It has been a while since I posted anything on my blog as life has been pretty hectic lately. I’ve finally finished my degree and have been accepted into a Masters programme so next year it’s going to get a little ‘crazy’. In the last couple of months I’ve taken a couple of alternative photographic processes workshops at The Analogue Laboratory. Firstly, there was the Dry Plate workshop where we learned how to make our own emulsion on glass that once dry, can be placed into the camera. Initially we used a box brownie and then upgraded to a Speed Graphic using different sizes of glass. Not all the plates were successful…it is definately a trial and error process.
‘Waratah’ Bromochloride emulsion (ISO6) on dry glass plate
The above plate was one of the better outcomes from the workshop. Unfortunately, I don’t have a great scanner so the photo is not that clear but you get the idea. Making the emulsion is quite time consuming but if you make a large enough batch, you can coat quite a few plates (depending on the size) and store them until use.
The plate was then printed using the Albumen process. As many of you that dabble in alternative processes already know, albumen is the white part of an egg. Good quality printmaking paper is coated in the albumen solution and left to dry. The paper is then soaked in 70% denatured alcohol to harden the albumen to the paper. Once dry, it is coated in a 12-15% silver nitrate solution and again, left to dry. Then it’s just a matter of choosing your negative (glass plate, large format negative or digital negative) to use. The negative is placed on top of the paper, put into a contact frame and then placed into the sun for the exposure. Albumen printing is not a quick process as the albumen solution needs to made at least a week prior to use. Results vary depending on the type of negative used and the exposure time. That’s the fun with alternative processes…it may be time consuming but the results are worth it.
Again, I apologise for the lack of posts. I’ve been so busy with study and work that every spare moment has been taken up with other things beside blogging. So…I’ve finished the body of work that I recently exhibited for the Graduate Show. This work follows on from the those images (see previous post) that I was working on earlier in the year. The concept and imagery hasn’t changed so I decided to research photographic processes and presentation methods. How could I make these images more interesting? I managed to get stuck in a bit of a rut until I stumbled upon a box of expired photographic paper at the house during one of my visits. Considering I had plenty of digital images and that decisions needed to be made, I turned a selection of these images into digital negatives and printed them in the darkroom, onto the paper I had found. Limited to 10 x 8 inch in size, these images became artefacts…small captured memories of the home. I loved being back in the darkroom too. This experience has definitely persuaded me to return to film and alternative photographic processes. Now that the degree is completed, I’m going to take a study break and build up my portfolio (and bank balance) and apply for honours in 2014.
These are only 3 of the 6 images that I exhibited. The image itself was only printed at 5 x 4 inches with an exposed black border and floated inside a box frame without a matt. There was a lot of trial and error in getting the result I wanted with the nuances in the image focus due to the variations in contact between the negative and photographic paper.
Now that I have more time to contribute to my arts practice, I’ll post much more often about my own work as well as other artists that I find inspiring.
All images by Kylie Macey 2012
Sorry it’s been so long between posts. The final year of my degree has kept me very busy and I’ve had little time for blogging pursuits. I just wanted to let you know what I’ve been working on. I need to shoot a series of images for assessment and to exhibit by the end of October. I am currently documenting the life of a person close to me who has very little time left…I began this series by photographing his home and belongings as a way of documenting the person without photographing him personally. I see it as a documented biography shown through the comfort of home.
These images are only a starting point for further exploration. I hope to further delve into his past and uncover what he believes have been the standout experiences of his long life. Although I have been currently shooting digitally, I hope to produce the final selection of images using monochrome film.
excerpt from artists statement:
Gaston Bachelard discusses the virtue of the shelter in his book ‘The Poetics of Space’ and it’s this philosophy that has been adapted for this series of images, based around the home of a dear family friend. Childhood memories of visiting this place as a child are vivid. It’s only returning as an adult that many of the objects that were naively dismissed in the past are revealed to have intimate stories behind them. A well-worn chair, a painting of a raging sea or a well trodden garden path come together to form a narrative of both the house and its occupant.
But what becomes of this place once the owner has left? If a person knows that they have little time left on this earth, what becomes of the objects left behind? What began as a series about childhood memory and space resulted in a documentary about home and the objects within. The images become a preservation of the now, the capture of the still-life behind a beating heart. Once this heart stops, only the images left behind will remind us of what there once was.
