Friday, January 22, 2016

Fine Art Print #2, 14 Year Old Dump Worker

Got up early and into the darkroom today. Am working on a head shot of a 14 year old girl worker. Everyday when I arrived at the dump at around 615am she would be finishing off her nights work with the other members of her family. What kind of future does this young lady have? In 2013 when she was around 12 I would see her working with her family in the garbage often, if I go back in 2 years it will no doubt be the same. She reminds me of the young children from the Lewis Hine child labor photographs of the early 1900s.

The entire family, the father, mother, grandmother, plus all the kids I have become quite close to. I think about them often, wonder how they are doing, what their future holds. Tough shit, tough lives, I have hard but good memories of them, including this one.

Here is the photo I am working on today in the dark. I will add her name and age to the final exhibition print after I review my video files.

1st attempt at the image, lower photo grade 2 1/2 upper test trip at grade 3

Update* This neg is proving problematic. If I use a grade 3 filter it seems too harsh, a grade 2 1/2 too soft. I will probably try printing the neg in my Saunders enlarger which has a multigrade head (dialed in contrast ranges). I will lose a bit in sharpness by going to the diffusion style enlarger from the Durst condenser, but it cannot be helped. This is an important photo for any future exhibition, I need to get it right.

Update** Been struggling through most of the night trying to get this print right in the Saunders LPL enlarger. I think I got it at between contrast grades 4- 4 1/8 - 4 1/4.  Will let the prints wash and dry and evaluate them later. On to the next neg!