I’ve been working on some new work from scans,. Mostly from dried flowers that I’ve had laying around. Photographing them has allowed me to at least throw them away! For the past month I’ve also been using my scanner as a macro camera. I amazed at how much detail there is to objects. I’m looking froward to doing more this summer on this idea.
I wasn’t thinking about Dreams, when I was taking those photographs. That idea came later, and was in the moment.
Well, this really isn’t new. I shot this about three years ago. I was testing a process that my students at the Ellington School of the Arts were about to embark on. We were working on a project with the National Portrait Gallery here in Washington, DC, commemorating the photographer Gordon Parks. The students were to use a 4×5 view camera to photograph their family, then digitize the negative to make 11×14 fine art pigment prints. I needed to work out all the bugs so this would go as smooth as possible
A newly rendered Self Portrait
While the students loved the magic & professionalism of working with the view camera and the studio lights, they found the process slow, because of all the camera prep before the actual shot is made. Yet, it all worked out just fine. The process slowed them down enough to consider what they were doing, instead of their usual joy ride approach in making photographs.
OK, back to me! We were using a Calumet Cambo 4×5 camera, Rodenstock 150mm f/5.6 lens and Polaroid PN/55 film. For the lighting we used Calumet Travelite 750 monolights with a large 36″ 48″ Chimera softbox. I used a 16″ cable release for triggering the exposures.
The reason for this image to be labeled as new is because I needed a head shot for a brochure that the Panasonic Digital Photo Academy is producing. I sent them the one I normally use, which looks like an ink rendering, but thought I’d look at the others that came from that session. Well, during that session I shot with a Nikon and forgot about those 4×5 shots I made. So, it now they looked pretty fresh, snarl and all! Since I’ve been playing around with NIK Color Efex Pro, I opened it up in Photoshop to see what I could come up with. I like the look of the Pastel sub-filter. It reminded me of a Cyanotype, and I went with it. The frame on the image is the natural residue from the Polaroid PN/55.
Last night while in my studio, I could sensed a familiar sweet faint aroma. I thought, “Hmmm, I didn’t see any pending blossoms from my Night Blooming Cereus, yet when I looked up, there it was. I’ve had this plant for over 30 years, and it still fills me with a sense of wonderment. This cereus, which is a member of the cactus family, blooms for one night only. I have often photographed these blossoming events, from the the first beginnings, to the finality of its dried pods. Since my Panasonic LX3 was on my desk, I took several snaps. With its small size and outstanding macro capabilities, I was able to manuever it to get shots I couldn’t with my big Nikon.
I wish this camera was able to take time lapse automatically. It would be nice to make a video from the stills. I’ll just have to wait for a bloosm to be in the right place for me to use a tripod or even my little Joby Gorillapod, so I can do the time lapse manually.
Night Queen: The Morning After
I enjoyed making these photos. I started out just to take a couple of quick reference photos, then just really got into it. Winded up taking a liitle more tha a roll. (I still think in terms of rolls of film – 36 exposures+) The shot to the left is looking up from my desk. The shot to the right was made the next morning.
This is an interesting new technology from Adobe Labs. It allows for the profiling of camera lenses. In Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom, you have the ability to correct for camera “distortion”. Now in the old days, I considered Lens distortion a “visual effect” ! But now a days it seems there is a quest for “perfection”
Now Adobe has the tendency to only speck in terms of their latest & greatest software releases, like CS5. But since they also mention Lightroom & Camera Raw it “may” work with the latest update Photoshop CS4 since Camera Raw and Lightroom share the same Raw conversion engine.
The interesting part of all this is that Adobe is asking its user community to send them their .LCP(lens correction profiles) files that they create.