Thursday, April 24, 2008

Videos of Photographers on YouTube and GoogleVideo

Photographers' Formulary Films
Anthony Mournian is an avid filmmaker, and his subject an interesting one: Photographers on camera

Click on the links below to go to YouTube or Google Video and watch Tony's collection of movies.

Blueprint to Cyanotypes
Based on the book by the same name, the video shows the basic steps of the process and gives several examples of the end results.

Emulsions and Coating with Ron Mowrey

Retired Kodak engineer, Ron Mowrey, teaches how to make emulsions to coat paper or film. Formerly director of still photography at Cape Canaveral, and now retired from Kodak, he draws from a wealth of experience as he teaches how to prepare the emulsion, then how to use a specially designed blade to prepare paper, glass or film with a high resolution, low speed coating.

Wayne Pierce photographs a young boy using Wet-Plate Collodion
Six year old Paul, dressed as a Civil War Union soldier boy, gets his photograph taken by Wayne Pierce, using the Alt. Process, Wet-Plate Collodion

Wayne Pierce, Company Photographer
Wayne Pierce, retired fireman, and former Civil War re-enactor, has reinvented himself as a 19th century photographer. Using the tools and chemistry of the day, Wayne produces photographs using the Wet Plate Collodion process. Here, Wayne gives a tour of his Victorian period photography studio, and his field studio and darkroom.

Will Dunniway Pours a Plate
Wet Plate Collodion guru Will Dunniway discusses "Pouring a Plate" and explains the methods of holding the plate before "floating" the collodion. He explains the "Waiter" technique, the "Lobster" method and the "Cantilever" style as he shows students this alternative process.

Al Weber Discusses the Zone System
During a photo shoot at the Soledad Mission in California, photographer Al Weber discussed Ansel Adam's Zone System of exposure. He sat at a picnic table under a latticework overhang, and talked. Just talked. With the experience of more than fifty years of commercial, aerial and black and white photography behind him, he began to explain the Zone System.

Al Weber - Remarks to the Audience
Commercial photographer, Al Weber, spoke to the crowd at the recent opening of a major Retrospective at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. From his first work in California photographing delightfully playful children, to his work in Finland capturing the architecture of time and place, and his work photographing California from the air, it's all here.

Al Weber Previews his Retrospective
A photographer for more time that most of us have on earth, Al Weber is an icon in the world of black and white photography. For many years he was an instructor at the Ansel Adams workshops in Yosemite. Now he teaches at the Photographers' Formulary in Condon, Montana. A major retrospective of more than half a century of work is the subject of this movie. You can see the retrospective on the campus of Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, Nevada. The exhibition was curated by Nolan Preece and will be on display until July 31, 2007

Abstract Photographer Lester Hayes
Almost 100 years old, Lester Hayes was a pioneer of Abstract Photography. He took photographs of ordinary things, using a sheet of Almost 100 years old, Lester Hayes was a pioneer of Abstract Photography. He took photographs of ordinary things, using a sheet of mylar plastic shimmering in the breeze, to produce stunning images, and he did it all with the brand new Kodak Instamatic. Kodak awarded his ingenuity with a major one man exhibition in New York City, but became disenchanted when Hayes discovered a tiny flaw in the camera that ultimately contributed to its demise.

Lester Hayes died in March 2008, months short of his 100th birthday.

Arthur Lavine, American Photographer
American photographer, Arthur Lavine, has been taking pictures for more than seventy years. In this 14:30 minute interview he talks about his first camera, his aspirations to be a cinematographer, and being drafted into the US Army Signal Corps during WWII. Arthur's a man with a long memory, and a wonderful sense of humor.

Rob Johnson describes the making of The Great Picture
At three stories high, eleven stories long, Guinness Records says the Great Picture is the largest photograph in the world. A team of six artists of the Legacy Project and an army of assistants and volunteers converted an abandoned F-18 jet fighter hanger at El Toro MCAS in Orange County, California into a gigantic pinhole camera, then hung a single, seamless piece of light sensitive muslin cloth from the ceiling of the hanger.

On July 8, 2006 the cloth was exposed to light streaming through a hole less than 1/4" in diameter, and The Great Picture was made. One of the artists, Rob Johnson, describes the making of the camera, and the making of the photograph in this 23 minute movie.

