Well, this past week I completely dropped the ball on this blog – life got in the way. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? (Please read the sarcasm.)
The gallery I work at has a great show up by a talented, young artist and most of my week was spent immersed in that world. It’s truly inspiring to meet young people who are genuine, full-time artists and that’s it. There is no 10hrs-a-week at the local grocery store for some added income – it is only art. Way to inspire!
As a lot of you already know, but perhaps some of you don’t, I have recently updated my website. The website can be viewed by clicking here!
And today I will leave you with this photograph from today. Don’t you just love it when you see randomness like this?
Well, this has been an interesting week… and by interesting I mean completely uneventful due to a flu that was sprung on me last weekend. That’s right – last weekend when it was the first summer weather weekend in Vancouver. You remember my previous blog post? Where I wrote it’s a travesty that I was even sitting inside writing that post? Well… I sat inside no longer, and probably due to my over-excitement of this impromptu “summer”, caught some kind of a cold/a bug/a virus that has been keeping me inside ever since.
I am wanting to believe I feel better now, regardless of the amount of phlegm still very much present in my respiratory system. (I know – it sounds really sexy, right?) At the very least I have no fever anymore, which is great. This means I am ready to try leaving the house. The first outing I will be doing for nearly a week, will be “Pursuing your Passion” – a panel discussion about returning to creativity and the photographic art – with the great Ian Ruhter. I have had tickets for this event for about a week and a half now and I am so happy I found it before it was too late! Hopefully this will be exactly what I need for the rest of the bugs to leave my body for good.
Speaking of photography – I have some very exciting news. I am ready to launch my NEW WEBSITE! Check it out here! With the spirit of the new website, I am leaving you with some travel photographs. Perhaps some of you reading this love traveling as much as I do?
The best of weekends to everyone!
Well, it is Good Friday today. And it couldn’t be more gorgeous out – I mean, hello summer!- am I right, or am I right? (In fact, it is an absolute travesty for me to be sitting inside on such a beautiful day. So let’s make it short and sweet.)
Vancouver is bathing in this beautiful weather. It’s really showing its beauty at this time of year. All the Cherry trees are blossoming and the city is becoming more and more attractive as each day passes.
I caught sight of the beautiful Cherry Blossoms on Burrard St downtown and did some iPhoneography…
This is definitely the best time for tourists to visit. Everything is blooming, or about to, and the grass is still green. It’s beautiful. I was so happy my family got to witness the ‘pinkness’ of this city last year when they came for my graduation (which is another hello what’s happening, it’s already almost a year from my graduation?!).
As the sun has been present for a large amount of the time, I have also been very inspired by it, as usual. Therefore I am going to leave you with these two photographs because
It’s time both you, and I, leave the computer and go outside.
So enjoy your Easter weekend! It’s going to be beautiful. 18c on Sunday! Picnic anyone?!
[Oh, and, for those of you who were wondering what happened to the second slide duplicating film that I took out to get processed - well, nothing happened to it. It came out black. I was reminded that the ISO on this film is extremely low...which means that I will have to open up the aperture and leave the shutter open for a long time. Or at least I am hoping that will show me something in the negatives. So that's my next plan: just photograph using a tripod with varying exposure times. We shall see if that makes a difference!]
Five Reasons to Celebrate Easter
- You decide that any Holiday which starts with a “Good Friday” can’t be all bad.
- You look really, really good in yellow.
- You love to bite the heads off chocolate bunnies.
- You have this bunny suit you love to wear, but are too insecure to wear it without a reason.
- You absolutely love the movie, “The Ten Commandments”.
This week I picked up a variety of film I took to get processed last week. In this bunch was a roll of film that was supposed to be processed by the end of 1983 (read more about that here), and was actually slide duplicating film. Unfortunately nothing came out of it – I am not sure if they just didn’t process it right or if I forgot to tell them to cross-process it. Regardless, I am going to give it another try (why not right, I have a whole box full of this stuff!). However, this time I am going to be sure to tell them to cross-process it by processing it in the regular C-41 color process vs the slide E-6 process which it is supposed to be processed in. I am hoping for the results to somewhat resemble this:
So, what cross-processing means is that instead of processing slide film in an E-6 slide process (which is supposed to produce slides, ie positives), you process the film in a regular C-41 color processing bath which is designed to produce negatives (or vice versa, C-41 in E-6). This cross processing adds contrast and usually makes the colors more saturated. The exciting part about cross-processing is that you never know how it’s going to turn out. That’s something that I have always enjoyed about photography (and try to encourage everyone to take part in) – experimenting.
The darkroom was my absolute meditation when I was in school. There are so many ways one can experiment with chemicals – you can paint with them, solarize (aka Sabattier effect) them, do fix first and then develop, dip the paper in develop and then expose and watch the image come alive in your hands etc etc etc. Ahh, there are multiple routes to take and explore. If you have access to a darkroom with chemicals and tray-processing possibilities, please take advantage of it while you can! (And make sure the room has a lot of ventilation!)
