Posts Tagged ‘Arts and Entertainment’
Today, 16th of September 2012 is the 90th birthday of Božena Pelikan, the youngest daughter of famous photographer Josip Pelikan. As a homage to famous Pelikan family and a humble gratitude to the photographical heritage of Pelikan family, I’ve made portraits of Mrs. Pelikan. I used Vageeswari 10×12″ camera with sheet film of 8×10″ and a lens Voigtlander Heliar 300mm, f/4,5. For Wet Plate Collodion portraits I used a Plaubel 5×7″ camera and I’ve made some quick takes also with Mamiya C330, format 6×6.
With Museum of Recent History Celje, we’re discussing projects that we might do together and I’m all excited since potentials are enormous! The studio is without a doubt one of the best preserved luxurious glass photographic ateliers in Europe with original equipment used by the famous Slovene photographer Josip Pelikan (1885–1977). More about it on the links bellow.
Museum of Recent History Celje / Josip Pelikan Photographic Studio
Panoramic view of Josip Pelikan Photographic Studio, Slovenia Landmarks by Boštjan Burger
Josip Pelikan’s photographies in the digital archive, DLib.si – Digital Library of Slovenia
In last issue of Mladina weekly it was published my portrait of Silence band. I had this idea for a while, but some people were not feeling comfortable with it, but on the contrary with the duo Silence we had a good laugh and the result overpassed my expectation. My collodion needed a two pops of 2250Ws to illuminate it correctly, that is why Primož on the right side is a bit blurred. Later I find out that it could be done in one pop if I would raise pH of AgNO3 from 2,2 to 4pH as I did later on and described in THIS post.
Techs: ShenHao 4×5″, lens Linhof 135mm f/3,5; Flashes of 2250Ws – two bursts, AgNO3 pH 2,2.
Yesterday my family had a family lunch and a celebration of my father’s birthday, so I used this opportunity to make a new set of family portraits. Recently I reset and readjust my chemicals, so I was anxious to see how my pictures will turned out and here they are!
Technically I used Palubel 5×7″camera with Voigtlander Heliar 300mm f/4,5 lens at aperture 6,7 and illuminated by one flash burst of two flashes of joined power 2250Ws. Flashes were about 90cm away from the subject.
This plates along with others will be exhibited in Kulturni dom, Gorica in Italy. The opening will happen on 29th of September 2012. You’re invited.
While we had a workshop together he asked from us to go out and make pictures, that we wouldn’t otherwise, we were asked to make mistakes, rigorous technical and compositional mistakes. We went out and each of us shot a roll of film and I took it as a joke, throwing camera in the air and taking pictures with a timer on and of course nobody took an effort to look trough a viewfinder. And accordingly that’s how our pictures look like, a one big mess! Paul came along and start shuffling pictures and out of this mess of unsharp, blurry, over&under exposed pictures made a series that actually looked really cool! Then he was talking about possible connotations that this kind of aesthetic could be applied to. I was astonished! What a good workshop!
So when I read the book review that I’ve mentioned before I clicked through the book and as always it’s not on a first ball as we say it, but as all Graham’s projects it takes some time to get familiar with his new “invention” in photography. To be honest my belief was that diptychs, triptychs and other typtichs are for photographers who can not make a good picture, then they do some distracting maneuvers with juxtaposing several images together. In 99% it’s like that, if you ask me, or even more if the theme of the series is dealing with identity of a photographer (grow up!).
But, I’m also great fan of Duane Michals and his way of transcending an image with a sequence and Graham’s diptychs are sharing a some sort of rhythm that I like. Furthermore this is actually a street photography, a contemporary modern version street photography, that I adore. Robert Haagart wrote:
“But, inch by inch, I realized that the book’s locale is strictly allegorical. It could have been London, or Barcelona, or San Francisco, or almost any city on Earth. The title of the book is not “NYC,” it’s “The Present.” Mr. Graham is asking us to take him at his word, and look beyond the obvious.”
At the moment I was reading this I was at a vacation at the sea site in Nerezine, Croatia, so I wondered if it could have been NY, London, Barcelona, why not Nerezine as well? I took my camera and the very next day I’ve made a jackpot of an image that I’m publishing bellow. I’m continuing with the mining the concept…
Recently I’ve noticed that I have a problem with silver-nitrate bath in my Wet Plate Collodion photography. I’ve done a successful portrait of Neža Peterca for Mladina weekly and then I’ve made another one of Damjan that was assisting me and this thing happened! I know this edge of fog is because of uneven dipping to the silver-nitrate solution, but if this happens only “boiling” bubbles occurs and not this fog! Than I noticed that the fog is also on the Neža’s portrait! And also on other portraits! Oops!
I_knew it’s a pH issue in my silverbath, but I had two or even three litmus papers and each of them was showing different results. I had enough of this and I’ve bought an electronic Ph checker and also a buffer pH4. I calibrated my checker so it was exact on two decimal numbers! No pH will mess around with me, I tell you! The measurement was shocking. My silver-nitrate bath was 2,2pH and it should be pH4!I’ve read Timmerman’s post on maintinace of AgNO3 bath, so I was going to cook! I evaporated 80% of solution and then I add fresh water, hoping that will fix the pH issue. It was better, but far from the wanted result. My AgNO3 solution was pH 2,8, but it was really clear (after I filter it) and real beauty on which I was resting my eyes! I know it sound weird, but wetplaters we find beauty everywhere.
