A week ago I came across this informative piece on the history of lenses including petzvals, Extremely interesting read, haven’t yet gotten around to read it in its entirety, but that shouldn’t keep you from reading 😉 You can download the pdf The history of Petzval Lenses by clicking the link. (Source: www.antiquecameras.net )
Have a good time reading!
Today I found the time to do some testing. My “fresh” batch of collodion causes stripes on the plates, not all of them all as “bad” as the other, that’s what made it a bit awkward. But time to figure out what was causing it. At first I though it was the non- room temperature (I used collodion straight from the fridge, then I thought adding a little alcohol would do the trick and it did help in the beginning but the stripes returned again. Yesterday I added some ether / alcohol mix I still had in my fridge to my pouring batch and kept it at room temperature so today I would have the good stuff to work with.
Another thing I noticed from the last shoot was that I poured 7 plates from my pouring bottle and it was empty. Wayyyy too fast, indicating the collodion was too thick, suggesting too little ether / alcohol. The batch poured / flowed much better today and the stripes were, except from a few minor ones, gone! I even tried a negative 8×10″ of clear glass I cut recently. The latter also being very interesting to show at the workshop and demos I am about to give.
Mixed some fresh fixer and continued with the filtering of the varnish, that last bit taking up quite a bit of time; goes very slowly. Once done I’ll have some great stuff to be working with though, particularly smelling very nice!
Have a good day!!
Ohh, how excited I was! At 10 in the morning a large breakfast started at the Timmerfabriek where a lot of the participants gathered. The food and beverages were provided by De Auw Stoof which resulted in yummy sandwiches and all and nice people. What a great start, the weather was wonderful, blue sky and all, lovely food, nice people and just a good day 😉 This is the day Bart found the time to make some photos, the rest of the days this was somewhat impossible. We’ll show some of the art that we thought to be interesting, funny or otherwise and some more.
We took the time to walk through the exhibitions and enjoy what other people had been doing before taking our seats at my work. The building is so remarkable with all its rooms and spaces. From factory grounds with all its damaged walls and floors you walk into this beautiful room with high ceilings, white clean walls, original ornaments and a stunning intact wooden floor. Truly amazing and if Maastricht were to ever break down this part of their city it would be such a loss of history and bizarre gorgeousness which do not show their secrets to the outside.
The next photo is from a sound and visual installation of my friend Bonne Knibbe. She’s currently studying Art Science in The Hague and has built this project where you have to sit in the middle of it. Sound is played through speakers on all four sides of the structure and by moving handles it starts to move and because the speakers “project” its sound onto plastic large boards you change the dimension of sound, so to say. I’m not sure if it makes sense but it was nice to sit there. Very relaxing actually.
He’s actually the one who bought one of my plates that day. Needless to say I was very happy! I know it has found a good home. I just wish I had the money to buy a piece of him but one day I will!
The day went until six and after that Helmut, Maurice, Bart and I went out for dinner at Cafe Sjiek to celebrate a great start of the Kunsttour 2010!
This day was the day I was a bit scared for and excited..the demo-day! We got at the site at 9:30, had some breakfast as we had too little time for it at home packing all things necessary for the demo. We started setting things up at 11:30 and then the day went on its own really. As soon as people saw the tent and the camera the questions started coming and by the time it was 1 o’clock a crowd had gathered for the demo.
I was kind of anxious for this moment as I thought I had to start telling a story to all the people but they kept firing questions and I did not have any trouble answering those. Luckily a friend, Jeroen de Wijs, also joined the party with his insanely gorgeous wet plate camera, HUGE Petzval lens and knowledge and together with Bart saved my day.
I started with a test plate of Bart to determine exposure time and soon people came to ask if I would do their portrait. And so the day rolled on. Lots of familiar people came to have a look and it was really fantastic! So many people interested and me telling them stuff about it, I really was digging that! I will definitely do this again in the future. The day before I even got a call from a photographer from Rotterdam who asked me if they had to buy tickets for the demo and if they were getting to see things as they had to drive a long while to get there. Awesome they did that! Too bad I didn’t get the time to talk some more with them as it was so busy but I hope they enjoyed it.
I realize now I don’t have a photo of the tent and all….it went too quick for me that day and did not have any time to make them. Oh well..lesson for next time. These are photos of my dad btw.
Bart spent his time varnishing the plates that were done and forcing me to shoot some new plates in between me talking to everyone. Jeroen also talked to a lot of people, answering questions and all. If I had to do all of that myself that day I would’ve been dead by the end of it…
The following are 2 short films made by Ralph on his iPhone just for kicks:
Another biggie that happened today was that Eddie Willems, a teacher at SASK my “old” school, came over and asked me to think about performing a demonstration at their school. Very cool!
Another huge biggie is that I bought a new lens!! Jeroen took over a Petzval he was selling and I gladly bought it 😉 I’m not too sure about its focal length yet or aperture, Jeroen thought around 320 and f3.5 if my memory serves me well enough but I’ll measure it outside soon to be sure. It is a Darlot No. 28,249 and Petzval which I wanted to try for quite a while now and recently gave up a bit on that search and that’s when you see it gets on your path on its own, as long as you’re not looking too hard!
I also received some critics about the presentation of my work. Too simple frames doing the images no justice. One also didn’t like the metal wire I used to attach the images and while I don’t really agree it’s something I will change next time, if only because I prefer them to be completely clean. I’ll talk about the new ideas for framing in a different post soon. Things will change, not only because of some comments I received, but also because I had some in mind already. Here’s me thinking that for once a presentation does not have to cost me a kidney 😉 It was pretty tough to hear though, the first time people have something to say about my presentation and I feel a bit bad about that; I am a perfectionist so don’t like to hear this but it’s a lesson I’d like to learn from and will work on next time. Better honest critique than people only saying they like it or saying nothing at all…all I have to do is raise some funding now… 😉
Not much happened today. We sat with my work most of the time but talked to a lot of people. One of them a guy who would give my card to Guido Paulussen, which I met later that day, to talk about a future exhibition of my work at the Gemeentehuis of Beek. Great news and funny because I already met Guido before at where I work. He has some really great photography.
I also got interviewed by Kunsttour Radio live for Maastricht.FM but it’s not online yet. When it is I’ll post it here.
A colleague from work visited and so did my parents in law with some friends. At the end my parents came to help packing. Glad we reached 6 o’clock, we were really really tired of those 3 days. After the packing and unpacking at home we refreshed and went for dinner at de Kokeers with everyone. Such a great end to such a great Kunsttour. Next year, I’ll definitely be there again!!