On September 6, 2007 The Great Picture was publicly displayed for the first time before an awed crowd at the Pasadena College of Art and Design. It hung from the ceiling of the Wind Tunnel on the South Campus of the college, in a building much like the one in which the photograph was made.

Barbara Moon Batista explains Image Transfer
This short video explains the process of how to make an image transfer using Polaroid film. Barbara Moon Batista, a Monterey, California photographer, has been making image transfers for more than 15 years, and explains in clear and simple language how to do it.

Professor Bill Jay discusses his latest book, "Photographing Photographers"
In a career spanning almost 35 years, Professor Bill Jay quietly photographed, collected and catalogued informal portraits of almost 1100 photographers from every corner of the world. His "day job" was writing articles for photographic magazines, or lecturing new Arizona State University students on the history of photography. His past time was photographing the great, near-great, and almost-unknown photographers with whom he came in contact as he gathered material for yet another of his hundreds of articles or for one of his fifteen books. Watch as Bill reveals how this project got started out of an unsettling experience with British photographer, David Hurn.

Professor Bill Jay Discusses the Editing Process for his Next Book
How do you cull out 100 images from more than 1100? What process do you use to decide who to include or who to exclude in a slender volume which is to contain less than 10% of Professor Bill Jay's photographs of famous or important photographers of the 20th Century? Professor Jay talks about the difficulties of editing his vast collection of informal portraits taken over a career of more than 35 years, and the criteria he developed to help with his decisions. One of America's foremost and most prolific photographic critics says a lot in an interview with Anthony Mournian of approximately eight minutes. The interview took place September 1, 2006 in Ocean Beach, California.

Prof. Bill Jay talks about Photography
It hasn't been all that long since Photography was regarded as little more than one of the Black Arts. Professor Bill Jay grew up in post WWII England, and to is parents' surprise and chagrin, wanted to become a photographer when he graduated from school. Bill describes the state of photography in the late 1950's, and tells how he got his first job with one of Europe's only magazines of photography. He remembers the internship that led to his eventual post writing about photography, then returning to school and finally becoming a professor and an authority on the history of photography.

Prof. Bill Jay talks about the Future of Photography
Professor Bill Jay describes the present state of Photography as an art form, with a growing emphasis on fame and fortune rather than simply having one's work seen by the largest number of people possible. He has hopes, however, for a return to the motives of an earlier time in which the goal was not how to make the most money of the sale of a single print, but to have a single print seen by the world. He hints at the democracy created by the internet which allows world wide distribution of a person's photographic efforts at the lowest financial cost, hopes for a return to those nobler goals.

Bruce Barnbaum - "Placing Shadows on Zone IV"
Bruce Barnbaum gives us a short course in how to use the Zone System to achieve detail in the shadows while preserving the highlights. He explains the theory of the Zone System, and tells how increase the power of your prints by using the Zone System to place your shadows on Zone IV, by adjusting the time or aperture in your exposures.

Tim Rudman and “2 Golden Rules of Lith Printing”
Lith Printing has the reputation for being unpredictable and without effective controls. Tim Rudman, acknowledged master of the process and author of two books and innumerable articles about this remarkable process, explains the Two Golden Rules of Lith Printing that will guide you to success.

Tim Rudman explains Bleaching and Redevelopment
Printing a photograph using the Lith Printing Process is only the first stage in producing top quality work. Tim Rudman explains how to take your prints to the next level of artistry using Bleach and Redevelopment techniques.

Karl Koenig Demonstrates Making the Gumoil Print
Karl Koenig invented the Gumoil alternative process. He uses an enlarged interpositive to create a photographic image. The interpositive is contact printed onto paper hand-coated with a mixture of liquid gum arabic and potassium bichromate. This is exposed to an ultraviolet light source, then developed in water.

The resulting image is then coated with oil paint, allowed to "set"; the excess oil paint is rubbed off with paper toweling, then the image is etched in a dilute mixture of water and household bleach. The result is a true photographic image with atmospherics and painterly qualities. Watch this 28 minute movie to see how it is done.

Karl Koenig’s “Architecture of Evil”
In 2004 Karl Koenig mounted the exhibit, "The Architecture of Evil," for the Holocaust Museum Houston. In a series of approximately thirty gumoil prints, Koenig dramatically reminded his audience of a time not so long ago when the world was roiled by the horrors of Nazi Germany's genocide of the Jews. In this 19 minute film, Koenig explains how the project came into being, and how his taking of photographs of extant Nazi concentration camps was blended with the photographic process he invented, called Gumoil.

