Wednesday, October 31, 2012

New Gallery To Try

I might give this gallery a submission try, its in the Canadian city of Kamloops population over 85000. The gallery is quite large and beautiful, they might consider showing some of the Thai work, its worth a try anyway. The gallery is probably more suited to my Canadian landscape shooting friends (give it a try guys) but heck who knows maybe they would consider my stuff, it's free to try! Am sort of becoming sort of immune to the rejections (lots of practise will do that!). If I get in to this place, great, if not, oh well will try somewhere else.


Geoffrey James Photography Show At the Kelowna Art Gallery 2011

Monday, October 29, 2012

San Francisco Camera

Decided on my San Francisco camera. I will take the Linhof 4x5 with 90mm lens and Tri-x in Grafmatic backs. I want to work with the 90mm more before heading back to Asia, I am thinking of possibly doing my portrait work with the 90mm in the future (in the past I used a 150mm). I also want to give my new Grafmatic film holders a run through to check for light leaks, planning on taking 5 of these with me which will allow me 30 pics a day. Will also take a few odds and end, a spot meter some extra cable releases, my cheap carbon fibre Chinese tripod and my reflector.

I will try to do what I often preach, one camera, one lens and one film. Lets see how that goes! Hopefully the simplicity will allow me to just concentrate on creating.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Pier 24 Gallery Links

Found these 3 links on Pier 24.

The first link is the James Bond secret hideout like access to the place:

These  two links are shows from the Pier 24 gallery, the first link "About Face" is the show I will see 2 times (I hope!)

This second link is for a older show that I missed, wish I could have seen it as well.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

San Francisco And Pier 24 Gallery

I am going to be going to San Francisco for a short trip at the end of November and found this freaking awesome gallery and show I will try to attend (I might try to get in twice). The many all time favourite portraits, work I have never seen in real fiber silver gelatin prints before. The show includes some Avedon's American West portraits, Diane Arbus, Dorthy Lange's "Migrant Mother" etc. I am so excited by this opportunity its taking my breath away. Here is a link to a walk through set of photos of the show.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

First 8x10 Home Darkroom Tintype Scans

Did a couple of scans of the betterish tintypes. Not sure what all the crap is on the portrait, probably from the diluted developer I used. The photo of the wheel barrow was the first shot of the day, there is a development island and a bad collodion pour (that improved by plate 6). I kind of like the portrait even with all the weird ass development problems, it's also a bit underexposed.

I think I might not be using enough developer, at the workshop I used 1/2 a shot glass for a 4x5 plate, these are 8x10 plates and I used 1 full glass, I might have to go to a larger size glass. I also tried the vinegar developer that did not work at all. I am hoping I can get the vinegar developer working so I can avoid having to deal with stronger forms of glacial acetic acid. Hopefully I can narrow this all down in 6 months or so and stop all testing and concentrate only on making photographs.

Note* these are pepped up a bit in photoshop, I added contrast, I think my silver is a bit low in my silver bath need to add some silver nitrate when I get it.

Friends And Family Show

Forgot to write about the friends and family show I had with some of the monoguild boys the other night. It was a nice evening with a nice turn out, 3 people from crossroads even showed up which was a pleasant surprise (especially after my rant against the group in my blog a while back).

The only problem with the show was when I start talking about my pics I tend to rattle on a bit to much sometimes and bore people.  Overall thou there was a wide variety of work shown and everyone seemed to have fun viewing photographs, talking and eating, a very pleasant night!

First Tintypes

Did my first 6 tintypes this afternoon, all 8x10 (4x5 holder is not ready for use). I had a hit and miss type day, 4 of the 6 tintypes are now drying. I had all kinds of problems, some major some minor, its all part of the learning cycle. I definitely poured my 5th and 6th 8x10 plate better than I had the earlier ones, and I went to cheaper tray development later on thou I did ok today with the traditional style shot glass style development.

It was a fun way to spend the day but now I need to concentrate on making some fiber prints for my Kaasa Gallery show in March. I will stay up as late as I can tonight printing 16x20 fiber prints for that show, hopefully I can get 2 done tonight.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

4 Days Off

After 10 12 hour shifts in a row I finally have 4 days off, now I can do what I love. Just unpacked all my wet collodion starter kit stuff (from Bostick & Sullivan) along with a bunch of other supplies from Lund Photographics (metal plates, beakers etc).

I will mix the chemistry tonight and hopefully can start working on making my first tintypes once the collodion ages properly. I expect a bunch of mistakes up front but then little by little things should start coming around. I hope the workshop I did with Jody Ake and all the studying I have done lately on the subject will help shorten the learning curve. I do not want to be one of those guys who keeps on constantly testing and trying new collodion, developers etc. I know there is a certain amount of testing and trial and error that must be done but my hope is this. I want to find something that works well, something I like the look of and then stop all the screwing around with chemistry and concentrate on making images. To often I see photographers that get dazzled by the flash and dash of cameras, lens, films, alternative techniques and spend all their time screwing with than instead of actually making important photographs (or at least trying to!). I want a sound basic understanding of the process but I do not want to be a tech wizard, I want to create.

Will go to a local glass shop this weekend to get a few sheets of glass cut to practise on, will also ask about getting black glass and possible sources for local tintype metal.

Eventually I hope to mix all my chemistry from scratch as well as cut my own glass.

Monday, October 15, 2012

3 Boxes Of Supplies

I got 3 boxes of supplies today, the postal lady woke me up before my nightshift.

1) My first 20 of 60 boxes of 8x10 film Tri-x (still have to pay for this its on the credit card). This is the first of 3 shipments, the other 2 will be made as I get the money together.

2) A 1400ml glass beaker to use with my wet plate collodion chemistry mixing. The wet platers recommend everything be glass, I got some glass stirring rods last week.

3) A Bionare 4000 air cleaner, I was really torn on getting this item as it was expensive ($500 used with shipping) but I bought it for safety reasons. With wet plate photography I kept reading about explosions, flash fires, toxic carcinogenic chemicals, deadly poisons etc. Jody Ake at my workshop recommended these units and so I bit the bullet and took the plunge, safety should always be my main concern. This machine in combination with my regular large ventilation fan should keep me safe.

A very expensive set of boxes, I am glad I am working OT the next 3 nights.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Monochrome Guild Friends And Family Show

Its been difficult to write on the blog lately, I am working 10 - 12 hour nightshifts in a row, last night was night #5. Wouldn't it be great to just be able to make photographs and not worry about this work crap!

Next Friday I have the day off and will be joining some club friends in a 1 night only group show, it should be a fun evening.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Enlarged Ambrotypes!

I was asking my collodion workshop contacts if this type of enlarged ambrotypes was possible, I guess it is, here a project making them! Beautiful video of young artists sacrificing for what they love.

20x24 Wet Plate Collodion Portrait Videos

Found these 2 wet plate collodion portrait vids online today, 20x24 wet plate collodion portraiture is possible!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Donald McCullin: A Retrospective

Got to see this, 120 Donald McCullin photographs! I have never been to the national gallery of Canada, never been to Ottawa, its about time I went! I have been a Don McCullin fan for many years, this is a must see.

Quote: Ian Ruhter (Photographer)

"If you had been searching your whole life for something you love and you found it, what would you be willing to sacrifice?"

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cross Canada Wet Plate Collodion Project Idea

Got another project in mind (number 65?), if it happens it would probably not be undertaken for a long time. The idea is a cross Canada journey making wet plate collodion imagery. I guess I should actually make my first 8x10 wet plate image before I imagine a grand project but what the heck its fun to dream of making pictures (one of my favourite pastimes).

To make this work, I could get together a wet plate collodion trailer darkroom  which would be hooked up to some kind of RV.

Something like this?
Then it would just be a matter of taking along some large format cameras maybe a 8x10 and a 16x20 or 20x24 and making pictures. I would not have to deal with Visas, transporting the collodion chemistry to Asia etc. A project like this would even work when I am older 70? Thou moving around a big camera at that age might be to difficult. Will see what happens as my wet plate experience improves, who knows it might happen!

Ian Ruhter is doing a USA version of this very project right now, here is Ian's real life adventure.

