Koop een foto en help mee de volgende tentoonstelling mogelijk te maken!
Mooie lijsten zijn duur en voor de aankomende tentoonstelling eind februari wil ik mijn werk zo optimaal mogelijk presenteren. Daarom bied ik alvast één van mijn foto’s te koop aan zodat ik de gehele presentatie kan bekostigen.
De afdruk wordt voorzien van een nummer en handtekening om authenticiteit te waarborgen. De foto wordt door mijzelf afgedrukt op Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss barietpapier. Met lijst houdt in dat de afdruk wordt ingelijst in een Nielsen Quadrum Wengé houten frame. De print (al dan niet met lijst) mag persoonlijk worden opgehaald. Hij kan uiteraard ook opgestuurd worden. Andere formaten en mogelijkheden op aanvraag.
De tentoonstelling “Blutwurst” die ik hiermee beoog te bekostigen, opent a.s. donderdag 27 februari om 19 uur in Kulturzentrum Alter Schlachthof te Eupen. Ik laat hier landschappen zien, gefotografeerd met de Leica Monochrom, van het Eerste Wereldoorlog gebied rond de Somme, Frankrijk. Naast mijn foto’s is er werk te zien zijn van Fotografen Collectief F68, waar ik deel van uitmaak, en diverse gastexposanten. De tentoonstelling loopt t/m zondag 30 maart.
Het totaalbedrag waar het om gaat, bedraagt ongeveer € 900,00, afhankelijk van het definitieve formaat. Dit omvat de lijsten voorzien van museumglas en het printwerk.
Bij reguliere crowdfunding-campagnes gaat alles pas door als het streefbedrag is gehaald. Dat is hier niet het geval. Indien je besluit tot aankoop van een werk ben je verzekerd van je foto en van de tentoonstelling. Tenslotte, alle beetjes helpen.
Reading back this blog I realised it’s been one and half years ago since last collodion test…time for another one that means…
The last post has also been just over a year ago…time for a new one…also…
I’ve been incredibly busy with a lot of things, also photography, but on another level. First of all… I bought a house last year! I set a goal for myself to fix my housing problem with renting being too expensive on my own. I got very very lucky and when I put my mind to something…well…let’s just say I don’t easily give up 😉 But I was also very very lucky. I was able to buy the house I rented first. Utterly amazing! The chances were very slim and the alternatives really would not have been all that great…it’s of very special meaning to me. Miracles do happen! It will take quite a bit of work but that’s part of the fun. Most wonderful thing about this place, besides plethora of others, is that I have a working space! The house came with a garage attached to it, which wasn’t part of the rental version but it sure now is. I have expanded my darkroom there. I recently sort of finished it and finally am able to properly work with all the chemistry and have enough space to actually move around. So, after an unsuccessful test past Monday I was able to redo it today and ended up with images! As soon as I have another free weekend / day I will be shooting outside again. Needless to say I’m immensely looking forward to that!
Secondly, I have photographed more than ever before (I think), but mostly commercial. This has been quite a challenge in more than one way. New conditions for every shoot, adjusting to that and learning new things every time, make this really interesting. Shooting mostly with a Fuji X-T3 (autofocus ftw) with my reliable X-T1 as a backup. Godox AD200 as a portable (wireless!) studio light on location, awesome little device which you can use with heaps of accessories (properly thought-out system). Assignments vary from events to real-estate to corporate photography. Also important…it pays for shit. A lot of it so that’s good!
Thirdly, the Monochrom…well…that’s not going so well…I’ll spare you the details but it’s been sent back to Leica for the fourth time now…I hope this time I will get back something that actually works as it should…anyway, fingers crossed!
