I’m faced with the daunting task of scanning color negatives, and then digitally making prints from the scans of a large body of work dating back to 1992. The problem? Most of the C-prints have faded or have significant color shifts. Back then, no one said that C-prints were archival, everybody said they wouldn’t last 10 years. Well, that’s not necessarily true. I have a lot of color C- prints from that era that seem alright. The blatant culprits are prints that I made at a rental darkroom in NYC. Once, I opened my own color lab in 1994, the prints seem to display less signs of color shift. I owe that to the fact I was mixing my own chemistry. Glad I don’t do that anymore: 25 gallons of developer and 25 gallons of bleach/fix at a time.
This is an iPhone capture using a wide angle Moment lens mounted on my phone. The location is Bodega Ysios in Laguardia, Spain, in Rioja. This place has been on my bucket list for years. The architect is Santiago Calatrava of whom I am I big fan. What’s cool about the image is that during the conversion from RGB to grayscale, those strange artifacts popped up in the upper corners, For me that’s a positive, not a negative.
The interior courtyard of the Palacio Carlos V in Granada, Spain. The architect was Pedro Machuca, and construction started in 1527. It is an architectural gem just begging for black & white photography.
Prowling the calles and the ramparts of the Medieval Spanish city of Caceres after midnight, the rain was falling in a fine misty drizzle. I captured all the images with an iPhone and Moment lenses. Although I had a tripod, I chose to hand hold every capture. A couple of great nights of “street” photography.
Who knew? In my return to using film in medium format cameras, I exposed some color transparency film last month. I haven’t done that in 8 years! The image below was exposed using a Fuji 617GX on Velvia. More to come.
A black and white triptych made with film; Astypalea, Greece.
I spent two months this summer on small Mediterranean islands. Although I captured color images digitally, all my B&W work was exposed on 120 film using a Hasselblad. Needless to say upon returning home, it was thrilling to process B&W negatives and to make work prints. For the past several months I’ve been printing B&W images digitally; I’m convinced that my return to black and white film and format cameras justifies a dedicated B&W printer. More on that in the New Year.
I’ve been sorting and editing Iphone captures for a new tab for Mybigphatphotographs.com photoblog. I’m still not quite convinced of the sequencing yet, but I like the overall content. Interestingly, last evening I made the capture below while having dinner at the inlet of the Shinnecock Bay, in Hampton Bays, NY. I lost all interest in my meal for about ten minutes while I made the capture and post processed it. Be sure to click on the tab “Iphonegraphy” and see what’s been interesting to me visually for the past year or so.
I thought I had already posted this image on mybigphatphotographs. But I see that I haven’t. It’s a self portrait from the same time period and same space as the previous posted Too Many Me’s. While I lived on St John USVI, I had the distinct experience of Hurricane Hugo. Many houses were destroyed by the storm, including the one next door to where I lived. The roof was blown off, and virtually everything inside was blown away or shredded. All that remained was the house’s masonry walls. Weeks after the storm and after the contents of house had been removed, I started using the blown house’s interior as a natural light studio. I made a series of portraits there, including a bunch of self portraits. This one, Deus Ex Machina, is my favorite. I have a 20″x24″ print of it over my desk in my “lightroom”, and, for me, it certainly stands the test of time. I made it with 4×5 view camera and a 90mm lens.
This image has always resonated of Tina Modatti’s hands of the Puppeteer (above); I remember thinking of it I as I played with the shadows of my hands on the white wall before I made the exposure. And as a sidebar, I’d urge that anyone interested: to read about and to explore her relationship with Edward Weston, particularly in Weston’s Day Books. I especially found their year together in Mexico during the mid 1920’s fascinating. He taught her photography; and in some respects, I think she became the better photographer of the two. And what a time to be an artist living in Mexico.
I’ve started thinking about my self portraits again. I have a folder of them which I occasionally look through. Most don’t really stand the test of time, but there are a few which could make the cut. This one was from over twenty years ago, on St. John USVI. It’s an accidental double exposure on 4×5 film.
This one was captured yesterday. Photographic technology certainly has changed in the time span between them, buy my intention hasn’t; nor has my commitment to self portraits.