Wow! Denise's little black leather...

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by Dave Wooten, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Last week I spent another wonderful time at Photographer's Formulary in Condon Montana. Sandy King and his exceptional carbon process class. The man knows his stuff and has a box of prints to prove it. If offered again, don't mess around, get your name on the list, take the class, count your blessings.

    I spent most evenings and late into the wee small hours of the morning working on the process and learning the techniques offered. While waiting for exposures to come to fruition I would often retire into the front lecture room area and relax with a cup of coffee and read. One evening Bud, left a little 3 ring black leather book on the table. It had been prepared and put together by Denise Ross.

    I, as most of us, have been aware of the interest and ideas on emulsion making presented here on APUG.

    I was not ready for what I saw in Denise's little black leather book. The lady has been a bit too modest.

    The tonalities and and print quality attainable at this time totally caught me by surprise. The examples were lovely and exceptional. Congrats Denise. I had no idea....it's all looking really really good!:smile:
     
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  2. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Thank you! Dave,

    I know that work is supposed to be its own reward (and I do love the work) but I must say, it is very nice to hear the supportive words.

    Denise
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    DIY emulsions can be tailored to your taste, right Denise?

    PE
     
  4. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    Denise, would you please post some of your prints? Thanks.
     
  5. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Thanks for the plug, Ron! and thank you for the interest, Tim.

    Yes, today it is possible to produce a graded paper with just about any characteristic you want starting from any number of watercolor papers. You can choose texture, base color, and emulsion color and then further influence them through developer choice and toning.

    In addition, negative emulsions are coming right along - either dry plate or the subbed film that the Formulary will hopefully start stocking again.

    And, my current favorite application - Silvergum (gum over emulsion).

    Here are a few examples: 'Yaquina Bowl Storm': emulsion over Fabriano Artistico HP watercolor paper, 'Snow Dusting' on the commercial baryta paper sold by Photographers Formulary, 'Pancho & Herman': 5x7 dry plate (glass negative) enlarged and printed on Ilford Multigrade, and a crop of the same, and 'Aquarium Village Pirate': 5-color gum ('Silvergum')

    And there's more:smile:
    http://www.thelightfarm.com/Map/ContactPaperDev/SilverGallery/EmulsionThumbs.htm
     

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  6. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I must say that at first I felt kind disappointed that "Denise's little black leather..." was a book, then I was jealous that I couldn't appreciate the real thing, but in the end I am happy to have a glimpse of what seem to be really charming and beautiful work. I say glimpse and what seems to be as I am sure they lose so much on screen...
     
  7. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    Very nice Denise. Thanks for posting.
     
  8. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I've just spent some time reviewing your website, Denise. Outstanding. You've given me a new area of interest. Thanks!
     
  9. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    For more pictures made from similar emulsions, you may wish to look at the prints that Alex Hawley posted using my handcrafted paper and you may be interested in the fact that Kodak has printed some of these pictures in their internal newsletter. You may also wish to see David Goldfarbs comments on a print he has seen.

    Denise is making fine emulsions and is a fine photographer to boot! Keep at it Denise and maybe someday there will be more people making emulsions than just we few.

    I am considering another workshop next year at the Formulary in spite of my reluctance to do all of that traveling, and I have also been considering doing an advanced course that covers pumped delivery of multiple ingredients and Ultrafiltration for washing and concentration. This should yield an ISO 100 - 400 speed ortho film, but I have not completed the work here in my own lab.

    This field is wide open to fine art photography!

    PE
     
  10. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Any updates on progress of dry plate negs?
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    I have posted some of my dry plate work with the ISO 40 emulsion here on APUG. I am currently working on a higher speed emulsion.

    PE
     
  12. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Any print examples from contemporary dry plate negs?
     
  13. Photo Engineer

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    Mine are already posted as noted, Denise may have some on her web site.

    PE
     
  14. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Thanks Ron, I went back to emulsion forum but am having trouble locating the pics etc.
     
  15. Photo Engineer

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    I hesitate to take up storage by reposting, but I will if you need data.

