Archive for the ‘Family’ Category
Oh, I am so happy for this photograph I’ve created! And it’s a portrait of Brina, of my youngest daughter that does not want to be photographed very often! And she has a birthday today, she is 10 years old! Exactly on today’s date, ten years ago she took her first breath and joined us on our path of life.
In the video I’ve explained almost everything. I wanted to discuss the composition, but on the end I did not. When photographing I was in dilemma if I want her facing left or right. It would be more natural to be facing right, in the direction that we read a photograph. When I say we, I mean westerners, we read written word from left to right, that is why it would be more natural that she would face right. But on the end I’ve decided that she should face left. Because of her posture, standing brave, facing something that is out of the frame. But we see the thorns surrounding her. But she glows, she is surrounded by white back-light.
For us who know Brina well, we know how suitable is this portrait of her. She is really a fighter. Boys do not want to mess around with her because she knows how to punch. Of course I have thought her how to defend herself. I told both of my daughters that they will not go out on a date before they will not demonstrate how to use elbows and knees in self defence. Yep, that is our Brina! I’ve listed the print on eBay (link).
I have an art student from Barcelona here, her name is Ana and she is assisting me. First week we had basic darkroom techniques and the second week she is already printing contact copies from collodion negative on silver-chloride paper and split toning them. I’ve listed that print on eBay too.
The video and about the show photographs done by Markele Zid
Last few weeks too much stuff happened. But let me share them on my blog chronologically. On 13th of February I’ve opened a solo show in Slovenian Association Club in Pula, Croatia and it will be open for a month time. On the show I’m exhibiting 39 pieces of my series Family Album. With resources that I had, I was using different kinds of frames, so I conceived the show in a dynamic manner. Different walls, different frames, different emotions,…Yesterday I’ve made a great self-portrait with my daughters. Do you know the story of Janus? Wiki: In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus (Latin: Ianus, pronounced [ˈiaː.nus]) is the god of beginnings and transitions, thence also of gates, doors, passages, endings and time.
Today I wanted to go early to bed. I had exhausting two weeks behind me, so I took my ipad and on youtube I searched for Paul Strand. I am a fan of his work, who isn’t, but I was not familiar with his life story. I was deeply moved with the part when he was almost blind and was asking his wife to focus enlarger and describe him what is she seeing. I remembered that when I was in secondary school I was dreaming that once I will have a darkroom and I will not have to negotiate with my mother when can I occupy our bathroom, I will get up and make a print for the fun of it! I remember the feeling how cool will that be!
It was 10pm and I did just that! I went to make a print. Here it is. It’s for my next exhibition of Family Album in Pula, Croatia, on 13th of February. I read somewhere that Ansel Adams was fixing his prints with plain hypo (sodium thiosulfate) fixer, because this plain fix is not hardening emulsion and also it does not contain acids on the contrary to rapid fixers. Selenium toner needs alcaic solution to work best.
I’m really pleased with the tone and the effect of selenium toner. It gives more cooler tone and intensify blacks. The contrast on the reference test print is 0.5 grade, but for the final print I’ve increased it to 1.0 grade. I was using Ilford multigrade paper.
OK, let’s start with the new member of my family. Please read captions of my images, this post will be more in telegraphic style.
I bought a petzval lens! Gasc & Charconnet Paris Vintage lens is less known and less expensive than Dallmeyer or Hermagis but it’s in the same quality range. Made in years around 1860’s. So now I’m playing around, see what the baby have to offer. Please read the captions and you’ll see what images are done with the lens. Most of them.
I’m so much in love with carbon prints! it’s amazing! I love it.
Dry Preserved Collodion Negatives
As much as I love the idea of not carrying all the chemistry and a darkroom around, the dry collodion is not a shortcut. You spend ten times as much time to process one plate. Just developing of a single plate that I’ve shot today it took me literally an hour! That being said, it’s very useful tool to have in my assortiment of expression.
PS: That chopped down tree was cut by a beaver. It’s amazing, that this animals that are almost extinct are living literally in downtown of Dolenjske Toplice! Look carefully the last image, you’ll see that the beaver chewed whole trunk! So cool!
