Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Archivist for The Huntington: Donald G. Rogers

"Deception Point," Yosemite,) officially Inspiration Point)

Photo: ©Donald G. Rogers

Later this month you'll be reading about Donald G. Rogers, less formally known as Don, as we talk about his work at The Huntington in San Marino, California. The Huntington was the family ranch for Henry and Arabella Huntington from 1903 till 1927 when Henry and Arabella had both died.

Henry left the ranch to the Huntington Foundation, along with the then princely sum of $8.6 million dollars. That money was spent years ago, and the foundation now exists with a modest endowment of less than $200 million dollars. No longer a princely sum when you consider that The Huntington supports the world famous and world class Huntington research library, art galleries and more than 200 acres of botanical gardens.

What does Don Rogers have to do with all this? Since the 1960's he has become an informal archivist/documentarian for The Huntington. He first visited as a child more than 60 years ago, and since then has thousands, literally thousands of other visits under his belt. He has photographed the architecture, the grounds, and the staff. His photographs include color and black and white, and many have been made using panoramic cameras such as the Widelux, and the Noblex 150. Look for the article in the December issue of the Photographers' Formulary newsletter, on the newsstand near you, or in your emailbox on or about November 15, 2007!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tim Rudman has some ideas:

This is a portion of a note received from Tim Rudman, lith printing instructor:

To participants of my Lith printing workshops at The Photographer’s Formulary in 2003 & 2005

Dear Workshop Friends,

I am writing to notify you of 2 items which may be of interest to you as a previous lith print ‘workshopper’: Firstly a new style ‘Alumni’ lith printing workshop to be run at the Formulary next year (2008). This has come about at the specific request of this year’s two lith workshop groups. Secondly an alumni gallery page on my new website currently under construction

Alumni group workshops:
Following our 2 large lith printing workshops at The Formulary this year, several members have asked for a follow-up ‘alumni group’ course next year, restricted to those who have already been on a full 5 day lith course with me. I hadn’t planned to return until 2009, but I am very happy to come over to the US in 2008 for this, if there is a demand.

The suggested purpose of this alumni workshop would be, rather than beginning again from scratch, to consolidate what has already been learned and provide a supervised workshop where people could obtain guidance, advice and support to take their new skills on to another level.

This course (or courses) could therefore have quite a different structure - or even be fairly structureless - apart from allocating certain days or portions of days to toning or bleach/redevelopment etc.

We wouldn’t need to start on day 1 from basics, or be limited in the first day or two to few techniques and materials.

Its main function could be therefore a forum for practice and experimentation with advice on hand from me - but that is still wide open to ideas and discussion.

We probably already have enough firm commitments from this year’s group to hold one such course.
From the Formulary’s point of view, they really need to run 2 workshops with me back to back, because of the expense in flying me over. So we could either run the 2nd week as a beginners week, or possibly another alumni week, hence this email to some of the participants of the 2003 and 2005 workshops (we only have some email addresses)

I would very much like your views on this (either way) – either to me privately, or perhaps better, in open forum by using the ‘reply all’ button, then we can share our ideas.

Specifically I would like to know:
1) Would you be interested? At the level of i)No, ii) probably, iii) Definitely. The planned dates are in October 2008.
2) What would you like covered and how?
3) Any other ideas/suggestions?

Alumni Gallery Images

I’ve been thinking about some of the great images that came out of these workshops over the years, and I think it would be a super idea to include an Alumni gallery of workshop images on my website-to-be. So why not send me some scans now of your favourites from the workshops and I’ll hold them in a file until the website is ready.

Scan files should be medium to good quality jpegs about 800 pixels on the longest side with any basic data included (your name, paper, dev., etc) and maybe a straight and a lith version would also be interesting if you have them.

I’m also thinking about setting up a web gallery of lith artists’ work. I don’t think there is one anywhere and there really should be. This probably isn’t going to be a commercial site, although it could be if so desired. I haven’t thought that through yet. Also, I don’t yet know if this will be connected to my website of a standalone separate site, but if you would like to send anything for consideration for that too please do so. Those would not have to have been made on a workshop of course and I hope to ask a number of printers to submit work in due course so that we can have an internet hub, where people can come and see different styles and techniques and of course pick up links to all the contributors’ sites.

I have really enjoyed these Formulary workshops with you all, they were all great fun, and it would be great to meet up together again .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tomorrow will be a better day

The fires are raging in Malibu and San Diego. Sunday, as I drove south from King City just south of Salinas to San Diego, I was forewarned of the Malibu fire and planned my route accordingly. I also knew of the fire in Ramona, about 25 miles northeast of my home, but felt it would have little impact on San Diego.

How wrong I was. The "Witch Creek" fire and the "Harris" fire roared through the hot, dry Santa Ana coming off the California deserts. All night long they broadcast images, and warnings. Warnings to this neighborhood and that one, Advisory Evacuation, Mandatory Evacuation. Go to this high school or that one. Take your important papers, but don't delay. Leave before leaving becomes an emergency exit. Your life is more important than anything you own.

By and large the advisories were followed, but here and there someone would decide to make a stand against the flames. One man died, his fifteen year old son is burned over more than 50% of his body. They went back to rescue some belongs.

Tonight is better. It's cooler and there seems to be some moisture in the air. This is in contrast to the zero to 10% humidity of last night.

