Eric G. Rose – Where It's At

Archive for December, 2012

When Pigs Fly

by on Dec.29, 2012, under Location

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When Pigs Fly

It’s the end of the year and as is customary I must analyze 2012 to death and pontificate on what I think will transpire in 2013.  Well I’ll do that When Pigs Fly!

I suppose there is some merit in looking back over the past year, if for no other reason than to appreciate what a wonderful and sad year it has been.  There have been deaths in the family, elderly relocated from their homes, family members experiencing the ups and downs of personal relationships.  There has also been tremendous family bonding that can only happen during adversity.  Whether it’s coming together to grieve a sister’s death or just sitting with a grown child in the emergency room.  It could also be those precious times when I get to have one on one time with my grandkids.  Or maybe it’s those times when I have to sit down with my in-laws and “fix” their computer.  None of these things come at a convenient time.  That’s life.  To be totally isolated and alone would eliminate these interruptions to my orderly life, but it’s these interruptions that bring “life” to my life.  To quote a cliche, it adds “spice to my life”.  While onions can make us cry when we chop them up for dinner, in the end they bring flavour to an otherwise bland dish thus enriching it.

The coming year will be sprinkled with the usual milestones.  Some good and some not so welcome.  The only thing I can control is how I react to them.  In my younger days I use to be very self centered and resented any deviations from my plan.  Whether that plan was sleeping in, getting some project finished or another career milestone notched.  Slowly I matured and realized the world did not revolve around my needs and wants.  All the effort I expended trying to control everyone and everything around me exhausted me and made everyone around me unhappy, as well as myself.  Unfortunately I was too “head down ass up” to realize what was going on.  It took a major life changing event to finally open my eyes.  I wish I had been receptive to all the hints and advice I had received from well meaning friends and family.

I am looking forward to the birth of a new grandchild in the new year as well as opening my eyes to see my sweetie each morning.  Beyond that all I wish is to be able to live my life as God wants me to.

Photographically I want to re-acquaint myself with my film cameras.  For the past several years I have shot 95% digital.  While I feel I have created some outstanding photographic images, I long for the smell of the darkroom.  I also find the stress associated with the constant struggle backing up files to be a creative roadblock.  Short of a major fire I don’t have to worry about the negatives I made 40 plus years ago.  They are still there as are the negatives my grandfather made with an original Kodak film Brownie.

I will continue to use my Nikon D700 for commercial work, but my goal is to create at least 80% of my personal work using film in 2013.

Well I guess I did do some pontificating after all.  Indeed pigs do fly, as proven in the image above.

To each and every one of you, I wish you the very best for 2013.  I find happiness through bringing happiness to others.  Maybe it will work for you too.

 

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Mother and Child

by on Dec.27, 2012, under Camera Review, Cameras, Darkroom, Film, Location, Scanning, Travel, website

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Mother and Child

This Christmas I gave my wife a 40 x 24 print of the above photograph.  I made this image probably six years ago at Coos Bay, Oregon.  As soon as I saw these two geologic manifestations it looked to me like a mother and baby wrapped up papoose style.  It also symbolized to me the rock solid connection a mother has with her child.  Sometimes those children do not survive, or vice versa.  In any event this mother-child bond is “cemented” in all time.  Once both are returned to our maker reunions can be made.

geronar

Rodenstock Geronar 210mm

At the time my favorite large format colour negative film was Kodak’s Portra 160.  It was as close to the venerable Kodak VPS as I could find.  The tonal range of Portra 160 and even 400 is outstanding.  Colours are very neutral and images crystal sharp, but don’t take my word for it, check out the great review at Shutterfinger.  The above image was made using a Linhof Tecknika IV (see pic below) and a Rodenstock Geronar 210mm lens.  As is always the case a lenshade was used even though it was an overcast day.

The Geronar lens has unfortunately suffered a bad rap from the lens queens.  I love the image signature of the Geronars.  While not technically a Tessar design they exhibit a lot of the same 3D characteristics when used wide open.  Colour rendition is accurate and they don’t suffer from flare.  Another bonus is that they are small and light weight, great for backpacking and travelling.  I have used the 150, 210 and 300mm versions of the Geronar lineup. Quite frankly I cannot pick out prints made from these as opposed to my more expensive large format lenses, especially once the lens is stopped down to f11 or greater.  Currently I only have the 300mm version of the Geronar but am on the lookout for a good 210mm.

