Thursday, June 2, 2016

Stay tuned.

It's been too long since I've added a post, so this is basically a test to see if I can still do it.
I'm planning to post some examples of my latest work with albumen and salt prints.
I plan to be at the Hulston Mill civil war reenactment June 11-1 to make tintypes and glass negatives.

Here's a sketch that my friend Randall Labry made of my outdoor studio during this year's reenactment at Port Hudson in March. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

What I didn't do in 2014.

I didn't get any movie deals this year, after last year's work with the TV show American Horror Story  (look back at last year's post for that shoot), and the 2012 work on the movie Beautiful Creatures. I did make a clip of the scene where my tintypes were used in the movie. Jeremy Irons is using the images to explain one of the teen protagonist's ancestry.

What I was up to for the past year:

 In April, I conducted a gallery talk at the New Orleans Museum of Art for the Civil War photography exhibit. It premiered at the New York Metropolitan Art Museum in 2012, and included many images that had never been displayed publicly.

In June, an image that Kevin Kline and I made in a series won second place at the Art Melt exhibit in Baton Rouge. That was a nice surprise, and a boost to the bank account too with prize money and the sale of the picture.

 I worked with graphic designer Kate Ferry on a poster for the New Iberia Gumbo Festival. The poster has my tintypes of an oak tree at Avery Island, a fiddle, a crab, and cooking a gumbo.

I no longer have my darkroom cart. It had gotten to be such an ordeal to load and unload it that I decided to downsize to a normal darkbox, and now I don't need a utility trailer either. So here's a last look at this masterpiece made by Ty Guillory of Mineola, Texas.

2014 almost gone?

Whew! Where did the past 12 months go, and what do I have to show for them? Stayed tuned.

2014 is almost gone?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's a wrap!

Finished a project yesterday for the Acadiana Center for the Arts music program Louisiana Crossroads.

I needed images of an accordion player's hands and I managed to catch Joe Hall yesterday just as he was wrapping up his gig at Café Des Amis. We only had a few minutes because Joe and his Cane Cutters had to scoot down to New Orleans for another gig, so there were no retakes.

I took other images with help from musicians Andrea Rubenstein, Hogie Seibert, Jimmy Duhon, Linda Castle and John Buckelew. You'll see the results from the design diva, Kate Ferry.


Until 2 weeks ago, I'd only heard of the FX Network's show "American Horror Story." Then I got a phone call and they wanted me to come to New Orleans to shoot a tintype for the show. (They had gotten my name from wet-plate co-conspirator Kevin Kline.)
So we arrive at the Second Line sound stage warehouse complex, a maze of structures, and we find where we're supposed to be, but uncertain where to park and where to unload all my crap. I tell Kevin, "Let's just drive in here until we get kicked out." So we do, and snag a spot right in front of the door.
The crew was working on its first day for the upcoming season, all set in New Orleans. They are building a huge mansion inside one warehouse.
The morning we arrived, the show had just been nominated for 17 Emmy awards.
We watched actress Frances Conroy (from the HBO show Six Feet Under) do a makeup/hair screen test.

We meet the director, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon; second assistant director Christoper d'Angelus, and find that they've set up a special tent for me to process my picture and for them to film the process.

I made several images on red glass, ambrotypes, and a few test shots on aluminum. The light in a skylight kept changing with the sun going in and out of the clouds. Here's Kevin at the makeshift studio we set up.
As the sun would move across the sky, we would move the backdrop so it was just at the edge of the shade. Note the snazzy reflector holder  at left that I bought at B&H a few weeks ago in New York. Also, my camera by Ty Guillory. on the right.
So here's a shot on aluminum of the subject.
Then they wanted to film the process, so I made a couple of images on red glass (ambrotypes). The crew placed a red gel over a hot light to the right of the camera (out of the frame) to film the development step of the process. They also had a white light to shoot when I poured the fixer on the plate. Here, the Director of Photography Michael Goi is about to shoot the fixing. You can see the developed plate on the table.
With the red gel, it was nice and bright inside the tent, but there was just enough white light leaking from the setup to fog my plates. What would have been nice contrasty images turned out to be slightly muddy. But I was able to salvage the images with some a chemical mix called farmer's reducer.
Things got a little dicey at the end. We were running out of time. The show is shot on film, and it has to be flown out for development everyday at 5 pm so the results, the dailies, can be seen in time for the next day's shooting. So I had to make the last shot count. No time for retakes. Then, the sun went behind the clouds and we had to switch to artificial lights, which meant the exposure time had to be decreased slightly. I went from 8 seconds unlit in the previous shot to just 5 seconds. Nailed it. Whew. What a rush.
There's talk they want me to come back and shoot more images at a scene in the quarter.