Posted on March 1, 2016
My photographs are Immortal .
My photographs have Immortalised .
Can we not be a photograph ?
As death is a reality but its influence only lives in the realm of our subconscious , like a guarded room we choose to keep shut and which is hard to comprehend and as if in a dream . The door to this room for my subjects has been opened , one irreversibly so .
The associated totems I have chose to put in my module and all my current work to date are of a similair genesis . There are layers upon layers upon layers . Are you willing to go deep down to the basement . Can you even comprehend it ? Only certain ones will . The less relevant you are the more simple will be your discovery . The prize will be discovered by my suitably chosen subjects and time itself will or will not permit it . If the viewer wishes to search then he will find their reality both as informer and fantastical solution . If you cannot find them then maybe the viewer should ask . Ask me for death as it is a dream I will most willingly explain but only with my work !
What is a dream ?
Is it not death ?
The layer between life and death , our prerecorded lifeline set out as subliminal hints at something greater . If I can see it then so can my camera . Then So , can you ….. If you go beyond the surface then you may be able to picture death , or even smell it , a daring person could taste it , as I see it ( or can you ? ) even though you can’t in your own life it is looming somewhere in my work as in your life .
As well as documenting death I have tried to convey this specifically human condition in singular images . The way I myself perceive it in my minds eye . I have tried to bring it in every creative way possible .
Some of the images , although very hard to do , I purposefully deleted and destroyed . The hardest of which one was of a close relative which I had more reason to keep than the others .
THEY ARE DEAD .
FOREVER GONE .
Do you feel loss ? As in death . A small grieving for what we love . One sense of our cultures phenomenologically created attitude towards death ?
The only reason I would keep death as it is would be for people are more creative when it’s close by ……..
But alas I will warm that briefly stressed ego as I did also make a copy as if it were a cryogenically frozen time capsule for someone to find maybe years if not decades from now .
My work is like a backwards binary . A utopia arising from dystopia instigated by a secret but not lost , imagined world we all fear .
As in death .
Posted on July 11, 2015
Whilst photographing my daughters prom night at the De vere in Blackpool , we were joined by this little ( Big ) guy , who displayed great timing and a flagrant disregard for the rules . Yes i do know its not a real Jail-bird who doesn’t speak English and he can’t understand the word ” No ” . Someone gave me the great pleasure of asking this same question last night 😀 to which i replied …..
What a clever bird !
The word parrot came to mind but they speak by mimic which is not quite the same , but i do know that some birds actually have counting and observational skills similiar to a five year old child .
Posted on July 9, 2015
I have decided to explore longer exposures in my street photography as it creates some interesting effects , along with the obvious movement emphasis , at 1/8 and 1/15 of a second you can still get very sharp images with practice and a steady hand by composing your focus on an interesting stationary subject . I find you can get very cubisty ( my new word ) and delve deeper into the reality of your subject by revealing your context in a more abstract manner .
When i went out today on one my addiction satisfying street photography jaunts , my mind was concerned with the power of the internet the benefits and burdens it brings us . The internet is very efficient distraction device .
In this shot you can see a content women , stood outside a fortune tellers , whose attention is fixed on her mobile phone , oblivious to the passer by .
Most people step inside these dissembled virtual worlds by means of there own minds through want of Knowledge or an altered reality , and a lack of knowledge or understanding of its true vocation keeps them there . A sort of escapism . The internet is like a technologically advanced fortune teller , where it gives you what you want when you want it , at a price …. But ..it is all lies or exaggeration to make you feel special , or trick you into believing in this reality that is individually created for you .
We like to think we have freedom of choice … well do we ?
Posted on May 18, 2015
This process is used to make different image types: The Ambrotype, the Tintype (also known as the Ferrotype), and a negative. In fact while the first three appear to be auto-positive images they are in fact thin negatives that via the wet plate process are able to be viewed as positives.
There are four basic sets of chemistry. The collodion (wet plate collodion process ), the Silver Bath, the Developer, and the Fixer. I will place a description of these later.
To start one needs either very clean glass, a prepared tintype sheet or black anodized aluminum plate the correct size that will fit into a plate holder.
