Sunday, May 17, 2009

Darkroom - a 'silver lining' in a cloud

This is the first print that has come out of the film I shot in Nevada last December.
Curiously enough the main negatives were 'bookends' for the trip - the stormy sky being shot the first afternoon I went to Valley of Fire, and the carousel being on the last roll, at Casa De Fruta, outside Gilroy CA., on the way home.

I've started using what most might consider to be an ass-backwards way of figuring out a montage image - I make a quick digital shot of the contact sheet frame, and mess w/ it in Photoshop, to see how it works before I make a print.
If you haven't been paying attention, the cost of traditional materials seems to have increased a lot in recent years - the 50 sheet box of 16x20" paper I used to buy at a local store (in SF) for a bit over 100$ is now not available there & has to be ordered from Freestyle in L.A., after shipping, it's almost 200$. So whatever I can do to zero in on the image without wasting paper is a good idea.

(It's also convenient that I like rice, beans, pasta... and have a simple 'no frills, and no car', life! )

The Photoshop sketch, crude as it is, tells me all I need to know - this one is gonna look reeeal nice - :-)
The big curve of the clouds is a mirror of the shape of the carousel.

When I see a test of the stormy skies, it's pretty obvious that the foreground/land is waaay dark and featureless, almost clear plastic film base... so I held(dodged) it back, and blew in another foreground, from Valley of Fire.

In spite of the fact that this was printed on RC 'pearl' surface paper ( which is definitely NOT a hand-coloring artist's choice!), I gave it a try anyway.
it turned out better than I thought it would.

As usual, for more go to: