Monday, October 25, 2010

Jam Debriefing

The Book Arts Jam was wonderful, as usual. I came home tired but very inspired to make books. Several conversations I had made me think I need to re-commit to making time for some kind of art almost every day.

For the people who came to my talk on pinhole cameras and artist's books at the Jam, here are links to two different direct positive papers: Harman and Efke. Note: I haven't used either one, but other people on the internet seem to like them. Check out this flickr search to see samples. I highly recommend Freestyle (the Efke link) for photo supplies. They are helpful on the phone, and fast to ship.

Photos by Jim Stewart.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Photo Book Works

Oneiro was accepted into the Photo Book Works show at Abecedarian Gallery, 910 Santa Fe, #101, Denver, Colorado. The show goes from October 1 to the 30th, 2010. The reception is October 2, 5 to 8 pm. From the press release: Photo Book Works is an international exhibition of artists’ books incorporating photography as a primary element. Photo Book Works was juried by Mia Semingson whose exhibition 39+ is on view in the main gallery. For this exhibition, Semingson selected the work of 31 artists from the United States, Great Britian, Switzerland and Australia.

There is a catalog, both in pdf and print format.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Book Arts Jam is Coming!

The Book Arts Jam will take place on Saturday, October 16, 10am to 4pm at Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, California. You can download a pfd flyer, visit the web site to learn more, or just plan to attend! There is no charge for the Jam, but there is a $2. parking fee. Bring quarters or dollar bills.

Over 50 book artists will show their work. There will be an exhibit of books made by members of the Bay Area Book Artists, other exhibits (printmaking, letterpress printers at work, and books made during the BABA Sunday sessions), an auction of book arts related items and artist's talks.

I will be giving an artist's talk and will also have a table to show some of my books, both old and new. I also donated a really cute matchbox pinhole camera kit to the auction. It includes an assembled camera, extra film, gaffers tape and instructions. I have attended most of the jams and they never fail to delight me. Here's my 2008 post about the jam.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dinosaur Wave

After finishing Oneiro, I got out the parts to a book I started sometime last year. It went pretty fast, since I was already half done. However it's taken me months to get it on my web site. Dinosaur Wave is based on a dream I had several years ago. It is also the first dream photo in Oneiro.

I'm on a wide beach. The ocean is far away. I look off toward the hills and see a huge grey mass. I realize it's a wall of water. I call to a boy who's with me. "Come, now." The other people we're with are far away and will run in the opposite direction. The boy and I run toward some low hills. I look back at the mass of water. I see a huge (4 story high) Tyrannosaurus running toward us. We turn and run away from him. There's another one coming from the other direction. The one behind us is covered in trees and shrubs. A living hillside. We're running in a ravine on a roadway. There's nowhere to go. I stop and look under the road. It's raised like a giant plank at this point. We crawl under. There are a few other people with us at this point. The dinosaurs run overhead. I think I am vaguely aware that I'm dreaming. We crawl out, go toward a cluster of houses that suddenly appear out of nowhere. I see a house with the top floor blown off a separate garage. I'm worried about the woman who lived there. She is the mom of the little girl who's with me. (the boy is now a girl). Then we see the mom, they are re-united. I wake.

Larger images and a little more info on my web page.

Friday, July 16, 2010


Oneiro ©2009-10, 5 x 4.75 x 3.5 inches (closed). Brass, copper, found winding knob, Arches cover paper, photos, tin can. Bound with a variation of wire edge binding. Techniques include soldering, etching, pinhole photography. The cover of this book is a pinhole camera that takes photos of dreams. The book attached to the camera contains ten photos of my dreams. The book/camera was inspired by a dream. See more photos of Oneiro on my web site.

Above is the back of the camera. The right hand page is a panel I made to protect the pages with photos on them from the nuts on the camera.

I finished the camera by the end of 2009. Starting in January I took 43 photos over the course of months. I used photo paper as the negative. Photo paper is much less sensitive to light than film, so each exposure was 3 to 5 minutes. Then I had to take the camera into my bathroom/darkroom and unload it under a red safelight and process the negative in black and white chemicals. The paper negative was squeegeed and allowed to dry, then scanned and inverted in Photoshop.

To reload the camera I cut the paper to size, pre-flashed it and then put it in the camera. Pre-flashing involves exposing the photo paper to a brief burst of light. For technical reasons this enhances the exposure on pinhole photos.

After I had ten photos I was happy with, I had them printed. Finally I began assembling the book. Most of my projects produce another item on my "I'll never do that again" list. For Oneiro it was taking the photos using photo paper as the negative. It was too long of a process for me. I had lots of ideas for photos, but ran out of patience with the expose/develop/dry/scan/evaluate routine.

Do I read my "I'll never do that again" list before starting a new project? No! Absolutely no. If I did I would never start another new project. I'm often optimistic that I have more skills now and will be able to complete whatever I have in mind.

"I watch them walk away." ©2010 A photo of a dream, taken with Oneiro.
I must confess, a few of the photos were put together with Photoshop. although all the parts were photographed with Oneiro. The one above was originally a photo taken by my son. It was a wonderful shot, full of meaning in the context of dreams, but the focus was bad. I thought soft focus wouldn't matter for my purpose, so I split the photo into four quadrants and printed it on four pieces of 8.5 x 11 paper. Then I taped the four quadrants together and photographed it set up on my work table in a curve. I really like it, and even like the lines made by joining the pieces of paper. I had originally planned to Photoshop them out, but decided to let them stand.

See more photos of Oneiro, and the photos I took with the camera on my web site.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day 2010

"He was taller then." Pinhole photo taken by Memory Cam on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day - April 25. There is a huge gallery at the web site, more of my photos in my flickr WPPD set. And more photos by everyone in the Worldwide Pinhole Day photo pool.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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