Pour the Collodion on
For small plate sizes (5 X 7 & down) the plate can be grasped at the lower left corner between the thumb and first finger. The collodion is poured on and then off in one smooth motion to get an even coating of the plate. There are two techniques. The first is to pour a puddle in the very center of the plate and then rock the plate to move the collodion to each corner, the second is to start pouring in the upper right corner, flow the collodion down and to the left to cover the upper left and left side of the plate and finish by flowing the bottom right corner where excess collodion is poured off. If this pouring is not done in one smooth even flow there is a great possibility that there will be ridges in your image.
Place in silver bath
Once poured and the excess collodion is drained off of a plate and it is then placed into a silver bath. This is a solution of silver nitrate and distilled water. I have seen simple trays used but to do so one needs to remain in a completely darkroom while the plate sensitizes…about two minutes. I use a vertical bath that is light tight so that I can leave my portable darkroom (something all wet plate photographers need in the field).
Place in plate holder
After the two minutes the plate is removed, excess silver nitrate solution that adheres to the back of the plate is wiped off by a paper towel. The sensitized plate is placed into the plate holder with the collodion side facing the lens…You did remember to make sure it is truly dark in your portable darkroom before removing the plate out of the bath and into the plate holder?
One then loads the holder onto the camera, draws the dark slide, makes the exposure and closes the dark slide. The exposure that seems to work well with new collodion is F11 or F16 at three seconds. Did I mention that the speed of the collodion changes over time? How about that you have no control over temperature? Your chemistry could be anywhere between 40 to 90 degrees F and you just have to make it work correctly. Can you do this with modern materials?
Depending on the temperature, one has from two to ten minutes to make the exposure and start development. Because once the collodion dries out on your plate, that area will not develop.
My friend John pointed out that the developer smells like apple vinegar with a bunch of nails thrown in. In fact this is about what it is. Contrary to modern photography, we want to just use the minimum amount of developer. About 14 ml for a 5 X 7. Once you have the plate out of the holder ( in the Dark room again) the correct technique is to smoothly and rapidly pour your developer onto and across the plate to completely cover it in one motion. Any place the developer stops; it will deposit a silver line that will be a streak in your image. Once the plate is covered by developer (in less that three seconds) start counting seconds in your head while watching and slowly rocking the plate. The intent is to count to 15 and to keep the developer moving. By 10 you should see a definite image. At 15 pour regular stream water over the plate. If the stream is kind of brown then be sure to get some water and let it stand overnight taking the clear stuff off the top. The water stops the development.
There are two fixing methods. One is to use Hypo or Sodium thiosulfate, the other is to use potassium cyanided. The cyanide has the added opportunity of gassing ones self if you do not completely get all the developer off the plate (cyanide gas is released by the acid). Or you could just poison yourself by having some of this material on your fingers and decide you need a sandwich. I use Hypo. The are others who use Cyanide for the image “quality”. This is a hobby for me. I do not need to risk anyone’s health close to me for a hobby.
Fixing takes as long as it takes. In most cases the rule of thumb is to watch until the image clears. The milky Iodides will be removed. Then fix for another similar length of time to completely remove the “halogens”.
As with all hypo fixed materials, the more water the better for rinsing.
Once rinsed the plates are set out to dry. Some people coat their plates with a varnish, others do not. This is poured on just as the collodion was except the varnish and plate need to be at 110 degrees F for things to work correctly. Some people also paint the collodion on ambrotypes black to protect it and to give the classical black background that these images require to become positives.
Posted on May 17, 2015
I have purchased a polaroid like camera . The fuji instamax neo 90 mini .
I was interested in exploring the materiality of the polaroid as a photographic object . An instant memory , a representation of reality as an instant physical photographic object . A photograph as an image of time and space . A framed icon of the past made into a physical memory before our eyes . How is this perceived in our minds ?
This instant image has a function to the viewer and to the person who took it , according to photographys rules . With old photographic processes the image takes time and skill to produce . Each different process implys its own materiality and notions .
There are still artistic skills used and needed in the taking of a polaroid especially now with the new fuji neo 90 , but all the developing process is cut short and done for us . I still sense the nostalgic “ satisfying – like “ feelings of excitement when I hold the polaroid . It is like I am developing it myself at the touch of a button , because it is what it is and has a great material form which comes out of the camera instantly as you press the shutter it seems more valid and artistic to the “touch” . You can take part in holding the memory straight away , being a more materialistic part of it .