I was also lucky enough to have one of these images selected to exhibit in a group show during SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival during August. I hope to post more of my images as the series progresses.
All images by Kylie Macey.
Annie Hogan’s artwork explores the complex and evolving relationships, past and present, between people and the spaces we inhabit. Her work has evolved out of a persistent curiosity about interior spaces, how people inhabit them and their relationship to the body. Through saturated colour and skewed perspective she reveals arterial spaces of the in-between that momentarily enclose the body yet allows for departure through open portals of light.
I came across Annie’s work during my research for my own body of work. As I’m in my graduate year, I have to come up with a body of new work to exhibit by the end of the academic year. My lecturer mentioned Hogan after seeing some of my preliminary images from a month ago…nothing spectacular by any means but at least I’m heading in the right direction as the basis for Hogan’s work correlates similarly to the series of images I’m currently working on. We both focus on the domestic interior as a container of time, natural light and the absence of human presence. The following images were taken on the day my parents moved out of my childhood home. Completely empty of furniture, it evoked in me a sense of loss as it would be the last time I would set foot in this house.
I chose to photograph these rooms at the last-minute using the only camera I had with me…my camera phone. I hope to post more images as I go.
More of Annie’s work can be seen at her site here.
I must say, 2011 wasn’t one of my better years. I lost my job, gained another and then lost that. However, I’m now in a job that I love which also allows me to return to Art School and hopefully finish this bloody degree that’s taken me years so far…I SHOULD graduate by the end of 2012.
2012 will hopefully bring me much more creative inspiration, I’ll pick up my camera more often and hopefully finish reading the pile of books on my studio floor.
Wishing everyone a safe and happy NYE and a creative and inspirational 2012. I’ve included some of my recent phone pics to finish off the year. Enjoy the Summer…or Winter xxK
My lovely dog Ruby
Tim Lisko’s images are photographic abstractions – he removes the object from the equation and what is left is a presence of what once was. His Shinkansen series of photographs were taken as he travelled on the Bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka, leaving the shutter open and thus presenting a series of abstract landscapes or colour studies of the view outside of the train window. A simple technique beautifully executed.
A couple of years ago, I adapted this technique for a series of images called ‘Night-time Suburbia’. I kept the shutter open at 2 second intervals to capture the view from a moving commuter train from Adelaide to Elizabeth at night. I’ve included a selection below.
The best reason to use this technique is the total randomness of the results…shoot digitally to build up confidence and then switch to film if you can afford to do so. There are endless possibilites with this technique so go on, get out there and have fun with it.
More examples of Tim’s work can be found here.
This year will be a busy one…I will be finally graduating from Art College. I am currently undecided on the direction of my graduation exhibition images but I plan to keep you all updated on my blog, with any feedback appreciated.
I currently have a journal of ideas with black and white imagery featuring highly. I think the satisfaction of taking the images and printing them myself is currently outweighing anything I could produce either digitally or with colour film. Then again, I have a habit of changing my mind at the last minute.
Recently, I have been researching tilt-shift photography both in-camera and digitally manipulated imagery in Photoshop. I gave this technique a go late last year during an assignment and was pretty happy with the result considering it was my first attempt.
This photograph was taken from the top of a carpark then manipulated in Photoshop for the result that you see here. There are many photographers working today that use this technique and there are many ways to get similar results using many different methods. The Photoshop method is possibly the cheapest and easiest way but there are lenses that when attached to a camera, give similar results. Purpose built lenses are very expensive though. However, I came across a publication through the Magcloud website that gives photographers DIY guides on how to build their own tilt-shift lenses using regular lenses and a few other materials at much less cost than the real thing.
I don’t have to come up with my final photo series until later in the year, so in the meantime I plan to experiment with a few different techniques and concepts for the next few months and see what happens…stay tuned!
Here are some more examples of tilt-shift photography from other photographers courtesy of Smashing Magazine.
Christopher Chan - Sydney Apple Store
NYC Central Station
More examples of tilt-shift photography can be found here. Information about Magcloud can be found here.