Expired Film

I am essentially done with anything smaller medium format at this point. I just like 4x5. I have come to realize that tons of people are too lazy or freaked out about trying to learn 4x5, that they don’t. so the stuff can be cheap to get. Expired 4x5 film for example. People nearly give it away. Expired 35 and medium format however gets sold as “lomo.” It’s hip no so you have to pay through the nose for it. They did the same thing with “redscale.” (Redscale is a technique of shooting photographic film where the film is exposed from the wrong side, i.e. the emulsion is exposed through the base of the film. Normally, this is done by winding the film upside-down into an empty film canister. The name "redscale" comes because there is a strong color shift to red due to the red-sensitive layer of the film being exposed first, rather than last [the red layer is normally the bottom layer in C-41 (color print) film]. All layers are sensitive to blue light, so normally the blue layer is on top, followed by a filter. In this technique, blue light exposes the layers containing red and green dyes, but the layer containing blue dye is left unexposed due to the filter. E-6 (color slide) film has also been used for this technique.

Depending on the type of film used, the resulting colors seem to range from maroon, to red, to orange, to yellow.

The technique seems to have been discovered accidentally. Some people shooting large format color film would load the individual negatives backwards. This phenomenon is likely as old as color film itself. However, it has only recently gained popularity as an effect intentionally sought.

The technique is considered by some to be part of the lo-fi photography movement, along with use of toy cameras, pinhole cameras, instant cameras, and sprocket hole photography.).

The amount of over exposure determines the intensity of the red. When redscale film is shot at the posted ASA the resulting photos are almost all red, over exposure allows light to reach the less sensitive green and blue layers of the film. Exposures of 5 stops or more over posted speed can result in the red layer washing out completely and the resulting images appearing mostly yellow. I mean you can flip the film yourself in a darkroom. But people want it now. They want it now or they are trained they are too stupid to try to figure something out on their own. So you can still buy “redscale” like it’s some official thing for a premium price, or you can just flip it yourself and save some bucks for more film. It is astonishing to me what people will buy because it is hip. But not because it is hip, it seems to have to be official and be connected to a brand so you feel special and official shooting it. For example, you can get a used Polaroid camera on Ebay for about 30 bucks or you can buy the same exact thing from an official company who bought the Polaroid brand and patents for about $200. People do it. Why don’t they just get the same thing on Ebay and clean it with some Windex? I do not know. I do love the new instant film that is now available. I love it so much I almost do not mind paying $20 bucks for eight frames. Used to be ten per pack. Fuji quit the pack film game. Now you have to shell out a ton of dough for what is left out there. I wish I knew what drove consumer behavior. Too much of it seems connected to the everyone is a celebrity/celebrate the self 24/7 “culture” of today. I will keep to myself until this passes, if it passes. People seem to miss the point is the joy of creation for oneself, not to get “likes.” Not only to get them but to become addicted to getting them. It started with Facebook. They knew what they built was seemingly a benign little thing to stay in touch with people, but it’s actually another way to hook people on getting attention we all desperately crave. I guess these days I just give myself that attention so I can be just a bit kinder in an increasingly nasty world.

 Early experiment with Crown Graphic 4x5 camera and Arista film which I am told is just rebranded Fomapan.

Early experiment with Crown Graphic 4x5 camera and Arista film which I am told is just rebranded Fomapan.

fucking has been rendered pointless

I was raised Catholic and taught nothing about sex or women. When I was young I was caught by my mother looking at a Playboy in a drugstore. She yanked me out of the store and told me in the parking lot "looking at that magazine is a sin and you will go to hell if you do it again."

What I eventually learned about sex came from watching pornography produced in the 1980's. It was fucking. Both the man and the woman seemed to be enjoying each other. Now, the material produced is grim and exploitative and strongly infers that violence and humiliation are sexy.

From that start I grew to hate sex and felt intense shame when I did anything sexual. The work here and in our films is a way to try to sort out all the distortions around something that should be not only natural, but possibly transcendent if you truly trust and love your partner. I still don't know if I'll ever get there, but I am documenting things as I go.

If you do not understand what it truly means to be intimate, then that part of your life remains vacant. I never felt loved and certainly never thought I could ever love anyone else. Maybe I never have, the way I would want to now. Life felt like it was racing. On the other end of my days was an endless obsession with an intense, focused fear of death. My work consists of naked woman I do not know very well (same went for my intimate partners) to cemeteries and death markers. I suppose the hope is I might get around all of this by recording as much as I can with an honest and open mind.

Our first film, "The Porn Eaters" is, for lack of a better term: a tone poem about sexual confusion, guilt and isolation from each other. Tons of lonely people never seeming to meet other lonely people. The films contains 4x5 film photographs and various digital and analog elements to make things that may seem cold a bit warmer. It was scored by Mark Robinson (Unrest/4AD).

purchase or rent here:

https://everyoneislyingtoyou.com/

light leak zebras & sleepless nights.

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I could not figure out why my negatives suddenly seemed to be telling me that my camera had a light leak. It certainly appeared that it had a light leak. So I tried a different camera. Same issue. Maybe it was the caffenol solution I was using. Fresh batch. Same issue. Switched to Xtol. It never fails. It failed.  So web, please help me... and it did. An obscure site with a single post told me I was not fixing my negatives long enough. I had usually fixed for about 3 minutes, because I was unable to wait to see the photographs I had taken. Stupid. It also suggested that I could re-fix any zebra negatives I had laying around, and the stripes would vanish...and they did. So, thank you Google and random search result. You fixed my zebra.

