WORK DONE THIS WEEK ON PROJECT. Friday Feb 8: Loaded up a few rolls of film, and went driving (125miles) looking at fences. I found some nice images along the Interstate 5 to-day, there was a board on the barbed wire fence that said “Repent.”
My eye sees these messages along the freeway, however the lanes are traveling fast, and sometimes I have to go back, which I hope to do sometime this weekend. A lot of these images I see are difficult to photograph, and involves a lot of driving, this particular shot, I will have to travel about 40 miles to get it, and hopefully, the traffic will allow me to stop along the free-way. Managed to make a few nice images along Taft HWY-166. I found a fence and gate all bound up with chains and locks. I photographed that while reciting my sign mantra. Very excited to go out soon, finish the rolls with some more interesting images. Jesse Alexander mentioned something which was a great help, he said: “Don’t go out every time expecting to find something, sometimes you won’t” When this happens, I remember those words. Not every-day is going to be fruitful, some days I have found nothing, just like he said. But, to-morrow is another day.
David Hockney is having an exhibition at LA Louver, In Venice, I am thinking about going. I love his work, he is so versatile and prolific in his work, painting, photography, digital art-works, an amazing artist. I like how prolific David is, he still works every day, I find him very inspiring. I have seen his work here in LA, in Venice, at the LA LOUVER, Pompidou in Paris and at the TATE Modern. I think I will go down Sunday or next week to do some research.
Tuesday Feb 5: Developed 4 rolls of film Kentmere 400. I have a large tank, that can develop 4 rolls at a time, so that helps cut down on the time a little bit. I developed at an elevated temperature of 75˚F with a time of 5 minutes two inversions every 30 secs, and 30 seconds continuous at the beginning. 4 min fix with Kodafix. Ilford wash, water change three time, then final stand in Kodak Photo-flo for a minute, hang to dry. Word of caution about Photo-flo, use as directed. I was using a little over recommendation, and found a light greasy film covering on the base and the emulsion, not serious, however, err on the side of less than more. Negatives are all well exposed, nice contrast, shadow detail. The light-leak camera performed flawlessly, it produced a light leaks on every frame. The sticky advance camera worked perfectly as it should, sticking on almost every frame, advancing half frames, quarter frames, no frames sometimes, counter sticking. Perfect.
Sunday Feb 3: Went out to-day to go create some images. I took 5 cameras. My 2 ‘problem’ cameras, (one double exposes, and advances when it feels like it, and the the other has a light leak) as well as my 6×6 and my Nikon F3 and Canon 7D. I went to re-photograph the area I work in along HWY 138 and Gorman Post Road. HWY 138 is also known as the Pearblossom Highway. This is the highway where David Hockney made his 1986 collage.
This is also the highway along which Aldous Huxley lived in Llano.
The section that I use to photograph along Gorman Post Rd leads into HWY 138 is the section where Alfred Hitchcock filmed Psycho, when Marion Crane (Janet Lee) fell asleep at the wheel and was woken up by the policeman. I have made a great study of Hitchcocks work, down at the Academy Library in Beverly Hills. It is possible to get one’s hands on all the original work of Hitch, I have done research on The Birds, Psycho, and North By Northwest. I heard the actual story board of Psycho in may hands, as well the budget and the actual shooting script. The budget was around $400,000 dollars not $800,000 as recounted in many articles I have read. Also, Hitch thought out his complete film on paper before a single frame of film was shot. He was a very frugal shooter, on average 3000 to 4000 feet of film per day (30 to 40 minutes) On digital, I have shot twice to three times that per day and sometimes more. Many directors today lack the discipline of the Maestro. I compared pages for page to the film and the camera reports for “The Birds” and not a single word on the script was changed, and if any changes were made on the script. Peggy Robinson, his script supervisor made heavy underlined notes. Hitch did not like changes. I think about him when I photograph, to think about the images and the discipline of using film. I make an exposure and make the image. I do not shoot “just in case” images. I get what I want the first time. I like the way he worked, and implement a lot of it in my practice. I am cross pollinating disciplines here. I have always done it. Film, Photography, painting. I use all domaines in my practice
I am very interested in all the above named artists, is it co-incidence that I am working in both these areas? In fact, there is an area near Huxley’s old house that was a socialist commune back at the turn of the last century called Llano Del Rio, where socialist politician Job Harriman bought some land, built a hotel and houses and convinced a lot of people to move up to this Utopia. Parts of the Hotel Still remain. I went up there recently to photograph the area, and the old Hotel was all fenced in, I was very tempted to climb the fence, but refrained that occasion. However, I am entertaining the thought of having my FMP at that site with my exhibition at the old fenced in hotel, with my images hung on the fence for the exhibition.
Was at the junction of HWY 138 and Gorman Post Road, and saw a lot of stop signs, no entry signs, one way signs, and thought that this kind of a mental fence area, so made a series of images using all my cameras. This was the first time that I made images of a mental fence. All I need see is the word STOP on the ground or in front of me. and I do it. However it is a mental fence that temporarily prevents us from moving forward. I will process and scan these image ton-night or to-morrow. I do have in mind what Paul suggested, to create my own Fence images. Entertaining the idea of a mannequin or the use of square mirrors or geometric forms in the images hanging from fences.
Saturday Feb 2nd. I loaded up 2 canisters of Ilford HP5+ and hoped to go out today. However a big storm has pulled through So Cal and had winds last night up to 60mph, drafting through the mountains.
I was hoping for bit of snow this morning, however none has fallen. I am going out to rephotograph some of my fences found over the past module, and ones up until recently. I am finding that when I go back, I can critically re-look at the objects and photograph them from different perspective.
This week I will be taking out my ‘non working/sort of working’ cameras. I have two right now, one has a light leak and the other an advance problem. I like the fact that the machine and the images are very unpredictable, and will be using these cameras a lot more this module, for my abstract part of my series ‘Fences.’ I will also be returning to the same locations at different times of day, and doing some night photography with flash. So in essence will be playing with time and place, re-photography and abstraction.
All this abstraction has made me pull out the paint brushes and I made a few new pieces this past week. The photography stimulates my painting and the painting stimulates my photography, a very good place to be.
I am thinking of photographing city fences again, this week. I created a few pieces recently down in Hollywood and am quite pleased with the outcome. It seems that the theme is playing well though the series. Theme in film narrative must be defined, without it, the story falls apart. Now that I have stopped fighting myself with the photographic narrative, and have established a theme for my series, the story seems to be falling into place.
I am still a proponent of the Avant-garde+The French New Wave. It will never leave. In image making I love abstraction, in film-making, the avant-garde. Jean Luc Goddard says it best: ” A story should have a beginning, middle and end; but not necessarily in that order.” I will apply this maxim/adage to my photo narrative.
Pearblossom Film Ranch. https://rs.locationshub.com/location_detail.aspx?id=050-2192
Llano Del Rio Commune: https://la.curbed.com/2017/5/1/15465616/utopia-socialist-los-angeles-llano-del-rio