In the following two photographs I splattered develop on the paper only in places I wanted to get developed:
The darkness of the photograph firstly depends on how long you expose it for and how long you choose to leave the developing chemical on the photograph. The general rule of thumb is to leave your print in the develop for about 90 sec (immersed) but when you are experimenting and only dipping a brush into the chemical and letting the brushstrokes of that chemical do their job on your print, the times differ. At least I just like to eye the process of the develop and go from there. As soon as you like what you see, put it in stop (usually for 30 sec), to make sure that the developing stops. This is followed by fix which (as the word suggests) fixes the image on the paper. It’s good to keep the photograph in fix for at least 5 minutes. (Although if you want to experiment, you can try leaving it for a very short amount of time and you will see changes [in contrast, tones etc] in your photograph as time goes by. Since it isn’t fixed properly, it is very susceptible to the environment it is in.)
I also like to experiment with different elements present in the printing process, such as negative holders, lenses, any object I have/see etc.
This here is a simple example of leaving the frame of the negative into the final print.
These are experiments I made using the negative holder (this is what we call [again, literally] the device which holds the negative in its place in the enlarger) as a frame. I placed my 35mm negative in the negative holder for 35mm film but instead of placing it in the enlarger, I put it directly on top of the photo paper. (When you do that with an entire roll of film which has been cut to fit into a negative sleeve [which keeps them dust-free and intact] and placed on top of photo paper, you are making a contact sheet.)
After all of this deviation, let’s get back to the beginning of the post and the film I picked up from the lab. I was given some film from Seattle Film Works. Apparently, they used to be a mail-order company which sold re-spooled 35mm motion picture film for still photography purposes. It was to be sent back to them for processing as they had a specific process (SFW-XL) for these films. But since they are out of business now, I couldn’t send it to them and instead took it to a lab and had them process it in the regular C-41 process.
Here are some results:
As I was shooting this test roll, I got carried away by the idea of these fleeting blurry moments of our surroundings that have become so familiar we don’t pay that much attention to them anymore. We are not able to see the familiar with fresh eyes and somehow it removes a layer from our vision. Why does familiarity automatically need to mean we neglect it? I strongly fight against that and find it necessary to keep excitement in the everyday, in the familiar and mundane. Because at the end of the day, life is nothing but a big, fat experiment with different chemicals that give different results depending on various factors. So why not keep experimenting while we still can?
HAPPY EXPERIMENTAL WEEKEND TO EVERYONE! May your developing turn out exciting and most of all inspirational
This week has been “extra” rainy in Vancouver. I suppose it really is for good reason that they call it “Raincouver” (or “Vansterdam” due to the large amount of pot smokers present..). In Finland we have a saying: “Rakkaalla lapsella on monta nimeä” which literally means that a beloved child has multiple names. Vancouver has something to offer to everyone. There’s the ocean, the mountains, the city, the nature, arts, music, food, sports and the list goes on.
I have lately been doing a lot of thinking about (and evaluating) Vancouver in terms of its suitability for the kind of living I would like to have and attain. There must be, and is, a reason for it having been in the TOP 5 for most livable cities in the world for, how many years now? 5? Or more? Regardless, you get the point: Vancouver has a lot of desirable traits that make it very appealing to a wide variety of people.
So I went on a little hunt through my 35mm archives for Vancouver photographs (and memories) and this is what I discovered.. (right now it’s very difficult for me to find a lot of negative things to say about this beautiful city– just see for yourselves..)
I don’t know about you guys but I am quite convinced after re-living these photographs..although you might ask, what about the photographs of ‘Raincouver’? Well, that is a good point! In my 35mm film photos I didn’t have any. But here, let me give you an example of the rain we experience here with my digital SLR:
Yeah… isn’t so appealing anymore, is it? But I suppose I (and everyone else who finds this amount of rain “challenging”) should take this as a challenge and go shopping for water-proof clothes!
So, do you live in Vancouver? What do you think of the city? What are its good traits and on the flip side, what are its bad traits? I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this!
“If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.”
Back in 2009-2010 I volunteered for the BC SPCA (which, to those of you who don’t know, stands for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) as a Cat Companion. Essentially what it meant was to spend approximately two hours each week taking care of cats that are ready to be adopted. This included cleaning their living areas, changing their water / food cups, playing with them, socializing and grooming them (in my case it also involved a lot of photography…how could I resist?!). It was a lot of fun but of course I wanted to adopt each and every one of them..
This one in particular stole my heart. Stewie. Although I could have sworn that his name was Joey. Well, regardless – he was the sweetest thing since the last sweetest thing. A little bit shy, but so loving and tender. I hope he went to a good home where he is appreciated.
“A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.”
If you are interested, they are currently looking for more volunteers. For more information and available volunteer positions click here. The SPCA is always in terrible need of foster homes also – if that would be something you’d be interested in, please contact them. You would be doing an incredible favor to the animals by allowing them to “camp” at your place until they find a more permanent home.
“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of
cats is infinitely superior.”
“An ordinary kitten will ask more questions than any five-year-old boy.”
-Carl Van Vechten
“Our words should be purrs instead of hisses.”
-Kathrine Palmer Peterson
Happy Weekend to everyone!