From Beyond the Grave …

I wonder how many rolls of undeveloped Kodachrome are still out there? Of course they cannot be conventionally developed, but they can still be processed as black and white, since Kodachrome is basically black and white film to which dyes are added in development. (This process of adding dyes in development is what made the process so complicated). I had a couple of exposed rolls that I just never got around to sending to Dwaynes in Kansas City for processing, so after reading about how some other people had done it, I gave it a shot last night.

I used a developer called Rodinal, (dating from 1893!) at a dilution of 100+1, and was thrilled to get usable results, such as the image below. I still have a couple of unexposed rolls of Kodachrome that I can now use; I just won’t get “nice bright colours.”

Kodachrome Processed As B & W

Photographic Resolutions

It is often customary for photographers at the beginning of a calendar year to make photographic resolutions (no pun intended, Rob) for the new year, so here are mine; some are very specific, some are general:

  1. Do at least one photo session with a hired model.
  2. Create at least one image that is shocking (in a non-gratuitous manner).
  3. Finish my Portrait of the Artist series by March 31st, 2011.
  4. Continue my self-portrait series, but get completely out of my comfort zone.
  5. Raise the suspicion of at least one authority figure while taking pictures in public.

The picture below is one I made yesterday, and I relate it to the subject of today’s post as follows: At one point, this ruin of rusted metal was a pail, quite capable of being filled with water. Now however years of neglect have allowed entropy to take over, in an inevitable course of decay. Had this pail received attention and care, it would not have gotten to this state. I believe the same can be said for any artistic endeavour; without constant attention and effort, artistry will decay.

D0n’t let 2011 be the year it happens to you.

Untitled

GoodBye Kodachrome

The deadline came and went yesterday: the cut-off for Dwayne’s Photo-lab accepting Kodachrome for processing. Apparently there was a huge surge of film being sent in to beat the deadline, but no more will be accepted now.

For seventy-five years Kodachrome has been used to illustrate the storyboard of much of humanity; what a priceless legacy!

The image below is one I captured on the Kodachrome Photowalk in October of this year. Nothing special about it, but as one of countless millions of Kodachrome images created in seventy-five years, it shares in that collective legacy.

Thank you Kodachrome. In a century where so much of the technology developed was for the express purpose of killing each other more efficiently and in larger numbers, your technology was made for creativity, truth and beauty.

And as a tool of creation, you are more powerful than any tool of destruction.

 

johnm012

Portrait of the Artist: Daniele Rossi

Normally TimeWarp Tuesday is for old photographs, but today a different angle on that theme: a new photo involving a very old process. First, the subject of the portrait is my good friend Daniele Rossi, artist, web designer and podcaster. He is a mix of old and new: on one hand, as an artist he applies pigments to a flat surface, a form of artistic expression almost as old as humanity itself. On the other hand, as a podcaster, web designer and social media denizen, he is about as current as you can get on the latest technology.

Portrait of the Artist: Daniele Rossi

My image is also a mix of old and new. The original image was created with a 30 year old Nikon FM SLR, using the classic Kodak Tri-X film, developed at home. New technology then got into the picture, as I scanned the negative using a film scanner. Then using Photoshop and an ink-jet printer I created a full-size paper negative. Then, back to traditional techniques: I applied baby oil to the paper negative to make it more transparent, and contact printed the negative using the Cyanotype process. This process dates back almost to the dawn of photography, as it was invented in 1842. Exposure to the sun (or other suitable UV source) hardens the emulsion. In the case of this image, it was exposed to the sun for about an hour. The print was then “developed” by rinsing in cold water, then soaked in a weak Hydrogen Peroxide solution to bring out the brilliance in the blue tones of the print.

I have fallen in love with this process!!

 

Time-Warp Tuesday: Ghost of Christmas Past

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Christmas memories, and how times have changed, so for Time-Warp Tuesday this week I have a Kodachrome slide; I made this image, a close-up of an ornament on the family Christmas tree sometime between 1980-82.

Tree Ornament, 1982?

This slide looks pretty much like it did when I first took the image; the colours and sharpness have remained true. So much else about Christmas has changed though: relatives have passed on, and at the same time a new generation has arisen to be part of my Christmas memories.

My late mother was very proud of her Christmas tree ornaments, and her tree decorating. If such a thing as Yuletide Feng Shui existed, she was the master. Now the collection is spread out amongst various family members, so we will never see a single tree like that again. All we have are images like this one, capturing the memory of Christmas treasures.