If the wet plate part of this does not work out I could shoot it traditionally on film, then make platinum or silver gelatin prints.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Quote: Jawaharial Nehru (Indian Prime Minister)

"The art of a a people is a true mirror to their minds."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Quote: Underarmlick (Youtube Comment)

"Some people see with their eyes some with their heart and a few with their soul.'

Great Art

Visited my friend Larry tonight, he has a wonderful new home with great art on the walls, sort of a dream house. I saw more great photography at Larry's tonight than I have seen anywhere else for a long time in Edmonton (except maybe one EAG show years ago). Artwork when it is hung and shown properly is so beautiful. Seeing great art is so very inspiring (I can't get the images/feelings out of my mind), going to print tonight baby!

The Importance Of Growth

Yesterday did a photo club meeting (I belong to 2 groups), I was quite disappointed with the work shown. The photos never seem to change, week in week out, year in year out it's the same same stuff. If we had had the meeting 5, 10 or 20 years ago the photos would almost be identical, and 10 or 20 years from now the the pics will still be the same. After seeing great original work (photography, painting, drawings, sculpture) in museums, gallery's, books and magazines my tastes have changed (hopefully grown). Infrared or sunset landscapes,  bottles in sunlight, pics of flowers and average soso portraits fail to effect me now.  Most of the work I see in the club seems to have no meaning, no substance, no core to it, it could be produced in an infinite number of clubs by a infinite number of people. There was no passion in what I saw yesterday, no message outside of that's pretty and well composed. What is at the core of the work? Why it it being created? Where is it's heart?

I think I am expecting to much out of the club, the people involved in the group are older folks, hobbyists who do photographs for the fun of it. For group members the creation of new photographs is a distraction from life's other problems, a fun way to pass the time, they are not looking to make ground breaking art.

 I feel I am near the end of my time with this club, I am not getting much out of the meetings now.

This viewing boredom thing is probably a two way street, my stuff does not have much of affect on the groups people. Work that has been collected and well received by artists, jury's and curators gets pretty much ignored by groups members. I invited 9 people from the club to my first solo show at the Kaasa next year,  I will have to see how many people show, if no one shows its a sign no one is really interested in my photographs.

I will probably leave the group after this year. I owe a lot to the people in the club, they have helped me in so many many ways but I guess all good things come to an end, we all need to grow and change over time. More thought needed on this.

Note* (added later) This post led to some dissent from a club member, which is actually a good sign, it shows passion.

I am probably getting a bit to arrogant and full of myself with this blog entry but it all seems to be so true, I feel I am just being honest. When I send out messages to members to talk photography, when I bring up any other artists at meeting, my attempts are met with silence (people are polite but indifferent). When I am over critical of a print (with the hope of the same honest criticism will be given my work) people in the group do not like it. When something is not liked during a critique club members use terms like interesting, almost all the criticism lacks emotional truth (art should be exciting and emotional), the honest critiques (including negatives) are spoken softly and very subtly. Some members can only say positive things, everything has a positive spin on it, they never see a print they don't like. The result of this limited honesty is very little changes in the work or artist, the photographs stay the same, never advancing and yet they receive the same inane applause, inspiring  the photographer to produce more of the same old tripe. When people are not pushed, they shoot the same mediocre stuff year end year out. How many flowers, sunsets and in-fared landscapes can we possibly look at?

I am not sure photographs is a proper term for what happens in the group now.  Over 1/2 of what is shown in the club are not photographs in my opinion they are digital artistic collages, they are multiple photographs made into one, or one moment changed so drastically it resembles nothing of the original decisive moment. The group is much more a art group now and no longer a photography club.

I guess I take this all way to seriously and speak to loudly. In both the clubs I belong to I get into trouble when I push other members to hard, when my feelings for photography comes on to strong. Most people just do this whole photo thing as a fun aside,  for me its different, I am trying to create a important lasting body of work. I take photography very seriously and sometimes I have trouble holding that hunger in.

I guess what Quinton from the Luz Gallery said to me a while back (over 1 year ago) needs to be done, "Maybe its time to move away from the club stuff."