by almost filling the frame with the image, then the d-max of the neg around the image will act as the easel, giving me a white border.
It will be interesting to see how Andrew determines the correct exposure for the negative for such a large print (48×70) inches. I will see if he uses split grade or not. Paper at that size is very expensive, so there is no test printing, by the time one makes the print it got to be well exposed, either using test strips, or other methods.
Taught the workshop Friday and Saturday. 4 students.
Taught the basics of lighting, 3 and 5 point using LED and Tungsten continuous light. Used the BMCC 4K camera where they could light the actor then film them. Each had the opportunity to light and film the actor. By then end of the workshop, they were setting up the camera, lights, making images and packing all the equipment away.
My website is moving along. I like the simple clean approach, simple to navigate with a limited amount of information on the page. And even though the design is simple, it is difficult to get the images in WordPress to function correctly. So I have the basic website set up in the form I like. [Side navigation] A lot of artists/ photographers like this for some reason, and I do as well. maybe it’s from reading: Eyes move left to right? So text on left, images on the right.
Went down to Bowhaus and picked up my LVT. The film negative of the file looks fantastic. The image is on 4×5 sheet film the contrast is very good between the highlights and the shadows, the image was printed with a d-max border as requested, and the images will print with a white border.
While at the Bowhaus, I saw some very big prints 50″x75″ of the work by David Yarrow who does wildlife photography. Even though the digital ink jet prints look very good, it’s not at the level of an analogue print just yet for me. So, having looked at these prints, helped me make up my mind to proceed with silver gelatin printing, and to print my own images for the FMP.
Went down to Freestyle Photo in Hollywood, bought some 120 Bergger film, will be doing some image making this weekend for my next 1-2-1 with Dr. Wendy. I bought a 100 sheets of Ilford Multigrade Fibre Base 5×7 to start fine tuning my printing skills in my dark room. While at Free Style, I saw a 16×20 B+W print by master printer Marc Valesella, It was printed on Ilford Warm Tone Fibre paper and the image looked amazing, I will most probably use this paper for my FMP prints, however I will still be running tests on both Ilford paper stocks, to see if I like the white or the warm tone.
Booked my Bungalow for Saturday night in Silver Lake, close to Downtown Los Angeles where I will take the mural printing workshop on Saturday and Sunday. I look very forward to printing my images on photographic paper and see how they turn out from the LVT.
Did analogue printing this week with the Ilford Paper bought from Freestyle Photo. I did some tests earlier with RC and the quality of the medium and the surface texture is just not the same. I know this, but tested anyway. RC is a good student paper to practice on nothing more. I will therefore print all my images on fiber base paper. The only problem is to get them flat. Without buying a very expensive press this is going to be a challenge. I did contact Marc Valesella, to ask him what his method is as I have seen his work. Very flat for a fiber print.
3D did not get to process the 120 roll of 3D images this week. I will get to it next week after the Mural Workshop this coming week end.
I applied to the Los Angeles Art Association for membership, had to send in an artist statement and 5 images. I did that and received an email that I had been juiced and accepted into the LAAA as a member. I will pay the dues, and find out if I can have my FMP at the Gallery 825 on La Brea. The heart of the arts district, where I have been visiting galleries with my Art History Class at UCLA.
A few images I sent in:
The last one I created this module. I will be printing this one in the Mural Workshop this coming week-end.
Have a film-negative made from digital file (LVT) and prepare my film for Mural Printing Workshop.
Mix new batch of chemicals for developing B+W film
Shoot my 3D 6×6 Sputnick
Shoot 35mm B+W outdated film (Tri-X 5056/Expired 1978)
Develop 35mm film
Develop 6×6 3D film
Process Digital images from 7D and 5D.
Create composit images for my portfolio
Teach a Camera and Lighting Class Friday and Saturday
Work on my website for FMP
Enrolled for class at AJU (Professional Development for Emerging Artists)
Follow a lead I connected with at a gallery meeting, she has a studio down town Los Angeles, art scene connected.
This week I am working on getting a digital file converted to a film negative. On the weekend of the the 17+18th, I will be attending an analogue mural printing work shop (large prints) and will be making 2 analogue prints (48x60inches) ‘mural prints’ The term was coined by Ansel Adams for his big prints that he made in this darkroom in Carmel.
