Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pinhole Images from the Ven and Vaida Show 09/2012

Hide and Seek

Night Studio I

Night Studio II


The Procuress


04 22 2013

Location: University City Station
Image Size: 11.5” x 17”
Camera: Superheadz Black Slim Devil
Lens: 22mm, plastic
Film: Fuji Superia 400
Develop: Lab
Scan: Epson V500
Print: Epson 3880/ Piezo K7 inks/ Moab Lasal

I’m now printing out each weekly image at full file size. To create photographs but never print them is like cooking a meal but never even tasting what you've made. A fine print, as I wrote last week, is so markedly different from an on-screen image.  My experience is, you don’t really know what you have until you print it, preferably large It’s no fun having to rush through printing a whole slew of images when the time comes to show them. I like to linger over the work. Running the print through various states on the road to the final image is a great way to do that. Getting a better feel for what the whole image-making chain does helps me make better choices even before I click the shutter.

I’m now printing with a system marketed under the Piezography label that Jon Cone sells through InkjetMall.com   Instead of having eight color cartridges, various shades of gray plus black are substituted and you print via special software. (That is way easier than Epson’s snaggle of settings.) Cone sells various configurations and formulations depending on the printer and the print tone you want. I chose the warm/neutral ink set. The results have been impressive. The light to dark graduations and detail rival darkroom prints and the carbon-based pigment inks are ultra light-fast  Using bulk ink reduces the cost of feeding the printer by about sixty-six percent. Since I’m a perfectionist and experimenter, constantly running small proofs and large outputs, this savings is significant. I've had absolutely no problems with clogged print nozzles. Really my only objection, if you can call it that, is that the refillable cartridges came without reset chips and it was a bit of a DIY operation to remove the Epson electronics without damaging them, so they could be affixed to the new ink units. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

04 15 2013

Location: Pine Street, Antique Row
Image Size: 11.5” x 17”
Camera: Nikon F100
Lens: 35-70 f3.5 zoom
Film: Kodak Portra 400
Develop: Colourworks, Wilmington, De
Scan: Epson V500
Proof at full size: Epson 3880/ Piezo K7 Inks/ Moab Lasal

This print hangs via magnets on my steel-clad kitchen door. Enlarged onto 13 x 19 paper, it visually fills the space.  If only my audience could teleport into my studio! The Internet is really an impoverished place to view photography. Most peoples’ monitors are inaccurate and clip the tonal range of photographs, often at both ends, the dark and the light tones. Given that nowadays people browse and view their email on tiny phones, it’s even more the case. The depth of a fine print gets lost and becomes a flat pattern. No wonder that digital photography, that often looks flattened is now the accepted norm and prints which look like they were made at the corner CVS have been known to adorn gallery walls.

Bottom line: Forgo the easy route that demands little and delivers even less; go see photographic prints in person. I want to thank all those who did just that this last Saturday and came to the opening at Frame Fatale. That a number of the works also became part of your personal collections thrills me. It makes the long hours and dealing with the temperamental Philadelphia weather all the more worth it. Your support is vital. In case you could not attend, the full complement of works is up through May.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

04/08/13: Our Six Month Anniversary!

Location: 23rd and South vicinity, Philadelphia
Print size: 11.5” x 17”
Camera: Canonet QL 17
Film: Tri-X @ISO 200
Develop: HC110, 1:49, 7min @68F
Scan: Epson V500
Print: Epson 3880/ Piezographic K7 Warm-Neutral Inks/ Moab Lasal

Come celebrate the first half year of The Concrete Muse! A show of small prints will be opening up this Saturday, the 13th from 6-9 pm at Frame Fatale, 1813 E. Passyunk in Philadelphia. This is a chance to see what the work looks like “live” and exquisitely framed, albeit on a more diminutive scale (this week's image will be featured in the display window at full size) and to pick up some ready-to-hang art for what it would cost to have it matted and framed-- in other words: cheap! More importantly, this will help support the project as it goes into its next half year! 

I believe that longevity is a big component of creative success. Too many projects get abandoned without ever being pushed to the edge IMHO. The Concrete Muse is six months old this week and it feels like it’s jut beginning. Going back to film and working largely with 35mm in a hybrid film/digital printing set up is an education in the best sense of the phrase. My overall methodology is continually changing and refining, but more importantly, new things keep on entering my field of vision. This seriously appeals to the part of me that’s a real learning junkie and loves to tinker. 

This shot was taken last summer somewhere in my immediate neighborhood. My guess is I grabbed it quickly. The Canonet QL17, often described as “the poor man’s Leica” (I paid $40 in 1994) is very good for shooting on-the-fly. It wasn’t until I got into the printmaking that I realized there was a person looking out as well as the canine. It required three separate negative scans that were then put together in Photoshop.  The combination of the white dog and the very dark background, printed on the lower-contrast paper I use for working proofs (Moab Lasal), made this a particularly thorny printing problem.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

04/01/2013: The Lonely House

Location: 17th and Carpenter, Philadelphia
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
Lens: 14-42 zoom
Crop to 6 x 9 format
Print: 11.5” x 17”@240 dpi /Epson 3880/ Piezo K7 inks on Moab Lasal  paper.

Philadelphia seems to be abuzz with renovation and construction and these sites and sights draw me in. One of my undergraduate art teachers, Charles Eldred, used to say: “What’s bothering you will find its way into the work.” I’m not worrying about that too much these days; however it’s not uncommon to see where a whole row has been replaced with modern buildings, yet one lone, original holdout somehow remains to remind the future of what was.