Thursday, February 17, 2011

In Search of Alchemy

I know I've been talking about the BIG project that Tsirkus is launching in April for quite some time. Since I've seen over and again, the results of poor planning and lack of doing one's homework, I really wanted to get at least ten strong test images made before the launch. Well I've hit that.

It has been a real struggle to not throw the photos up online as they got made. I didn't do it because the 72dpi screen really kills the experience of seeing them. I've been test printing the images as I've worked along and the final output is a real print you can hold in your hand, not a screen shot. Still, at some point, one has to give it up to technology and to the patient people who have so lovingly supported the emergence of the project, often from afar, and post the semi-real deal. So, Voila!

Tech details? They weary me. My sage advice is don't try this at home, but if you must know, they were done via multiple pinhole exposures on high-speed instant film. I combined and manipulated the positives and negatives in Photoshop. I don't even want to know how many hundreds of hours have gone into making the full ten. Lots of getting up early and working, and reworking, experimenting, and test printing. Are they ever done? Probably not. I know I will hang them in a gallery and immediately see something I could have done better.

I'd much rather talk about the volumes of notes and thoughts that working on these have generated. It's been like a kind of plummeting into the roots of what feels like everything. If I could say anything in sum, it's been the feeling like somehow all this was waiting for me. OK, not a bad pay-off for over 25 years of banging one's head against the proverbial and living on macaroni and cheese.

I want to thank the very patient and extraordinary models who worked with me and for taking the leap of faith. Let me also say, the other nine images are not work-safe. The photographic rendering celebrates the forms of the human body, so I won't be posting them on Facebook. The plan is create a small catalog and most likely a .pdf file that project supporters can buy and download for a very nominal feel. This will be part of a Kickstarter project that will also be launched in April where people can buy-in to the project by purchasing items from a the aforementioned file to postcards to a large, archival print.

So now, on to the nuts and bolts of things, like making slides, getting press releases out, going on Lulu and making the catalog and the hundred other things needed to get things in gear. More details to follow about how this technique will dovetail with public shoots.

Photo Title: Hide and Seek
Photographer: RA Friedman, c. 2011