January 31, 2013

Flesh for Eve

Music | Flesh for Eve by Jun Miyake

On the edge of consciousness, I felt layers coming over me, completing me. Like a translucent sweater floating upon me, I gathered substance. That voice put me in a trance of some sort, the harp adding more to my existence. I'm traveling thru... over land and sea, thru time... I'm moving to a new or just another dimension...

I haven't had much rest today. I had an early start and maybe 3 hours to rest in the afternoon before I had to work again. On my feet today more than in a long time. Because of sleep apnea, I'm not resting well anyway. I go thru often what I call being on the edge of consciousness, or maybe the other side of consciousness where I am free. It is where brilliant ideas come from, I know it. But when I start to return, my state of mind turns from ethereal to reality, blocking away like bricks those floaty things just on the other side of my conscious mind. I need feathers, not bricks...

January 30, 2013

Negative - Positive

Music | Some Chords by Deadmau5

Traversing back in time, today I shot a few sheets of paper negatives on both the Rolleiflex and the Chamonix. Turns out the smaller 2.5 square neg came out better than the 4x5. I scanned the neg, opened the file in Photoshop and just inverted the image. No adjustment.

I'm really surprised at how much the shadows held details. Though this is a digital conversion to positive, I'm really looking forward to making a contact print. Though small, I think it will be interesting to see an all analogue processed print.

Paper neg from a Rolleiflex. 2.5 in sq.

Paper positive from a Rolleiflex. 2.5 in sq.

The ultimate finish with the paper negative is to make contact prints on real silver based paper. I'm hoping to be able to finish thie process in its entirety, soon...

January 29, 2013

Silver Base

Music | Everlasting by Rufus and Chaka Khan

Along with shooting a smaller format with the Rolleiflex, the idea of shooting with my 8x10 Century in Wet Plates, I've decided to try one more interest to add to my plate. The transition to shooting paper negatives isn't too far off from my wet plates. I'll start off using the 4x5 with regular film holders to hold the paper negs. Since I will be making either contact prints or scanning and making digital prints, I won't need a full fledged darkroom. In fact, the only thing I needed to go this route is to buy paper and developer!

I'm hoping to get some testing in tomorrow!

It has been so long that I worked with Dektol and Ilford. The aroma alone will send me back in time, when I had a darkroom, printing til 4 or 5 in the morning... It is interesting making a circle of sorts in my photographic career. Nice to know, I've traveled a long way!

January 22, 2013

Almost Paris...

Music | La Vie en Rose by Edith Piaf
So I've had this fantasy that one day, when I'm just a little older, I would move to Paris and have my atelier in a 2 or 3 story walk up. From the street below, you can see the huge picture window that allows the Northern Light to stream upon the studio set where an old theatre backdrop hangs along with a few large format cameras in front of it. When you are lucky, you can see a woman from the street covered partially by my big black overcoat as she gazes out over the city. The locals by now know me as the eccentric Asian who comes out on occasion to have an espresso and croissant at the corner café or at the Jazz club just down the street sipping on a glass of single malt scotch...


We had shot a version just before this one where I didn't get enough fill in the shadows. Aimée had slipped on my overcoat to stay warm as we viewed the plate as it was washing... As we walked back onto the set to try our 2nd shot, she dropped off the coat, got into her pose... Suddenly, seeing her, for a brief second, I was there, in my atelier, with the Northern light, the smell of partially burnt coffee with Edith Piaf singing in the back ground...

Too much? Maybe, but it is my fantasy...


January 20, 2013

Images and Memories...

Music | Province by TV on the Radio

Anne and Ellie

Many times while shooting a family portrait, I often think about how the image relates to time... I think of photographs of my Mom and Dad from before I was born from the family album that are embedded in my head. For whatever reason, particular pictures act as icons that represent a person, that leaves important memories.

