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.


Week-5-Coursework-Gazing at Photograph.

My Gaze is attracted to the abstract, and the no-objective. There are some representational photographs that I do like, however, in my own work and to inform my own work, I like to look at images that are ‘one of a kind’ unusual, unique and or novel.

This is a result of the ubiquitous nature of the image to-day. How many times more can I see an image of Yosemite?  Ansel Adams was the best at that particular subject matter in my opinion, because of the format he used (8×10) the development of the Zone system, which maintained good shadow detail in the shadow regions of the image as well as the highlights, the image has good focus from foreground to background. Ansel printed his own images and had a tight control how they looked and were consumed. His subject dealt with the ‘Beauty of the American West’ and made me realize that we are in dangers of losing it to pollution, acid rain and environmental destruction due to the consuming of natural  resources.

However, I can see many images that are made by similar photographers, who are clones of Ansel, and I am not interested in that type of photography in my own practice.

I have always found that painters are ahead of the curve, so I like to reference their works The best at abstraction in my opinion is Kasimir Malevich (Black Square) He removed everything visual that is objective (representational) out of his images, which I find very attractive. I also like the work of Paul Klee, who attracted the representational down to basic forms, so there may be a few hints of the objective (representational) in is images which I also enjoy.

In my practice, I have been working towards this end, and so-far this module, I have managed to abstract my subject matter of fences down to images that a fence is barely perceptible. The subject has changed from images and function of ‘Fences’ to metaphors of what fences connote: namely, separation, division, fear,challenge and the like.

The pleasure of the gaze is a biological function. We see to survive and procreate. In order to survive we are attracted to things of beauty. I presume this is why the female sex is made beautiful to look at. Males get attracted, good things happen, and the species survives. If women were not attractive, men would not get attracted, and the species would have died out eons ago. I can presume this extends on to the arts so some degree as well.


The Body and Land:

As far as Adam’s ‘never’ having people in his images, I disagree with that. He did not have images of people in his landscapes, but did have people in his lesser known works, like his photography he did at the Japanese interment camp at Manzanar during the second world war.

” Although a majority of the more than 200 photographs are portraits, the images also include views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities.”

As human beings we have a direct connection with the land: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

There are many great artists, who create by looking at nature and the land for inspiration. For me the land and the contents of the land are one and the same. If I look at the works for Edward Weston.  Famous for his Nudes, Pepper series, and landscapes. Weston was preoccupied with the female form, so whether it was a rock, a toilet, a pepper, or a seashell, he always managed to get more out of the image than the subject matter alone. I think this is clear in one of his quotes: “This then: to photograph a rock, have it look like a rock, but be more than a rock.  Significant representations – not interpretation.”

Just Giving: (these ads really annoy me)

All ads have a positive and a negative side. The Mencap ads are no different. I think the fake intentions are good, however, a lot of these companies finance their own needs out of the pockets of donators. Of your two pounds that you donate, maybe a half a crown or less might go in the direction of children’s education, and the rest will go to finance the cars, houses, girlfriends, and drugs of the CEO’s.

Are these children other?  I would have to say yes, and I think the problem with the world today is that all boundaries, are attempting to be erased, and with dire consequences.  The caption on the bottom of the second ad. “More of an education will give Kevin, more of a future.”  More? what exactly does that mean? It’s such an abstract, it’s not even funny. No matter what education Keven gets, he will never be able to hold a job of any significance. I think it’s time to stop bluffing, and put the money where it should rightly go, and that’s towards a home of some nature where these children can be taken care of for the rest of their lives, and a place that they can be encouraged to learn and play but not make the rest of the world that with a little more education, Kevin can be a rocket scientist. It will never happen. These children need civil-rights equality more than educational equality.  Basically it all boils down to I.Q.  individuals with an I.Q. of 80 cannot fold a piece of paper to fit in an envelope. No amount of education or training will enable them to do it with confidence, much more than an education or training will enable my cat (or even myself for that matter) to play the violin. It will never happen. I do feel pity for these individuals, greatly, but I would not donate because I am being manipulated. Dorfman says: “They are other.”  The photographic image allows as to stare, study, gawk, and it satisfies our innate nature to look at the other in a way we could not in actual life. We try out or respect for the ‘other’ to avert out gaze as not to hurt their feelings, but I think they are aware that we are consciously averting the look, and as a result, feel excluded. The question is how do we look and not look at the other so as not to exclude but include. Not out of pity, but from a civil right that every individual, ‘other,’ or not, deserves.

I had a friend, many years ago, if he met anyone with a disability, he would immediately walk up to them an ask what happened to their leg or their arm?  They would tell him and it would be over. Neither he, nor the other, found it difficult to be in each others company. I asked him why he did that? He replied to get it out of the way right from the start, and after knowing, would not have to stare, or steal stares any longer.  I always thought that a very positive way to surmount difficult “other” situations.

“Most people go through their lives fearing they will have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma, they’ve already passed their test in life.”  – Diane Arbus.


Ansel Adams.  Manzanar: https://www.loc.gov/collections/ansel-adams-manzanar/about-this-collection/

Dust to dust: http://bible.oremus.org/?version=av&passage=Genesis+3%3A19&fnote=no&show_ref=no&show_adj=no&omithidden=yes

Edward Weston: https://www.photoquotes.com/showquotes.aspx?id=51&name=Weston,Edward