Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Arthur Pillsbury? George Fiske? Burton Frasher?

Three identical photographic paper postcards mailed between 1926 and 1946.  Probably Arthur Pillsbury but could be any photographer.  They got a lot of use out of this negative showing Half Dome in mid-morning from Glacier Point.  One of the postcards mentions that the writer is staying at the hotel on Glacier Point.  That hotel was built in 1916-17 and burned in 1969.

Update:  I can't believe I missed seeing the hotel up on Glacier Point.  First trip to Yosemite in 1973.  Should have gone in the 60s, when I was a child.  I think I need one more of these.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Pure Righteousness!

  A photo paper postcard, contact printed on real paper and processed in a darkroom.  Turn of the century.  El Capitan from the East side in morning light at Yosemite.  Ebay.  Never mailed.

1928 postmark on a faded photocard of Half Dome.  The stamp must have been a 2 cent, at most.  On the other side the writer describes staying at the long since gone hotel that was on Glacier Point.

This was tricky printing.  They had to copy and reduce the images, then tape it all up for contact printing.  Notice how small the writing is.  There are probably individual cards of all these shots with larger images.

  IMHO, photographers must know and love, photographs.


Painters working on AC Gentry's house.  First house in the neighborhood and a really early Tyler house with an inside bathroom.  Pyrocat and a piece of HP5.

Catalpa in the rain.  Two mules drowned in the quicksand under where this tree stands about 80 years ago.  There is a beehive inside.  I put my catalpa worms up the trunk when they finished posing just a couple days ago.

1982 Nudes.

  I don't shoot many nudes, but in 1982 some friends of mine were about to start having children and wanted some shots.  We went out to an old house I knew about and shot some 4X5 and some 5X7. I didn't have a 5X7 enlarger and planned to contact the bigger negs on palladium. The negatives had some corner flare problems and ran thin, so they never got printed until now.  The last of three kids just graduated from high school.

Should have cleared this set, stood the door up to block the window and exploited that great wall behind her more.  What a location!

  I wasn't any good at helping a model pose, though I was in a terrific location.  Now I have much better ideas..but no model!  If I was shooting this now we would be tossing furniture out the windows, repositioning doors, using reflectors, boosting the model around on apple boxes, et.  Still, I did get the shots they wanted.

Working haphazardly.

  Random negatives out of boxes printed.  Seems like this box of paper is a little off....or it could be using the Zone VI enlarger.

Yosemite at the Adam's subject matter.

Kickapoo Creek low water crossing.

Mont St. Michele, morning shadow.

(This one looks like no polarizer.)
Mont St. Michele.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Catawba Worms.

  On facebook I listed a little list of animals I would like to have to photograph for the Bestiary.  One of my old friends picked it up and got busy, finding minnows, a catfish and Catawba worms in a day or so.  Before I knew it, I had a sack of Catawba worms munching their way through leaves in a sack.

  Very interesting worms to observe.  They don't seem to like each other much, in fact when they run into each other they thrash the front 1/3 of their bodies around like they have a mite behind their eye.  In fact, I'm not sure they don't have some mites.  I handled them a lot picking them up and putting them back on the leaves and worried about hurting them.  I don't think I did but I did notice that they rub their faces on the leaf surface now and then as if they are scratching or clearing their vision.   They aren't smart but they do seem to know what they need to know.  There are a couple of variations on back striping.  Fascinating physiology with small front grasping feet and big sucker walking feet, then a pair of real anchors on the back end.

  They eat fast and put out a LOT of compost.  Shot out my filmholders on 5X7 and 8X10.  Probably get one more look at a newer, bigger bunch.  I loaded these guys on a big Catawba tree across the street and they headed up.  Might have lost one of the little ones in the grass.

Iphone note.

  Want to put them on Byron's hand.  Next time.


  Update:  Here's the main pick.  

  Glove form with some leaves stretched over it.  Nine worms in the photo, but still doesn't seem like enough.  Maybe they will bulk up a bit and I can try it again.  Using a new film developer- Pyrocat.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Yosemite Negatives. Weston Junipers.

  Went to Yosemite last October.  Crowds were down and there wasn't much water.  It wasn't a working trip but I did pack along my 5X7.  We flew into Fresno with friends on American.  Really close to the valley with no complications of coming out of the Bay area.  We stayed in Camp Curry and then in Yosemite Lodge.

  We did get to Lake Tenaya twice, coming and going from Bodie.  I had Mark Klett's book and wanted to see Weston's Junipers, some I had seen and some which I hadn't.  An Adams subject of quartz veins in granite with glacial polish is also in the area.  There is at least one Muybridge from 1872 in the area as well.

  AA shot in the middle of this.  We dumped a couple of waterbottles to see what the contrast looked like wet, as Ansel shot it.

  I liked it from the other side.  Thinking about printing this one.  There are plenty of possibilities, though it would help to have a little step ladder to get up.  It's like the 60s.  You just can't get high enough.

  Here are directions to Weston's Juniper.  He shot at least two variations, maybe three:

  Drive 120 out of Yosemite Valley toward Tioga Pass from West to East.  Pass Omstead view, (where you should stop and...view), be alert.  A SOON as you see Tenaya Lake close to the road on the right, park on the LEFT in the first pull-in slot.  Walk through the conifers in front of the car until you come into open space.  About 50 yards.  Your direct front is crossed by rolls of granite.  Walk up.  Stop on top.  It's not climbing, just a walk.  To the North, directly ahead, you will see the top on a closer granite dome skyline descending from right to left.  Behind it, you will be another, farther, skyline descending from left to right.  They intersect right over the Weston Juniper.  Use that as your navigation point.  The country is open, though you will climb some, descend a little and go around boulders and through treelines.  300 yards max.  As you get close you will see a VERY large boulder to your left.  The Adams granite photo is past it about 150 yards downhill.  Look for the quartz veins.  To the right as you approach the Weston Juniper you are looking through the back of the 1872 Muybridge.  The Weston Tree is obvious and behind it is a rising granite dome with more trees.  Most good athletic shoes will get a good enough grip to walk up the dome to more trees.

  In "California and the West", Charis talks about camping next to Lake Tenaya for several days and climbing around looking for Junipers.  This is where they were.

  The Klett book is helpful, and cheap on Amazon Used Books, though his panoramas sometimes link things together in a way that isn't helpful.  Don't be disappointed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

More Magnolias.

Map and Magnolia

Gardenia and metal clothespin

Fighting Knives with Flowers.

  All 8X10 but at the suggestion from a friend I am trying a new developer on my 8X10 HP5.  Pyrocat. I think it is giving me better white values, though Xtol is pretty good.

Painting AC Gentry's house.

Our neighbor and longtime friend across the street.  This is an iphone note but I went and got my 5X7 and shot a holder.  I have a little neighborhood series I keep adding to.

Moving forward

"Do not work haphazardly" vs "Most of the time, I'm just guessing."

Mont St. Michele.