Week-17-Project Development

This week is entailing a lot of darkroom work. This Sunday past I spent 5 hours in the darkroom at Santa Monica College. I have got the printing to the point where I am happy with the final images and have definitely settled on using the Foma Fiber base paper. I will wash and hypo clear for extended times as recommended and not worry about residual hypo at this point. It seems that if I leave the print overnight in a tray or water all the hypo is leached out and with research done on this technique, it seems that all is okay with this long soak time.

Many photographers have done it with no problems, even though its not recommended (and or course the is the opposite camp, who has all types of problems)  However, my own tests, over very long time soak (3 hours) yielded no problems. I am going to go with recomended Hypo Wash (five minutes) wash time for FOMA (35minutes)   Then leave in clean water tray for 30 mins, change water, leave for an hour, change water, then leave for an hour. So far this works for me.


My Bathroom/Darkroom:

I am putting in a chemical fume exhaust system in my bathroom/darkroom today, I have just been working and opening door for air as often as possible, but now feel I have to add the ventilation, I will have to crawl under the house and do the work. I will be spending a lot of time in the darkroom this week and the next 4 weeks printing my exhibition images, so it is imperitive that the ventilation be MUCH better than it has been, which has been none other than natural air seeping through.


FMP Exhibit:

I have my exhibition at the Hollywood  Scupture Garden and Gallery on November the 14th, as this has been okayed by Dr. Wendy on out last 1-2-1, I will give full power to all engines and get it ready. This entails the prints, framing (myself) still have to discuss if 12 will suffice, will talk to Dr. Wendy to-morrow at 11 for my 1-2-1.

I am going to do it in the Garage of the Hollywood Sculpture Garden and Gallery, I will be purchasing a Dog Kennel from Home Depot or Lowes  which consists of 6ft high  x 10ft long panels of chain link fencing, with a gate, which I can configure as a cube, an L, X, S. It is tall enough to hang my 11×14 pieces at the 57″ height. It is portable so I can transort it down to the HSG.

I have got my ‘Mythogolcal’ story of my work down to about 17 images, I will try to cut down to 12 images for the exhibit, but may submit more for the FMP assignment, again something that need clearing up with Wendy.

I will be calling Dr. Robby, curator and artist of the Hollywood Scrupture garden and make an appointment to go and discuss the setup of the exhibition. I hope to do this sometimes towards the end of the week.

Will be heading to my garage and the hardware store to buy what needed to install my LONG OVERDUE effeicient darkroom ventilation system. I will print the images for my book at SMC darkroom  5×7’s about 18 of them.


Final wash. SMC. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
One of my 5×7 images for my book. Photo By: Pierre Chemaly







I will print my FMP exhibit images in my own darkroom.   The visit and meeting Ansel Adams, id finally paying off. Making my own prints, in my own darkroom at home, just like he did. Edward Weston, and making all his images around Point Lobos and that whole study, has also paid off.  As my work now entails image construction, I do a lot of work around my house and also in a very confined area, just like he did at Point Lobos. Seems like with the FMP all my passion, experience, and study is coming at climax of being able to do the kind of work I have always aspired to do. That ‘Old Mechanic” Ansel,as Well as Edward Weston, is a very imporatnt part of my practice at this point in my work. The joy of having the technical skills to be able to manifest my ideas into a print that is understandable and communicable, has taken a very long time. However I am able to do it now in a way I was unable to do it before.


Exhibit at Hollywood Sculpture Garden and Gallery:

Just made a call to Dr. Gordon the Artist/Curator of the HSG, and set an appointment with him this coming Friday to get his suggestions and input. Again he offered me the garage of the gallery for my exhibition and I absolutely LOVE IT.

Dr. Gordons Garage. The door opens and here I will have my Exhibit. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly
The Hollywood Sculpture Garden and Gallery view towards Hollywood and Downtown LA. Photo by: Pierre Chemaly







This takes me back to my childhood, when visiting my Aunt Josephine on Sundays in Alberton an adjoining town in Johannesburg. On the way there was a 7 story building, green in color with the name in big red letter on top: C J FUCHS (this is how I recall the image in my mind)  My mother told me as a six year old boy: ‘See that building son, that man started all that out of a garage.’ My whole life I have rememberd that story, and it has been my guiding post. From simple and humble beginnings, great things are possible,Thanks to my mother and C J Fuchs. [only caveat, it’s taking me a long time.]  This is the reason I am happy to have the garage at the HSG.

Yesterday, I looked online to see if I can find an image of that building I saw over five decades ago as a very young boy, to see how good my memory is. However not a single color image exists. I did find part of the building though, in B+W, it turns out it was 6 floors not 7; not bad having seen it once when I was six; 54 years ago. Strange thing is, it is very Bauhaus in design, and I am a big Bauhaus fan. Would love to find a frontal image of the building as I saw it when six.

CJ Fuchs Buidling. Alrode/Alberton South Africa. Google search image.



Fresh air intake vent for my darkroom.

Got the fresh air intake vent installed in my bathroom/darkroom today. That was a chore. Had to cut a hole through the wall and via a 4 inch flexible hose run it to the outside through a wood panel that I can access the crawl space under the house that leads under the house. Now I have a fresh air intake at the top near the ceiling,  and I will exhaust it through the door towards the bottom across the other side,  so the fumes will drawn downwards from the trays to the bottom of the door, and the fresh air intake will enter from above.

As mentioned before a regular bathroom exhaust fan in the roof is above the trays and draws the chemical fumes upward past the nose of the printer from the chemicals, so it’s not a good idea to use the existing exhaust fan in a roof in the bathroom. This is a small second bathroom, and I did not have any exhaust fan in it, so something would have been better than nothing, but now it is done correctly: fresh air coming in from up high and exhaust drawing out from down low.  Now I can print comfortably and healthily.