Tomorrow promises to be a better day. The red sun of this morning, and the eerie red-orange-yellow sun of this evening should give way to familiar night and morning low clouds along the coast, clearing by midday, with cool breezes off the ocean.

Think of your friends and mine. Give them a call or send them an email. I've received many of both and I can tell you it makes a difference in mood.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Al Weber's Rendezvous this weekend

Photograph: A cropdusting helicopter fleeing across a field of lettuce just before sunrise. King City, California October 20, 2006

Al Weber's Rendezvous is this weekend. One never knows who will show up, but it is always exciting. Experienced, talented photographers, amateurs and professionals alike, gather to show their work and enjoy the camaradarie of a shared interest.

Rendezvous doesn't "just happen." Al works all year to set it up. He reserves spaces at San Lorenzo Regional Park, arranges for use of the meeting room, and books the main speaker, as well as arranging for a caterer to feed the crowd on Saturday afternoon or evening. Print showings invite feedback from fellow photographers, and a chance to see what and how others are doing. This stirs the professional juices in the same way a pep rally stirs up a crowd before the Big Game.

This year we'll have a PowerPoint presentation by Martha Casanave. Expect to hear more about this top drawer pinhole photographer, and to see examples of her work. If we're lucky, we'll get a video interview, which will be included in a future issue of the Photographers' Formulary newsletter.

Monday, October 8, 2007

2008 Workshop Schedule Underway

Holland Falls, Montana
Photo: Sherry Maloughney

Tim Rudman's workshops, "Lith Printing and Toning," finished out our 2007 summer schedule. As Tim and his class said their fond farewells, Lynn Wilson, workshop director, was already hard at work on the 2008 slate of workshops.

A juggler and a magician would have a hard time keeping all the balls in the air as Lynn works with up to thirty instructors to coordinate their schedules and nail down dates. It's a bit like working with a Ouija board.

If you have suggestions for workshops or photographers you would like as instructors, let us know. The Photographers' Formulary is committed to promoting and preserving the 19th Century Alternative Processes, and we need your help to find and to offer the most qualified, talented and engaging men and women to teach you. If you have a name, send it to us. You can always send it to the Formulary, or you can send it to me.

We'll get the schedule out to you as quickly as it begins to fill up. If history is any gauge, the first draft will be out by mid-November, but this year expect to see the final schedule sooner than ever before!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Portfolio exhibit by Barbara Moon Batista

"Made in America" ©2007 Barbara Moon Batista

Barbara Moon Batista spends much of her time photographing food. But enough is enough sometimes, so Barbara unwinds by doing dramatically different work in her spare time.

The photograph here is one of seven currently on display in a small show at the Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. The show, "A Life's Journey, Work in Progress," runs from October 1-31, and is part of a larger body of work.

This image, a collage of a child’s doll superimposed on a flag, with a shiny copper penny breaking the lower edge, and Barbara's birth certificate on the field of the flag, is symbolic of early events in Barbara’s life.

Barbara explains, "The image is called "Made in America" inspired by reflecting on where I was born and the concept of nativity as a child might see it. The original image is a collage printed as a image transfer, scanned and printed on watercolor paper."

Of her portfolio exhibit, Barbara says,

I was given a doll that I loved at about the age of 4. She quickly became my companion and confidant. I loved her with a passion. I recall one incident where we were getting ready for church and I was about 5. I wanted to take my doll friend to mass with me but my parents objected. I must have resisted for she was taken and put in the hutch drawer just above my reach. I remember it as though it was yesterday. She has remained in my thoughts for all of these years and find myself talking and sharing with her again as I reflect on the memories of my life. She was always there for me. The strange thing is I can't remember her name.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

H. Fox Talbot's Salted Prints get 2nd Look

Ellie Young of Gold Street Studios in Australia is writing a “How to” manual about one of photography’s oldest processes. Invented by H. Fox Talbot, the salted print became one of the most often used methods of producing a photographic image during the 19th century.

Now in its editing stage, there’s no definitive word on when the manual will become available, but let’s hope Ellie decides to make it an “E-book” which any of us can buy, then download and print for our own use!

We’ll keep you up to date on Ellie’s progress.

Al Weber’s Rendezvous: If you want to go, act now because the remaining spaces (less than five) will be gone before you know it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Al Weber's Rendezvous is coming up

Al Weber's annual Rendezvous is coming up. It's the weekend of October 19-21, and happens at the Lorenzo Regional Park in King City, California. King City is about 35 miles south of Salinas.

Rendezvous begins Friday evening with a get together to say hello, share a glass of wine and make sure that everyone has a place to camp or to stay. Then it's off to a local Mexican restaurant for a delicious meal and chatter of friends who haven't seen each other for many months.

Saturday is spent reviewing prints and getting feedback on works in progress. Sunday morning there will be a presentation by a noted photographer whose identity remains a closely held secret at this time.

There are a few spots left. Space is limited because of the size of the meeting space. If you have attended an Al Weber workshop, you are invited. For particulars, contact Al Weber at:

Al Weber
Aandsweber (at) aol.com

Or you can call him, between 8 am and 9 am. His phone is: 831-624-5963

If you think you want to go, don't wait. Remember, "He who hesitates is lost!"

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

New, final version of The Great Picture

Click here to watch the final version of The Great Picture. It's the only version now available on GoogleVideo.

I'm new to this blog phenomenon, so bear with me as I learn. Feel free to add comments.