More from the Mayo Clinic Cactus Garden……You can tell I spent a lot of time there!
Below, my wide angle view of the scene…………….
Let’s start with a Weston Interview Quote:
“…..If you use a film long enough, you get to know its characteristics. I don’t use a meter, I just know the light…..”
I love the quote because I rarely use my spot meter…….
Now, what inspires me? If you check out his website….he exclusively does nude photography. Although tastefully done, it’s not my thing (although there is one image I do love: Nude in Cactus). And this is as far as I go into Nudes:
What Inspires Me? First I am inspired by His warm and welcoming attitude towards film students and film enthusiasts in the Monterey Bay Region. I met Kim Weston when he welcomed our Monterey Peninsula College Class to Wildcat Hill. At that time he was making predominantly platinum prints and we were an Alternative Processes class. So he demonstrated the printing method for us. He also discussed his artistic philosophy, and let us see his famous grandfather, Edward Weston’s, simple but beautiful darkroom. Imagine yourself making fabulous 8X10 contact prints like pepper #39 using an incandescent light bulb.
Kim Weston invited us to drop by, and if he wasn’t busy, we could talk about photography. One of my friends spoke up. Luther was having trouble learning to use his 4X5 view camera. Kim just said, drop by with the camera sometime. Luther did, and Kim Weston spent the afternoon showing him how to get the most from his 4X5. His support of film photographers, especially students, inspires me.
But Kim Weston eventually took it a step further, starting the Weston Collective, a scholarship program for students in Monterey County that are studying fine art film photography. And the Collective has taken a step forward in support of fine art photography by opening a darkroom and teaching studio. Raising the funds and managing the space for the benefit of ‘developing’ film photographers is inspiring.
I finally have submitted an image to the World Wide Pinhole Day site. Last year I had a great image but never uploaded it. Darn! But this year I didn’t let it pass me by:
From the Aztec Ruins, New Mexico. A misnomer of course, because this was built by the “Ancient Ones” circa 11th Century BCE. The Great Kiva was reconstructed in 1934 by Hopi and Puebloan workers. The image above was the one I submitted…..Below all of the best images. Reality So Subtle 6X6F Pinhole Camera, Kodak Portra 400 Film, @ 5 minutes exposure time:
You won’t find my Don Anderson listed online. He died recently and his website has been taken down. Too Bad, because as my Instructor for Experimental Methods and Alternative Processes at Monterey Peninsula College, He was a huge influence. I was introduce to photographic concepts I would never have tried on my own.
So let me show some examples of techniques I never would have tried without Don Anderson:
Cyanotypes & Van Dykes:
Experimental Developing Methods:
Crappy Cameras, Holga & Diana:
The most important thing that I learned was, that even if these are not methods you will focus on, the exposure to these methods will have a positive influence on your Mainstream Photography.
Reading Jim Grey’s recent Blog on the subject of Bathroom Mirror Selfies made me think about the ones I have done, and the ones that I want to do soon. He also mentioned the importance of Photography as Therapy., as any Art form can be. It certainly has worked that way for me, carrying me through serious illnesses twice now.
I am posting this to Celebrate my Birthday! Something that wasn’t assured just a few month ago. And I am going forth with my Series “Facing 60”. Starting here and now I will post self Portraits from time to time at different ages and stages……
About 10 years ago I was starting a self-portrait project called “Facing 50”. I had read an article by someone who had documented their life through self portraits taken over 20+ years. But my Project ended up being derailed by Breast Cancer. You think I would have learned from that and NOT tried to do a “Facing 60”. Undaunted, I started on that Series anyway, and it was derailed by a brain tumor that IS NOT Cancer, but nevertheless a problem. Having anything growing in your Brain that doesn’t belong there is a problem.
As you can see below I started the original Project on Ash Wednesday in 2010. In this case I was experimenting with my 20 ft cable release and my M645. A little soft focused because I had to ‘guestimate’ the distance. I featured one of my favorite images……
So, I had taken a few photos of myself before the current events. My husband had taken quite a few photos of me to post on my “Through the Glass” blog posts. To Summarize “Facing 60” will contain a variety of “Self-Portraits” and evolve into a Project Page.
So this is where I started 9 years ago when my Cancer treatment had ended, I was on the road to recovery and starting a new career:
And now for some Mirror-Selfies: One full-frame showing all the lovely bathroominess and the rest cropped Rollei TLR 6X6 to remove as much of the Bathroom as possible. I’m going to do a reshoot in this mirror when I get home. Next time I will not have the shower curtain line going through my head!
I waited with baited breath, as they say, for results from early E100 Film Testing. Always reliable, I delved into the EMULSIVE Review, which compared various exposures, by processing at EI 100, 200, 400 800. At first glance I like the EI200 images, so I started by comparing EI 100 vs EI 200. The Cameras, my nearly identical Minolta X-700 with Tamron 28-200 zoom lens, which I’ve used for a number of side by side film tests:
I took a second look at the EMULSIVE results after reviewing my own tests, and can’t believe that I didn’t see the EI 200 images were colder. Also, the example scenes were not typical subjects that I would have photographed (the exception being flowers). I had fears about the new E100 because I new that it was based on E100G, which I had always found to be too cold. I always used a warming filter with the old E100G. The long gone warm tone balanced E100GX had been my favorite.
So my results, E100 @ EI 125 (following Galen Rowell’s recommendation) on the top and EI 200 on the bottom. All of the photos are the original raw scans with no adjustments of brightness, contrast or levels and no warming filter:
The Cathedral Rocks in Arizona, I tried to get the same perspective, but there is a slight difference. Below viewed from a distance:
And zoomed in:
Note the color of the Red Rocks and the Soil. Since I frequently shoot Red Rocks, I’d like them to have the truer Red of the EI 125 images. Below I’m showing the EI 125 exposed a +1 stop. It probably offers a truer color rendition:
It’s probably time for me to test E100 with a warming Filter vs. Portra 400. I’ve found Portra 400 to be an acceptable color film for my current use. I’ve also been spoiled by the wide latitude of exposures that a C-41 film allows. Since I mostly shoot B&W now, I’m not sure that E100 has enough zip to bring me back to E-6. But I’ll wait on a final E100 choice after the 120 is available. I’ll test that vs Portra 400.
As you read this we are on the road in search of that Perfect Pinhole Composition.
Here’s an Oldie But Goodie Favorite complete with a ‘Ghost Figure’: