Monday, January 30, 2012

Alt Process Work

I've been getting back into what has been referred as "Alternative Processes".  These are historic photographic processes that have been popular at one time and died out for one reason or another.

I took a refresher weekend at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts school this past fall.  These are two of the prints I did.  The one on the left is a Platinum print on vellum paper and the one on the right is a Van Dyke Brown print on watercolor paper.  They are currently hanging along with some other work in the school itself.

I tend to like these processes for a couple of different reasons.  First, each print is hand coated and exposed to a negative.  While the negative is reusable, the process still creates a unique print due to variations in coating, exposing and developing.    The second reason is that I like the look.  It's different from the usual digital stuff being thrown about these days.  You can attempt to recreate the look in Photoshop, but I have yet to see it successfully done.

I've started working on a couple of processes at home.  Specifically Cyanotype and Platinum.    So far, I'm in the middle of calibrating my printer and developing processes.  While cyanotype is one of the cheaper processes around, printing using Platinum can be expensive.  I want to get the process down pat, so I don't have a lot of waste.  Hopefully, I can start the actual printing soon.

More when I have it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Year End

I ended up 2011 with a trip to the Muskegon Wastewater Treatment Plant with Kelly, Wayne and Mike. A huge open area that is surprisingly well know in birding circles. We had heard reports of Snowy Owls being in the area, and of course we had to go photograph them.

We ended up seeing 3 of them that day. One was skittish and wouldn't let us get close, another was on top of a stirring structure and remained there all day, and the one above. He(?) seemed to be somewhat unconcerned about all the attention. We could easily get within 75 feet of him and he would just turn his head and look at us every once in a while.

Talking with another photographer, we found out there had been reports of up to 8 Snowy Owls in the area. Considering the ease we found the 3 we saw, I can believe it. We're pretty sure we saw a glimpse of a Golden Eagle, and more different kinds of ducks than I could name.

It was a great way to end 2011 photographically. I hope your New Years eve went well, and 2012 turns out great.