Photogravure with Karl Koenig
In the early 20th century, Edward S. Curtis photographed Native Americans across the continent, then printed his landscapes and portraits using the photogravure alternative photographic process. Now watch as Karl Koenig shows you how it is done, using updated and modified tools and techniques

Gordon Hutchings on Printing Pyro Negatives
Pyro has an ill-deserved reputation as a dangerous and difficult process. The myth that Pyro negatives are impossible to print isn't correct. Gordon Hutchings, author of the "Book of Pyro," explains how to go about printing a Pyro negative using the Split Filters technique, and using the traditional method of judging the approximate contrast of the negative, making a choice of filters for an initial print, then going to a higher grade of filter to adjust for the apparent lower contrast in the Pyro negative.

Gordon Hutchings on Creativity
Gordon Hutchings reflects on the Creative Mind, and how the photographer uses it to discover photographs. In this 15 minute field he compares the Subconscious Mind to a playful child that knows the Logical Mind or the Conscious Mind wants a solution, but can't get it.

Watch this video for a thoughtful, and in its own way playful discussion of why we have to relax in order to create, and why some of our best answers come when we finally stop trying to come up with the answers!

Gordon Hutchings says, “Go without Expectations
"Go without expectations" when you photograph. More often than not, what you expect to be there, won't be there, and you will be disappointed. Gordon Hutchings tells you why.

Videotaped August 27, 2003 at the Pyro workshop, Photographers' Formulary, Condon, Montana

Gordon Hutchings on “Photographic Expression”
Rust, Rot, Ruin, Rubble and Ramshackle are the hallmarks of Gordon Hutchings' photographic expression. With no agenda except to "follow his nose," Gordon allows himself the artistic freedom of self expression, and he doesn't expect YOU to pay for it.

Your photography as an expression of your personality or your art is your business. However you want to present this to the world should be up to you as the artist, but don't expect to get rich off your art, and don't expect society to foot the bill for what you have to say.

If you want to photograph odd subjects, or to get attention with your photography, it's okay to do that, just don't expect Society to pay for it, or to hang it on the wall. A true artist is going to make his art no matter what, and if history is any gauge, the artist can expect to sacrifice to the point of starvation in the process.

Wayne Norton: Fine Art Photographer
Wayne Norton is making a quantum shift; from commercial to fine art photograper. His long-time love affair with the desert, and the pull to document the changing landscape of his childhood home of rural Iowa, lead him to create haunting B/W still life photographs with desert detritus, and colorful, but lonely landscapes of the rapidly disappearing culture in rural Iowa. The landscapes are printed as large as 22"x60" using the latest digital technology.

Part 2 Wayne Norton, Fine Art Photographer
Wayne Norton, fine art photographer, is in the move. He's closing his studios in California and moving to the high country of Wickenburg, Arizona, to pursue his passion of photographing the American desert, and the disappearing rural culture of his native Iowa.

How David Gardner Got into Printing
David Gardner is a printer. For almost fifty years he has worked to reproduce the finest printed copies of photographs from the best photographers. In this 6 and 1/2 minute movie he tells how he and his firm, Gardner/Fulmer came to be the printers for Ansel Adams. Gardner lives and works in Fullerton, California.

David Gardner Remembers Ansel Adams
Everyone knows Ansel Adams, but few can say, "He changed my life." "If you printed for Ansel, then everyone presumed that you were a pretty good printer, and indeed you were." That's how David Gardner remembers Adams as he remembers him in a series of incidents Gardner views as critical in his career as one of the premier printers of 'coffee table' books.

Per Volquartz, Photographer
Per Volquartz, landscape photographer, hasd been at it for more than forty years. He started out as a graphic designer, but found himself intrigued by what he saw the photographers doing.

He talks about how he makes a photograph. Most are landscapes, one of the most difficult to make because the conditions under which it will be made are determined by circumstance, not by the photographer. Walk around before you set your camera, he advises, then let the photograph come to you.

An Interview with Hassan Atapour
Hassan Atapour's career as a photographer began with a gift of a small instamatic camera when he was 14 years old. He never had a formal course in taking photographs, developing film or printing out his images, and yet they are all beautiful. A structural engineer by day, he pursues his passion in landscape and nature photography in the rest of his waking hours.

