Monday, March 27, 2006
Collaboration with Dave Hastings
This is another post in honor of the late David Hastings who was part of a small circle of coconspirators in the early '70s. The people in the oil painting are all from one roll of Kodak record film I shot at the Pike Place Market one day in July of '73. It was the only roll of record film I ever used. See the previous comments about shooting scrap for Dave Hastings and with Kathe Kushe
This photo was taken on March 1, 1974. I had been studying portraiture for two years when I took this photo including a paid apprenticeship under the award winning Merlin Parker. Looking at it now I can see a number of obvious mistakes like failing to obtain tonal separation between the subject and the background, which is complicated here by using an oil painting for the background.
The camera was A Mamiya Universal Press with a 150mm lens and a 6X7cm film back loaded with Ilford HP4. I was trying out a few rolls of Ilford after shooting almost nothing but Tri X for hundreds of rolls. These negatives came out thin (under exposed) but printable. I had a habit of shooting Tri X slightly over, say a third stop depending on the contrast of the subject and then developing in D76 at 68f for six mins rather than nine to get a soft negative and then printing it on Kodak #3 paper. Hard negatives were a royal pain to print. My notes tell me I developed this HP4 for 7 mins which is probably short of the specified time. The negatives have a nice tonal range in the mid tones but the blacks are blocked up and the negatives look overall kind of thin.
One reason I didn't shoot much Ilford 6cm roll film was the flimsy film base. Tri-X had a nice thick film base which was easy to mount on a spool for processing but Ilford was so flexible that mounting it was a difficult process. I didn't really find Ilford HP4 a major improvement over Tri-X which was a wonderful film.
Why so many photos of ferries? Take a look at a map of western Washington and you will get the point. If you want to go west from where I live you can proceed for about 400 yards and then you will need a boat unless you want to get wet. This is true from Olympia on the south end of the Puget Sound to well up into Canada. There is only one bridge way down in South Tacoma and unless you want to drive many miles out of your way to take that bridge you will need to take a boat trip.
I can see the Fauntleroy to Vashon run from where I live. The sights and sounds of ferries and sea gulls and mountains and water are images that represent life in Seattle.