Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

research during the semester break

I'm flying off to Phoenix, AZ tonight then driving up to Flagstaff so our group can meet with the equipment outfitter in the morning and get set up for two weeks in the Grand Canyon. We launch on December 19th with hopes that Christo will not cover it or "recontextualize" the canyon in any way, and our group can experience the canyon in it's (mostly) natural beauty and enjoy something that stands on it's own as a work of art.

The week of January 3rd will be spent in Colorado editing photos and revisiting notes from the trip.
By the 8th, I should have internet access again and will post some initial photos.
I expect this trip to provide enough source material for the entire Spring semester.

The semester starts late enough so I'll have time to collaborate with alternative photography artists in a few places around Durango and New Mexico before returning to teach.

Images are lined up for the next few weeks. They were created in 2005 and 2010. Take note of the posting times. The times correspond with the time of sunrise at Grand Canyon Village. I expect the sun will rise a bit later from our perspective from the canyon floor depending where we are on the river.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

On Top Of The White Whale



I've been working on this one since last Spring and finally have this difficult image balanced the way I like it.
The challenge has been to keep some tone in the sky and snow without just dropping the contrast.
If this was a single shot in which all elements were static I could use a modern version of an HDR image.
Since it is a panoramic, made while the figure was moving (and some wind was threatening to move the rest of the environment), I had to go old-school HDR by doing some subtle burning and dodging as well as a bit of contrast adjustment.
The Grayscale Gradient Test was an integral part of it too, since it is teaching me the limits of the KM73 polymergravure plates.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Grayscale Gradient Test for photo polymergravure

Here is a grayscale from 100% - 0% black on top, and a grayscale from 80% - 20% black on the bottom.


Below are two proofs from a KM73 plate using the above image on a transparency for exposure.
Each proof is wiped slightly different.






It gives me a good idea of where the values and information drop out completely, and how smooth a transition can be achieved. Using this twin scale, I have to figure out how to eliminate the white spots. There are two types. One set in which it seems that the black area washes out. I don't know if it's residual moisture left in the transparency or if there is some other gas that is not escaping. The individually scattered white dots are a bit of a mystery to me. I'll have to re-read Jon Lybrook's page on photo polymergravure again.

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The image below is a curve test for the transparency: no adjustment to the image in the top-left spot; the 80/20 adjustment I've been using in the top-right spot, and some variations in the lower two spots.
I'm still a fan of the 80/20 curve, but it looks like the 85/15 curve would be useful for adding some contrast to very flat image that would be a bit different than just adding it in Photoshop.



same plate. the only difference is the ink wiping strategy. It's more of a feel thing. I do this to see how I'll edition an image.



This is the file I used to make the transparency/positive for the plate above.



I used a simple 80/20 curve applied over the entire image to see if I could predict what the plate would do.
This is the result.
I'm surprised by the amount of information left in the top left image. That would tell me that the dropout is somewhat higher than 80% black, therefore I can pay attention to the shadows a bit more and see what details don't have to be sacrificed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

campfire: old and new

(version 1)
vine black ink, white paper


I experimented with the contact between the positive/transparency and the plate for this one, seeing if I could get either a distressed or aged look. The result is good, but I'm wondering if I took it a bit too far. I'll make another version in cleaner conditions, and with better contact to see if a more clear image still holds up and gives the desired effect.

I'm looking to elicit the feeling of an old tradition by taking an image of a gathering from this past year and developing it with an older process of printing. Experimenting with some warmer black ink and some dark browns (perhaps even a some kind of sepia tone), and an off-white print paper might help signify age and tradition.

(version 2)
dark brown ink, white paper


(version 3)
dark brown ink, off white paper


(version 4)
new plate, vine black ink, white paper


This latests version is the one I'll go with. It has about as much mid-tone as I can get out of the naturally contrasty environment of night time campfire photography. Instead of distressing the image (through the transparency, and thus the plate), I'll use a dark brown ink on an off white paper. That will look more like an old photo, and it will knock the contrast down a bit since the slight color will read a slight more mid-tone than any pure black.
(the image was just a little larger than the other plate, so it is a better size, which reads better from average viewing distance in a room. The image is cropped, above, at the plate indentation, so you are seeing 11.5" x 8". I'll cut the plate down to about 11" x 7" and print on 15" x 11" paper, leaving an even 2" border all around)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Alternative Photography

Has made a web page for me to showcase my completed images, using the polymer photo gravure process.

http://www.alternativephotography.com/gallery/v/scott-barnes/

I am very happy that my work has developed enough to be accepted into this community, and am flattered that they have made a page for me.

from the header on the alternativephotography.com website:
"Historical photographic methods in use today - the art, processes and techniques of alternative photography"

There are too many unique techniques to list on this blog. Please enjoy my work, but you are also encouraged to explore the Alternative Photography website and look at the engaging work by other artists using varied historical photographic techniques.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

There is the ordinary, banal, too often falsely raised in the art world..blah blah blah .... but isn't it more special when you recognize those feelings that are the heightened moments of arousal, or maybe just awareness, the moment of special connections, something you can almost put your finger on........ those feelings....... as you recognize them...... that exceptional experience......
what does that LOOK like?

I wonder...

Friday, November 12, 2010

http://www.erikahess.com/

N.Y. Feminist Art Institute workshop at FDU

will take place during my General Drawing class on Tuesday, November 16th, 5:30 - 8:00

http://www.nyfai.org/visualdiaries/index.html
http://www.nyfai.org/currentactivities.html

from the flyer/prospectus:
"Consciousness-Raising, Visual Diaries, Art-Making Workshop.
The visual expression of wordless feelings; personal heiroglyphics linked with content through consciousness raising."