    PE
     
  16. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    I'll find em Ron, thanks!
    :smile:
     
  17. sanking

    sanking Member

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    Dave,

    I was going to say the same thing about Denise's prints but you beat me to it. There was some awfully nice art in the little black book and Denise sure appears to be in control of coating with silver chloride emulsion.

    Sandy King
     
  18. Kirk Keyes

    Kirk Keyes Member

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    If you need any assistance, I'm sure I'll be available again.
     
  19. Photo Engineer

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    Thanks Kirk. Bud has a lot more rocks around the pond now. He had to replace a few.

    :D

    PE
     
  20. dwross

    dwross Subscriber

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    Eric, Arigram, and Sandy: Thank you very much for the nice words. I'm a big fan of your work, Sandy, both your photography and your writing.

    Dave: I don't know if you saw the dry plate example I posted in the blizzard of jpegs in my last post. 'Pancho & Herman' is a 5x7in dry plate (made last week). I stuck the plate in the 5x7 film carrier of my Zone VI enlarger and printed the plate on Ilford Multigrade. The file from scanning that print isn't altered in any way.

    "The exposure was made late in the afternoon on a sunny day. Wisner 5x7 field camera, 90mm lens, f/16, 3 sec. Developed N-1." This is my description of the plate that made 'Pancho..'. I think it is far more useful than a ASA/ISO number, which is as much a quantitative sound bite as a meaningful descriptor of the materials.

    I am finding, without even consciously deciding to, that I am thinking in the terms of a plate maker - my thought process falling in line with the potential/constraints of the old emulsions. When I got started with this I had the idea to 'time travel', if you will, starting from the beginning of the craft and moving forward without any preconceived ideas or expectations, rather than trying to recreate something contemporary and commercial. After all, my heroes at Ilford have the present well covered.

    Below is another example of why I think a more comprehensive and qualitative approach is needed: "Puff Amidst the Posies" and two crops. (Enlarged and printed on Ilford Multigrade) Puff is dark purple with a light green belly. The lilies to his left are lemon yellow, and the ones to the right are cream white. To a spot meter the purple is darker than the green and the yellow and white lilies have almost identical values. But, because the plate emulsion is orthochromatic, the values don't register like we would expect them to with panchromatic film. You have to add another level onto your pre-visualization.

    It's all very different from modern film and fascinating and far, far easier than you might imagine. I hope more people give it a try.

    For yet another take on the process, check out Terry Holsinger's work on theunblinkingeye website.
     

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  21. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Thanks!
     
  22. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Addendum,

    BTW Denise, nice gallery on the Alternative Photography forum!

    I have been surprised at how many are not aware of the AP forum. It contains one of the most comprehensive gallery collections of contemporary photographers using alternative processes and also a wealth of information on each process and the procedures involved, including formulas etc. Check it out. www.alternativephotography.com
     
  23. Photo Engineer

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    Dave, since Denise is using hand made emulsions, this entire thread might be considered better placed in the Emulsion Making and Coating forum. IDK. Just a thought.

    Unless conventional emulsions are now Alternative.

    PE
     
  24. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    At www.alternativephotography.com forum, the Denise Ross artist gallery shows a bit more of what is in Denise's now renowned "Little Black Leather Book"... i.e. Gum over Silver gelatin, Some phenominal handcoloring, Stereography and 3 color Gum Printing! There is also info on glass plate, emulsions etc. and even di*&%$al process applications for Alternative Photography! New and improved formulas are readily available for the old and new alternative processes. Alternative Process photography is not to be encumbered or defined by Historical Processes.

    It is nice to see posted in the Alternative photography forum on APUG, excellent examples of process results. Often these are in the APUG Standard and Critique galleries and not open to all. I'd like to see more posts of quality examples of Alternative Photography on this forum. We often get involved in the joy of "mixing the goop" and miss the purpose-photography. I have mentioned the recent Carbon Process class with Sandy King at the Formulary. Getting to experience the process was quite enjoyable, however, it was reviewing close up Sandy's box of prints that rounded out the process and formula, I had the same experience when viewing Kerik's "box of prints" and as with Denise's Little Black Leather Book. It's all good stuff! :smile: