Week-9-Project Development.

The weeks agenda:

  1. Have a film-negative made from digital file (LVT) and prepare my film for Mural Printing Workshop.
  2. Mix new batch of chemicals for developing B+W film
  3. Shoot my 3D 6×6 Sputnick
  4. Shoot 35mm B+W outdated film (Tri-X 5056/Expired 1978)
  5. Develop 35mm film
  6. Develop 6×6 3D film
  7. Process Digital images from 7D and 5D.
  8. Create composit images for my portfolio
  9. Teach a Camera and Lighting Class Friday and Saturday
  10. Work on my website for FMP
  11. Enrolled for class at AJU  (Professional Development for Emerging Artists)
  12. 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:

‘Towards the light’ -Pierre Chemaly ©
Escaping the hand of fate. -Pierre Chemaly ©

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 AJU  Professional 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

Bowhaus:  http://bowhaus.com/index.php4

Alison Rossiter: https://www.popphoto.com/american-photo/photographic-paper-decades-past-its-expiration-date/

The School of Light: https://www.theschooloflight.com

Mural Printing Workshop: https://www.theschooloflight.com/courses-shop/black-white-mural-weekend-workshop-august-17-18-2019

Apollo 11 computer: https://igotoffer.com/blog/how-powerful-was-the-apollo-11-computer

Week-3-Project Development.

Feb-15:  As this week draws to a close, I feel better about the concept of my project is getting stronger.  I have ideas about crossing the threshold this time. I will be ready to cross over into the abstract in the next module.

Plan on going down to Freestyle Photo in Hollywood to-morrow, However I would like to go and see Hockney’s new exhibition at LA Louver in Venice. I like the way Hockney works between painting and photography.  This is quite a bit of drive time.  Too much distance in one day, so may land up going to Venice on Sunday and pick up some paper at Samy’s Camera in Culver City close by. May also drop into BowHaus Photo on Venice Blvd. to discuss making some negatives from digital files.

As I write this I think Sunday looks like a more productive day. Three birds with one stone, plus a visit to the beach, have a slice of pizza at Abbot Kinney’s Pizza. The best, I’m starving already! Nothing like photography, art, good  pizza plus California beach sunshine.  All in one shot.

Abbot’s Pizza, Venice, CA. Photo Credit: Kellie Fell.

Feb-14: Scanned some images of my fences that I made earlier in the week. This time, I included my shadow in the image. Response was positive on this weeks webinar with Paul. He Liked the fact that I was leaving a footprint in the image.

I feel a little stronger about the series. It is approaching abstract, and feel that by the end of this module, I will be well on the way to doing an abstract FMP, which was my goal at the beginning of the MA.

This weeks lecture and reading on the constructed image has been very beneficial to me, because I am thinking how to construct  the image in order to achieve my “theme” and as well as the use of a physical fence as a motif. This module I will be crossing the fence line metaphorically. The signifier is my shadow. It passes through the barrier with no problem.

Shadows Crossing. ©Pierre Chemaly
Whats behind the patch? © Pierre Chemaly

I can cross the fence line physically with no problem. I have to do it mentally this module, The ‘fence’ being my thoughts:  “the work sucks, it’s worn out, it’s no good.” that’s the difficult barrier to cross. However, there seems to be light at the end of the fence, I have some ideas which I will incorporate into the image, like my shadow, I will also be constructing images and leaving something out. or covered up. Initially this is being done digitally, but will be printing soon and will be able to do it on the prints directly. The idea being that something is’ left out’ of the picture.

Feb-12: I went out yesterday, very early, it was snowing the night before, so I thought I might as well make some images of Fences in the snow. Thought-out this module, I will be making images during the day, night, rain, snow and shine. Hopefully to see how the image mood changes with the time of day as well as with the seasons.

My practice is  leaning heavily towards the abstract this module. I think it will serve my project well. This is what I set out to do at the beginning of the MA, so far its been a mix and match of representation and abstraction.  However, I am not in the mood of making ‘pretty’ images of fences, and by the same token, I don’t want to abstract the fence out of existence. If I can make a comparison of where I would like the series to fall would be looking at the work of the painter Paul Klee. His work is neither representative of completely abstract, it have that perfect balance of using the object / with the abstract.

Whats good so far, is that I am thinking about methods to achieve the position of my practice now, and how to fine tune the work, before I photograph. I am planning to do work in post, both analogue as well as digital, to manipulate the images I am making. As yet have not much time in that department, I am just collecting and organizing my raw and 35mm images at is stage and thinking about a way to do this.

LA Louver/David Hockney:  http://www.lalouver.com/exhibition.cfm?tExhibition_id=1776

Bowhaus Photo:  http://bowhaus.com/index.php4