Spring Experimentation

2020 has found me continuing to create work which features multiple exposures. These images tend to be abstract, placing objects in close proximity to each other in ways you wouldn't find in nature.

An example of that is 'Train of Thought', from this week. I shot the fronds of a yucca plant reaching for the clouds on film with my large format 5x7 wooden view camera. After developing the negative, I contact printed the image in my darkroom and scanned the result. I combined that with a cell phone shot of flowers in the garden (Geranium maderense), resulting in the image that you see on the left. I'm quite taken with it.

Another path of experimentation I've taken this spring has been to build a large camera out of odds-and-ends laying around the house. The result is a large format camera made of cardboard that's capable of taking an 11x14" paper negative. I made two separate fronts for the camera, one of which utilizes a magnifying glass for the lens.

While this design has proved to be finicky, it has at times produced very compelling results. Case in point, the image at right, 'My Mind Reels at the Thought of You', from an 8x10 paper negative. The focus is exceptionally soft, as the magnifying glass lens means that I can only approximate the correct distance from the subject while holding the camera and operating the shutter. That said, I love the result.

I have so far made successful images with this camera in both 5x7" and 8x10", and aim to begin shooting 11x14" negatives with it next week. I'm very much looking forward to the results.

Another bit of experimentation has taken place with a camera that I bought last year. An 8x10 pinhole camera, it requires very long exposures.

The image at left, 'Those Days You Passed and I was Unaware', is from a 48-hour exposure taken with that camera. It not only captured the trees overhead, but it also recorded the Sun traversing the sky over the course of the two-day exposure. That was a welcome surprise and adds to the otherworldly look of this image.

As we move towards the Summer Solstice, I'm enjoying the new art I've been creating and look forward to more experimentation. For me, that's what it's all about.

Stay safe and healthy in this uncertain time. I look forward to showing you more new work in the months to come.

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