Thursday, February 22, 2018

Fishnado.

 

  After distractions by travel and feathers I put an old idea front and center.  I wanted a vortex in a bottle full of fish.  I'd worried about the fish.  I could buy them from a bait shop, no problem, but I didn't want to HARM any of them.  I know that the fishing/bait process leaves zero survivors, but I just couldn't bring myself to kill minnows.

  But, a fishnado didn't work.  My technique wouldn't spin the water with the added weight of the fish...and of course they swim upstream...



  So I switched to jars and glasses.

  Was standing in line a Whittaker's buying a bag of three dozen minnows.  I'd kept my foot firmly planted on the accelerator chasing images and was deep in thought about how I was handling the subject, lighting, thinking about what else was possible, et.  A guy in line started talking to me about the White Bass beginning to spawn, how many I would probably catch, if the rain might affect their biting, how good they would taste fried.  I couldn't have tracked less if he had been speaking Chinese.  Fishing....fishing.  I know I know what that is...  All of a sudden I realized, MOST folks buy minnows to FISH!  NOT for photography with a god-awful retrograde 8X10 and ridiculously big sheets of film!  My paradigm shifted without using the clutch.

  Such a strange life.

  The minnows go in a deep pool in the branch of the Blackfork that I live on.  I dump them in and they totally disappear.  So far, I've dumped two bags- 72 minnows in the creek.  I never see a one after they hit the water.  Everything is a mystery.  Just have to navigate anyway.

  Back in studio.  Had a new thought about a tornado image.  We'll see if it works.

  

Houston feathers.

We stayed in Houston with friends for the Houston Center for Photography's annual print auction.  Very nice affair.  The next morning we were off to Rothko Chapel to let Cindy experience that and the Menial, then lunch with Jeffery Koslov.  Lotta art.  I left Houston with a ziplock of dove feathers that Kathy Kowitz had collected from their bird feeder.  I went straight to work with a couple of ideas from my notebook.
First try.

Then I thought I nailed it...but didn't.  Once more shot at it.  That's pretty common with my work flow.


Pyrocat negatives.




Deer leg bone from the Butler Creek system and White-Winged Dove feathers from Houston.  In my little studio.

Minor White Jupiter Portfolio at Sam Houston State University.

The Good Doctor Sneed met Cindy and I at our alma mater to look at Paul Caponigro's Portfolio II and the Minor White Jupiter Portfolio.  Anyone can do this, but most of the time the portfolios just sit.  The library card in the Caponigro portfolio still had my signature from 1975.

The Jupiter Portfolio has a fable written by Minor.  It's very much in the feeling of the early 70s.


He's an entertaining guy.  I think the fable is online somewhere.

Dr. Sneed with infrared Ivy.


Cracked paint.

Our favorite.



Wonderful to see both portfolios. Very similar in printing. It looked like they were printed on the same paper.  Nearly a matte surface.  Prints were on the edge of softness.

  The librarian in Special Collections pulls them and gives you some white gloves.  You can take as long as you want.

Moon-spired.



The recent Lunar eclipse.

I had the idea to work some moons into still life.  

Pyrocat negative.






Continuing this idea after I sorted out the work flow.  Now we are in the next moon cycle...but it's cloudy for the next week.



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Stacking leaves in December.

8X10/HP5/Pyrocat.  Have to get them fresh.  Leaves change all the time, even over the course of a couple hours.

Ginko.

Maple.

Ginko

Dogwood.

Redbud.

All in the studio under a softbox.  Once I learned how to stack them I had to work fast.  As I say, they don't last long.

Catching up on landscapes.

Still life is the polar opposite of landscape, for all the obvious reasons.  Really two sides of a coin.  I'd been hankering to get in and print some landscape negs that were piling up.  Most of there shot right off the plea over the fixer tray.  All 16X20 paper.


Utah volcanic neck shadow, morning.

Afternoon shadow.  

Waterfall at Shiprock.

River House on the San Juan along Comb Ridge.

 South Dike, Shiprock.
Grand Canyon.

South Dike, Shiprock.

Grand Canyon.

New Mexico.  Cholla and shadow.

Shooting through Winter.

New ideas aren't always good ideas, but you have to start somewhere.

Stacked Fallen Dogwoods


 Moon Pans was a new idea I had while out shooting big shadows in the Four Corners area.  My attempts out there didn't work, so I tried putting Moons in a still life back home.


Pyrocat negs.

Moon feathers.


Reduced the base size the next night.

Moon Martini.  Already have an upgraded idea with another layer.  Just need the next moon cycle.






Monday, October 30, 2017

Guggenheim Application images: Magic & Logic.


  Magic & Logic is a series of KINETIC still life.  Definition:  A still life that requires a camera to see it.  Kinetic still life is burning, balancing, melting, et.  Images are more events than assemblage.  Many are not visible until the negative is processed.

  This series features images of new ideas never before seen in nature or culture.  As in the Blackfork Bestiary the subjects come from the yard, the street, the trash...the local ecosystem.  Mostly they are photographed on a tiny board stage.  Just the players change.  I regard this project as landscape-generated.  I'm primarily a landscape photographer.  When shooting landscape, God, (or the universe, or Gaia, (or someone with a larger prop table),  picks the props, arranges the background, handles the lighting, et, et.  The photographer just picks the viewpoint and the moment.  With these kinetic still life...I'm god.   My ideas have to measure up to, (at least), a sandy hill or a momentary rainwater rivulet.  Landscape and still life are two sides of the same coin.  If you are having trouble on one side, reset by flipping to the other.

    I regard myself as a slight surrealist.  A reminder in the studio says: "Make Man Ray Blink!"  If the imaged idea isn't delightful and surprising, back into oblivion they go.

  In order of application:


Flaming mushroom.

Puzzle Ice.

Illuminated Manuscript.

Fall Running Scissors.

Writing Light.

Deconstructed Magnolia.

Folded Frozen Flatware.

Puzzle Tornado.

Wisteria Scissors.

Handful of acorns.

I'm thinking about switching one:


Moon Pans.

  Now you know everything I know.