Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Show at Kansas Secured Title

December 21, 2008

Well, I think we did quite well at the latest Lawrence Photo Alliance show at Kansas Secured Title.  This was KST’s holiday party and they invited those LPA members with work hanging at their office to attend.  I didn’t see the guest book tally but it seemed quite well attended.  Especially in this time of holiday party cut-backs.

Spoke with several of the local bankers, loan officers and others in the Real Estate business and all had good things to say about the work hanging on the walls.  Fielded several questions about how to contact the artists and availability of prints so I hope something good comes of that.

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More about capturing time…

October 2, 2008

Been busy with lots of other things but I heard a statistic the other day.  Something about 80 billion photographs (obviously digital + film) made worldwide per year.

I wrote in another entry about how much time that represents.  That is to say, how much time is actually captured in the prints, the length of exposure.  I don’t think I picked such a high number of images before.  So just for the heck of it I’m going to repeat the calculation.

First I’ll assume everybody had double prints made and just call it 40 billion images.  And I’ll pick 1/100 of a second as the average exposure value.

40 billion / 100 = 400 million seconds

400 million seconds = 12.68 years!

So assume everybody had high speed film and the average exposure was 1/500 second, the final answer is still over 2.5 years.

An abuse of simple math and a poor accounting of time but the magic of large numbers makes it thought provoking.

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Fuji Transfers

March 29, 2008

Not the greatest day outside today. I had hoped for some sunshine because I wanted to get a jump on some 8×10 Polaroid work for the Ode to Polaroid exchange at APUG. But no such luck.  So instead I decided to take another stab at using Fuji FP100C for emulsion transfers.

I don’t have a Daylab or 405 back so I make the images in-camera.  This time I decided to use FrankenRoid which is a pinhole MP4.  Get out the rubber duckies and barrel of monkeys, turn on the Wagner and create!

valkrye_001.jpg

6 minute exposure with heavy overcast.  20 seconds development, then peel and place on the Arches Aquarelle (hot press).  Roll for 1 minute, single direction, with a hard brayer.  Important that the peel and place be done in the dark or with a dim safe light.  Once down, the back of the Fuji is light proof so the lights could be turned on, I just worked under the safe light the whole time.

Fuji FP100C has a very pronounced blue shift for long exposures so I was to use a Daylab I might want to adjust the color pack to be a little minus blue.  There are some good discussions of this technique on http://www.flickr.com and http://www.apug.org  .   Both sites have search functions so key words like “emulsion+FP100” or “fuji+transfer” should help find them.  I just feel lazy right now and so don’t have links to include in this entry.

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Exposure Time

January 17, 2008

Interesting comment made in one of the podcasts at http://podcast.eastmanhouse.org/ .  The curator of photography threw out the number 400,000 as an estimate of how many photographs the Eastman House has.  Interesting but nothing really special in that number.  But then he suggested you think about that number in terms of the TIME captured.  Early photographs were seconds to minutes.  20th century photography is mostly sub-one second times…

Just for fun, lets say the average is one second.  400,000 photographs = 400,000 seconds

400,000 / 60 / 60 / 24 = 4.63 or just about 4 and 2/3 days of “TIME” captured.

Take this one step further…  I seem to remember a number like $50 Million as the total sales of digital cameras in a recent year.   Lets say the average camera cost is $300 so that is over 160,000 new cameras in a year.  Another guestimate might be that on average there are 5 exposures made per camera per day for a year.  I picked this to cover both the occasional shooter that makes 10 or 20 snapshots per year and the working professional that is making possibly hundreds per day.  And each exposure is on average 1/100 of a second.

So just for those 160,000 “new” digital cameras, in one year:

160,000 x 5 x 365 / 100 = 2,920,000 seconds which is a little less than 34 days captured.  Push the average exposure time up to 1/500 and that time drops to 6.8 days…

This isn’t scientific and it isn’t really what is happening with time but to me it is an interesting way of considering what happens to all the images made (digital or film) over time.

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Punkin’ Pie

December 24, 2007

pies.jpg

Quick check that the Polaroid Model 100 and M3 flash bulb gun is ready to go!

All good but maybe pinch rollers need cleaning… 🙂

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Got me thinking…

December 12, 2007

Every so often I cruise around different photo sites, this time I decided to check out what Dan Coburn might have to say. Especially since I knew he had a recent show opening and also as he is president of the LPA, he acted as host to our group show opening. Dan keeps his blog over at danielcoburn.wordpress.com and in particular, this entry started me thinking.

http://danielcoburn.wordpress.com/2007/12/11/photography-process-vs-art/

Below is an expanded version of the rambling comment I posted to his entry…

In a painting, we know it came from the hand of man so artistic license is accepted without question. With a photograph we have been conditioned to expect it to tell the truth because some set technical process was used. Being more of a process junkie than an “artist” I enjoy the journey as much as if not more than the finished product. So make the image you want with the tools you want. If somebody doesn’t appreciate the work it took to get from idea to finished image then too bad for them. They can still enjoy the image, and they might even understand some of the “deeper meaning” of the imagery (even if it wasn’t put there by the image maker). But if they do start to understand the process, they could start seeing the image you intended to make. It is a rare event that you get EXACTLY the perfect image on the first try, yet that is what the camera / software / film / accessory makers are trying to tell us will happen each and every time we use their product. Understanding the process and how the equipment does what it does will take the image further toward success than just substituting the next great gadget.

Each LPA meeting, we start with a quick trip ’round the room to introduce ourselves. I like to stick in “death before digital” when I make my introduction. Not because I think “analog” photography is better than digital. It isn’t. It is different. I’m leaning more and more toward a hybrid (plug for http://www.hybridphoto.com) method where I mix and match analog and digital to get where I want to be. Putting forth “death before digital” as a mock battle-cry has produced some interesting results. Some people at the meetings have figured out I’m just having them on but other seem to get rather defensive. To me that suggests they aren’t secure in their choice(s) of medium. And still others just don’t listen, and would rather blather on about how well they are doing (with digital it happened), I know they weren’t listening because they quoted me as saying “death to digital” then went on and on about how much better digital is than analog. It amuses me to no end when somebody who is trying to tell me how much better digital is starts to stumble along in the bit of software they are using to demonstrate their point. It always comes back to knowing your tools inside and out, not just moving on to the next big thing. Corollary: use the right tool for the job.

I think Dan’s concern about people questioning technique in photographs more than in a painting is for two reasons. One, because photography is “easy”. “Just pull the string and we do the rest.”, thanks for nothin’ George. These are the magic-bullet chasers (what lens, how many megapixels, which filter in Photoshop, etc). Yes, I do realize there is a bit of “the pot calling the kettle black” in my pointing a finger at magic-bullet chasers. While I don’t lust after the latest and greatest image editing software and dSLR, I do like the idea of a bigger and better camera. Physically bigger, not just the latest model, that is. Since I’m tending to regress, technology wise, I’m more of a magic-pointy-stick chaser. The second is because we have been taught that the camera doesn’t lie and when we see something that doesn’t quite meet our expectations (generally by exceeding them) we want to know why. Well, the camera has told more than the truth (notice I didn’t say the camera lies) from day one. Always has, always will. The camera sees differently than our eyes and little monkey-brains. We see by scanning a scene and constantly changing our exact point of focus. The camera gets one shot to convert the 3-d scene into a 2-d scene (HDR techniques not withstanding). The end result is that with the camera (and lens and printing process) we can control what is and isn’t in focus, what is and isn’t in the scene and what is or isn’t emphasized through color/contrast/aspect ratio etc.

So let them ask their technical questions. Educate the questioner with your answer. Slowly they will learn the difference between photography and snapshots, between technique and technical. The work I have produced thus far has all been the result of my wanting to learn more about how a certain aspect of my equipment works. Could be a lens design, camera movement, camera type, film brand, changes in chemistry, a different photo paper maybe. As a result of all this fooling around I generate a lot of scrap and every once in a while, something I like. Maybe one in twenty or fewer of my negatives get past a proof print. And sometimes I don’t even get past the proof print just looking at them on a light table. Doesn’t mean they are failures (well, let’s be honest, some are complete failures). I’ve asked a lot of stupid questions, I’ve asked (what I hope are) better questions. And I’ve given good and bad answers to questions asked of me. Eventually, we arrive at the right answer or technique for the desired result. And some day I’ll be able to move past the gee-whiz technical stage into artistic technique stage.

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Getting the rug pulled out from under the image…

December 9, 2007

Been a while since I could do much except play Engineer all day and get prints ready for LPA show at night.  But before it turned cold I spend an afternoon back on the KU Campus with the Seneca 8×10 and experimented some more with the last of my J&C Classic 100 film and Ilex lens.  Only a few more sheets of the J&C left so I’m not investing a lot of time into speed and developer testing.

Anyway, I noticed they had finally removed the sheets of plywood from the front of Spooner Hall (oldest building on the campus) and I’ve always liked the stone work and quote above the door.  “Whoso Findeth Wisdom Findeth Life”.  I guess this is from Proverbs but a quick check with Google and I find it also as “Whoso findeth me findeth life”.

Not a bad exposure but I am still having trouble learning to see the whole image.  Otherwise I would have noticed that entry-way rug was all bunched up!

Spooner Hall

It won’t be possible to see in this scanned copy, but in the print, because it is a contact print from an 8×10 negative, the detail is fantastic.  At least to me as I’m still used to seeing 8×10’s that are enlargements from 35mm negs.  The text carved below the center opening is crystal clear.  And I can see minute detail in the surface of the limestone.  And I can see that stupid rug has a “fuzzy side” and a rubber backing!