I feel like I want to carry them on my person . It is to me a finished object although I feel like I want to play with and create something else from these objects . Why do I feel as I want to wrap the polaroid up in a valuable substance or material . I want to procure them in a safe place or hide them in secret location as I would treasure .
I cannot and will not change it anymore . Its materiality is different to say digital which I could work on after the image has been taken ( in photoshop ) . With a polaroid it is instant , but final and in more different ways it is satisfying in its own right . With other formats of film there is an exposure to light and then a time interval until it is developed in the dark room . A polaroid has an exposure to light but is instantly developed with no time gap between the exposure and the developing ( Could that time gap make any difference to the image in any slight way ) ?
Maybe a polaroid is more truthful in its representation of reality . I think I would trust a polaroid more that a digital , would you … ? I also enjoy the polaroids frame its thick chunky bottom and thin white borders are part of its history and are bondingly nice to the touch . It has a sensation of gel like thickness that I find appealing . When I was a child I had strong urges to deface the polaroid and look inside at what it held . This feeling of more inside the image attracts me to it even further after a while of using it .
My curiosity to look inside obejcts and find out how they work when I was young deeply extended to the polaroid . I used to enjoy destroying it . I felt like it had a working inside mechanism which I wanted to discover . I wanted to collect them and keep them safe as valuable objects , which I find I am doing again but with a greater hunger – like satisfaction because I have aged and gained more understanding of the photographs nature .
I think a polaroid brings your subconscious yearning into a reality quicker and more so than most other photographic forms and it is especially important because it does this , and even more so nowadays as the artistic process involved in creating the memory is a lot more than your latter day polaroid cameras . I think there is a welcomed place in the future for a more skillfully involved instant print camera .
The longevity and permanence of the instant print beats digitals 20 years and has many other plus factors . I think people mis place and mis prioritise the usefulness and importance of the instant print .
I have also noticed and find it very strange that the instant print camera is taken less offensively than my Nikon . People seem to approach it with an unthreatened giggle and allow me to take their image more so than if I approached them with my dslr . They are then very happy when I sometimes offer them a printed relic of themselves to keep . I have even been returned in kind with favours and money . It proves to me that historys concepts make and deliver societys reactions to them .
I felt that all of the instant prints qualitys would go well with my wetplate idea of applying permanence to the objects of Queenstown but give it a totally different valuable and materialistic quality .
Posted on May 4, 2015
Well firstly when looking at this image it is obvious it has something to do with matters of racial injustices and high tensions regarding this that were at a peak in the 60’s with martin luther king bringing light on all these matters and a civil war esueing because of them .
I see a white woman stood next to a black man holding two young chimpanzee babys . My initial deconstruction at first glance is that if I put myself in a someones shoes that this may have sparked a reaction , and try to visualise what they might see and think . So this image was in a time when there was a lot of racial bigotry and mis-understanding of racsism and all the hatred that it brings . You have to remember that even high profile people were setting this standard for their own reasons of holding their own little corner of power intact in the social pyramid structure that they most fortunately found themselves in . This would be taken away from them ( social status , power , money , riches ) if people started to think in the right way , thus breaking the rung of the ladder that that sturdily held them up high . As is apparent in all forms of society today . people in power do not want to lose what they have for their own sake and also their offsprings future So whatever is keeping them there can seem delusionally right to them , whether it is … or not . So we have all sorts of injustices happening all over the world today e.g wars famine . un – even distribution of wealth etc .
A lack of education , or the wrong education being taught and understood would make a rascist . The information needed to become one doesn’t just spring out of the blue . Although there are studies that show babys of different races tend to congregate together in their own racial groups and ignore or hinder the other racial baby factions progress . So …. Asian would congregate with Asian and blacks with blacks , whites with whites etc whilst playing , even at a young age of 1 or 2 years old .
We have these people who don’t think they are doing wrong ( whose fault is all this ) but doing right and see this image as a threat because it shows a white women with a black man and what would be deemed as a mixed abominational offspring ( the chimpanzees regarded as children ) between their white women and the black man . So this was a racially motivated fear of extinction and insecurity about their futures . We have still have these worrys which are spread by propaganda today , regarding muslims and their birthrates overcoming other races such as white and black . But also we have lots of misinformation and untruths spread along with the truth as a tactic to avoid the truth being known ( which makes it even worse and harder to solve than what martin luther king had on his hands back then ) .
