Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Direction of Things

The Portraits of the Planet blog has been very slow over the last year, but things are picking up, and this blog will get a lot more posts over this coming year.

Things that happened since I last posted: I got a part time job working for a small local publication, one of my prints (Hidden Oak, which we'll get more in depth about in a later post) is currently showing at the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, North Carolina, I've been chosen as an artist for a book by Christina Z. Anderson to be published in later in 2016 about gum bichromate printing, and I received a grant from the Fayetteville Arts Council to work on a specific alternative process for the next year called Gumoil.

This blog will still feature images from my various small and larger trips. Portraits of the Planet has and always will be about that. However, instead of just digital images, my work has begun to once again progress to the analog side of things. I have been working exclusively with gum bichromate for the last year, and hopefully soon I'll get my act together and make several blog posts detailing that process. For now, let me introduce you to my workspace. In the next day or two I'll be finishing up my first round of experiments on my grant work, and I believe it will be beneficial to my readers to be able to see the equipment and space that I am working in before really getting into the processes.
The PoP Loft
The photo workspace! (It's really not as messy as it looks)
My light pad is to the right, Epson R3000 to the left,
UV exposure unit on the middle shelf, paper and paint supplies on the bottom.
The prints hanging up in the back are a few of my favorite gum prints. 

Inside the UV exposure unit: an old drawer with a top put on,
black light bulbs wired to ballasts in the back, all wired to a light switch.

Contact printing frame. Once the paper is coated and ready to expose,
I sandwich the negative and paper together in this frame. The frame
holds everything together and tight for even exposure over the whole print.
Inside the printing frame.
A digital negative on my light pad. This particular negative is
actually a positive, because the gumoil process works best with a
positive vs. a negative. More details about this later. 

The wet part of my darkroom setup, a light tight bathroom right off
the loft. This is where I coat prints and develop them after exposure
and hang them up to dry.