Larry Angier: A Digital Dynamo
Larry Angier has been a photographer since discovering the magic of developing film as a teenager. Bored one evening, he pulled out a kit his mother had bought for him, and set up a dark room on a tray which he kept under the bed in his room. In the 18 minute video he talks about that, and the changing world of photography, both in where it's going, and in how to prepare work for publication in this New Age of photography.

Larry Angier: Digital Imaging and Where it's Going
Larry Angier discusses Digital Imaging and where it's going. The tsunami wave has already passed over us. Film as the dominant form of image collection is gone. Digital is the way of now, and of the future. Larry Angier talks about this new way, and what it means for the future of photography.

Larry Angier: How He Got Started in Photography
Larry is a man from Ione, California, a small town in the western foothills of the Sierras. He tells of being taken to an Ansel Adams lecture at his sister's college, then receiving a simple developing kit, keeping it under his bed, and making his prints with the yellow blinds as a safelight, "Because that's what the instructions said would work."

Larry Angier Preparing Work for Publication in the Digital Age
Larry Angier Discusses Preparing Work for Publication in the Digital Age. He talks about the fast changing scene of editing and publication, and the frequent need to educate the overworked editor who is to review your work.

Make it as easy as possible for the editor, Larry says, because not all of them have the latest tools for digital editing and many of them do not thoroughly understand what you are doing. Add to this the enormous pressure on the editor to produce, and to do it quickly, and you begin to see why your preparation for the editor can make the difference between work produced, and work accepted.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Winners of the 1st Annual Photographers' Formulary Alt Processes Photo Contest

Congratulations to our winners of the First Annual Photographers' Formulary Alternative Processes Photo Contest!

First Prize: "El Santuario de Chimayo," a Ziatype by Philip Schwartz of California

Second Prize: "St. Emilion," a lith print by Vicki Reed of Wisconsin

Third Prize: "Desiree'," a lith print by Ellie Kingsbury of Minnesota

To download a PDF of the winners and their images, press here. . . , or copy and paste the URL below into your browser.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Girl in Gumoil, by Jim Larimer, ©2008

May 2008 Photographers' Formulary Newsletter: Ready for Download

Click here. . . to download the May 2008 newsletter,

We wish to note the passing of Dith Pran, Cambodian photojournalist, who spent many years of his life publicizing the genocide of the Khmer Rouge as documented in The Killing Fields. Watch his final words in the New York Times video obituary.

Read our main story, about Jim Larimer, a man with a varied past and an exciting future.

Jim has had many careers, from the Operating Room in an Air Force hospital, to a bookmobile in Arapahoe County, Colorado. Through it all he has produced art, "Because I have to." Read his story, and look at his most recent work in Gum Bichromate and Gumoil.

Then take a look at the three workshops featured here, Gum Printing, Then and Now, with Christina Z. Anderson; Photogravure Print Making with Karl Koenig; and a Photography Seminar with David Vestal and Al Weber. One of these workshops is made for you and for your talents.

Check out our Monthly Specials. There are three. They are good buys and well worth your money.

And for the Dick Baker and Charlie Morrell Scholarship, nominate someone with a strong interest in photography whose work shows promise. They will appreciate it, and so will we.

Here's the link to the newsletter if you want to cut and paste it into your browser:

We hope you enjoy the newsletter!

Anthony Mournian, editor
Photographers' Formulary newsletter

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Al Weber and David Vestal to teach “That Old Time Photography”

No, that’s not really the name of the workshop, but it is the style of two photographers with more than 100 years of experience between them. David Vestal writes a monthly column for Photo Techniques, giving his take on every aspect of his profession, leavening it with his wry, dry Connecticut sense of humor. Al Weber, a crustacean from California, gives his no nonsense approach to the process; from taking the photograph to massaging the negative in the traditional darkroom for the best results.

David and Al do not agree on all things. Either is more than willing to chime in with an opinion that contradicts the other, and yet their class is one of the gems of the Formulary workshop schedule.

It’s likely that David will bring, “The True History of Photography,” a slideshow he created for a New York college class. It’s photography as you never knew it, from photographers you’ve never heard of, and spans more than 150 years of work.

Al brings a different perspective. A commercial photographer who focused on color for many years, he is also a master of black and white. He knows the traditional “wet” darkroom inside and out, and he can show you tricks you’ve never heard of. Al has taught workshops for close to 50 years, and during many summers he ran the workshops in Yosemite for Ansel Adams.

