Monday, March 20, 2017

Window to soul

I've been wrestling w/ some nasty developments lately - my aging (65 YO) lower spine has gifted me w/ this thing called sciatica, which makes bending over the easel, especially to use the grain focuser, and bending over those smelly trays of chems. into a very painful experience. So it's time to go digital with montage. I never thought it would happen but now that it has? ....WTF, 'continue on, dude'.
Taking 'fun' drugs is a youthful pursuit. 
The drugs i take now stave off several not so nice conditions.

This one was done painfully, refusing to take one of the 95 or so hydrocodone pills i have. They totally wack your system. I won't join the legions of people who are addicted to this shit.

It went thru quite a metamorphosis from beginning to end.
It's a sandwich, two negs together in the enlarger neg holder, exposed at the same time.
The P'shop sketch looked pretty interesting.
Here's the window neg:


And the sky:



It needed some serious photoshop help, and got it, 'cause i really like what's going on. The window was shot somewhere in the mojave desert; the totally weird cloud, shot off my rooftop deck in SF, both many years ago. How i managed to combine such disparate elements i have no idea.
There's a saying: 'shit happens'. 
But serendipity happens too.
Is the cloud inside the room, or somewhere beyond? 
Make up your own answer. 
Mine is 'both'.
Windows are common and finite, the clouds are infinite, at 20,000... 30,000 feet.

First, the digital sketch that got me going.


Then a quick dig colorizing that had some interesting possibilities:


Then the darkroom print:



and finally the darkroom print w/ some digital color.


The key to making this work w/ the digital coloring is 'balance'.
There's a blue hue sat layer affecting the window, a selective color layer hitting up the background, and another SC layer wacking the details in the background. It's not really very complicated, you just have to have a plan that really addresses your ideas, and execute it, carefully and tastefully.
Yes, beyond 'balance'? - 'careful and tasteful' are the keywords. Always!

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After many years of making darkroom photomontage (since the late 80's), and not being able to get arrested for it except for a few appearances in competitive group shows, and some assignment illustrations in various magazines ....I am designing & publishing books I make at Blurb with 'Bookify' - two of them are on Amazon, one is at Blurb.


'California Beach Trip':
On Amazon:


'Desert Trip'
On Amazon:
This includes an image i have recently posted, titled 'Desert Time'.


'Seeking the Vibe'
On Blurb:

Previews of all at:

Signing Off - the silverwizard ;-)



Monday, February 6, 2017

An old fashioned gas pump, a derelict arrow/sign



This gas pump no longer pumps, hasn't for a while. A symbol of....? I'm not sure what - power that was, but is no more, at least here at this station. 
And a big blank arrow, pointing... but to where or what?


It all started when i came upon this abandoned store, if memory serves me halfway well, in a place called Death Valley Junction, Ca. Rtes 127 & 190. These frames were taken over 20 years ago, i have been by more recently, and 'progress' has caught up with it. The abandoned gas station was an active/open store of some sort catering to tourists. I didn't even go inside. 
Here's the contact sheet from the first visit: 


I got sooo much mileage out of this, it was one lucky prescient discovery.
As for the horse shoes on the antler? I'll get back to that later.

I did numerous 'sketches' & studies of what to do with the gas pump and the direction sign:







Ended up doing this darkroom print:


The dodging/blending is very simple on this one:
Dodge out both top and bottom, starting about 1/3 way from top or bottom, ending
beyond the halfway point. 
I've always found that overlapping 2 images more than i might think would work actually works the best.


Then I hand colored it, and added a bit of digital saturation.


So maybe the image asks a question of the viewer - when you are out of gas, and got no clear direction, whaddaya do then? Punt? Give up and rollover dead?? I hope not - snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, turn a lemon into lemonade.
This not the obvious take away from this image = 'you are out of gas, and got no clear direction'.

But the best response is: Life hands you a lemon? Make lemonade!

In the very so often 'whatever catches my eye' file:




We live in times of 'alternate facts', a president that is IMHO spinning out disgraceful behavior on a daily basis. I keep replaying this track in my mind, regularly.

Orig. studio recording:
Gimme Shelter
 "Oooo storm is threatenin' my very life today,
If i don't get some shelter yeah, i'm gonna fade away"

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Time for another sandwich


A landscape from Joshua tree, Barker Dam Lake 
(who'd think there would be a lake in a place a desolate and dry as Joshua Tree?):


...juxtaposed/sandwiched with two different frames of rolling stones, also Joshua Tree. 


They make for an interesting vision. Questions abound - how did the rolling stones get there?? What has rounded them, and rolled them to this place? Here's the two sandwich prints:




The little details are intriguing:

There are many such conundrums to be found at Joshua Tree NP.





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Perhaps the two rolling stones are not solid rock, but lenses, allowing a view to geologic history, the shaping of this place by nothing else but water, vast quantities of it, over many millions of years, more fingers and toes than you can count on.

This one really screamed 'hand-color me!' So I did.


I must admit that after i scanned this, i hit the 'hue/saturation' buttons rather hard :-)

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In the occasional 'whatever catches my eye file':

I find this to be very depressing:


“Most of my top clients are on Instagram,” said Gorvy, who joined in March 2015 and has 54,000 followers. His daily posts are a mix of art images, artist quotes, personal musings, lyrics from David Bowie or Leonard Cohen. “That’s where the future is. It’s now, it’s happening.”

When i went into art directing in 1976, you could call up a creative director at an agency, get a few minutes of his/her time = some human contact, Same w/ fine art photo gallery people. I always thought it was about 'human contact'. Is instagram 'human contact'??
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Obama names Utah, Nevada monuments despite GOP opposition
[Associated Press]
Brady Mccombs, Associated Press
Associated PressDecember 29, 2016



FILE - This April 5, 2012 file photo shows rock formations in Gold Butte, located about 90 miles northeast of Las Vegas. President Barack Obama designated two national monuments Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, at sites in Utah and Nevada that have become key flashpoints over use of public land.

But Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye called it an exciting day for his tribe and people of all cultures.

"We have always looked to Bears Ears as a place of refuge," Begaye said. "The rocks, the winds, the land — they are living, breathing things that deserve timely and lasting protection."

Some westerners, the Clive-Bundy-type crowd, view their 'rights' ( to 'manage', mine, profit from the resources of the land) as superior to the larger 'rights' of those who would want it saved intact, or at least as intact as is possible at this point in time.

Let's back to a more basic concept - Who really 'owns' land?
Answer: No one. Not really.