Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Chemistry Experiements

I've been in the darkroom. So much fun!!! I've been playing with gum printing and emulsion coating on a nice, sturdy watercolor paper. I think the best part is that even though I have used these processes before, I have to rediscover them each time. That's the one thing that I truly love about the darkroom, the sense of magic and wonder I feel when something actually works.

Ron built a UV exposure unit for his screen printing and I'm finding it very useful for my alternative processes. It's so much handier to have a powerful source of UV light than the sun, particularly since it's very overcast in Kentucky right now. Gear is such a geeky thing to love, but I like chemistry experiments and playing with dangerous light. It makes me feel a little more alive.

My friend Ethel was my gracious model for these images that I'm doing the gum and emulsion prints with. She was a total trooper hiking through the woods with me and getting in awkward positions for my human connection to nature photography. I truly love the interaction with the model, it's a true collaboration. The shot above wouldn't have happened if she hadn't suggested putting the sticky thistle pod into the shot. I'd been carrying that thing for about an hour, dropping it multiple times, and starting to resent picking it up. It was a perfect contrast to the lush ferns and the beautiful tones and soft texture of her hand.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I saw Henry Rollins last night here in L'ville. He spoke for well over two hours. Not only was he brilliant and funny, but he gave me pause to think about some larger issues that have been troubling me. He shared some great stories about his travels around the world and how isolated people have become. Instead of being afraid of new cultures his approach is to hold out his big tattooed arm and just say "Hi, I'm Henry, what's up?" His experience is usually good with this approach and he has managed to travel through Pakistan, Laos and many other countries and feel welcome and truly get to know the other people. He is the example of the beautiful American vs. the typical ugly American tourist we ususally hear about. If we could all work towards being more open with eachother, even our neighbors, we would could perhaps evolve to a higher state of being. In other ways, Rollins also inspired me to think about how eveyone hates their jobs and is dissatisfied with the drudgery we all feel in our day to day routines. Eveything is based in fear, that's why people don't just get out there and do what they love. How would we transform the world if we all just said no to the BS and said yes to living. Rollins seems to truly live his life at 100% - sucking the marrow out of his expeirience on the planet. That's very punk rock and a great lesson in not racing toward death like we're all out of control. We are the masters of our lives and experiences.