I still think the act of photography, the intention of stealing time is an incredible feat. Often over looked, taken for granted, we don't think about the incredible power there is in a photograph. With the way we are now accustomed to snapping away at our hearts content, the magic seems to have been misplaced...

What becomes accessible suddenly becomes mundane. What was once unique, that suddenly becomes the norm becomes of lessor value. Capturing time is and always will be as important as much as it sounds absurd.

I hope in the future, 5... 10... 25 years from now, as with all the portraits I've shoot, not only will the subjects have fond memories, important memories, a flavor of what it was like when the image was taken, but maybe some of the viewers as well... a family member, friend or acquaintance ...

January 12, 2013

Give and Receive...

Music | The Truth by Handsome Boy Modeling School

Some people bring out a conduciveness to collaborate. Jenn had only sat for one other photographer before we got together. She readily admitted that she had no ideas or what to do and sometimes that can be really difficult. We started out a little stiff, but as she found it easier to work with me and was able to interpret my words to her actions, things began to roll. Our first plate was a winner and as she saw the result, she quickly built confidence. This was the last plate of the session, it is by far not only the best plate of the evening, but one of the nicest pieces I've shot with a Wet Plate.

Sa Jouet

January 10, 2013


Music | Beautiful by Garbage

I knew working with Irish was going to be something special. A saw fellow photographer, Mr. Christopher Perez's renditions of her and their collaborations were wonderful!

We could have honestly gone thru the entire shoot without having to say a word. I love that concept, communicating without words. But, this was our first time together and out of mutual respect, we did the word thing... In the future, I will propose to her to do a shoot and simply not talk.

As we drove to the shooting space, she was telling me about her idea of black witch, white witch. Her personality I will say comes thru in the photos. Her imagination is amazing and merely the ideas she proposed sounded great to me. Opposing forces or just the forces that be to create balance was a great concept to start with. I didn't have any hesitation of letting Irish just go and do her thing.

We did a total of 6 plates last night and each and every one of them could be hung up on the walls. I can only wish that the images on the plates translated the amazing quality on screen, but it just isn't so...

White Witch

Black Witch

January 07, 2013


Music | Illusion by Coaxial


January 04, 2013


Music | I Have Seen by Zero 7

In conjunction to my last post and to expound on the title, Why I Love What I Do, as we become more and more reliant on technology - to get the things we want, I'm feeling much more at home in doing my Wet Plates. I've been down that road of explaining why I love to get my hands dirty, smelling the aroma of the various fumes, taking chemicals and combining them to help create what I love...

I've spent close to 4 years now slowly learning the process, gathering my materials, building with my hands, trading and buying my equipment. I've made sacrifices and dealt with a lot of POS moments to move forward and keep trying to get to that feeling of seeing an image emerge from nothingness... I realize it is that moment of anticipation is what I live for...

... nothingness ...

Why I Love What I Do

Music | Soon it Will Be Cold Enough to Build Fires by Emancipator

Canon is coming out with a new camera this year that is based on a dslr that shoots video as well. Thought that isn't big news these days, this camera, the Canon D1 C enables the user to pull images out of the video rendering you with a high quality high resolution file. So while you are shooting video of an event, you can pull a single frame out and print a nice 16x20 inch print. No longer will you need to worry about timing of the smile, or capturing the pinnacle moment of a kiss during a wedding. Technology has reached a point where serendipity will no longer be serendipitous... The challenge just became 95% easier...

My appreciation of what I do has become more acute after hearing about what this new technology can do. Almost 5 years ago, when I decided that digital photography was not where my heart was, I must have had an inkling that taking pictures would come to this. We had joked that taking photos off video would relinquish the need for still photography.

It appears that the appreciation for photography has taken another big hit. However, I do wonder where this turn of events will take us. I remember hearing about how the computer was supposed to make our lives easier and much more efficient. I know for me, it has turned into a time hog. Seems like my watch, maybe a date book / address book suited me very well. Instead of simplicity, I think things are way more complicated...
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