I dug up a few older platinum/palladium prints I did a couple years ago and realized they were worth sharing, so I thought I’d post them here today.
They were studies for a series I was working on – they didn’t make the editorial cut for the series, but as standalones they’re good.
These were shot in my home studio (aka the dining room) with a single light and a black velvet backdrop. The camera was my ancient studio portrait camera with a 5×7 back installed and a Seneca portrait lens (aka Wollensak Vesta, rebranded). I mention all this to show that you can produce great work with the simplest of set-ups and equipment, and you don’t have to have the latest and greatest or fancy facilities.
I have eight of my color night photos up on the wall as part of a group show of large format photographs at the River Road Unitarian Church. The show will be hanging through Sunday May 4, when we (the four of us artists in the show) will have a take-down party from 3-5pm. If you can’t make it to the take-down party, feel free to drop by the church and ask to see the show any time during their operating hours:
In addition to the usual Sunday fellowship hours, the exhibit can be viewed Monday-Friday 10 am-4 pm in the Fellowship Hall, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD. Please call the RRUUC office (301-229-0400) before going there to check that no conflicting activity is scheduled when you want to view the exhibit.
Some of you may be aware of the recent calamity that was the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing of Calumet Photo. This hit particularly hard as they were the primary photo retailer in the Washington DC area, and my go-to shop for everything from film to lighting equipment to low-volume c41 film processing for 35mm and 120. Well, with the utterly unplanned, un-announced overnight shuttering of their stores, I was left without a convenient, quick source for processing my 120 film (there’s an excellent pro-lab here in town but between their schedule and mine, it takes about a week to turn around a roll of 120!).
As a result of that calamity, I decided it was time and invested in a film processing drum and a set of reels for my Jobo CPP2. Now I’ll not have to worry – I can run a batch whenever I feel like it, from as little as one roll up to six at a time, and it will cost me less per roll than outsourcing it. The reels are the 2502 series reels, and the tank is a 2563 tank. Jobo has a rather involved numbering scheme for their components, so I sometimes get confused trying to match everything up, especially on Ebay where you have to source your components separately. But no matter – I got all the pieces put together last night and everything matches, so I’m a happy camper. Next stop, YouTube, for some videos on how to load those 2502 reels!
I got my new teaching tool for my Introduction to Large Format photography class. It’s a Sinar F 4×5. Sinar cameras were the first modular large format system with standardized components that would let you build 4×5, 5×7 and 8×10 cameras on a common architecture. While the F has certain limitations (base tilts, friction driven movements), its a fantastic entry-level camera and very light-weight for a studio monorail camera (about 7lbs).
I’m running the course starting April 5 through May 10. The course covers camera handling, film loading and processing, using movements for perspective and depth-of-field control. Individual modules will include landscape, portraiture, architecture and tabletop shooting. For more information check out the Glen Echo website -
I got the camera at KEH Camera online. They have a very limited selection in inventory at any one moment, but their prices are excellent. The Sinar F is a good starter camera and one I highly recommend for students looking to get started in large format. There are lots of other good cameras, of course, and it all depends on what you need from your camera – for some people, a field camera may be a better solution. My primary large format camera is a Canham field camera because I like to travel with it, but it has it’s own limitations (fixed bellows length, limited movements). I’ll cover all the quirks of large format cameras in the class, so to learn more, sign up!
I wanted to announce the launch of my portrait photography business. My studio is located in Rockville, Maryland at the Washington School of Photography, where I am a Resident Photographer. My philosophy of photography:
Photography is Magic – I fell in love with the magic of photography when I made my first darkroom print. When I saw the image emerge in the developer under the red glow of the safelight, I knew right then the camera would be my constant companion for the rest of my life.
My goal is to go beyond producing portraiture that is functional documentation. I want to use my creativity and vision to produce iconic representations of your spirit and character. I use vintage tools and antique techniques and processes in a contemporary style to create not mere photographs but tangible art objects you will be proud to display in your home and pass on to future generations.
To make an appointment, go to my web gallery at http://www.theflyingcamera.com and click on “contact”. Change the Subject line to “appointment”. As a benefit for my blog readers, include the promo code “BLOG” in the subject for a 10% discount on the sitting fee. This promo code will be good through April 1, so book now!
Alexander. 5×7 inch Palladium print on Bergger heavyweight fine art paper.
A few more from the Helios 85mm lens. I’m impressed, what about you? That razor-thin depth of field wide open is tricky to manage, but I think it transitions nicely between sharp and out of focus.
Frosty is one of my two cats. He’s the more wiggly of the two, actually, so it’s a challenge to get him to pose. Chub-Chub will sit still longer, until he realizes the camera is pointed at him, and then he has to come look at the lens.
This is my friend Missy, wife of my best friend Steve. This was a grab shot at their Super Bowl party. She just lights up when she smiles.
Richard is another friend – also photographed at Steve and Missy’s Super Bowl party.
I’m not feeling particularly motivated to crank out my usual essay on the images I post, so today’s post will be more of a no-words posting, other than to say all images come from a wander up and down 14th Street back in early December.