August 30, 2012

Aesthetics, Respect and Days Gone By...

Music | Porecelain by Moby

Remember as a kid, going thru family photos, either thru albums or boxes of loose prints? Remember going to museums and looking at actual art pieces, sculptures, paintings and photographs? Having seen images thru magazines or books, then seeing the actual work was just so much better! I realize the tides are changing and viewing art electronically has become the default.

In these times, I wonder if the painter is painting with the end result being on the screen as their main intention. I guess if so, they could paint with the computer, lose the feeling of dabbing brush into paint, then onto canvas. Command Z for mistakes and just as easily change colour with the press of a button. Of course I know the answer to my question. Painters are painters and they do what they do because they have to. What true painter would forgo the subtleties of pressure, feathering and all the techniques they have learned over the years?

With photography, I realize the end result is not always the print. Not that tangible object that you can hold in your hand and feel, study, look and think upon as an object of desire in itself. The camera phone, android, iphone has made things where we no longer even think about the photographic print.  I'm just as bad as the next, shooting photos with instagram and posting for the world to see. I get my pats on the back and hope my number of comments and likes increase...

The electronic and digital age we live in has managed to devalue many aspects of our lives. It has also stripped away man's view of aesthetics. Now, we have access to everything, in overt abundance where more people are capable of doing more bad things and compare themselves to those who have worked hard and paid their dues to reach where they are. But since we live in a "Good Enough" society, only those that have been able to keep a smidgen of aesthetics can see a difference.

August 27, 2012


Music | Everloving by Moby

While working with a new model, I got the chance to shoot some Polaroid Type 55 film that Tom Moratto sent me. Of course that film has been gone since 2008, but if you can manage to find it, you can buy a box of 20 sheets for upwards of $200. Tom had sold all of his 4x5 equipment and gave me the sheets he had left.

I loved going thru the motions of loading that film, delicately sliding it into the holder and even more gently, pulling up the cover to enable exposure to the film. Memories of using that film to check composition, lighting ratios and the general look of your scene brought on a great nostolgia. Besides enjoying the moment, I felt history sliding thru the rollers of the holder as it meshed chemicals to film to process the instant photo...

Nej Rose

It is no wonder I love Wet Plate... the closest procedure to get that instant photo again...

August 13, 2012

Out of the Comfort Zone

Music | Shh by Frou Frou

Not a planned for today, but it appears Brandon was as wired to shoot as I was. I had mentioned wanting to shoot at Peninsula Park and he was ready to go. I was thinking it would be nice to have 2 shooters as one watched over gear while the other prepped to shoot.

This was a good exercise for me as I hadn't shot out in the field with wet plates in over a year. I made the mistake of forgetting my dark cloth and loupe. Brandon brought along his dark room tent that we shared. It was nice and refreshing being outside, under a lot of shade which was good. The temps rose close to 90º.

I don't think either of us however became too inspired. I managed to shoot only 3 plates and only one of those was worthy. I went thru 6 plates as my collodion started to thicken. I then realized I should have some alcohol available to cure the issue.

I have come to the realization that I should be much more consistent when working under more controlled circumstances. So many things can go wrong as it is, but on location that becomes ten fold. Working at the studio, in a real darkroom, controlled lighting and temperatures should make the process easy... hmmmmm... what am I doing wrong...

Peninsula Park Rose Garden

-- --