Here are a few portraits of a friend of mine in his natural element. Charles is extremely fond of gardens and gardening, and this is one of his favorite gardens that belongs to a friend of his. I hadn’t seen him in several years, and so the other weekend I drove up to Baltimore to visit, and brought along the Rollei to shoot his portrait. I’m so glad I used some of my last remaining rolls of Fuji Reala – they did him justice. It was the least I could do to honor him as he’s been such a good and devoted friend over the years.
Here are a couple from my ongoing Food Truck series – the cashier and the head chef of Pepe, the Jose Andrés-helmed gourmet food truck here in DC. I THINK the young man giving the interview in the second photo may be Jose Andrés’ son.
The following two are shots of a friend of mine who is thinking of getting into modeling, so we did a couple test portfolio pieces out at Glen Echo a month ago. I think he’s got the face for it, for certain. The trick will be to figure out if he can move and pose, and if he can get his body conformed to modeling industry standards.
And last but not least, here’s one from the vaults of another very dear friend from Singapore. We went to Fort Canning and went up on the roof of the remnants of the fortifications to shoot some photos of him and some of his friends, and I grabbed this one between poses. It captures his personality absolutely, although he foreswears this photo now because he has quit smoking. But it still reflects his inner sparkle and cheek.
I’m trying to get better at photographing strangers, and photographing unposed portraits. I find it incredibly easy to photograph people I know well because I can perceive little gestures and nuances that reflect their personality. The trick will be to get better at that kind of perception with total strangers, without imposing preconceived notions of what I THINK they are on them. Perhaps it’s an impossible chase, but it’s one I’m going to hazard.
Just some more playing with movement studies using the Rolleiflex. This was shot with 11 year old expired film – Fuji NPS 160. It has held up remarkably well. Otherwise I don’t have a lot to say, as the pictures speak for themselves I think.
This is a blended platinum/palladium print (60% platinum, 40% palladium) print, on Bergger COT320 paper. This was by a student from my Intro class, but I reprinted it for this session (the student left the negative behind after the Intro class, and I happened to really like the shot anyway). This one was coated using a glass rod as opposed to a brush, to demonstrate the difference in the coating technique, and the final appearance of the print.
This is a palladium print on light Kozo paper, by Patrick Brown, one of my students in Advanced Topics. He was also in my Intro class. It’s so nice to get follow-on students so you can see their progress!
Kozo paper is a Japanese paper made from tree bark, and it is surprisingly strong for as delicate as it is – this is perhaps a 90 lb paper. It does have a tendency to dissolve in aqueous solutions, but if properly masked when developing, the image area can be preserved, even if the edges do get fringed a bit. This is a perfect example. I included the paper margins to show more clearly what the paper texture looks like.
We had some challenges this class session – the original idea was to try out some different paper types, and I had obtained a sampler of several kinds. We started the morning with Stonehenge, which was supposed to be a good paper, but something was dramatically wrong with the batch we got, as we were making 30 minute exposures and still coming up weak and flat. After this is over, I’ll get a little more for myself and try pre-acidifying it to see if that helps, but no mention of acidification was made in the sample kit and I couldn’t find any reference to acidifying it online. Fortunately we didn’t waste too much time before figuring out it was the paper at fault and not the chemistry, and life moved on.
More of my twilight/nighttime exposures. The subject is Glen Echo Park, again. I love shooting in the park because of the wonderful neon lights, and the fact that while it’s never BUSY at that time of day, it’s never empty either. The park is always changing with the seasons, and it has a very secluded feel despite the proximity to the nation’s capitol and two very busy highways.
Here are some images I took over Labor Day weekend at Glen Echo Park of the original Dentzel carousel. The Carousel is from the first decade of the 20th century, and is original to the park. It has been restored and is fully operational as you can see. One of the horses on the carousel is actually 100% original paint and as such it is roped off so you can’t ride it. The pipe organ/calliope is also fully functional and it has nearly an hours worth of music before it repeats.
I’ve been having so much fun with my night photography. I’m really digging the results I get with my RB67 and Kodak Portra 160.
And last but not least, two of these things are not like the others. One is a daytime image I shot of one of the older, more original, and most brightly colored food trucks here in DC – Fojol Brothers. They have three different trucks each catering a different ethnic cuisine – Benethiopia (Ethiopian), Merlindia (Indian) and Volathai (Thai). The bright colors and shiny metal, plus the repetition of the circles and semi-circles just cried out for an abstract treatment, so here it is…
And last but not least, the happy accident: I was a dingbat and triple-exposed the same frame. But it turned out really neat in the end!
Photoworks in Glen Echo, Maryland (just outside Washington DC) will be putting on a slate of events as part of FotoWeek DC from November 5-12, 2011. I will be participating in the alternative process show-and-tell on Sunday, November 6, from 11AM to 4PM. I will be showing selections from my recent body of work of DC at night, all shot on large format film.
I will also be giving a platinum/palladium printing demo later that week (date/time to be determined) – admission is $40 plus a $10 materials fee. Here is the slate of presenters and schedule for November 6. I encourage everyone to come out and see the show, and if you’ve never been out to Photoworks before, please come check it out, it’s a lovely facility in the terrific (and photographically ripe) setting of Glen Echo Park, which is part of the National Park Service!
For more information about the park and its cultural, social and educational activities for people of all ages, here is a link to the park’s website: Glen Echo Park
11:00 11:30 Barbara Maloney Intro/Temperaprint/Photoetching/Cyanotype
11:30 12:00 Scott McMahon Gum bichromate
12:00 12:30 Scott Davis Platinum/palladium
12:30 13:00 Sheila Galagan Lith Printing
13:00 13:30 Andrew Currie Tintype
13:30 14:00 break
14:00 14:30 Grace Taylor Vandyke brown
14:30 15:00 George Smyth Bromoil
15:00 15:30 Keith Williams Monobath/IR/UV
15:30 16:00 Richard Pippin Lith Printing