I set aside each Sunday for exposing film and processing,, Just this alone gives me minimum 50 days to work on my project per year...I am doing still lifes and solarizing in the darkroom... I get enough subjects to expose about 25-35 sheets of film.. I start the day by exposing one sheet and solarizing to make sure I am getting the balance right then , one image after the other, I then go into the darkroom and process and solarize all the film.. this usually takes me about 7 hours from start to finish.
During the week I scan all the negs low rez between other projects and make lambda small prints of all the film.
After a couple of weeks of this, I concentrate on portfolio prints on 11 x14 of all the images I want to see. I buy 150 sheets of paper at a time and finish this over a three day weekend. This may take me two weekends to complete.
I continue back to the exposing side after all the portfolio prints are done.
I have a show coming up in October so late Aug I will call it a day on the exposing and port prints, bring over a couple of eyes I trust and pick the Hero images from the portfolio prints and over the next month will print the show to add on to other images from the same series I have already shown. When I am printing for a show I will work three days on three days off to finish the work.
Framing, Matts, Museum Glass and Crates are started in early August so as my big prints are finished they are put into the frames and crates and ready for shipping to the show location.
This project I am working on started in 2003 and I have just started to exhibit the work.
Originally Posted by Bob Carnie
I don't know how to even begin to quantify it all really, it's like asking me if I get burned out on my life and how do I keep going, plan it all...
I love long term projects, I think I have at least half a dozen that have published already in some form or another from the 3 photo package in the New York Times to a magazine piece that took me a year that we just decided the cover on this week. All of the aforementioned will keep going, adding to the life they live...I think that is it really, they are all my children, I keep raising them..makes sense since my wife and I don't plan to have any...
Then there are the book projects that can sometimes end up with either a show or an editorial piece. One is done, just needs to be printed. Others are 3-5 year projects that are half way there. Then there are two other books that are 10 and 25 year projects, one is 80% shot, the other over half way.
So I have a lot going on all the time, I just move from one to the other when I need a break, it feels right and so far, the resulting work looks right....
Maybe that's why I never get burned out, I keep a balanced diet of it all...
My work flow has changed some over the years. Since I am now working almost exclusively with 4x5" sheet film, I typically take advantage of the "individuality" of the film:
Often from a previously-seen and scouted location, I expose film of my subject, typically two sheets of the same composition and exposure.
Process one sheet of film.
Proof the negative to assess composition and contrast.
If the proof continues to interest me and meets my previsualization, I make a finished print. Otherwise it gets filed; perhaps to someday again see the light of an enlarger, likely not.
Repeat the process.
If I am really excited about the subject matter I may expose, develop, and proof the film in the same day, but it may also be separated into different days. But I find that making the final print is best left for a separate printing session, and I only ever finish one print during a session.
But that is just me.
I hesitated to contribute since you ask how to do something I can't say I've done.
But it looks like practical tips are flowing.
I tell my wife I am going to spend 45 minutes in the darkroom. I turn on the water after a bit of negotiating ("ok I will develop in tanks so you can come in to do laundry").
Then I write a post where I say something like "I have the water running."
Four hours later I have something.
Roger Thoms had a show in town at a local art center. The way it worked for him: He entered one piece one year and "won" the spot to have a whole gallery the next year. He spent that next year in his friend's darkroom and put up a great show.
I've participated in a couple print exchanges which forced me to print a couple editions of 10 prints each.
In one, I was lucky to have Roger in my group so now I have one of his prints...
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
projects happen when they happen, don't stress about it.
( i also have kids and a small business ... )
just do what you can, when you can that's all that is possible, right ?
and don't forget to have fun :)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard, one of my favorite photographers, was said to intentionally pile up film for months or even a year, and then spend a couple of frenzied weeks processing and printing. Van Deren Coke said that REM would shoot about 2000 exposures a year, and make 500-600 prints.
Originally Posted by blockend
Sadly, he didn't pay much attention to the archival processes, and many of his prints have deteriorated due to residual fix.
If you ever get a chance to see his work in person, it will make you vibrate like a tuning fork. He was simply beyond all normal conventions of photography.
Understand, too, that Meatyard was a full time optician and did photography on the side. He was modest about his work, his employers at Tinder, Krauss, Tinder didn't even know he was published and exhibiting.
There's a rather long video interview with the great photographer Keith Carter on Lynda.com. He talks at length about how photographers "talk themselves out of" projects: "it will cost too much," "it's been done before," etc.
Originally Posted by batwister
Everyone has influences. Ingres adored David. If he had talked himself out of painting because "it had all been done before" the world would be a much uglier place to live. The fact is that while your style may reflect the influence of Avedon or Adams, your photographs can only be made by one person: you. No one else has your same set of beliefs and experiences; replication is impossible.
I think you have to keep moving forward every day, and recognized that it's no easier to make a great photograph than it is to make a hole in one on a 200 yard Par 3. In fact, it's probably much more difficult.
Indeed. I think that makes him all the more amazing!
Originally Posted by Greg Davis