Saturday, October 30, 2010

Learning about Filters

For this experiment, I used a wide array of lighting gels.  Mostly, Dark orange, Lt. Orange, Deep Crimson, Lt. Red, Lt. Blue, yellow, Burgundy and Deep Violet.  I hand held the gels, and took photos as recommended.  The point of the experiment was to create a sort of collage of different colored photos, in a way like Warhol's 'Daisies'.  The day I began, was bright and sunny, but as the Colorado weather changes at 8400 ft, the next day it snowed and I had the opportunity to use the white backdrop to my advantage as well. I also took several black and white photos, in order that we might use them to enlarge and then cover with a light colored panel of the gel, thereby simulating the 'daisies' effect as well.

All in all, the project taught me some useful things, and also opened my mind to a new set of experiments that I could enact with the use of color film.  Recently, I taped a Lt. Blue panel across the lens of my Yashica Auto Focus S point and shoot camera, loaded with Kodak Portra 100T film.  When the results come through, i'll be sure to post them up.
These photos were all taken with Kodak Ultramax 400ASA film

Thursday, October 21, 2010

...about photography part 2

I started shooting about 10 years ago with a Canon AE-1 Program.  I picked it up at a pawn shop in florida, along with a cannon 50mm f1.8 and a Sears 135mm f2.8.  So I asked around about film and most people seemed to think that the 400CN Professional film that Kodak makes was the better choice because it is a C-41 process film.  (you can get it processed at wal-mart or walgreens)  It's a fairly 'low hassle' film, has a wide exposure latitude and gives good, sharp photos, though it is interesting seeing wether they will come back greenish, reddish, orangeish or yellowish from the print machine.  In a way, this almost adds to the kitschy value of the film but it becomes a pain.  If you want them to be true Black and White, you have to scan and convert them, and then print them again.  Seems like it hardly justifies the cost, at 5$ a roll, plus another 5-10 dollars for developing and pocket prints.
Several years earlier, I had tried to shoot real black and white film, but taking it to the developer, and trying to get consistent results was always a hassle.  Pushed photos would be PUSHED beyond recognition, negatives would have scratches, there were generally 5 day turnovers and the cost was fairly prohibitive.  I gave it up pretty quickly and returned to consumer CN400 and the local Walgreens.
Finally, after 7 years in, I re-discovered 'real' black and white film.  Still using the trusty Canon, plus a vivitar 28mm f2.8 and a RMC Tonika 400mm f5.6, I began to shoot a regular regimen of kodak, ilford and fujifilm, but I was still stymied by the idea of going to a lab, and dealing with contact sheets, photo people and the COST.
I had recently begun talking to two friends about their camera collections and their experiences with their gear, and one friend stated that he was developing and printing all his own work in his bathroom.  He made it sound like a pretty simple proceedure and he also recommended some things to try.  His results were far from average, being quite sharp and consistent.  It seemed like there were a lot of things that could go wrong, but I was determined to study and learn.
For christmas that year, Stephanie clandestinely purchased me some photochemicals, a dark-bag, a developing tank, 3 plastic reels, and tri-x, t-max and ilford hp5+ films.  We mixed it up with help from Steph's memory of her highschool photography class, consulted the oracles of and their massive development chart, then we dove in.
It was INCREDIBLY satisfying.  For the first time, the results I was supposed to be seeing, were there in the negative.  The first successful development created an instant addiction.  I spent the next 7 months pouring over anything I could get my hands on about photography, studying the zone chart more intensely and shooting, shooting, shooting.

Thanks to Stephanie, Derek and Asaf.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Red Rocks

The bones of the earth exposed in the sunlight
we were greeted by the birds
and when my lenses fell off a 30' cliff
I didn't even frown.

This is a place of magic,
a place of breathing the breath
that sustains life

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Edge of the Dream

Two men played an endless game
over a wide map
set in the flagstones of a lavish castle 

Upon the flagstones were 
different geological regions
mountains, plains, forest

The two men were aged,
one with long flowing white hair
and the other grim and weathered 

The white-haired one congratulated the other
on being the best player he had found
the weathered one nodded, but did not reply

The white haired man moved the pieces without touching them
and explained that, 
"I just ask my intuition for answers, right or left, and then I move in that direction"

The weathered man remained silent
moving his piece forward
with a gloved hand

When they both reached the center of the board
they rolled dice and began to circumnavigate a symbol at the center using small figurines.
the symbol was a black 'V' set in a green field encircled with black filigree

It was this black line that they followed to the conclusion of each round of the game
until the old man with flowing hair waved his hand in a cutting gesture and laughed
that was the end of the days session, he explained to me

Then, I woke up 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

sometimes you have to take the low blow when it presents itself