Posts Tagged ‘photographer’
My dear readers,
I wasn’t blogging last month since an avalanche of obligations was collapsing on me from all sides. So chronological order:
19. April 2013, Group exhibition Materialnost in Kibla Portal, Maribor, Slovenia. I was presented there with one huge print that works really good! Exhibition is open until 15th of September 2013.
Then Mladina magazine issued a special issue and I had to make 24 portraits of renown Slovenian opinion leaders. I was tempted to do it in wet plate collodion technique or at least on film, but under the time constraints I decided to go for digital and furthermore to find a visual concept that would be feasible in any location and would produce the same kind of portraits. I wanted to make studio portraits although I knew I will not have a studio. But since I graduated at FAMU, Prague’s Academy of Fine Arts and that also means I’ve earned a PhD in improvisation, so I resorted to improvisation. I’ve made a set up that I could apply anywhere and I could transport it on a bicycle. I wanted to get uniform kind of portraits either it would be taken in offices or outdoor location. I’m attaching the most wild behind the scene location The issue looks fantastic and I received compliments by editors, because they are aware how much I needed to bend my back backwards to pull this out. Technically I was using Nikon D3, Nikkor 105mm macro lens, one Nikon Speedlight 900, a firefly softbox and two reflectors.
Chronologically looking then I had solo exhibition opening in Krka Gallery. I’ve blog about that already. LINK. By the way, today is the last day that you can see the show.
Then we went to European Collodion weekend in Eindhoven, Nederland. The event was great, organized by Alex Timmermans. The concept was that we gather and make some plates together and hang around. We were about 37 artists from countries like UK, France, Belgium, Germany. Even Gerald Figal, President of Collodion Bastard association came from USA, although if you ask him, he will claim that he arrived from Tenesse. Also East side of Iron curtain was well represented by artists from Bulgaria, Slovakia, Czech, Poland and of course Slovenia. I’m sure I missed some country, but you get the idea, pretty good group of creatives.
I learned a lot of small, but super important things. Like Kal Khogali showed me how is he redeveloping wet plate collodion negative and his method is much better then mine. Furthermore he used his gold toner to tone the salt print and I loved the effect. I would never buy a toner that cost 70 EUR if I would not see the effect that it makes. I showed him my little tricks, that I’ve mentioned on my blog already. Oh, the best thing that I’ve learned from Kal is how to seal a tent Eskimo Quickfish 3 to be 100% light proof. I will make a video about that. It’s simple and super efficient!
At European Collodion Weekend I tried to organize a Harlem Shake video, but people were not up for it, so I’ve made this video
I went to Holland with Grega Cokan and we drove about 2500km (both ways). When I got home I got a commission from Mladina and had to go next day to Vienna (444km x2) and a week later I drove to Poland 980km and few days later to Novi Sad, Serbia 800km and then home 600km. I had another exhibition in Poland and another in Serbia, but more about that in the following post. Before going to Poland I had to finish photoediting for Global monthly magazine and also preparing everything for exhibitions. And in that week I got also two commercial jobs to be executed that week and since I was not only exhausted physically, but also financially, I had to do that as well. I’ve made great stuff though, I’ll publish it later.
Last month and a half was the most intense time in my career and I wasn’t sure if I will pull everything off. Actually I was just trying to keep my nose above water and not be suffocated by the avalanche of everything. To make things worse I didn’t had time for sport (running doesn’t count) because of all obligations that I had, but yesterday I’ve played in-line hockey for two hours. I’m not yet friend with hockey stick and puck doesn’t like me very much, but nevertheless I feel like million EUR! Full of oxygen. And I’ve done it! I pull everything off with a success! There is nothing better then a victory in a month long battle! More about it already tomorrow.
PS: The making of a group photo:
I’m still working hard on Wet Plate Collodion process, but negative on glass, not positive – an ambrotype. Two days ago I gave myself a challenging task. To do a nice wetplate negative in challenging conditions. I set up my darkroom tent in a park near my house, choose one motif, two view cameras and devote eight hours to make a good ambrotype and a good negative. It’s still winter in this corner of the world (Slovenia,EU), so I mixed my chemicals for -1⁰C temperature, but in my tent there was + 5C, so developing was quite demanding. Nevertheless it was a good day. Very good!
Print for sale. Size 30x40cm, FomaBrom baryt paper, toned with sodium sulfide and sellenium toners. Bidding auction on ebay. [/caption] Today I’ve printed the wet plate negative, format 5×7″, on a classic gelatine photographic paper. I was doing tests what combination of paper, exposure and toning works best. I decided to go for split toning with sodium sulfide for highlights and selenium toner for shadows. The toning increases stability of silver, so it will remain like this for at least a century. This print was done on FomaBrom fiber based paper, size 30x40cm (12×16″). All process were done by museum archival standards. I’m selling this print on ebay – LINK. Still learning how this ebay works, so I’m opening a bidding auction. This goes for the first print in edition of 12. Rock and Roll!
Finally I have a good and solid headrest for my wetplate portraits. I was looking for a headrest and in USA they costs about 600 USD + shipping + customs. I tried to use a microphone stand and that’s useless since it’s not solid enough. Some time ago I was doing a portrait of a traditional blacksmith Miha Krištof from Maribor, Slovenia and I knew he was able to make a good headrest. It’s really good, solid and it looks slick! I payed 300 EUR, which is not cheap, but when I saw the result I was very happy. It’s an excellent investment! I’ve made this videolog to show it to you. If you want to order it as well, I can give you a contact, his wife speaks perfectly German and his apprentice speaks English as well. On the click HERE you can download patents for Head Rest from 19th Century that were gathered by Miša Keskenović. With this plans and pictures of my head rest you can find a local craftsman and order it locally.
The strangest thing happened with my wet plate collodion chemicals. On Wednesday I’ve made the portrait of Nana Milčinski without a problem and the very next day I couldn’t make a decent picture. It took me more then a week to figure out what went wrong and I’ve burned lots of nerves. I’m not going to go into chemical details, but I’m happy I’ve solved the problem. Luckily if a wet plate gets all dirty and full of stains, you can call it an art and you get away with it. You can see the stains and fog that is appearing on some pictures. I’m happy that I’ve resolved the problem/s and on the end of the day I’ve learned a lot. Really a lot. I’m finally at the stage that when a problem occurs I can systematically find it and resolve it.
The worst thing was that this problems were occurring when I had to do a demonstration of a wet plate collodion technique on two photo-fairs in Maribor and in Zagreb. Very stressful! Oh… I’ve bought a tent Eskimo QuickFish 3 and now I have a mobile darkroom. It’s very good, although joints are not strong enough so I’ve asked my friend to reinforce them. BUt it’s a joy to work in it. I set it up in 40 seconds!
Photo: Goran Katić
In few days, that’s 29. October 2012 there will be an opening of a group exhibition in Kulturni dom in Gorizia in Italy. I’ll exhibit my Wet Plate Collodion portraits and some large format portraits. This weekend, that passed, before the opening in Gorizia, I’ve exhibited some of the pictures on a folk celebration that happened in a village where I grew up, in Straža pri Novem mestu. Every year villagers gather to revive a folk tradition of pealing corn and so we made the exhibition for the night. A jolly evening indeed. HERE is a report from a local TV, Vaš kanal.
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