The book I’m presenting is a fruit of collaboration at the workshop. I’ve learned hugely by just watching Klavdij going through images, picking one, the other, changing the order, putting it back on the pile and so on. We called it Sluban’s magic, because although sometimes images that were on the table were not impressive at all, but his selection of just say 8 images and juxtapositioning them in certain order, did made a huge difference. You can not understand if you don’t witness it. I’ve been at workshops with many many famous photographers, from Martin Parr, Duane Michals, Joel Peter Witkin and many others, but I haven’t seen anything like it. I knew from our first meeting that all I need to learn at the workshop is to tap on his frequency of thinking and the result is evident here in this book. Mark Osterman gave me a great comment. He loved that I used different camera formats (6×6, 4×5″, 8×10″) and also different processes (b&w film, wet plate collodion – ambrotype and wet plate negative) and I blended them all together in a book almost seamlessly. That’s Sluban’s magic, I tell you!
Dear topshit readers,
I’m awfully proud on the following book I’ve made. I’ve joined an excellent workshop with Klavdij Sluban. Klavdij Sluban is an extraordinary photographer and won so many prestigious photography awards. One of the most important award was certainly European Publishers Award 2009 and this year he was one of the juror for Leica Award 2013. It’s fortunate for us that his parents were Slovenians and although he was born in Paris, he spend his childhood in Slovenia, so he speaks fluently Slovenian (among other half a dozen languages). He made a generous offer to make a whole year lasting workshop and we would meet six weekends across the whole year. His only condition was not to advertise the workshop internationally, but invite only Slovenian photographers. Last week we had an opening of exhibition as the final stage of our workshop.
As I’m describing in the video I was aware that the story about the most beautiful children in the world is not enough. I shaped my concept around my fears and delights of being a parent. When I was a child, ten years old, I burned myself with a gasoline and almost died. When I became a parent I experienced fears for my children and one day I was strucked by a thought, what my parents had to go through at the time of my accident!
The book is on ebay (LINK) if you want a copy. If you want a print as well, I’ve just put two prints on ebay and link is listed below.
A link to the gallery of images on my website.
Sorry for not blogging for a while. You must understand me, I quit my job of photojournalist where I was working for almost 8 years and was working my ass off to provide income elsewhere. And proudly I must say I managed to find a job that is much better paid, so I’m sorted for next 12 months!
Nevertheless I miss weekly portraits assignments so if somebody is interested to be portrayed by my genius in the bottle, just rub my email address.
Few days ago I was playing around with negative wet plate process and I wanted to see if my month old albumen solution got bad and how does it reflect on the plate. It’s important to recognize an error and it’s pattern. Here are two results. I love them both. Not sure if because my daughters are on the pictures or do they have some attraction to you to?
Images that follow are cleaner. I was cleaning my plates with very diluted nitric acid and I doubt that there will be any effect, but it was. I got very clean plates. I also give it a try of Miša Keskenović receipt for a quickclear collodion. Miša started to modify a receipt from Eder and adjust it for quickclear usage. It is based on three salts, NH4I, CdI2 and CdBr2. It’s rich in iodides and very sharp, very contrasty, very thick. Actually it was too thick for this weather, so I got crepe lines. I love it 🙂 Obviously it’s not forgiving to work with the collodion, but it is rewarding when everything goes well. For more info read the description of an image.
I’m working really hard these months. I know that December will be more easy going and that January will be dead month in commercial work, so I work literally triple jobs. Anyhow, I still take an hour here and there and make something for myself! I finally made my first 10×12″ (25x30cm) plate! It’s not that difficult at all! Actually it’s easier because a dust dot looks really really tiny, comparing to the same size dot on a 4×5″ plate. I’m really happy, a step forward! Actually this wetplate was a birthday gift from me to myself. I know… weird…
This are hard times if you want to make a living from art. I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that nobody buys my art this days. I got frustrated, but then I realized that if nobody will buy my art and I need to fund it from my own pocket, I can make the art that I like and don’t care what others think! Ha, that’s really liberating. I thought I don’t care what others feel about my art, but that can’t be true, if I got frustrated because my art-work wasn’t funding it’s self. Nevertheless when I do commercial work I feel a strong motif, because I know I will fund my art with this commercial work!
Another good thing is also that I can forget big production costs and once again I can afford without a shame to be modest again! I mean few of my shows in London’s Host Gallery (link) and in Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana (link), costed a fortune and since I set the benchmark of presentation on quite a high level I got frustrated because I couldn’t afford to exhibit anymore!
Well now recession is here and I feel liberated! I don’t feel embarrassed anymore that I don’t have 2x3meters lambda prints mounted on dibond aluminum boards! I just blame it on the recession and not on my art-career failure, thank you very much!