Saturday, February 23, 2008

TTV photography

One of my first ttv photos. Ttv stands for through the viewfinder photography, my new distraction.

You take an old camera with a large viewfinder and focus your digital camera on the surface of the viewfinder. Some fiddling must be done to figure out the right distance. Russ Morris's tutorial and the discussion page of the flickr group through the viewfinder will be helpful. These photos of my Kodak Duaflex were taken with an Olympus C-60 Zoom.

You can see there is a lot of reflection on the viewfinder. It's also hard to hold the camera in the right place. You need a "chimney."

You can make a simple chimney with a cereal box. My chimney is based on Russ Morris's instructions but not as well constructed. I added a guide for my digital camera on the top.

A little experimenting. Taken through our screen door.

Looking through the view finder, images are flipped horizontally. The world looks different and interesting photos seem to jump into place.

Added March 12, 2008: Here is another post with more information about my chimney.

I have more ttv photos on flickr.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bear With Me Again

While making Bear With Me, I made some mistakes and changed my mind about what to include. I also made some tests to see how I would like a certain effect. So I had a lot of pages or pieces of collage parts that didn't go into the book. I hate to just toss these leftovers. If I add them to my stash of collage material, they often don't get used. Occasionally I make postcards or greeting cards with them. But this time I made three little books. They are each 3 inches wide. It was also a chance to test some binding styles. These books can be seen larger in my artist's books flickr set.

The book on the left is bound with a pamphlet stitch in two places. I don't like this one much, the book splits open in the center, my thread is too heavy and the pages are also heavy. However it has some nice imagery in it. The middle book is my test for wire edge binding. I like this one a lot. I'm not sure what the structure of the one on the right would be called, it might be a block book. The pages were folded, as for a codex, but I glued them back to back instead of sewing. The maps are white on the back, so gluing the pages back to back hides all the whiteness.

Here's a quick sketch of the structure. The pages lay much flatter than I expected, pressed overnight under heavy books. And it feels very nice in my hand, an important thing for books. I was running out of imagery at this point, so I had to make a few things to complete the book.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bear With Me

Bear With Me, ©2008, 5.5 x 4.5 x 1.5 (closed). Museum board, topo maps, collage, photos, handcarved rubber stamps, handcarved pencil eraser font, transfers, memories, dreams. Wire edge binding. More photos of Bear With Me here.

This book started as a quick project to do over the Christmas holidays. I wanted it to be fast, reproducible as black and white photocopies and very cheap. I planned to give them away, or sell them for under $10. How much of this did I accomplish? Zero. I couldn't give up the colors, I decided to make multiples on my color printer. I made 4 or 5 pages several times because I decided I didn't like an element already glued down and it couldn't be collaged over.

I was thinking about bears when I started the book. I dream about bears occasionally. I know bears are important in American Indian thought. And I love the idea that they are powerful spirit figures. But in working on this book, I decided for me they may represent my animus. Just as I finished the book I dreamed about a huge sleeping bear. I wanted to poke it and make it come after me. I wasn't afraid, and as I woke, I was about to poke it.

This is wire a edge binding, developed by Daniel Kelm. The page above has notches cut in the spine for the wire and strips of paper holding a piece of 18 gauge wire along the spine. I covered all the edges of the board (page) with map. I found the binding instructions in Books Unbound by Michael Jacobs. It feels a little more floppy than Coptic binding to me. The effect is similar, it works great for board or single sheet books. And it is much easier to do. I just connected all these pages with a square knot.