Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Week of 12/24/2012: South Philadelphia Rambles

1800 Block of Iseminger Street, South Philadelphia:

Odd empty spaces, Philly has many, especially between buildings; neglected accesses where time seems to stand still. Often, these spots appear drab and undistinguished. I like to think they are simply waiting ever-patiently for the right light and atmosphere so they can, at last, reveal their stories.

The day I shot this was a long, fantastic jaunt in the urban landscape yielding many images where the power of nature seemed to be smiling down on me.  I revel in such good fortune but don’t count on such luck, making mental notes of places I need to check out again. This will definitely be a spot to revisit.

Camera:    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2, Olympus Digital Micro 4/3 14-42 zoom.
Exp:          ISO 200 @f14, shutter speed, not recorded, approximately 2 stops under meter.
File size:   11” x 16” @240 dpi
Proofed:    Epson 3880 on Moab Lasal 235 Paper
Other:       Slight perspective correction and cropping as well as contrast/value
 adjustments and conversion to b&w in Photoshop; much masking done by hand.        

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Week of 12/17/12, The Concrete Muse: Northeast Philadelphia/ Medium Format Love/ New Etsy Store!

A first photographic immersion into a country, a city, or a neighborhood is always problematic. I haven’t the temperament of a photojournalist and I don’t like feeling like a tourist. My desire is always to spend time, lots of time, and really start to let a place sink in. If I ever photograph a city like Paris, I’ll have to go and live there first.

My Philadelphia is much like William Penn’s; it ranges as far as I can walk on a good day. Occasionally, I enjoy the modern-day luxury, usually on the return home, furnished by the Market-Frankford Line or The Broad Street Subway. The Northeast is beyond my usual perimeter. Having occasion to be there a few weeks ago, I decided to make a day of it, riding to the end of the El and then walking around.

I was not prepared for the landscape. It was so spread out, so bleak and so uniform. I’m told it was developed en-mass after WWII and it certainly has a kind of cookie-cutter look. There was certainly an interesting mix of people and cultures there, but where was the evidence in the landscape? I puzzled over how I could ever capture it or what there really was to fix on film. Off the beaten path and in back of what seemed like an endless strip-mall sprawl, I shot this one, solitary frame. 

Film: Tri-X  120 rated at ISO 200
Exposure: by guess, approx. f8 @125
Developer: HC110 1:49, 6.5 min (-20%, 1 stop) at 68F 30 seconds initial agitation,
two inversions every 30 seconds thereafter.
Scan: Epson V500


Etsy Store! I now have a selection of  hand-proofed archival prints, including this one, up for sale. They range from inexpensive postcard sizes up to very reasonably priced 12 x 16's.
I will be adding more in the coming weeks.

Etsy: Click here!