Fourthly, working towards a group exhibition that will open next month, on the 27th of february in Alter Schlachthof Eupen (BE) with the F68 photographers collective I joined a while back. I have visited a bit of first world war areas (Somme, Verdun) with my monochrom as I got triggered, firstly, by my visit to the Elzas in 2018, and secondly because Paul is also interested in visiting these areas and it sort of became a collective undertaking. These landscapes are, even on its own, quite fascinating. But when you dive into its history and you know what exactly is beneath your feet it gives the whole a different experience walking about. There have been so many killed during that war, such a dirty war being the first time poisonous gas has been used. So many bombs have been thrown, grenades, mines etc. And they are still there, lurking from underneath the ground, waiting for you to dig them up (or leave’m). So many still unexploded devices literally litter the grounds today. So many people buried on the battlefields, never been dug up. So much ground polluted from the chemical bombs. It will take between 300-700 years to clean everything up…
The more I learned about this war, the less it made sense (as if it ever does, but still). As a ww1 officer once said; “It’s not sending people to war, it’s sending people to die”. The woods in for example the Somme have been the backdrop of horrible battlefields. You can find the locations of these woods on old maps dating from around that period and you can look up these spots on google maps using satellite footage and find the forests are still there today. Of course back then they have been completely devastated by the war, but eventually grew back. They are filled with craters of the intensive bombing and also packed with what’s left of the trenches. When you start digging you’ll find a lot of things…grenades, shells, communication cable, barbwire, you name it. Sometimes you don’t even have to dig, just to keep your eyes open and scroll the surface. Walking there is like walking through a vivid and tangible history book.
My main focus is the forests, as it always is, and I like to convey its sadness and eeriness. My images are never really happy so I hope people will feel slightly uncomfortable and with the exhibition sharing also the location of the shots I hope people will be triggered to look up their whereabouts and learn (more) about this war. I find it hard to get into my head that after ww1 we also deemed it necessary to have another round with ww2 (of course ww1 pretty much formed the grounds for ww2). Two generations war… For the love of all mankind I hope we get spared a third…
Onto the collodion testing…it’s winter here of course, the darkroom is not all that warm so chemistry is cold. First plates I did indoors (with new lights I have not really used before) didn’t go so well. Perfectly black plates implying chemistry-wise it should be fine. Today I tested outside. 30 seconds on f4,5…still perfectly black… second plate 4 minutes in silver nitrate instead of the previous 3 and an exposure time of 2 and a half minutes. Development time…1 minute…but an image appeared at last! No chemical fogging, it looks pretty good really. Probably exposure time has to be even longer to shorten development time.
Looking back at the first test I did here back in 2018 the contrast was insanely high, the images now look a lot better. Most important of today; fun it was! Looking forward shooting more, I just love doing this. I promise (also myself) that it won’t take another year 🙂
It’s amazing, and beyond my wildest dreams (well..) and it came to be true…my long awaited wish for which I sold my Hasselblad and M6 (and bloody kidney) to be able to fund it…the Leica M Monochrom (typ 246).
I’m not going to write an all-educated-elitarian review on this camera filled with upperclass words to describe something that is actually very simple: ❤️
This camera is so…camera! No unnecessariness..just a shutter button (with s,c etc), and a shutter speed dial. And a place for a lens (summicron 35mm). And a rangefinder. And something to attach the strap to. And…no color! Fieuuww.. 🙂
I’m still finding my way with this camera but so far…man…I love it. 50 shades of grey is nothing compared to this! Just wow. Underexposing standard to keep the highlights from blowing out. The detail in the shadow parts is absolutely stunning. The handling is so very nice. And it sounds so very delicately delicious. Looking forward to printing my first grande negatives from these files. I’m still working on the Serendipity theme, which pretty much has to be finished in December (preferably) so first things first but nonetheless…already have some images in mind worthy of being made transparant.
Anyway, didn’t think I’d ever get excited about a digital camera again, but this really does it for me. So far, it’s really what I hoped for. And it’s so ridiculous! Ha, away with you rationalness all time, passion and love it is!
Thus…onto what’s really important…images!
So..there you have it; my first impression! Very scientific, I know. With a lot of technical detail also. Eat it! MM246 FTW ☀️
I guess this post is more of a sum-up of my own thoughts for future reference than they may be useful to anyone else..but anyway…!
I’ve printed some images over the past two weekends, trying to improve my coating skills and to figure out if and how I am to use it for the Serendipity project.
Coating skills have improved, I coat using a cotton pad dipped in emulsion, and swiping it over the paper from top to bottom, left to right, while turning the paper four times so that I essentially create a four-layer coating.
