Friday, October 19, 2007

Back into the darkroom - October 6 & 7

I started this session on a Saturday..
( i tend to set up the darkroom over the weekend - start saturday,
continue on sunday, and wrap it all up sunday PM)
w/ two basic image ideas:

#1 - the 'bales of something', wrapped in white plastic, ( hay, maybe?..don't get carried away here - just because it's in California, it doesn't mean these are bales of marijuana!) ..taken somewhere out on Pt Reyes ( there are still some functioning farms that exist there)...
I saw them as bales of clouds ( and not 'bales that turned into clouds', there IS a difference)
For the moment, i have titled this one 'Mysterious product'.

#2 - Footprints in the sand - Also taken out at Pt. Reyes, a perfectly smooth slope of sand with perfectly lit footprints, leading to....? who knows where.

Though I really like printing on 16x20", the last few years I've been sticking with 11x14" - I'm tending to work faster, make more prints, and in a relatively small apartment I just run out of room to deal with & dry a dozen 16x20" sheets.
I usually do four sheets with the initial exposure, use #1 to see how the second exposure works/completes the image... and I still have three more to work with.
(For a more detailed description of how I do my montage images, go to:

I found a relatively satisfactory sky to complete the bales on the first pass. I did a couple more, with some slight variation in the position of the clouds, and by the time I got to #4, it was time to spice things up, and add a bit of icing on the cake.
I chose a detail from a negative made at a Ca. State Park north of Jenner, that preserves an old Russian settlement, and has various rooms furnished authentically from the 1800's. This detail shows a desk in front of a window, with various items on it - they had the right light on them ( & a sort of 'blown out' background). so that was it - print # 4 of 4, done!

The footprints?... well, that was a bit more difficult.
I did one print on saturday (second print of the day), that had the basic elements in roughly the right place...
but it just wasn't coming together.
I 'slept on it' - I do that, a lot.
On Sunday, I decided it was worth the effort to do this one again - it just kept nagging me, being 'close, but not quite'.
So I exposed 4 sheets, w/ just the foot prints. This time round, I found the perfect position/size for the sky - it almost felt like the person who left the footprints was creating the hole in the sky. That first print worked just fine for me, that was a keeper... but what about the decaying sign?....Hhmmmm....
I burned it in, in three different ways...... not sure which works best, yet.
What do you think?