January 04, 2014

Putting Zen into the Work Flow

Music | Lean on Me by Bill Withers

The first shoot of the year had some parameters put upon it because I was getting lazy and cowardly. The last few times I have attempted to shoot on glass, I quickly made the decision to switch back to aluminum because I had issues with the glass. Instead of working it out, I went back to what was comfortable... Of course comfort is easy, comfort is nice, but what comfort is not is challenging.

I've had my battles with my photography in 2013. I think I was set back 2 months from producing any meaningful work. I'd still be in that abyss which was pretty easy to rationalize to stay, but time is ticking for my exhibition in June. Working thru fear, all self manifested, is challenging.

Though I don't put much seriousness of starting a new year a new way, I did decide to make the first shoot only glass and the worse thing was failure to get a decent image. I decided that was not such a bad thing as I know I was going to learn something from the shoot.

I prepared with focus and more tenacity for this shoot, particularly after watching the movie, Jiro Dreams of Sushi. All I can say is, if this movie doesn't make you look at yourself and how you create and move forward, nothing will. I prepped for the shoot days in advance, with both aged and fresh collodion and developer. I bought black trays to better judge the glass plates as the image appeared in the fixer. During the session, after every exposure, with alcohol, I wiped down the plate holder and made my darkroom working conditions a bit more simple.

My pours need more attending to, both for the collodion and developer. The 4x larger plate size I am not accustomed to will take time to get used to. The first plate of the year yielded a nice image however, a bit over exposed. I was happy with the direction I was headed. 4 plates for the session and I can say I was quite happy with what I got out of it - 2 especially wonderful plates...

Victorian Polly

Damoiselle hardly Distressed
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