I remember seeing a very large print of Moonrise, back in 1984 up at the Weston Gallery in Carmel. I could not believe the level of technical perfection that such a large print could maintain. Even close up there was no grain, dirt, spots, or chemical stains. From that time on, the large print has always held an interest for me. The biggest prints I have made is 20×24 inches, I am preparing to make large prints in my darkroom, a converted bathroom. I do have a room next, to it and if I print at night black out the windows, I can do it. The main objective of the workshop is to get information how to expose for such a large expansive sheet of paper, because of great expense and time to make such a print, it is not possible to do it trail and error. Maybe the same method is used on smaller prints (strip tests) but i do not know. The paper is expensive ranging from $500 to $800 a roll. (50″X98Ft)
I will send a file to Bowhaus in Culver City where I will have a digital file converted into a 4×5 film negative (B+W) It is known as an LVT (Light Value Technology) it is a continuous tone negative (no dots) and will use it at the workshop on the 17th+18th to print from. I will also take a 6x7cm B+W negative of my own and make a print from that and see how it comes out. I plan to use these two images in my FMP exhibit, so excited to get working on the the prints. I am considering printing these two images:
Both of which were created this module. These mural workshops are not offered often and another one may not happen again before the FMP. My understanding is that Andrew who runs the workshop is from Exeter, or went to Exeter university. I will clarify this once I meet him in person. The name of his workshop/school is mural printing at: The School of Light
Got prepared for developing film today. Mixed up a fresh gallon of Kodak D-76, Kodafix and Stopbath. Wen out to photograph with some old Kodak Tri-X, out dated (1978) makes the film 41 years old. I loved that film back in the 80’s. The grain, the contrast, the general look of the film was very pleasing to me. With the change of the film, in America, they can never leave good enough alone, always have to “improve” and in the improving took all the beautiful imperfections out. The Tri-X of today is dreadful. No grain, less silver, all the goodness squeezed out. As a result I switched to Ilford HP5+ 400ASA. Ilford has remained faithful to the original emulsion, so it is as it always was, so I have been shooting that for my go to B+W stock. However, when I see some old prints that where made in the 70’and 80’s as I did when I recently went to the Kline Gallery on La Brea, they desire to shoot some of the “real” Tri-X was stimulated. Alison Rossiter used expired paper for her work, some of it as early as the 1920’s I have also bout some film as far back as 1918, so excited to get working with that.
I bought a 100ft roll from Ebay. I know its 41years old, and who knows how it was stored. The base fog on the film must be astronomical, and it most probably has lost speed over the years. I will not do a densitometry test, I will just shoot it, over expose by 2 stops, over develop by 1.5X the recommended time and see what I get.
This unknown excites me, and, as I am scanning the negative it is possible to “fix” some of the problems. This is what I love about the digital age, one can extract information from a negative that is not possible from regular analogue printing. I really enjoy the marriage of digital and analogue, I personally think this is the best attribute of photography in this day and age. I will not mention the word ‘modern technology’ because I have heard it used back in 1968 when they sent a man to the moon, and that “modern” technology is laughable today. The total computing power for the entire moon program was less that sending a single e-mail today. a To-days modern technology is to-morrows ancient technology before the clock even strikes midnight. With that, I will just say, I enjoy today technology and use it to it’s fullest capacity, however I do not discard the foundation, I incorporate it into the new temple.
Went out to-day with my Nikon F-3 and my Canon 7D as backup. I have learned that once I has made the last exposure on a roll of film, the most amazing opportunity arrises, and I would rather have a digital camera, than nothing at all. I spent most part of the day out photographing my ‘fences’ however for this module I am looking for fence ‘parts’ pieces I can cobble and stitch to-gether to create or construct my final images. I am using about 3 layers in general now to construct a final image. So I am looking for motifs: Black Birds, Wire strands, trees, interesting formations, and I try to construct a mental image in my mind. I analyze what I would need. Sometimes the ides works forward, other times it works backwards. In other words I see an image, make it then use it later somewhere, other times I need a specific part of the tussle and I go out and hunt for it. So the process has become very fluid.
Shot all day today, come home to develop with my freshly brewed chemicals, and as I begin to rewind the film, there is NO TENSION on the rewind knob. I thought I had loaded the camera but I did not. I had no film in the camera. Great! what a pro. SO the whole day was a ‘practice’ shoot. I did also shoot some 3D images on my Sputnick 6×6 camera. I made 5 film images, and will complete the roll tomorrow.
This happened to me about 10 years ago, went out photographing with a friend, only to find out no film in the camera. I will go out to-morrow and re-photograph what I missed today. I did take a few digital images, so the whole day was not all for naught. I do not regard it as a waste, or blame myself, it was another “fence” to cross and I did it well. I did not get upset!
Website: I am working on a website this will be part of my FMP. my website is under construction. I will be working on it during the FMP
I enrolled for a class at AJUProfessional Development for Emerging Artists. It for 4 weeks, one night per week. A 4-part series of lectures, discussions, and workshops designed to give emerging artists insights into how the art world (and the gallery system) really works – and the kinds of strategies and skills an artist needs to advance in the art world.
I met Richard the instructor at Dr. Robbie’s Hollywood Sculpture Garden a few weeks ago. Richard is a fellow alumni from Cal Arts. He mentioned he offered this course, and it will assist me. I signed up. It begins September
This week had a 1-2-1 With Dr. Steph. Discussed elements of the FMP. Was advised to ‘Think forward” about the upcoming project and how to think and work in-terms of something that has not happened as yet. By experimenting the work begins to form the concept in terms of practical work. I am working on the project every single day in one form or another, whether its creating/building a new image, making photographs, or planning the gallery or space exhibit.
Dr. Steph recommended that I look at the work Hamish Fulton. ‘the walking artist’ because he uses text with image. This has become very important to me as I feel it’s vital to get the message across, however without being too literal, the audience has to figure part of it out for themselves.
This week, looked at the work of Hamish Fulton, ‘the walking artist’. One of his quotes I like is: “If in doubt, keep walking.” 1 Churchill who also supposedly said: “If going through hell, keep going.” (there is not citation to this quote)2 however it is generally attributed to him. I presume that no matter what happens eventually one can walk one’s way out of it, and I think it’s a good thought to have when going through difficult creative, as well as other times. I have always like quotes, so having a quote associated with my images come naturally, and I would like to capitalize off this for my FMP.
During my conversations with Dr. Wendy, the subject came up about late life exhibitions. I was online doing some research on painting, and came across a water colorist by the name of Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, who had his first exhibition at age 71. The old adage is true: “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” George Eliot.
Had a 1-2-1 With Dr. Steph. Had a good talk about the FMP. Question arose whether I can exhibit images from a former module, that is part of the growth of my work over the MA, Steph mentioned that I should consult Wendy about that. I feel that if the work has grown out of former work, then it should be part of the FMP exhibit. I will discuss with Wendy when she returns to the module
Guest Lecture: Anastasia Samoylova:
Watched the recorded lecture, and learned a few interesting things. That studio visits seems to be a way for an artist to get recognition, so one must be open to visits by clients.
I liked they way she used current social media to see what’s “happening” in the photographic world, and applying that to one’s own practice.
Learned about the Claude Glass, a black convex mirror that subdues colors of the landscape. I am thinking about using something similar to photograph reflections of images I will be using in my image construction process.
Interesting to note how her work as an architect photographing her models of building transitioned into her present practice.
5 amazons of the Russian avant-garde. Learned about a few more artists from the 20’s Varvara Stepanova and Liubov Popova. Both painters, and how her work was influenced by theses artists work. I have come to the conclusion that to be an artist one must paint, other domains can never approach a painters art. Even a brilliant photographer still yearns for that artist ability that a painter has. I presume that is why each and everyone always refers to some painter. I know this is true for myself as well. I have again picked up the paintbrush There is some creative satisfaction that it gives that is just not attainable by photography alone, so maybe two separate domains they will remain.
Like the fact that she got an editor to edit her work as well as crop it. Her framing is not that good to begin with, so Campany really worked with the formal elements in the crop. Circle, square, line, color, all extending beyond the frame, while all her work includes it all within the frame.