What many people don’t understand when it comes to print sharpness is that a sturdy, heavy tripod is essential to reduce vibration.  I cannot count the number of times I have seen people spend huge amounts of money on lenses for their large format cameras only to cheap out on the tripod.  When they produce slightly fuzzy photographs they lament they must have gotten a mis-aligned lens.

Not having the ability to produce 40 inch colour prints in my darkroom I was forced to scan my negative.  Having recently purchased an Epson 750 Pro from George Barr I scanned my negative at 3200 dpi, processed in PhotoShop, upsized and saved as a jpg – 300 dpi.  A very small amount of sharpening was applied in PhotoShop.  The file was ftp’d to a local professional printing service for output.  So far I have scanned both medium and large format negatives with the Epson.  Results have been stellar!   My Nikon 35mm scanner recently packed it in so I am hoping the Epson will do a good job on those negatives as well.  I will keep you posted.

I hope to get back to Coos Bay again having been there three times already.  It’s one of those magical places.  Please check out my website for more Coos Bay photographs.  I have images in both the colour and black/white galleries of Coos Bay and area.  Most of the colour images were taken with a digital camera.

600px-Linhof_img_1876 photo by Rama

The venerable Linhof Technika IV. Mine is not as pretty as this one.

 

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So many choices!

by on Dec.13, 2012, under Books, Commerce, Photographers, Vision

Slot Canyon - Eric G. Rose

Slot Canyon – Eric G. Rose

A new Blurb book is in the works.  Now what does this really mean?  It means I am thoughtfully pondering what the theme should be.  Or maybe it should not be theme based but geographically oriented?  How about all colour, or maybe black and white?  Well you can see there are a lot of things to consider.  With over 40 years worth of images to choose from it gets a bit daunting.

In preparation I took out several photography tomes from my local library.  I wanted to see how they laid out the images and incorporated text and graphics.  Surprisingly the National Geographic books I took out were well laid out, however suffered from incredibly bad photographic reproduction.  It was so bad I could not get through them.  If I had spent 6o plus dollars on them I would have felt supremely cheated.  After years of doing design and layout work for clients I find that it is very hard to decide on a format for my own work.  It’s easy for me to gauge the personality and spirit of a client’s work but turning that focus on myself is not an easy task.  Maybe that is why so many self published photography books are so poorly executed.

I also find that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to editing my images.  Some images that I think are just freaking wonderful are ignored by those I ask to critique  images I am considering for a show.  Rule number one: get someone not related to you to edit your images.  Actually press several people into editing service.

Even though I feel my imagery can stand on its own from a fine art perspective,  I enjoy telling people the back story for many of my images.  Sights, sounds, circumstances and personalities are all important facets of the story.  As an illustration, I was at a concert performed by one of my favorite singer/song writers, Neil Young.  Young’s songs have resonated with my life since the days of the Kent State massacre.  The first time I heard the song Ohio, it brought tears to my eyes and put a rage in my gut.  In those 13 seconds of shooting my attitude towards the Vietnam war was galvanized.  While I supported the troops and still do, I could no longer support the machine that was responsible for the four deaths at Kent State and the senseless killing of 58,282  American troops.  I was hoping Young would relate to the audience some of the back stories around his songs.  He said maybe 10 words during the 3 hour concert.  Sure the songs were there, both new and old, but nothing else.  I could listen to Young’s songs at home on my stereo and get better sound.  It was a bucket list thing to do; see Young in concert; but in the end I felt I only got half of what I needed to make it a fulfilling experience.  Others I have talked to thought the concert was amazing.  That’s why they make chocolate and vanilla.

Well all of this raises another question.  Do I include selected back stories or not?  I guess it depends on my overall goal.  Do I want to create a commercial product or a personal keepsake?  The decisions never end!

This brings up the following question.  Does the selection and sequencing of photographs vary depending on whether I include back stories or not?  Do I need to follow a theme for the back stories?  Around and around it goes.  Choices choices choices.

Do me a favor and take the poll on the right.

Interested in the back story for the image at the beginning?  Ask me and I’ll share it with you.  By the way I have a $50 off code for Blurb I would love to share with you.  Email me: eric at ericrose dot com and I will send it to you.

 

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