Saturday, June 19, 2010

Studio practice workbook 2.

1952 Commer 15 CWT

Finished and printed solargraphs do have a tendency to take on some characteristics of the battered, hard worn photographic paper. The process of enlargement makes the grain of the paper more prominent. The dust and water, flaws and distortions are all very apparent. The originators of the technique coined the term “Farfopteros” to describe the detritus that finds it’s unlikely way into the camera via the pinhole. The name might read better in Spanish but the idea is universal. That isn’t the only unpredictable aspect to image making this way. The pinhole is itself a unique and critical construction. Machine made pinholes are available, pressed with superfine accuracy. I prefer to make them myself using thick aluminium foil and a thin needle. I use fine sand paper to take off the burrs that may or may not exist beyond the limits of my eyesight. Imperfections that result from this handcrafting have a bearing on the image . Some cameras will make sharper images than others, all of them are unique to their maker.

Composing the image is the joyous part. Perhaps there are endorphins that are released when one is in the creative zone. I find the world transformed and that I’m surrounded by beauty at these times. This may essentially be the reason why I attempt art at all.

I took notice of the description by Marc Anton Gaudin, one of the first Daguerreotypists, of the excitement caused by the ‘gift to the world’ upon the release of Daguerre’s photographic method. “Each of us wanted to copy the view from our windows. Fortunate indeed was the man who on the first attempt obtained a silhouette of roofs against the sky: he went into ecstasies over chimney-pots”

Negative images on photographic paper - as scanned

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This work by Chris Reid is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 New Zealand License.