Monday, October 18, 2010

wet plate witchcraft in the woods

Yesterday I hauled a ridiculous amount of equipment and chemistry into a wooded area so that I could take some wet plate photographs for the "Earth Magic" series.  This involved me going across town with an 8x10 camera, tripod and other heavy and cumbersome gear.

And a cardboard box, to serve as a makeshift darkroom.

Things came along surprisingly well and I was able to take a lot of photographs without any major mishaps.  Not bad, considering it was my first time doing wet plates without the safety of running water or a nearby darkroom.  The location was beautiful and perfect for the photographs.  If you ignore the gang of ten year old boys on bicycles.

On the way home I realized that I'd officially made the transition into "functional hobo":  a pushcart loaded with bags and a cardboard box, hands blackened from a run-in with the silver nitrate bath that the plates are dipped in, and a container full of wine and alcohol bottles (used to hold chemistry).  Maybe I should make an attempt to look a little less sketchy next time.

I'll post some images from yesterday soon.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

starting over (again)

After much work on the most recent incarnation of the Symbiosis series, I decided to start over.  Again.  I've lost track of how many incarnations there have been in the past 8 months.  There have been 11x14 photographs with oil pastels, 4x6 foot collages on unstretched canvas with oil paint, 11x14 photographs with oil paint and 16x20 photographs with acrylic paint.

On Wednesday I photographed artist Steven Johnson Leyba.  Wet plate portraits.  He was in town for an exhibition he was in.  We've been friends for around a decade and have worked on collaborations a few times in the past.  I'll post images as soon as I'm able to print them.

Later on Wednesday, I took more color photographs for the Symbiosis series (which, to be honest, I'm thinking I need to re-name).  On Friday I got into the color darkroom to make test prints, then did some quick painting with acrylics.  I'm very happy with how they're turning out so far.  A very different feel.
I'm thinking that I'm going to keep them small.  Intimate.

Tonight Jane and I are planning on seeing Wolvserpent and Locrian.  Last summer I photographed Locrian in anticipation of their upcoming release on Utech Records, "The Crystal World." 

Look at the Utech website to see Justin Bartlett's great cover artwork for "The Crystal World."