The issue of pH was still there, although my plates were good for my standards and I never had them so clean Check my first picture below. I’ve bought 10 ml of concentrated ammonium in a local drug store and I add only on small drop to 350ml of AgNO3 solution and the effect was immediate, from 2,8 pH to 3,8pH. Then I redid the test and results are published and commented bellow.
Conclusion: The boiling of AgNO3 did dramatically purified this solution. The raise of pH from 2,8pH to 3,8pH made my emulsion more sensitive to light and that’s for about 1,5 step. I’m not sure that those small lines on a plate are also caused by a low pH, but now they are gone! A small step for photography, a giant leap for me More about my work on www.borutpeterlin.com
Few days before with my family we left for summer vacation to a seaside I’ve bought a “new” camera Mamiya C330, so I was excited to try it out. I never liked the square format, as a student and as a young professional, but I guess it’s because square format was a trade mark of Hasselblad, that I couldn’t afford
I looked at my bookshelf, thinking who is a master of square format photography. My first pick was Mary Ellen Mark and her book Indian Circus, then I checked The Hasselblad Masters awards. The Hasselblad awards didn’t inspire me (I can do better), but with Mary Ellen Mark I found some good clues how to deal with the square format.
I was thinking… Square is a stable, boring format and to make the image interesting I must brake this stableness with composition. My first rule was to fill the image with the subject all the way to the borders and even across the border. That was the idea for the picture published above and on the left side. OK, I admit, I didn’t discover America, but playing with concepts and aesthetics is inevitably leading us to new “discoveries” as I call personal micro revelations
Second inspiration was the book On Photography by Susan Sontag. I’ve read it twice, but that was some time ago, so why not follow the Atheism 2.0 commandment to repeat the lessons over and over again. It’s the basis of every religion so it must make sense. While reading Sontag’s words on how photography is surreal, the most appropriate medium for modernistic art, I understood everything. World make sense if viewed through a lens of a camera.
Last but not least, this adventure back to black and white analog photography is bringing good old memories from Prague’s Famu Academy where I earned my BA in photography. I know I’m repeating some lessons from history of photography, but I don’t do it because of the love towards the history, but I’m doing it for the love of photography and to the love to my family. More of my Family Album project you can see on my site www.borutpeterlin.com.This is not the end result it’s just warming up! I’m inspired as Apollo 11 rocket!
PS: Under comment leave a link to a site of a photographer who work in an inventive way with a square medium format camera. I want to grasp as much info as I can.
Matic Zorman is a young photojournalist whose work was noted many times. In this issue of Mladina weekly, we are publishing his profile with my portrait of him. We had a such a laugh while working on this image. It’s done in Wet Plate Collodion technique, format 4×5″. We did it during Fotopub festival and Miša Keskenović and Matej Povš were helping me a lot. THX!
Today I was in Samobor, Croatia in Fotokemika company where they were from year 1947 producing foto material of all sorts. Last week they stopped the production and workers are unemployed now. That makes me very sad since they were producing excellent films and photo-papers under brand EFKE, but also under brands ADOX (Belgium), Rollei and who knows what more. Few months ago I decided to learn how to make my own photographical gelatin emulsion and so I went there and bought pure photographical gelatin. I laso bought infra red film, just to try it out and roentgen ortho-cromatic film for camera obscura experiments. By pure coincidence I’ve met there a friend Damir, that also drop by to buy some rentgen film and he explained me that you can use it for normal photography with some specific difficulties. For instance, I didn’t know that roentgen films have emulsion on both sides and they are very contrasty, which is perfect for salt print contact prints!
PS: On the end of the day I must say that this stuff is not that cheap as you would expected. Like for all that I payed 280 EUR. But that is a half a year stock if I’ll be shooting a lot. On the other hand, analog medium format cameras are from 200-600 EUR and digital medium format cameras are from 3000 – 12.000 EUR. For the difference in prices you can buy quite a lot of films & scans
Last week we had the 12th edition of Fotopub festival with many exhibitions, lectures and foremost workshops. All together we had 61 participants of different workshops. Miša Keskenović and myself we were running a workshop of Wet Plate Collodion photographic technique. Everything went well and smooth and here are few pictures that we’ve made on the workshop. We had 11 participants working with five cameras, from my Kodak Folding Brownie 3A, Plaubel 13x18cm, Shen Hao 4×5″, antique wooden camera 18 x 24cm to Miša’s mammoth camera 40x40cm. We had two sets of chemicals so the work was really intense and people created many, many plates that they took home. On the last day we decided that we’ll be making more weekend workshops on alternative printing process from gum-print, cyanotype, salt print, albumen print to digital print and camera obscura. fun, fun, fun…
This portrait I’ve done yesterday. I’m still not satisfied with the quality of ambrotypes I’m getting, but this one is quite good. Actually I cheated a little and I add some blacks and some contrast – digitally But I didn’t altered the image. It’s sort of “I smoked pot but I didn’t inhale” excuse, I know. Anyhow today I managed to gather my large format portraits and wet plate collodion portraits of my family, so if you’re interested please take a look on my site. LINK. This series A Family Album is a series about love. Towards photography and towards people. It doesn’t pretend it will change the world, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it will. Depends on a viewer. It’s exhibited in Frančiškanski samostan as a part of Fotopub festival. Fotopub starts this Monday, don’t miss lectures and exhibitions, if you’ll not participate at the workshop!