Though Kate had been elusive, we finally got together yesterday after years of talk... As I had known from the beginning, I knew we would work well together. After 3 plates, there was no reason to shoot more...
I bought a Cyanotype Kit from Photographers Formulary to learn the process of contact printing in hopes of eventually getting to Platinum Palladium. Years ago, Connie Wellnitz gave me a contact printing frame along with a UV rich light source. I'm finally making use of the printing frame and may eventually get to use the light. For now, I've been using the sun from all the bright days we've been having.
I decided to do this right from the start, so I also get a mortar and pestle, which is required to mix up some of the chemicals. I also purchased a few pipets and a smaller 250 ml glass beaker to mix everything up. I also bought a sheet of Fabriano Artistico paper. Lastly, a hake brush to put the emulsion to paper.
My first go around wasn't a total disaster. I used a type 55 negative of my Dad from way back. I thought it might be a little thin, but I got image. I wasn't sure I liked the texture of the Artistico paper. My friend Brandon Fernandez gave me a sheet of Bergger hot press, which is a much more smooth paper. Having gotten to try an few sheets, various types of neg densities, I think I'm realizing at this point, with the knowledge I have, what is most important is the negative. I'm sure I will figure out how to boost contrast, which seems to be my biggest issue right now.
Today, I had what I felt was a good negative to try again. Though the vibrance on the screen is more than what the matte, textured paper gives, this isn't too far off. I'm feeling progress!
The other day, I got to spend some time with my past... I'd say close to 25 years ago was when I may have last hung out with Tamara Staples in her old loft space in Bucktown. I remember doing a portrait of her while she was making these extraordinary hats. As she is now, she has a spirit that is free and carries on much in the same way from what I remember. More responsibilities, a different life, sadness for me of the lost southern drawl, she is a woman of Brooklyn, NY. It was refreshing to me that I was able to hang out with her for a few hours, take her portrait again and talk of the past, talk of now and of art.
It happens on occasion... Not often enough... It's when stars align and everything just falls into place. Of course, it is not without effort that this can occur. You want all your shoots to turn out this way, but for whatever reason, only once in awhile does it happen. So you imagine in your minds eye what the photo will look like and when the plate is prepared, the exposure ends, the plate is developed and then fixed, as the image appears, the reality of the image is better than your imagined perfect plate...
I officially met Erik a few weeks ago. I had put together an event where a few photographers got together to shoot analogue. A few of us met face to face to show our prints of what we had shot. We knew of each other via a community forum we both are members of. His exterior facade is very intense and I knew I wanted to capture that.
I've said before that most of my sessions are collaborative. I set up a frame and let my subjects work within it. I may suggest a turn here or there, but I don't lean on an idea and try to force an issue. Erik just fell into place.
So not only was the perfection carried out with my subject, but technically, I adore the light. The symmetry of highlights and shadows here are perfect to me. I've got detail everywhere! And the Petzval lens I am loving more and more! The fall off from the eyes to everywhere else is as creamy as the light.
This is why I love what I do... It is this particular feeling I get where I have conquered my own world...
It has been a busy end of the week photographing kids. It was a nice change of pace and most certainly has kept me on my toes. I shot a 2 1/2 year old and 8 and 9 year olds. 2 girls and a boy.
Stella was my last subject for this week. I loved how serious she appeared to take the shoot. She was the consummate professional at such a young age. It was nice that she lent her own twist to my direction, which I usually do, as I love collaboration.