June 27, 2011

Artistic Summit

Music | Next Girls by The Black Keys

I look forward to when Ray throws down with his amazing lasagne, with folks bringing various libations such as unheard of Single Malt Scotchs, amazing beers and wine. Tonite will be such a night with various photographers attending, bringing in their latest creations where we talk about photographs, art, and whatever else that gets thrown into the mix. Intelligent artists who are proven creators get together and just discuss, and enjoy the company of each other. There is always lots of thoughts that come out of these meetings.

Tonite I'll have 5 pieces to show. Freshly printed, I'm looking forward to showing the work...

June 14, 2011

Know it All... Not

Music | Distractions by Zero Seven

I work hard at what I want to learn and master. As much as I'd like to be prepared for a shoot, sometimes shit happens and nothing goes right. I was very excited to get back to my North Light Studio, my outdoor daylight studio which renders beautiful light. This is the 2nd year I have shot there and I am slowly learning to utilize it under various conditions and circumstances. I did 95% of my wet plates there last year and had planned to go after another one today. I had a wonderful muse lined up and ready to go...

Frankly, I'm very ignorant to the ways and means of a Wet Plate Collodion image. I know the steps involved and the movements I need to make to create an image, but I don't know the process... Today, during my session, the first 2 plates I attempted were way off... Not just exposure, but contrast and dmax... Flat, no black blacks, or white whites. I had my possible ideas of solutions, but unfortunately, I didn't have the resources to try and fix them. It hasn't been more than 3 days earlier where I made 2 wonderful plates that I was very happy with. Today, I got nothing...

Frustrated, but still having the willingness to go on, I went and got my digital camera and decided to move forward. I kept the pace slow and very mechanical for the most part. I didn't want to go and blast off 300 exposures, just because I could... My mindset was still in Wet Plate mode.

I have to say, the thing nice about both Wet Plates and digital is the immediate feedback you get just right after taking the photo. We see what we have done and move forward. I like the idea that the WP Process has affected the way I shoot. I never was finger to the shutter, full blast ahead type of photographer anyway. But I think my photos that I take, digital or other forms of film has made me even more contemplative.

So, from a miserable start and a blow to the psyche, I did manage to shoot some exposures with the digital camera and came up with this...

June 13, 2011


Music | Avalon by Roxy Music

Last week, I got a chance to pour my first 8x10 plate and shoot. It wasn't perfect, but I'm still far from perfect with my little 4x5's... My buddy Brandon was doing some tests and we ended up shooting each other.

The larger medium is quite impressive, especially when you are used to 4x5. I'd love to shoot more 8x10, but at 4 times the cost, I think I better perfect my technique of shooting the smaller format first.

June 09, 2011

Getting Schooled...

Music | Koyal by Nitin Sawhney

Really disappointed, like last year, Portland's summer seems to be getting another late start. Because the studio is outdoors, I have hardly gotten anything done for the first part of 2011. However, seems like we are getting a bit more consistent on the non rainy days and temps hovering more in the 60º+ range.

Other good news is that the other day, I was able to shoot my first 8x10 plate. As soon as it is varnished, I'll have to post it. I've been collaborating with Brandon Fernandez recently who also has an out door studio with a massive 8x10 studio camera. We ended up doing some quick tests of each other, so I also have a nice new plate portrait of myself, which I'll also post.

Yesterday, both Brandon and I got schooled with regards to some studio lighting. We were able to find out that his 4800 Speedotron studio pack has enough juice to properly expose a plate, with beautiful results! He also has a very affordable cfl light bank that enables exposures of 4 seconds at f:5.6 with a nice range of flexibility as well. This opens up huge possibilities regarding the ability to creating Wet Plate Collodion Plates. No longer are we limited to shooting in optimal conditions outside during specific times of the day, we can shoot in the studio at midnight if we wanted!


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