Sunday, January 27, 2013

Proofing day.

Just starting to plow through old negative boxes.  Got one open next to the enlarger but it's slow going. Printed off the end of a box of paper this afternoon while proofing film from the last two weekends up at Clarksville.

  Looks like the first look at something is usually the best.  Went back to several subjects and made worse photos the second time.  Hmmmm.

Owl neg going to make a nice print.

Just four 8X10 negs but might have something to try as a platinum contact, if I can get coating smooth enough.

  Tried stacking a polarizer and a green filter two times.  Both sets of negatives are underexposed by about a stop and a half, though I metered through them.  Have to check that versus metering the subject and then adding the filter factor, see what the difference might be.  Otherwise, just add more exposure.  No problems with either filter used by itself.

Just keep on.  Live and learn, then die and forget it all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shooting and shooting.

Picked up a truck-killed Great Horned Owl on the way up to Clarksville last weekend.  She was on the side of the road in the Sulpher River bottom.  Horned owls very common but you hear them more than see them.  Intact.  Probably dead of a broken neck.  (Driving up for some late-season management-tag shooting with rifle.  This is probably the shot.

First looks can be the best, but you never know.  On 5X7 Ilford HP5.

He lasted the weekend so I reshot him with 5X7 and 8X10 this weekend.

Moved him and shot him in the sun.  Pretty contrasty but I wanted to see the shadow.

And the next morning in the shade.  I'm always trying to find the best light to shoot in.

Now she's had a Christian funeral.  Birds like this tacked up will last through the Spring and into the Summer, though they start looking a bit worn.

8X10 standing by.  It travels folded up in that box with a few holders and accessories.

8X10 set up in the sun in the afternoon light.  That's the West wall of the barn and sun position is cranked over because of the time of year.  

Owl up in the loft.  Left behind up there in the dry and cold.  She'll dessicate.  Gorgeous, adult, probably female Great Horned Owl.  RIP.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Off to shoot in Clarksville....

Up to Clarksville area for a little hunting this weekend, but taking Digital Nikon and three old pistols to shoot a calendar page or two, the Deardorff 5X7 to shoot, the Deardorff 8X10 to shoot and the Hasselblad.  All for specific different shots.



  Hope to zap a doetag or two while I am there.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Photographing at Clarksville last Saturday.

  I didn't shoot any deer, though I saw plenty the first evening, but I did put my Deardorff in the car just in case.  Went back and worked the barn a little.  Had a very nice overcast, (though muddy underfoot), morning to shoot.

                                             Horned Owl, Red River County, Texas, 2013

Nice to get a new year of photography started.

Kind of wish I had the 8X10 along.....

Thursday, January 10, 2013

TSRA Calendar Photoshoot.

Calendar Photoshoot at Coyote Sam's last year for this year's calendar.  Which I evidently have given away to the point that I don't have one.  Lotta great guns and HOT PHOTOGRAPHIX ACTION!!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New video up.

More darkroom stuff- some printing last month at the studio.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Run to Houston to show prints:

Katie and I stashed Lucy at the dog-sitter and made a dash to Len and Cathy Kowitz home in Houston to show prints to a monthly meeting of a local photo group.  Very accomplished and prestigious bunch. Lotta photo-horsepower on hand.

Joe Aker assisting on prints.

Describing the meaning of meaning in the bottom of some image.

Demonstrating standard Shiprock poltergeist size.

Hawking the book that explains it all!

This morning we went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston to see the War Photography exhibit.  It's a big show: 500 prints, and very intense.  Probably best viewed in several trips.  From there we went over to Houston Center for Photography to meet the Assistant Director for Education, Juliana Forero.  Very nice meeting there and showed a  little work.  I'd like to get on their donation list again for their auction and the workshop list. 

  We hit Niko-Nikos for a late lunch and headed North in the rain.  Glad to be home.  In the darkroom tomorrow.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Proofing negative files.

  40+ years of sheet film negatives, all processed, sleeved, numbered and boxed.  The only thing I didn't regularly do until about 10 years ago was PROOF everything as I shot it.  Now I have several thousand unproofed negatives sitting in archival boxes.

  Last year I decided I would start whittling away on this project.  Adding proofs to the boxes of negatives won't fit in the files, so I go through and toss out the worst exposure, pinholed extra negs, shots ruined by flare, et, et. Should have done that earlier and would have done it if I was proofing as I went.

   For years I shot both sides of a holder at each scene so there are a couple of each.  Sometimes I started shooting before something happened and shot until it stopped so there may be as many as six or eight negatives of one scene.  Easy to cut down.  The spares don't go in the trash- they move to other boxes.  They'll hit the trash later I'm sure.  Probably along with everything else.

  Since I have shot film my whole adult life it's like going through a personal visual diary.  I can remember where I was, who I was with, what the light was like, what lens I was using and so on.  There are negatives of the cars I was driving.  I go back to the same rock faces out West time and time again.  Quite fun but also pretty revealing about my visual growth or lack thereof.  I'm not very sacred.  It's been a struggle and there is certainly a case to be made that I haven't improved at ALL beyond learning the technical ropes and being able to afford more lenses.  (Boy, I wish someone had made me shoot 5X7 -with a wide angle, from day one.)

  Very rarely do I find a negative I don't remember well, though there are some boxes I haven't looked at in 25 years or more.  I'm not finding any great gems but I there are some pretty interesting shots and some I will be interested to look at more carefully as soon as I finish proofing them.

  I did find one little series: The Lewis Hotel- a little fleabag three-story dump just off downtown here in Tyler that I got obsessed with.  It was a ruin and being gutted out for restoration when I started looking at it.  No power inside.  Full of doorways, bouncing light, bad wall coverings, scuzzy windows, cracking paint and crazy piping.  I used a Sinar with a bag bellows and a 90mm wide.  I shot every few days.  There's enough to make a little exhibition.

Bad bathroom.  In that white window are the downtown Tyler skyscrapers.  Might be able to conjure them up in a real print.

The front exterior after demolishing a whole set of add-on rooms.

Main staircase at the front door.

Hallway.  No air conditioning ever so each room had a screen door and a real door.  The tied-up curtains are for privacy.

Room view.  I'm just iphoning these files.  This can be a really rich print.

That's five shots.  There are easily 20 pretty good images from close-ups of old room numbers or paint cracks to exterior full-building scenes.

  It was about 1982.  I made a very distinct decision to shoot in PERFECT light and go back time and time again to the same scene until they wrecked it out or I was satisfied.  It was the first instance where I seriously manipulated lighting by blocking off windows and/or adding reflectors.  I printed a couple at the time but that was it.  Pretty easy negatives.

  Boxes and boxes of negatives.  It takes a day to proof one box in the darkroom.  Probably take a couple of years to finish, God willing.  I proof all my stuff before filing now.