I was lost until i found william gedney

https://repository.duke.edu/dc/gedney

This is a man who hid most of his life as I have hid from most of mine.  I made mistakes early on. Nearly at the start: the whole thing was a mistake. I had problems I tried to erase through anger. I do not know what, if any, issues Bill Gendney had, but hiding from who you are in your heart is something I thought we had in common. This is a man who was devoted to recording disparity. He would score ultra gigs. High paying, high profile positions within the world of art, simply so he could make enough to fund projects that mean something to him. He would just make enough to fund a project and he would quit a safe job others would consider the the peak. Economic disparity. Alienation. Dehumanization.  He would just quit and record what his soul said he should. Per usual, he had to die to be considered. I may die before I am considered. Fine. But my truth as with William Gedney is all I am interested in recording. If I die and am considered of value, my work of value, then that is how it goes and I will feel a bit better having gone down telling the truth as far as I have lived it.

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William Eggleston & The Democratic Forest

"Fascinated by the commonplace, the author (William Eggleston's Guide) portrays in these 150 color photographs obdurately ordinary objects with a candor and respect for place brought into focus by a subtle sense of decline. Storefronts in East Tennessee, Mississippi parking lots and vehicles traveling through the great leveled spaces of Atlanta highways let us dwell in the familiar and mundane. These down-to-earth pictures tell their elegies in a muted voice, catching the eye with details: light and shade revive deteriorating brick and shape a roadside fruit stall and van into muscular bulk. Taken during the last decade, the photographs were shot "outdoors, nowhere, in nothing."

This idea changed my life. Not just how I take pictures. I take pictures to help me live my life and the idea of the democratic forest changed how I view all moments in my life & in turn I hope has informed my work. 

I am not even sure how much I enjoy photography. What I do like is feeling something when I see the work of others and then hope other people feel something when the mine. We live in a hyper-individualistic society that is crushing for me to be a part of it. I grew up talking to people. I did not stare at a screen and ignore the actual life happening around me.  With how things are now you do not have to technically relate with other people to live your life.  I do want to relate to other people, I just don't really know any who know me how I wish they could. It's just how it is. So if all I can do is share my photographs and hope there is some sort of relational value in that act, it's better than how things are now. People chasing money. That is how it is here. You are what you do and how much you make.

Anyway, this idea, from this book, it really changed my life and certainly my approach to photography.

http://www.egglestontrust.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Democratic-Forest-William-Eggleston/dp/0385266510/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1510589418&sr=8-1&keywords=the+democratic+forest&dpID=51NofRrVuoL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

how to remember things.

I use my digital camera for paid work only because it produces lifeless memories. They can replicate, but not produce a memory that feels right. They are hollow and stack up on hard drives. I never look at them and if I do, I feel nothing for them. I use film to record how I felt that day. When I look at that work, years later even, I can almost always remember what happened just before and just after I took the photograph.

I used to be terrified of making mistakes. Any mistakes. Anything that might show people I was the fraud I thought I was. So with photography, if my work did not strictly adhere to what "they" said you should produce, I discarded it. We are not perfect. We are flawed. Film, if you relax with it, if you stop worrying about what "they" will say, will show "flaws." The flaws in this photograph are many but without them, the photograph, to me, is just replication and memories can never replicate the experience.

 

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me and death. friends always.

Death used to really terrify me. The funeral. Open caskets. Loved ones who like they are sleeping. I understand these things are done for the living, but they are done so we can continue to deny that we have only have this life, for sure, to live fully. I clung to the hope that there might be something else. Something better than this place called Earth, that could quite possibly become a true hell in the next few years.

My fear of death was so consuming that unless I attended a funeral, I refused to step foot in a cemetery. I could not stop thinking that the grass beneath my feet was fed by the dead below.

So I forced myself to enter them and get comfortable with years of terror through the slower process of taking 4x5 photographs. Much of the work I produce now is taken in cemeteries. Not because I am preoccupied with death, but because I accept it as a part of life.

I am really scared. Scared we won't get a chance to live a full life because of elected officials, sociopaths and psychopaths. But I do not fear death.

http://www.ekrfoundation.org/five-stages-of-grief/

me talking about nothing

Everyone has something they feel they must proclaim and more feel a need to blast every utterance and lunch tray photograph across the universe.

I am not sure that anything I have to say is of value to anyone. I just want to talk about the frames and films I have made with other people. I am no technician. I like to feel. To record. To try and sort things out.

To start, I do not know other people very well. I was a shut-in for most of my adult life. I went out very rarely. Nearly everything terrified me. All I wanted to do most was sleep. My anxiety, not a buzzword at the time, was killing me. I drank gallons and smoked endless strings of cigarettes. I had some unresolved PTSD, also not a buzzword at the time. At some point, I started to wash my hands a lot. I guess it must have sent a message that it made me feel better. My hands would get dry, crack and bleed. This made my fear of germs and illness that much greater and the noose tightened. I became fixated on death. I could not handle the idea of losing anyone close to me. My solution was to never let anyone get close. It worked.

I am getting better.

We are social creatures. We need each other or we will die. Try to help each other out. Life can be deeply grim and insulting. If you know a way to do something better. To Help. Do it.

Don't hide your answers.

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