I was stoked to hear recently that Melbourne musician Darren Gibson will release his debut solo album Cross Town Motions soon on vinyl.
The artwork’s cover will feature a full, uncropped portrait I shot with him in winter 2011 at the Tramway Hotel in North Fitzroy. I shot twelve pictures with Darren with my Hasselblad on Kodak Portra 800.
The CD version of the album was released in 2011 with different artwork. I’m chuffed that my shot will be used for the LP version and I’m pretty keen to see how the photo will look at 12 inches square on the LP jacket.
I thought I’d give you a look at the contact sheet for the roll of film we shot.
It’s one of the only times I’ve sent a full roll of images through to a client as I generally think fewer options are better.
The reason I did this was because although I already had a sense of which image I wanted to use, I wanted to give Darren the opportunity to choose the direction of the image that we went for. I’m glad to say that we both chose the same frame.
If you’re interested you can see a larger version of portrait we chose here.
You can now pre-order Darren Gibson’s Cross Town Motions LP via Melbourne label Midnight Funeral:
Olympus XA, Kodak Portra 400, Melbourne, spring 2012.
Sapa, Vietnam, on Olympus XA with Kodak Tri-X.
Melbourne-based photographer Karen Riley, aka supacrush.
I’ve followed Karen’s work with interest for a few years now, but hadn’t met her until a few weeks ago, when we got together at Dave‘s place to shoot a few pictures for a collaborative portrait project.
I love Karen’s use of carefully chosen composition in her pictures, so I wanted to reflect that sense of order in my pictures of her, as well as some nice wintery Melbourne light.
These images are shot on Hasselblad 500C/M and Tri-X 400, and processed using Rodinal R09 developer.
Here is one of Karen’s wonderful shots. Click to follow through to her photos:
Around this time last year I went to my first football game for over ten years with my dad. We wore Bombers scarves and shivered in plastic seats at Etihad Stadium as we watched Essendon beat West Coast comfortably.
These are shot on Kodak Tri-X film and printed at home in my bedroom on Ilford Multigrade IV paper using Ilford paper developer. I used a #3 contrast filter in my enlarger, which I think was just about perfect for the last shot, but maybe a little too heavy for the top couple. I kinda like that the shadows are nicely inky and the lights are nicely light though.
The scans really don’t do these justice – these look super nice printed, and the tones are realllly smooth. I’m wishing for a permanent darkroom now, so I can print quickly without having to spend an hour setting up and then packing down again.
Anyway, I feel like I’m slowly learning to work more quickly and with more confidence when I’m printing. I’m keen to do some more printing at home when I have a free night, and with winter’s icy fingers tickling the back of my neck, it could be a nice little cold-weather project to hook into.
Last night I made a few small prints from the negatives I developed the day before, and managed to get eight small prints that I am fairly happy with.
The whole process took around three hours, including setup, measuring out chemicals, making a contact sheet, tweaking exposure times, printing, checking, printing some more, packup, washing, and putting away. Such is the balance when I have a temporary darkroom setup that lives in one side of a wardrobe in my bedroom.
These are a few mobile phone snaps of the printing process; the top two shots are prints sitting in the ‘wash’ tray, fresh from the fixer tray and ready to be washed, and the bottom picture is a sneak peek at a couple of prints that I thought paired up nicely.
I feel like I’m getting faster and more comfortable with printing at home, which hopefully will mean I’ll be doing a bit more of it. I’ve never really been super happy with how my prints have turned out, but my thoughts on that may have changed after spending a bit of time looking at the beautifully smooth tones I got in the shot of people walking out of Etihad Stadium in the top picture above. The gradients in that shot are smooooooooth.
The thing that I’ve found really satisfying about the whole process in making these prints is that they haven’t touched a computer at all, from the point of capture of the image right through to the print. I spend eight hours a day sitting in front of a computer in my day job and consequently spending another couple of hours at home scanning and dust spotting images is wayyyyyy down on my priority list at the moment.
I’ll post some scans of the prints when I get a chance. Thanks for reading, reader.
I managed to get myself into gear on Sunday evening and finally develop some black and white film for the first time in what feels like (and probably is) months and months. Whew.
These are two rolls of Tri-X shot over a period of about six months prior to the end of 2011, so it’s kind of appropriate that there are some shots from around this time last year on there. I’ve hardly been shooting any black and white film over the past year or so because I’ve been focusing on colour film so much, but I’ve gotta say it’s a good feeling pulling the rolls of film out of my developing tank – it’s way more satisfying than getting rolls back from the lab.
Even though I know now that there’s a good likelihood that the film will be fine, I always get a bit nervous as I’m washing the film at the end of the developing process, since there have been many times where I’ve pulled out a roll of carefully shot film only to discover that it’s ruined due to light exposure, bad developing technique, or old chemicals. I’m way more militant now about the process of developing than I’ve ever been, and it’s helping me get more consistent results. Which is nice.
My go-to guys at the moment for B&W are Kodak Tri-X film shot at box speed (400iso), processed in Agfa Rodinal R09 developer at 1:50 dilution (that’s one part developer to 50 parts water, or 10mL per 500mL water), a water stop bath for two minutes, and then Ilford Rapid Fixer at 1:5 dilution (100mL fixer per 500mL water) for around 5-6 minutes. I’m adding a single drop of a drying solution that I think works a little like detergent does (messes with water’s surface tension) to help stop water droplet marks from forming on the film as it dries.
I’m really keen to do some more printing this winter so hopefully there will be a few shots on these rolls that are worth printing – if there are, I’ll post some shots of the prints when they’re done.
These images were shot during September with Kodak Tri-X 400 and Hasselblad 500C/M.