Friday, July 29, 2011

Thinning the brush at Yosemite.

A VERY good idea. The indians used to burn the whole valley floor off every few years. You can hardly see a thing as the valley floor has sealed up with trees just in my life time. Get out the saws!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Flattening and spotting prints.

Delivering the Greenbriar Lake portfolio today. All 20X24s. I forget how large that is for some folks. 20X24 is a small piece of art but a large photograph. (I've got a roomy sink and plenty of big trays.) Takes several bites of my dry mount press and then some spotting. Not much dust but there are always some trees to paint shut and little white leaves to make disappear. Painting trees shut means making treelines and tops appear even and smooth by taking out the white spots where the sky shows through. Then I look for any white spot that catches my eye. By the time you get finished the whole thing looks even and settles down quite a bit.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ansel Adams Special Edition Print.

Always wanted a copy of this image and saw one floating by on Ebay. Sneed and I bought it for about 1/3 off the framed price at the Ansel Adams Gallery at Yosemite. Pretty good deal. It's made by Alan Ross from Ansel's Negative. He does a good job- better than Adams used to do. His assistants have printed these for years. Glad to get it. Gives you the urge to go to Yosemite though....

Print has been on the wall a few days. Gets better and better.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I ordered a copy. Ought to be here by the time I get back from Camp Perry two weeks from now. We'll see. As I would caution my students: anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

This has been an idea of mine for a long time. Glad to actually get through the process. I have several other ideas, but want the lessons from this one to sink in first.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yosemite dangers.

The Mist Trail up Little Yosemite past Vernal Fall, Liberty Cap, Mt Broderick and Nevada Falls. Gotta be careful especially in the spring when snowmelt swells the falls and creeks.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Deardorff back from the dead.

Holy large format. Good to have these cameras back on the market. I've used mine for years with a new 8X10 being worked into the rotation now.

Ebay miracles.

I found a Ebay store full of old press photos. All original prints from as far back as the 1930s. The photographers made the prints, the artists retouched them, the printers burned plates and put them on the presses and the photos were tossed in a pile. This is a little Kingfisher, heavily retouched. The foreground is painted out and some highlights and feathers outlined. It was a ferrotyped print. Still has the crop marks on the front and the date of publication on the back. May 11, 1939. Twelve bucks, delivered to my door. Quite an amazing artifact. I cornered it on a piece of foamcore and Katie has it presently in her Pilates studio.

Marchioni Tiltall Tripod.

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away when I was a student at Sam Houston, eating at Damien's and hanging out in the photo lab all the time I had an aluminum tiltall tripod. We put everything on them, from Nikons to Calumet View cameras. Mine went to Yosemite at least twice and all over the West. I sold it to Doug Caldarera and bought a Gitzo, a Bogen, a Zone VI, another carbon-fiber Gitzo but I have always missed it. I've somehow still got the ring from the bottom of the shaft but I can't locate Doug to send it to him. If he still has it. They last forever.

I bought myself a nice replacement off Ebay. Probably won't use it much but it's nice to park an old view camera on. I should break it down and clean the threads. That's about all you can do to them. Seems to be in perfect working order.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer's chair.

A flood took one and a thief took the other out of the side yard. Mostly they were used as perches for hunting Mockingbirds so birdlime was included with the booty for the thieves.
Katie replaced the chair with a plastic Chinese import off the stack at Brookshires grocery. 9.00. Not much, but you do have to go out and make that nine dollars.
It's been a visual feast on the green lawn of the side yard. In any light and any weather it seems to maintain it's presence. Even the eye flickering past will get a little visual candy-hit from the image. There are branches hanging off the big Pecan tree that I refuse to cut because of their visual interplay with the chair. Even walking in after dark you can sense it glowing. Quite a treat for the summer.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Too hot to process film or paper. Tap water 85F. Started off with clear overhead hot skies. Uncomfortable conditions and bad light. It's gotten better in the evenings with the prime time coming at about 8:00 PM. Lots of digital going on, as always and working on book manuscript for a Blurb project.