If you’ve been thinking of a workshop that combines old-fashioned photography with large doses of personal attention from not one, but two well-known, highly experienced and talented photographer-instructors, then this is the workshop you’ve been waiting for. It’s called a Photography Seminar, but it’s much more than that. Don’t miss it.

Click here to watch Al Weber as he begins an explanation of the Zone System during a photo shoot at Soledad Mission in Soledad, California.

Photography Seminar --  June 22-June 27

Call 1-800-922-5255 to reserve your space -- Tuition: $ 825.00

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gordon Hutchings and "Seeing with the Photographic Eye"

Gordon Hutchings adjusts the rail on his Deardorff

Though videotaped more than five years ago, this 15 minute discussion of "Seeing with the Photographic Eye," by Gordon Hutchings wears well. Gordon is well known for his tightly documented and single-handed resurrection of the use of Pyro as a developer. His careful testing and refinement of Pyro has brought it back as a reliable and excellent developer well known for its excellent qualities in preserving subtle shadow detail, while retaining the highlights.

Gordon focuses on the Creative impulse of the photographer, and is instructive in his advice to take a deep breathe, relax, and "let the photograph come to you." As Gordon tells us, "You are trying too hard when you are trying too hard," relax and enjoy the show.

The video is posted in Google Video at:

Printing in Photogravure with Karl Koenig

July 13-July 18, 2008

Click here, to watch a four minute slideshow movie of Karl Koenig as he demonstrates the modern version of the Photogravure alternative process.

The original method of photogravure involved highly toxic chemistry and required acid and copper plates. In his workshop Karl teaches the newer and much more benign method which is sometimes called Solar Printing, in which the image is burned onto a polymer coated (light sensitive) thin steel plate and developed in water.

After the plate is cured with more UV exposure (it’s now an intaglio surface) you’ll learn to “ink up,” then wipe the plate. You’ll place a sheet of printing paper on top of the plate, then “hand pull” the etching press. (You can get some idea of what these gravure images can look like by going to Karl’s website.

Gravure lends itself to an infinite combination of inks to produce an infinite range of colors. Multiple plates can be used in registration to achieve polychromatic results or the gravures can be selectively hand colored.

This will be a fast moving, high energy workshop. From the first get-together on Sunday evening to the final meeting on Friday morning, expect to be on the move and learning one of the most intriguing and enduring of the alternative processes. It’s no surprise that Edward S. Curtis used photogravure extensively in his epic twenty year career photographing the series, The North American Indian.

Click here to watch Karl as he demonstrates Gumoil, the alternative process he invented in 1990.

Call 1-800-922-5255 to reserve your space -- Tuition: $ 725.00

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Gum Printing, Then and Now
with Christina Z. Anderson
August 3-August 8, 2008
Christina Anderson “wrote the book,” on experimental and alternative photographic processes. She teaches at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, and is author of “ Alternative Processes, Condensed: A Manual of Gum Dichromate and Other Contact Printing Processes,” and will be teaching the Gum Printing, Then and Now workshop this summer at the Photographers’ Formulary. Gum prints are photographically controlled watercolors made by a 19th Century process called gum bichromate.

It’s an alternative process with infinite ways to express any image. Liquid Gum Arabic is mixed with watercolor paint and a photosensitive substance called ammonium dichromate. This is used to coat watercolor paper. An enlarged negative is contact printed by exposure to sunlight or to a UV source, causing the Gum Arabic to harden into an image that is “developed” in plain water. As with film, where the least light strikes the paper the gum and pigment wash away, leaving the highlights of the image. The finished prints are completely archival.

This will be a week of creativity as Chris begins simply, then moves to more complexity. If you’re interested in this process, from low tech to high tech, from monochrome to tricolor, from historical to contemporary, this is the class for you.

Christina will guide you through the pleasures (and pitfalls) of the gum process from 1839 to today’s digital era. Bring a digital camera to use in the field, or bring digital photos you’d like to translate into gum prints (your own laptop would be best!). There’s no need to bring large format negatives. We’ll be making contact printing negatives digitally. Prepare for an intensive, creative week that will probably turn you into another “gum bichromaniac”!

Call 1-800-922-5255 to reserve your space Tuition: $ 725.00