Until sometime in 2005, I worked exclusively in the bromoil process (see below for a brief explanation of it). As my favorite papers disappeared from the market and it became very difficult to find photographic paper suitable for bromoil, I looked around for another way to print my images.
I work now with the kallitype process, specifically platinum and palladium toned kallitypes. I love the look of my images on hand-coated art papers and the beautiful quality of light and detail that is obtainable with kallitype. It's the Pictorialist in me.
Most of the images in gallery 1 were shot with large format cameras, mainly 5x7.
The shots in the Ireland section were done with a Mamiya7 (6x7cm), a medium format film camera.
The images in gallery 2 are from Belgium and Ireland and were all shot with a Canon 20D digital camera.
I recently purchased a very old and beautiful Linhof Technica II 5x7 camera. I'm very excited to get back into that format. It has always been one of my very favorites. I'm using a Turner-Reich Triple Convertible barrel lens with it (the same lens I've used on almost all of my Large Format work). The camera was made sometime before World War II and the lens is from the 1950s.
A while back, I sold a couple prints and bought myself a beautiful Shen Hao 4x5 camera. It's made of Teak and Stainless Steel and is gorgeous and very useable. I've been shooting Pinholes with it, but will do some regular lens work in the winter when the light makes Pinhole a little difficult.
Once in a while, I'll use my old Deardorff 8x10, especially when I feel the need to make my back hurt.
Now, I am mainly shooting with a Canon 5D digital camera and loving it. All of the images from the trip to Budapest were shot with it.
I make digital negatives on transparency film for contact printing using the RNP - Array system. This system allows me to calibrate a very precise contrast adjustment curve specifically for my personal workflow. The results I'm getting from it are amazing.
I live and work in Seattle. When I'm not traveling, most of my images are shot on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State - usually in the Hoh Rain Forest or Pacific Coast Beaches.
The overcast skies during the winters in the Pacific Northwest produce a quality of light that is amazing. It makes it possible to shoot images with a very long, smooth tonal range that hold detail well into the shadows and highlights. I found the same to be true of the light in Ireland, although there - for some odd reason - the overcast seems more intense and, at the same time, more subtle.
The most traditional effect is to produce a grainy, old-fashioned look.
Essentially, the light sensitive silver gelatin emulsion that forms the image in a black & white print is chemically bleached away almost entirely.
This bleaching leaves a faint image with a small amount of the gelatin remaining, but now the chemical "tanning" has replaced the silver.
The print at this stage is called a "matrix".
The matrix is soaked in water and then oil-based lithographic inks are brushed on. The soaking ensures that the remaining gelatin retains water in proportion to its degree of tanning.
The inks are repelled from the more heavily soaked portions of the matrix (the highlight areas) and readily adhere to the areas less soaked (the shadows).
The look of the final image can be controlled by a number of factors.
The image can be colored, toned, transferred to art paper, etc.
Kallitype is a process that dates back to the earliest days of photography. It was used extensively between the years 1880-1920.
The Kallitype is very similar to the Platinotype and a properly processed Kallitype is almost indistinguishable from either a Platinum or Palladium print in look and permanence. Depending on how the Kallitype is toned and what developer is used, the final look can cover a wide range of color.
A sheet of art paper (I use Arches Platine) is brushed with a sensitizer of Ferric Oxalate and Silver Nitrate. When dry, a negative is contact printed onto the paper under Ultra-Violet light. The print is processed and toned in some combination of Platinum, Palladium or Gold.
Pinhole is a form of lensless photography where a very small hole replaces the lens. Light passes through the hole and onto the film at the back of the camera, or onto the sensor of the digital camera.
Pinhole cameras can be anything from an oatmeal box with a hole created by a sewing needle to a finely crafted wooden box with a precisely drilled hole in a very thin piece of metal.
I use a pinhole body cap on my Canon 5D (a 13 megapixel digital camera). A major concern when using digital cameras with a pinhole is getting dust on the sensor, which is very easy to do even with the very small hole. I use an ingenious, dust-free body cap sold by the people at Pinhole Resource. I also have a series of pinholes that I mount on lensboards and use on my 4x5, 5x7, or 8x10 view cameras.
One of the cool things about pinhole is that the depth of field is virtually infinite. Because the hole is so small (usually measured in hundredths of inches) the effective aperture can be as high as f350. So, everything in front of the camera will be in focus. And since the very small apertures require very long exposures (some of my shots have been up to 27 minutes), the look of the image usually takes on a quality not possible with a photographic lens. This look is usually softer than when using a lens, but very pleasing to my Pictorialist eye.
The diameter of the hole and its relation to the distance between the hole and the film plane determine the "focal length". As long as these factors are taken into account, photographs can be made of great clarity and full tonality.
Pinhole cameras are derived from the Camera Obscura, which was first mentioned by the Chinese philosopher Mo-Ti (5th century BC). He demonstrated the effect by using a dark room with a small hole in one wall which would cast an inverted image onto the opposite wall.
It is a long way from there to a body cap on the front of a modern Digital Camera, but the principles are the same.
The diffusion shots are done to give some added character to images when the lighting isn't right for pinhole. I use several different filters on the 5D to produce the effect of softer focus, a little flatter contrast and a slight glowing in the highlights. The filters used are Zeiss Softars I & II and Nikon Soft Focus I. Sometimes I'll combine the Nikon with one of the Softars for an enhanced effect. I've also used a Sima soft focus lens on several of the shots. It is a cheap plastic lens in a barrel to help with focusing. I love the effect.
The Holga is a cheap camera with a plastic lens that is made in China. The camera is poorly made and usually produces light leaks that affect the images. The lens commonly produces vignetting, blur and other distortions. When handled properly, these "defects" can produce very interesting, artistic effects.
I have a Holga lens that I use on the Canon 5D and have done a little work with it, but have not been really thrilled with the results. My daughter bought herself a Holga camera and is getting some amazing images with it, so I decided to get one for myself.
Zone plates are used in photography in place of a lens or pinhole for a glowing, soft-focus image. One advantage over pinholes (aside from the unique, fuzzy look achieved with zone plates) is that the transparent area is larger than that of a comparable pinhole. The result is that more light is allowed to pass through the zone plate, so much shorter exposure times can be used.
A zone plate consists of a set of radially symmetric rings, known as Fresnel zones, which alternate between opaque and transparent. Light hitting the zone plate will diffract around the opaque zones. The zones can be spaced so that the diffracted light constructively interferes at the desired focus, creating an image there. Zone plates produce equivalent diffraction patterns no matter whether the central disk is opaque or transparent, as long as the zones alternate in opacity.
Usually, I use a zone plate mounted on a body cap on the Canon 5D. I have also mounted zone plates on lens boards for the 4x5 camera. The distance between the zone plate and the film plane determines what focal length is required for the zone plate.
The first one (top row on the left) I shot when I was just learning how to use cameras. I can't remember how old I was at the time.
The next one I did recently with a zone plate to accentuate a couple of my important personal qualities, namely soft focus and fuzzy, glowing highlights.
The one on the bottom row left I took several years ago when I was working as a Baker. I was out taking pictures with my Deardorff 8x10 (in the background).
And the last one is actually a photo of a replica of me and not an actual photo of me. (Note the replica of the Canon 5D in my hands.)