Absurde Magazine - May 2013

I’m very excited to have been included in Absurde Magazine’s May issue with so many talented artists.

Click the link below to see the magazine.http://issuu.com/davidh_psycho/docs/absurde-magazine-may-2013#download Photographer: James WeberStylist/Creative Director: Fredo MontesHair and Makeup: Chuck JensenPhoto Assistant: Rico ElvinaVideo: James SullivanCopyright 2013 James Weber Click on the images to see them larger.

Out in the Woods

So this is Little Smokey's(Weed Tent Camera) first time out of the house.  My buddy Rico Elvina and I decided to give it a try on location .  There was a LOT of prep...we thought we had everything together...we got in our Zipcar Minivan, Shiloh, and took off.  30 minutes into the ride, we were talking about what we were going to do and going over the checklist.  It seems we forgot to bring a few things.  He thought I got it, I thought he got it... 1.  The aluminum plates...kinda important.

2. The TENT FRAME!!!! REALLY important.


So, we headed back into manhattan, laughing at ourselves...because what else can you do? We picked up the supplies, and headed out again.  Now, sadly, this cost us about 2 hours round trip.  We already spent some time in the morning mixing chemistry.  This put us getting to our location about 4:30pm.  Time is of the essence.  So I thought, screw it.  No test plates...just go straight into 20"x24"...guess the light/exposure.  Meanwhile, I had never shot this lens in daylight before(and it's only the second time I've used this camera), but we would not have much light to make adjustments, so I decided to just go for it.



That's Rico streaking across the frame.  Rico shot all of the behind the scene images today.  Many thanks for coming out, Rico. :)





This is a shot inside the tent after it was all zipped up, so you can see the image as I'm seeing it in the camera.  As you can see, the lens easily covers this 30"x40" foam core board.







Tequila bottles make the best collodion bottles. :)



Fixing the plate.

Here's the two plates I liked the most...even so, they had some chemical issues.  It's par for the course every now and then, though.  Sometimes, it's a blessing and you get good results, sometimes you don't.  This time, it's a mixed bag.



Even though there are some chemical issues here with the streaks, I still think this one is quite beautiful.



Things were FAR from perfect on this one as the chemistry definitely went off the rails on this one, but once again, it's still quite interesting.  I did learn some things about tray developing large plates that I'll take with me to the next shoot.  This is definitely a long term play and things will tighten up as I get more experience with this size and working in the tent.

The day was chalk full of great learning experiences.  The need for a checklist is paramount.  For the RV trip this fall, everything will already be in there, but right now, everything has to be brought with us each time, and it's quite a lot of gear to take on location.  I think my collodion recipe was off somewhat, and there were definitely developer issues.  So it's off to making more chemistry and planning the next outing a little better. :)

Wet Plate: Cat and Kerri

Along with the other work that Cat and Kerri did with me for my Black Silk Nudes project, we shot some wet plate that day as well.   The first one, below is an 8x10 Ruby Ambrotype.

Here's a photo that show the color of the glass...Ruby Ambrotypes are nice.  They have a nice warm feel in person, but if you put something black behind it, it looks like the above image.

The above image was shot on alluminum.

This one was shot on Black Glass.

I also had some fun with my Polaroid SX-70 and The Impossible Project's Instant Film, PX70 COLOR SHADE for the behind the scenes.


And here's a few of Kerri.  My favorite of the day was this one, below...on alluminum

The light was a 2K Arri with a silver card fill.  12 seconds

Emulsion Lift with Impossible Project 8x10 Film

So I recently picked up a few boxes of the new Impossible Project 8x10 instant film.  I've been waiting for this for a long time.  Polaroid made the last 8x10 batch in 2006.  It's been so long that the pods have all dried up, which makes it unusable even if you could find a box on ebay. Enter the Impossible Project.  The Impossible Project had bought all of the 8x10 production machinery from Polaroid just days before they went into bankruptcy.    They focused on all of the smaller films first, but finally, they were able to put their attention to starting up the 8x10 production.  This is some of the film from the first production run.  I took a workshop at The Impossible Project office to make sure I got a handle on how to use the new film.  It's not a peel apart film like the original polaroid was, although you still need the polaroid processor to use it.

First thoughts are this is a very cool development for old process lovers.  Being able to shoot this format will bring a whole new generation to large format photography and keep it alive.  The artistic possibilities are also something that you will never get from digital or some filter that becomes the new rage.  Instagram can't create these effects.  There is something to be said for doing it the analog way.

Below are the two shots I took.  One of their employees, Kyle, was kind enough to model for me.

You could actually just keep it like this and that could be your final product.  But....there are other options of what you can do with the new film.  I experimented with 2 of  the options.

1.  Do an emulsion lift and put the lifted emulsion onto some other medium.  In this case, I put it on some 300 gsm matte paper(below), which is my favorite application for polaroid.

2.  Scan the negative side, invert it, and blow it up from there(Below).  I definitely see some fun applications for this.  I love the dark, mysterious nature of this.

First things first.  Get your tools together.  Cut off the edges of the film first.  That will make the lift so much easier.

So, I took a few videos showing how I did the emulsion lift.  It's a little different from the original polaroid lifts.  You used to have to boil water, then put the polaroid in.  With the Impossible Project film, you just need hot water, comfortable to the touch.

Just play them one right after the other to see the process.



Sorry about the sloppy film work here...I took my eye off the camera a few times...lol.



Ok, so I forgot to shoot this image for the other photograph...so this is where you use a piece of transparent film to get the emulsion out of the water.  You can now shape the emulsion how you wish it to show up on your fine art paper.

So I used a 300 gsm paper for my base.  It's good to use a thick paper as otherwise the wetness will make it curl up.  I used Matte Medium for the adhesive base.  Just use a brush to apply evenly.



Once again...sorry, we're switching up images to show you the last phase...forgot to film it on the other one.



Here's the inverted Scan again.  You have to bring down the blacks quite a bit to see all of the detail.

It's funny, I learned that by baking the emulsion in my attempt to dry it out faster, it actually made it turn sepia.  So, if you like that, get your bake on.  300 degrees, keep the door open, and cook until you like it...just don't burn it. ;)

As you can see, it now has a sepia tonality to it on the top.  The print was hanging out of my little toaster oven, so the bottom is still more black and white...so I thought I'd keep it that way.

Well, that's it for now.  I'm going to do another shoot from start to finish and try to make it one movie next time.  Until then, I hope some of you go out, pick up some film, and keep this wonderful large format art alive!