This image would have been very powerful in the 60’s and provoked these thoughts around a time they were already heightened as there were separate drinking fountains , separate restaurants, separate bathrooms, and churches for black people. Restaurants had a Jim Crow law, that stated,
“It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in the city, at which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are effectively separated by a solid partition extending from the floor upward to a distance of seven feet or higher, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each compartment. ”
These were all terrible injustices and I cannot actually believed a normal intelligent human could let these go by unhindered ( My introduction answers this ) . it shows you that law isn’t always right but manmade to achieve the alphas goals .
So people were scared of there offsprings future being taken away by black people breeding with what they would see as “ their white women “ . and the higher the males social status the more delusional he would become of this fact , hence spreading more misconceived facts and mistaken ideas to influence people below him to achieve his ulterior motives and wrongly hatched end game concepts . The chimpanzee on the right looks like it is sitting above and on top of the white childs head which was probably seen as another form of mocking them .
Here I feel that we have an exact represention of racial social fears and cultural discriminations that were highly apparent in the 60’s . Gary wonogrand was very clever to play on this and this makes you realise what a great photographer he was .
Posted on May 3, 2015
Burns like a thousand suns
I saw and took this image whilst sat in my T4 on cleveleys promenade in Blackpool with my two young children whilst profoundly thinking about one of my deep passions ….. Photography . The sun was setting and it was very peaceful . I was parked up at the cove and taking polaroids of the kids . An overwhelming sense of excitement came to me mixed with a love that i feel only for my family . This is the desire and satisfaction i experience each day when i am doing what i love ….. Photography . It is exciting and dangerous with the power to change the world and helps us to see themes and problems in society and realise strategies for coping with them that benefit our culture and evolve our species in a way that no other medium has before it or… ever will . I look intensely into its absolute pureness and spend time acutely contemplating its every detail wishing to achieve a new style or realise something original about its uniqueness that i am sure is there for us all to determine and discover .
I know there are many images yet to be viewed enjoyed and scrutinised that will re-write history as they have before . I know there are images that will change the world and make it a better place for future generations to live more peacefully . This is what spurs me on and I intend to seek out these images as great photographers before me also have . But ….. I want to find out its real beauty and the the secrets photography holds that haven’t yet been unveiled .
This stream of consciousness or train of thought that i had is what sparked the above image as i sat in thought and hushed silence . As the buddha once said ” Your best ideas come to you whilst thinking alone and in peace ” , i wholeheartedly agree with this and intend to spend more instances doing so .
The memory above and everything it holds comes flooding back to me overtime i glimpse this image . The time spent with my children . The sunset . The laughter . The actual feelings ( albeit in a more diluted form ) are felt once more with just a glance into this vortex of a thousand suns representing my desire to find something new . Each time i gaze upon the oranges , yellows and reds my vigour and intense devotion is re-ignited . This is the power of photography to me .
Photography is always on my mind and the desire to find a new way of expressing myself with , and to find something new about it . I feel that something very important is yet to be found . I feel that there is something amazing hidden within photography , in all its technicality and raw beauty . The way it prolongs memorys that could otherwise disappear . How it is a tool for control and media direction . Photography to me is one of the most important inventions that man has ever encountered .
That enclosed captured moment of light from surface is a magnificent , beautiful and emotionally stirring complex and significant exponent everytime the shutter is pressed ( The rush i feel with each pressing is enough to drive me on and this is just one aspect of the million joys of photography I experience ) . I am trying to describe how i feel when i am out working with the tool i love . Every time the shutter is pressed a new universe is born into a non existent reality , ( and helps this problematic reality assuredly grow into something better ) , that makes it all worthwhile and helps me convey my past to the future on a physically materialistic flat 2d surface for others to realise .
Art and photography have a big future in my mind . I am striving and hope to bring something very new to the table with and for its betterment and all our profit .
|allentimphotos2 on The Man Bar|
|Stephen shaw on The Man Bar|
|allentimphotos2 on The Man Bar|
|Stephen shaw on Colin|
|allentimphotos2 on Colin|