The Worker

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There was a time when the steel mill in Braddock was working full force.  This is no longer the case and employment is difficult to find.  There is no question that the city is slowly coming back, but there is no quick fix and something that will take time.

This is part of a series of abstract images that I have collected within Braddock, PA and have printed on homemade silver gelatin paper.  This print was made using the AZO grade 3 formula on Strathmore Bristol Smooth paper.

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Pears For Sale

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One other image that stuck in my mind as the water rushed through Ellicott City was a small box of pears in front of Yates. I seriously doubt that this small store made any money selling the items they placed in front of the store, but I believe that they decided to use this valuable property as a reminder of the historic nature of the city.

A week after the flood residents have finally been allowed to return home. The rebuilding effort moves on and hopefully this place will recover.

This print was made on homemade silver gelatin paper (AZO formula) accompanied by a sepia toner.

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The American Dream

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Sixteen years ago when my wife and I were looking for a house, our first choice was to find a place in Ellicott City. After looking at fifteen to twenty houses none matched what we were looking for so we found a place in Columbia, not far away. We did visit Ellicott City a number of times to enjoy the historic district, which had similarities to Annapolis, where I lived for a decade.

Last week flooding destroyed Ellicott City, which is still closed off and in the process of recovery. It will be quite some time before the town is accessible once again.

I looked through the many images I photographed during my trips there and selected a couple that I felt captured the essence of the place. The first one (as well as the second one) was taken outside of Yates, a small grocery store that has been around since 1885.

On a stool was a box of books for sale, with Dan Rather’s The American Dream on top. This quite well summed things up with little more for me to say.

This print was made on homemade silver gelatin paper (AZO formula) and finished with sepia toner.

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Lines and Curves

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I have started a side project, working on abstracts that were photographed in Braddock. The idea of these images is not to make one try to guess what they are seeing, in pretty much all cases that will not be a problem, but to obfuscate the full context in order to suggest a new meaning.

The images are printed on homemade silver gelatin paper, for now using the AZO formula (grade 2).  I have tried a number of different papers and have been surprised how well this emulsion works on all of them.  This particular image was printed on Strathmore Multimedia paper.

Beginning photographers learn the importance of things such as lines and curves. In this image not only do lines and curves work together, but the curves in the upper right and lower left suggest vertical lines. Motion is implied from upper left to lower right by the openings to those areas and the lines and curves in the lower middle third of the image.

I would be remiss in not offering a shout-out to Denise Ross for helping me over a bump in the road.

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Albany Courthouse

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While photographing in Albany I needed to use a restroom. I found a Starbucks, but in cities they generally restrict restrooms to customers, and buying a cup of coffee would pretty much defeat the purpose.

I looked around and found the courthouse, deciding that that would be a reasonable alternative. Upon entering the building I was required to remove my belt and all metal on my person, including my plastic camera. I was told that cameras were not allowed. I negotiated with them and they allowed me to leave my belongings with them, use the bathroom, and then return for my items.

I needed to get back to my parking spot, as time was expiring. I did not have a chance to ask them the questions I would have liked, namely, “Do you allow cell phones? Cell phones with cameras? But not plastic film cameras?”

Interesting.

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Fly Me To The Moon

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I just got back from my Baseball vacation and am in the process of working on some of the images from that trip. On this sort of vacation I go to as many Minor League games as I can and take a panoramic during the game.  That image then gets placed on my website.

I currently have 75 different ballparks (some which no longer exist) and will be able to add 6 new ones within the next several days.

While watching the game I noted the moon showing itself rather nicely, and looking to its left realized that there was about to be a convergence.  Quickly moving over several rows I was able to capture this, which can be seen if one expands the image on this page fully.

 

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Clyde’s

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I have never made prints for the specific purpose of selling, but that will change this weekend.

In the past I have made prints available at shows and there have even been times when I have made a sale.  However, these have always been work that I did on a personal basis and someone made the decision to trade their hard-earned money for what they have seen.  That is actually the biggest complement one can receive.

This is the weekend of the Columbia Festival of the Arts and I will have a 10X10′ tent in Symphony Woods, where there will be plenty of music and entertainment.  I will be offering my original Bromoil prints, but also have made limited edition reproductions available.

Understanding that not everyone will “get” the process, I decided to diversify my offerings.  I have created a series of images that were taken around Lake Kittamaqundi that have been rendered to look like pencil sketches.  These images are then printed on vellum (I have experimented with Pictorico with interesting results) and after sizing is applied, backed with gold leaf (I also offer them with copper leaf), and covered on both sides with varnish.

Placed within a frame I must admit that these look rather nice.  The scan offered gives somewhat of an idea of what one will see, though the viewer will need to imagine the gold as shiny, which really makes things jump out.

I have no idea whether or not there will be an interest in what I have to offer, but it will be fun giving this a try.

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Million Dollar Print

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A photographer friend and I were working our shift at Artomatic Frederick and our discussion turned to selling prints. As one who does not sell enough to begin to think of paying for the paper used, the conversation quickly turned to what prints sell for big bucks and lamenting our inability to participate in this category.

I whined about the fact that Steichen only barely makes it into the top ten while Weston only barely makes it into the top twenty-five (no Adams, no Stieglitz, etc.).  I mentioned Rhein II, which sold for over four million dollars, and he told me that any insignificant smudge on a wall could serve for such an image and pointed to one.  As he prepared his camera to take a picture of such I one-upped him by using my cell phone to photograph the subject (after which he one-upped me by taking the picture with a much older cell phone).

So for your viewing pleasure I present Untitled, my million dollar picture (which would not come close to being in the top twenty-five).  I may print this out and offer it, hoping that someone would make the purchase for FOMO (act now and I will sell it for just a hundred thousand dollars).

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Sunny Sunday Afternoon

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Yesterday was the 16th Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, an event I helped start, so of course I had to participate. I had planned to install my work at Artomatic Frederick so my time was limited, so I decided to work digitally. I installed a zone plate body cap on my D70 and wandered into downtown Frederick.

This past winter took so long to depart that I wanted to celebrate its passing with an image that showed the warmth of Spring, so I sought out reflections of cars that might suggest this. The image presented offers what I was seeking, with just a bit of color.

Posted in Lensless, Zone Plate | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Lia’s Laces

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I have been playing around a bit more with my phone (Android) to explore its capabilities and one of the fun things is the ability to work with multiple cameras. I have tried many of them and removed nearly all because I am able to replicate the effects within Photoshop (keeping the original capture untouched).

One notable exception is Awesome Sketch, which presents the captured image as if it were a pencil drawing. I have done this effect in Photoshop a number of different ways, but this particular app does this much better than any of the methods I have tried. Finishing the image in Snapseed is, well, a snap.

This image is my ten month old granddaughter, who finds the laces of my shoes to be one of her unending joys. I happen to like this particular image partially because I believe that it captures her personality quite well, but also because she is standing without realizing it. It is quite special to observe the learning process, from understanding that one has control over their fingers to walking and beyond.

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