July 26, 2012

Don't Be Afraid of Light...

Music | Hear Me Out by Frou Frou

... or the lack of it. It was awhile since I shot in a nice hotel. We were at the Governor's in a gorgeous and large room. The building has to be over 100 years old, but kept up very nicely. Light thru the window was a bit sparse as the view out of it was other windows of other rooms. Between my lights and the room lights, there is no way to get a feel as to how the room looks in its natural state. As we finished up our last shot, I started to turn the lights off and noticed the fabulous light coming thru the window taking over the space. The lone chair sat where it is in the photo and I just kept telling myself not to be afraid of the lack of light. Shadows are a good thing. My client had the perfect garb for the shot and naturally lounged on the chair...

July 24, 2012

Your Way or the Highway...

Music | Minor Seventh Heaven by Oscar Pettiford

Strobed and shot on location at a rental studio of Pam and Nick.

I have to remember that I don't have this beast under control like I do otherwise. Wet Plate Collodion demands respect, or it will spit you out and stomp all over you. It took me several plates to get into the groove and I just have to remember to take deep breathes and relax, just like I ask my subjects.

Shooting several hundred photos during a digital shoot makes the process easy. Time, effort and costs are minimal and with so many to choose from, there is bound to be a few nice selections. This day, we shot 9 exposures during our time together. It wasn't until the 3rd plate that I started to feel comfortable. This was the 4th plate and I think it was the plate of the afternoon.

There is no resting on one's laurels when shooting wet plates. Not for me at least. The only laurels I have is my past work, and only the good stuff I show. I do love that each time I go out and shoot, I have to be in that mode, that groove to be able to produce. It takes effort and thought. It forces me to work! In the end, if I meet my end of the bargain, I'll get nice plate.

July 19, 2012

Studio, aka One Car Garage...

Music | All at Sea by Jamie Cullum

It has been almost a month since I did my last shoot. It's nice to get back into the saddle and make a nice piece of work. G.G. has been a muse for me for years and there hasn't been a time where we didn't come out with something nice.

Today I set up the garage as a studio, background, strobe, reflector and camera. There was plenty of room to work and actually, the surroundings of hanging bicycles, lawn mower, rakes and such sort of disappeared with only the model light illuminating the set. I'm realizing I really don't need a lot of space to work my portraits and still life.

Today was more of a test to make sure all my chemicals were in order. I knew my existing collodion was going to be slow because of age. It was nice to make a comparison with the old and new... about a stop and a 1/2 difference! Having this reference point is comforting and brings on confidence. I hope to shoot a lot in the next few weeks.

I had the results I needed from 3 plates, but we pushed forward and shot a few more. I'm glad we did because this is what came out with the last one...

July 10, 2012

Hang Your Own Work..

Music | Flite by The Cinematic Orchestra

It is nice to know that my printer is actually sustaining itself and putting a little money in my pocket. Actually it is just going to get more materials for me to keep shooting, but that is good too!

One of my clients saw some of my food wet plates I shot late last year and the early part of this year. I was happy that she ordered 2 prints, possibly 3 prints a bit larger than I have sold in the past, and framed. Since putting up the show at Sesso, and also helping a friend hang her show, I was feeling confident in finding the right size frame and style. I often go simple and use black metal with a mat with coverage around the actual image. My client couldn't decide weather a dark brown wood or black frame would be best, so I presented her with both. Of course she went with my standard black frame, which left me with the brown. I printed up an image of a squash to put in it and it turned out looking amazing. Holding it in my hands leaves my perspective of it, limited. However, hanging it on the wall just transformed the piece.

It is kind of sad when a photographer gets this feeling so rarely as I do... My photo suddenly was a work of art. In all my sincerity, I was very proud at what I created and seeing it as art, or a perspective that was a bit foreign to me was astounding.
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