Monday, April 29, 2013

In the Clearing Bath

Woodbury, Connecticut

Yesterday, my first real-picture print, as opposed to a step tablet test, from an inkjet digital negative intended for platinum printing. In fact it took only five "abstract" tonal tests before making a reduced digital negative from this 8x10 original and trying it out. Very close, not rocket science at all. That was the easy part. I used a transparent media primarily intended for photo silk-screen work because I'd heard good things about it, even though "everybody" uses another product for this purpose. It accepts the ink very well, there is no problem getting beautiful tonal range with no contrast agents at all in the Pt/Pd coating mixture (apologies to non-platinum printers to whom this is gibberish) and with no CAs the tone in smooth test tablet patches is impeccable.

Except. The material is flimsy and the coated (and then inked) side seems delicate. Not a good start for contact printing on cotton paper coated with Pt/Pd solutions, held in tight contact by a vacuum frame. Again and again if you're making multiple prints. Then, peeling the negative off the paper brought up cringe-worthy memories of the couple of times I've almost damaged a "real" negative by printing it on a sheet of hand-coated Pt/Pd paper that wasn't dried quite enough before printing. Actual photographic film can handle a close call or two, but you want to avoid it.

This stuff sticks to the clear border, outside the image of the negative, not just to where the image is inked, and even sometimes makes a faint transfer there, which could only get worse with multiple printings. I tried over-drying a small test, and if anything the material stuck worse. This is a problem with compatibility. It wants to stick and I don't think it's about the retained moisture in the sheet that's needed for making a fully realized Pt/Pd print. So, I have a package of "what everyone uses" arriving tomorrow afternoon. Hope it isn't sticky.

Getting a new (to me) aspect of photographic process to work the way I want it to, always makes me realize: "the beatings will continue until morale improves."

Trees, with Crows, in Very Green Field

Woodbury, Connecticut

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Watertown, Connecticut

Still very early spring around here this afternoon even though the past two days have been much warmer.

Foggy Swamp

Litchfield, Connecticut

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Gray Morning, With Duck

Bantam, Connecticut

The stalled Spring conditions continue, cold and dark all day today. Plus the pollen counts remain high and I seem to be particularly susceptible to whichever subset of pollen is around at the moment. Not only is it too cold to get my darkroom up and running, but my allergies are giving me enough trouble to interfere with doing much of anything else. I can't remember being quite so impatient for the season to change.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Morning Fog

Bantam, Connecticut

Back on Friday it was warm enough overnight to have a lot of ground fog in the morning. But then the temperatures plunged and we're back to below-freezing temperatures every morning. Spring continues to lie in wait, without pouncing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Still Only Hinting

Washington, Connecticut

Spring seems to be stalled. It's so cold overnight that the change of season is stopped in its tracks.

Hints of Spring, IV

Washington, Connecticut

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hints of Spring, II

Washington, Connecticut

Still cold, though over freezing this morning, and the pollen count is near maximum.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hints of Spring

Woodbury, Connecticut

But it was below freezing again this morning.

Sunday, April 07, 2013


Pointe-au-Pic, Quebec

The fishing industry in Quebec of course is in the same condition as that of New England. Our time in the Charlevoix area was brief, but it's a spectacular place. I'd like to work there in spring, but it won't happen this year.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

The St. Lawrence

Les √Čboulements, Quebec

Early Morning

Baie-St-Paul, Quebec, Canada

Just before I left for the second loop of the Giant Road Trip last October, we spent several days in Quebec Province to visit with Tina's cousin from France who was vacationing in Canada. There are some interesting pictures from those few days that I never got around to making into blog posts.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The Starlite Drive-in Theater

Sterling, Colorado

On July 2, 2012, just back from the Western Loop of The Giant Drive-in Theater Road trip, I wrote that I reached, "Sterling, CO, where The Starlite is still hanging on, showing films from a couple months back, weekends only, on just one of its two screens. The field for the other has been taken by self-storage buildings. I couldn't make contact with anyone, but suspect that will be the fate of the rest of the field by next year. It's hard to imagine this venue managing the six-figure cost of going digital. I found this theater somehow more emotionally resonant than just about any other I've visited, and spent quite a while shooting extensive coverage of it in digital capture. The wind was too strong to make it practical to do anything with the large format cameras, but I found myself visualizing a suite of perhaps six or eight small color prints."

In the past couple of days I've finally gotten around to selecting a set of eight pictures from the Starlite and did a trial printing of a folio of small prints, 9-inch images on letter size paper. Here's a web version.