It’s pretty even, although I have to try to be a bit more consistent in applying as you can tell by the look of the image attached to this post. What I do find a bit ‘stressing’ is the way I attach the negative to the paper before placing it into the contact printing frame. The tape I use sucks. Apart from it leaving a nasty residue on the negative itself when removing it afterwards, is that it shows on the coated area. So have to use different tape and perhaps attach it somewhere else. Bigger border around the image so it doesn’t interfere with the coated area on the paper, something like that. If anyone has a proper method for this, feel free to chime in 🙂
Also, I don’t like the messy borders. It’s fun, but it’s distracting from the image itself. So I’m thinking of making a sort of cut-out mat which I place on the paper before coating so I can create a slick and even border. If anyone has a brilliant idea there, shoot! I’ll look into it myself but the wheel has already been invented…like a trillion times 🙂
iPhone image of the print, no proper scan, too lazy 🙂
And..on the developing part; I now develop using a single water bath before fixing. I’ve let myself get away with that until now for ‘testing’ purposes but it’s time to stop playing around and do it the right way. Archival printing has been my way of working with regular baryta papers (fix, rinse, hypo, rinse a shitload more, selenium / gold toning, rinse and so on) and want these prints to last as long as they possibly can too. I read some interesting stuff on the website of Sandy King so will be going more into that way of working next time. Have everything I need for it anyway so no more excuses, ha!
So, new steps summed up (makes it easier for me next time):
Sensitiser, expose image la-die-da-that
Development using a two-bath method, with slightly acidified water (teaspoon of citric acid to 3.8L of water), two minutes each.
Toning: gold thiourea toner (of which I bought several bottles of Tetenal back in the days) for 5 minutes, discard after each use (f*ck though, that makes it expensive).
5% Sodium Thiosulfate fixing bath ( for some reason I now use a 3% dilution). A two-bath fixing method is recommended for the best archival quality, two minutes in each bath.
Clearing bath; I still have some Kodak Hypo Clearing somewhere, but you can easily make it yourself by adding 10g sodium sulfite to 1000ml water and stir until completely dissolved. Mix before usage and discard after usage. Two minutes.
Final wash: 5-10 minutes when clearing bath is used, 20 minutes without.
So, it’ll get a bit more serious than before, which is good. I have some ideas in mind with the negatives shot in France this year, that I want to contact print using Vandyke.
So.. after the brief Van Dyke tour of course wet plate could not be left behind. Checked the chemistry about a week back and was able to shoot a test plate today to see if all worked accordingly. Cranked open those speakers (a working space without music is like coffee without the coffee, impossible!) and cleaned three 4×5″ plates. Decided to shoot outside as I’m currently still rearranging the studio place. Looked to be dry all day and had a nice flower in mind (skulls are so boring, even for testing).
Collodion batch from 2016 so slow but contrasty. Developer from 2017 so should work together just fine. First plate; dark with some highlight spots as I still had some sun (and wind). But no fogging so chemistry fine, plate merely underexposed. Second plate, changed flower, and just dark because it got darker fast. Third plate; looked like rain was coming after all, so made a bit of a hurry and forgot to put back the slide after exposing…Putain! So, aside from shooting wet plate I also got around testing my wonderful extensive vocabulary lol 😉 All works just fine!
Anyway, too lazy for cleaning a fourth, let alone a fifth plate and having gotten what I wanted in a way, I decided to leave it at that. Next step; pick a decent subject and shoot some actual plates!
Yes, ladies & gentlemen..it’s THAT time again 🙂 I seem to have grown quite fond of building them, so gotta keep up the pace!
I moved again, to a nicer place, and had to set up the darkroom, also again. I planned for it to be on the attic, only the wet table turned out to be too large to get it up the frikkin’ stairs. Remodelling the place to make it go up that stairs is not (yet) an option so decided to take a different approach.
I split up the sections a bit. The wet table and enlarger ended up in a room with the central heating system and washing machine. Already had connections for water and drainage so it took me and my dad a bit of work to fix the piping (cool to do with my dad!) but did a good job.
The living room is part working space, part dining and stuff, the heart of it being a large table measuring 125 x 250 cm. And across the room a large white board of 100 x 200 cm (yes, size does matter at times :p ). And then there’s a walk-in closet room for my clothing and across storage for chemistry bottles, other glassware and this and that (of which there’s a lot).
Works pretty well so far! Not sure if I’m going to keep the enlarger in the place it’s at now, doesn’t get much use these days with the contact printing and can make better use of the space it’s filling up now.
Photos suck, sorry ’bout that. For lack of spirit I made them using my iPhone.
I already used it, better said, I really had a deadline to make. I joined a photo group a while back, and we’re applying for a group exhibition and had to prep an example image of the concept. I will get deeper into the conceptual bit further down the lane somewhere, so don’t ask yet please..