This should prove to be very exciting and elightening. I hope that it helps give students courage to create and express beyond the (sometimes) narrow confines of academia, and give them another set of tools through which they can find their own voice.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

San Francisco this weekend

These two prints will be at Somarts this weekend
934 Brannan Street
San Francisco, CA






if you are in the area, stop by for a look

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

keep on paddling (updated)

The photopolymer graveur process has become frustrating. I don't know whether I've become more demanding, with a more finely tuned eye for detail, or I'm just hitting some sort of sophomore jinx with a new process. Perhaps some things are not working right this week. I'm encouraged by some of things I've learned while making mistakes, but frustrated that the final result is not right. The photopolymer graveur process is still new to me, but screen printing is not. I've made three attempts at one image with a screen today, with poor results.

I have three options.
1. Should I give up completely?
2. Should I take a long break and come back to the problems later?
3. Should I keep pushing forward, finding a way to turn anger and frustration into determintation?

I am a fan of option #3. It is one that I naturally follow, and a belief that my experience on whitewater (and other outdoor activities) has reinforced. The river will not stop moving. I will make mistakes along the way, but I need to forget them immediately after they happen and keep moving forward.



I'm inspired by some of the students in my studio classes. Their frustrated learning curve is palpable, particularly when I hear them let out a big sigh, drop their shoulders, and look away from their drawing. What has encouraged me so much, lately, is the frequency with which the return to their work, trusting the process of looking/drawing/looking/drawing/etc. Their faith in the process, and belief that they will make progress, moves me forward in my own work, and give me faith that I, too, will make progress.

Beginners mind...
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update (Oct. 15)

made some progress with the photo gravure



solved the contact problem, mostly...
I admit that I was not as clean as I should have been, so the three pieces of dust tented the transparency enough to lighten up the right side, BUT everything else is looking pretty good, so at least the work flow is good now.

downside is that I still can't make a screen for anything....
I've done so many of these that I can't figure out what I am doing wrong.
It will wait for the weekend. I need a break for now.

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update #3:
I have not liked the overall image, and did not trust how much information would be lost with the gravure process, so I decided to do alot of burning and dodging in photoshop. This was all done while clicking the preview filter on and off to predict results.
After a while I decided, since nothing was working perfectly and this was becoming an experimental piece anyway, to push the burn and dodge to extremes, betting on anything above 80% and below 20% blowing out to pure black or white.


My guesses were about half correct. I pushed it a bit too far, and the image is awkward. But, the extreme example is a good way to learn, and I will keep this one for future reference.
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update #4:
This is a good image. Adjustments in Photoshop improved the image. I am learning how the preview curve actually relates to the final product. The transparency/positive was good. The only problem with this plate was a lack of good contact in the lower right corner. I'll clean the glass on the exposure unit and the print frame before plate #5.


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update #5:
This is the final image.
Contact with the frame was good.
I dried the transparency with a hair dryer to make sure it did not contain any moisture.
I had taken the advice of a friend and sprayed the back of my positive/transparency with matte medium to eliminate Newton's Rings. The same person discovered why baby powder was useful in this process. Brush it on the plate, then brush it off. The super thin residual film of talc will create just enough space for gas and water vapor to escape during exposure. Talc is fine enough to not act like dust and create exposure issues. I imagine that using baby powder would make my results even more predictable.



I will edition this plate.
The next step is to figure out which tone paper, and what color ink I will use for the edition.
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Here are the plates in order, for easier comparison.











http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/06/photopolymer-graveur-curves-preview-in.html

http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/04/solarplate-etching.html

http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/04/photo-polymer-gravure.html

http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/05/plate-decisions-and-editioning.html

http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/05/photopolymer-aquatint-grayscale-test.html

http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/05/variety-in-three-editions.html

http://artandwater.blogspot.com/2010/05/better-look.html

Monday, September 27, 2010

Life Drawing blog

I just started this new blog for the sake of art students enrolled in my Life Drawing class at Fairleigh Dickinson University. It acts as a supplement to the class work. Feel free to comment on it. I am particularly interested in the comments from current students as well as fellow artists.



This is an example of two 30 second gesture drawings done on top of each other.

The challenge is to keep proportion in mind, but work fast, without pausing to measure. It is an excersize to loosen up your hand and eye in the beginning of class. It will also train you to see the bigger picture and not be distracted by details of a figure (which can be added in much later if you wish).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

General Drawing blog

I just started this new blog for the sake of art students enrolled in my General Drawing class at Fairleigh Dickinson University. It acts as a supplement to the class work. Feel free to comment on it. I am particularly interested in the comments from current students as well as fellow artists.



This 60 second drawing is an example of how you want to address the entire page at the start.
You can use a light touch to feel your way around the page and dictate how you want to crop what you see in front of you, turning into a picture on a page.
Quickly define where the shadows will be. You can fine tune later with an eraser and a pencil/charcoal to make the light areas lighter (eraser) and the dark areas darker (pencil/charcoal).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



"I guess Kawanhee is an experiment in how much living you can squeeze into seven weeks."
- JB

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Deerfield Fest

thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth
(and special thank you to those who bought art)


thanks to Casey for the photo

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Which One Do You Like Most?

I'm exploring exposure options, and can see the merits of multiple versions, but I might be too close to the process right now to make a judgement on the final image. So, which one do you prefer? Why?


1



2



3



4



5

Thursday, July 15, 2010