While out shooting for my Land of Blood series I like to take some colour snapshots of the ares I’m photographing. With our country in drought at the moment, this image helps to sum up the difficulties our poor farmers are currently facing.
I recently bought a Zero 2000 Deluxe 6x6 pinhole camera from Zero Image - a pinhole camera craftsman in Hong Kong. It comes boxed and numbered with a hand-signed card, all adding to create a feeling of receiving something very special. The wood itself is warm and looks very inviting.
I shot a test roll of Arista 200 around the farm as I tend to do for testing. There's never a lack of things to photograph there. I use an iPhone app called Pinhole Assist to get my readings, as it matches up known cameras and films, and also takes into account reciprocity, which with Arista films is quite significant.
Development was done in Caffenol CH. My negatives came out with streaks all over them, seems like I possibly hadn't quite dissolved my coffee completely in the final stage. I don't mind it on these, but it's not a mistake I want to make without intending to, and I would have preferred a clean test roll to really see what the camera is doing, but these things happen even when you've been shooting and developing film for years. It's easy to get a bit too complacent so I've learnt my lesson (I hope!). But I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. SO much that I also treated myself to his bigger brother; the 6x7 multiformat. That's next to test!
I'm so honoured to have been asked to write an article about my work for View Camera Magazine - a great resource for anyone fascinated by large format photography. It feels extremely special in that I'm only the second female large format photographer to have been featured so far, we're a fairly unique breed but we're out there! Go check it out and leave some comments!
Next season for Because of Nature. This shoot was done down at the old Paper Mills at Fyansford. Such a great place to shoot, with so much history. Kathy's clothes looked so amazing amongst the old stone walls and beautiful soft light. It's always fun working on her shoots!
Models: Cherie and Harry
Designer: Letitia Garbellini
Model: Samantha Taylor
Every now and again I decide it's time to stretch my photographic wings somewhat, and try something new. While I have done commercial photography in my past and some of that included food photography for companies such as Ramsay's Patisserie, Moorabool Valley Chocolate, and the Chifley Hotel, it's been a long time and I wanted to try a slightly different style to the way I used to approach it by being more structured. I quite enjoyed it. I'll leave the full time work of it up to others, but at least I know I can do it if needed!
I recently became the happy owner of a 4x5" 1943 Anniversary Speed Graphic camera. It's a lovely old thing, full of quirks and definitely feeling its age, but I think I'm going to enjoy shooting with it. I gave it a quick test run with the help of friend and fellow photographer, Nathan Green (go check out his work!). I so love my paper negatives. They have so much personality and depth to them. Colour tones capture differently so skin appears different to in real life. It's very interesting and you never quite know how it will turn out!
I decided to develop my paper negatives in Caffenol as I'd been wanting to experiment with this on paper.
Caffenol recipe for paper negatives (courtesy Daphne Schnitzer, facebook)
49g washing soda
16g Vit C powder
40g instant coffee
The negatives developed quickly compared to my usual mix of dilute Ilford MG, next time I'll try diluting this one too as I like the control of slower development. I was blown away by the tonality and the sharpness that the Caffenol brings. I had a shot I'd taken a while ago for comparison, and the Caffenol negative seems to have a broader range and is much easier to scan and post process. The only trouble is that it's such a dark colour that it's impossible to see what's going on while it's developing. I do like it though, and it easily processed nine 4x5 negatives without exhausting.
I took two shots of this last one and was very interested in the results I got from the second version. It was completely accidental. First off, I post-flash my paper under my enlarger for 0.4 seconds so I get less contrast. With this one, I accidentally turned the enlarger on rather than the timer, so it effectively got about 15 seconds of light by the time I'd finished going "Ahhh shit" and trying to find the off button in the dark.
I decided I'd throw it in the developer anyway as it was the last one to be done, and it developed very dark and very quickly. It didn't seem worth saving so i threw it in some water and turned on my darkroom light to check on the previous ones. Turning my head, I noticed a faint image on the paper, so I had to run to turn off the light and throw the print into the fixer, figuring that this would have really completely buggered it anyway. When I turned the light back on, I could see I still had a faint image, I was completely surprised. Scanned it up and was blown away by my results. I absolutely love it. Now to go and find expired, fogged papers to get this result on purpose!