They will be portraits shot digitally (most likely and hopefully using the Monochrome…), making digital negatives of these files and printing them using Van Dyke. Exposure time of the paper was 17 minutes using an UV-light source. I will share the testing with you:
Anyway, that is as it stands a bit for now. More to come soon, and by that I mean not the build of darkroom No. 9, pinky promise 🙂
Well, you won’t believe it but I have moved again recently… cheaper place with more outer space and a nicer workspace…or at least I thought…
It is a truly wonderful place with all the living areas on one floor, and a huge attic covering the entire length of the object, which really is quite fancy I might add. However, when we tried moving the wet table to the top floor, it just would not fit through the opening… The bottom floor does not allow for the creation of a proper working space so I kind of have lost the spirit a little. I will find out a way eventually but all this really is not very accommodating in keeping the spirits high.
I have decided on another matter and that is I will sell of my Hasselblad with three lenses and Leica M6 to fund a …Leica Monochrom :-), preferably the first edition. I’m so tired of developing film, knowing I will never use those negatives again for regular bw printing, I see no point in continuing to work this way. I want to do more with contact printing, as mentioned before, so shooting on film, while really only needing a digital file in the end to make large format negatives, beats the purpose. But, buying a digital camera, besides my Fuji X-T1 I use for assignments, for fun..that is a different matter. I don’t find digital cameras fun. Instead they are utterly boring. Thank god there’s a brand called Leica, and they have put on the market the most ridiculous and obsolete camera of all: the M Monochrom! It shoots only black-and-white.
‘Why’, my boyfriend asked, ‘why would you buy a camera that just shoots black-and-white and costs more than the average digital system with lens while the latter does both, giving you the all the adjustment-and tweaking options for making fine-tuned black-and-white images in post-production?’ Good question 🙂 My answer is that it comes with that fun-factor.
When solely looking at it in a rational manner, surely it’s probably better buying a regular SLR or mirrorless system, and post-process the images. But where’s the fun in that? I don’t like being behind the computer all day, I do enough of that work during my day-job. I love the limitations of this Monochrom. Its superb feel and touch, its slowness, its lack of buttons, its lack of common sense and rationality. I mainly work in black-and-white anyway. And as far as price is concerned, I work in a photo store so I’m hoping for that golden deal one of these days. And if you think the Monochrom is expensive, have a look at its special cousin, the Stealth Edition, which comes at a staggering € 15.000,- ! It’s all about perspective, right 🙂
5 years…..5 YEARS it has been since I last made a Van Dyke…oef…Glad I kept a blog so that I could look at the notes again 🙂
Recently I joined a photo group called “F68” to broaden my horizon and to get back into my own photography more. It’s a foundation that was established in Limburg, the Netherlands, in 1968 and it’san autonomous photographers collective. I’m very happy to be a part of this group.
For a potential upcoming exhibition we are working on a theme regarding (mass) consumption. I will elaborate more on this later on but I came up with a concept using images made digitally, printing large format negatives and contact-printing them using Van Dyke.
I once got myself the Epson R2880 to print these negatives but has been left on a shelf for so long now I think it’s more dead than alive. However, at work I have a wonderful Epson Stylus Pro 7890 & 9800 at my disposal and a salesman who mentioned they could get me Omnijet Clear Film on roll (!). I received a 43cm wide roll for testing and so far it’s great!
Original black-and-white file
I turned a file from my Fuji camera into a black and white, inverted it into a negative, adjusted the print settings and printed it on this Omnijet transparent film using the 7890. Yesterday I fixed the chemistry, bought some new paper, Hahnemuhle Bamboo Mixed Media (for the concept I was looking for a durable renewable paper), and had a go at Van Dyke again…oh boy was that fun 🙂
Paper used: Hahnemuhle Fineart Bamboo Mixed Media
Single coated paper 36 x 48 cm
Exposure time: 25 minutes
Wash: 2 minutes
Fix: 5 minutes dilution 3% Sodium Thio-sulphate
Final rinse: 20 minutes
Unfortunately I forgot that the drying darkens the image quite a bit so the end result is too darkish, and I have to do more practice with coating the paper (you see strokes) but wauw, where have I been all these years ?! Anyway, good to be back and more to follow soon 🙂
15th of June 2017, 29 degrees celcius. Seemed like the perfect day to finish the build of the darkroom 😊
Going through all the still unopend boxes to make sure I had all the ones with “doka ’17” written on them was quite a bit of work. But hard work always pays off and everything has been installed now except for the glass plates. Good to go!
Took quite a bit more time than anticipated but very happy now!