Thursday, December 27, 2007

Phoning Home

This is from and old 4X5 transparency I shot, many years back, as you can tell from the telephone booth. It probably looks like an outtake from the “Matrix.” The blurred figure is actually a person plus a dog. As usual with most of the summer night shots, there’s no shortage of those lush, quick growing weeds.

One of my projects of late is the update of the “archive,” which is essentially a room of stored film, prints, and some transparencies. There are only a few large format transparencies. I tended to use color negatives (shooting color was rare anyway) for large format.

I can’t help but examine the past when I’m looking through photographic records of it. It always seems that every regret was (aha, in retrospect) my own doing and undoing. In reality I’m sure I’m still doing and being undone in the present: that’s my little investment in the future: } .

This is Ektachrome, and has that color signature, although the streetlights didn’t help. Only the later version of the film rivaled Kodachrome, which had a warmer color balance.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Light Painted Flowers

Click above for a larger image

This is an example of a time exposure where the image has been made by “painting” with light. Painting may be an overstatement. I use whatever small flashlight I can find, and mute the output from it with my hand. I usually meter the flashlight using the incident dome on a light meter and set the time for one second on the meter. I then try to “paint” in a manner that doesn’t exceed a second for any one area its pointed at. It sounds complicated, but isn’t, and small errors don’t tend to show on the final image. This is best done with a negative film which will have some latitude for over-exposure. The shutter just stays open for however long it takes to paint the subject with light.
The flowers came from the Twin Oaks community which sells them at the Charlottesville City Market.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Marcia and Nancy - Chestertown, Md.

Click for a larger image

If you take photographs long enough, you end up with a past that is well documented. As you can imagine, this is a mixed blessing. Going through the negatives I have can be like re-living an experience. Memory fades, but a key element can set in motion the recollection of an event. Sometimes I find an image that surprises me, and I can recall several days that normally would have been lost forever.

This is a photo of Marcia and Nancy meeting at Ford and Mer’s farm, after having been out of touch for a while. There’s nothing remarkable about the photo, but it seems to hold a moment of time  in some way I can’t explain. 

Nancy really helped me one particular time. She let me borrow her car to go to a job interview. The newspaper I had worked on had been bought by a mega-corp, and times were grim. I got the new job and spent about three years in the Nations Capital, until I found an exit strategy. It was a change that eventually led to employment in Charlottesville. I stayed in that position until recently. Now I'm looking back somewhat amazed by the path that was followed. 

Without that accidental meeting , my path would have gone in another direction. 

“Snapped” on the spur of the moment, with Kowa Six, a square format 120 camera. Being inside a square box is a great breaker of rectangular habits, although I could not resist cropping this one.