Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meeting with Renecca Feind

Today I met with one of our wonderful supporters - Rebecca Feind. She is a Liaison to Art. Design and Philosophy at SJSU and is a very active in the Bay Area art scene in the supporting and guidance role.  We discussed possibilities of The Photo Palace Bus becoming a non-profit organization vs. an LLC that is a fiscal affiliate of another established non-profit.  There is a lot to learn about it and tomorrow I am planing a trip to the Foundation Center in San Francisco to dive deeper into the mystery of legal world.  Rebecca was kind enough to offer us assistance to writing proposals and contacting possible donors - we are eternally grateful for that!

Here is how our baby looks now - we installed the last wall of the bathroom (it was beaten into perfect position with a 2x4 and is now wedged so tightly under the ceiling that I don't think we even needed to put any ties into the adjacent studs, but we did anyhow to make the whole thing as strong as possible.  Now if anyone bumps into that free-standing corner they may be quite surprised by how sturdy it is.  The rest of the linoleum is out on the drivers side and now the floor is clear to begin construction of the counter.  Also the supports for the shelving above the print file bench are up and ready for shelf installation. 

To be continued.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2-22-12 Structures are beginning to be defined a bit

I think after this we are going to be well-suited to be carpenters...

Below are the humble beginnings of the bench seat, print file and the short and long bathroom walls (with our precious utilities in their future places). Tomorrow we are hoping to have a frame built above the print file which will provide back rest for those who sit on the print file bench and have tea, support shelves and have a small space for a bathroom sink.
It's 11:34 - we have been at least 3-4 hours worth of planning, but EVERY STICK is now drawn out in detail and we have reached total agreement.  Ryan is a son of an engineer and I have no idea about construction, but I can get a design together conceptually and then after going over every detail we can totally get something together.
Watch for detailed pictures tomorrow.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Planning Continues....

The Russians say: "Measure seven times - cut once".  I am glad to see that Ryan seems to have been a Russian carpenter in one of his previous incarnations as he fully understands that concept.

We are continually planning the various construction details.  Here are some of the more coherent sketches that Ryan and I drew up so far.  Those with enough imaginations might be able to make out a wall outline and an electrical line-up schematic.

P.S. Glad to report that both of us are OK and it's been three hours or more since we ate the mushrooms I found by the bus.  Hope to find more tomorrow as foraging is a good way to save money on food.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rewards are in the mail.

Just got back from the post office where I mailed out the reward prints for those who chose to re-donate after the kickstarter campaign ended.

Sent off a whole bunch of gelatin silver post cards both vintage (printed on Kodak Bromide G3 Fiber) and modern (on Ilford RC Pearl):

Two prints were made in an edition of 3 each.  8x8 image of the rear of the bus on the day we met:

And a selected image from Japan, again in edition of 3.  I decided to go all out for these and print them with Lith developer, which gives a brown tone to the image and makes it look more vintage.  Old Oriental Seagull paper was used to make these prints - I found it appropriate as the paper was manufactured in Japan.  The rough surface texture is very much reminiscent of Agfa 118 surface:

The prints were spotted to perfection.  One specular highlight was left un-retouched in the Japan print, but it's actually in the image and I don't spot out things that actually exist in real life.

I hope these prints will be enjoyed as much by the people that receive them as they were by me while I printed them.  All the donations that we managed to raise will be spent in the next week or so....  We do hope to see a few more generous people who can afford to pitch in. 

Thank You,
Anton Orlov.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Kodak Comes Through for Film Photography.

News From Kodak are welcomed by The Photo Palace Bus!

By now a lot of you have heard of the incredible and promising news about the decision by the fledgling company Kodak to suspend operations of their digital division in order to bring the focus back to manufacturing products for analog photography. The full article can be found here:

  The news was literally music to my ears.  Today, in honor of that announcement, a local radio station played the song 'Kodachrome' by Paul Simon, which is an unofficial anthem of The Photo Palace Bus.

  In the past few months uncertainty over Kodaks future was having a chilling effect in the world of film photographers.  Many of my fellow photographers worried that their favorite films would go out of production as so many products have before.  Multiple new companies emerged in recent years and have have picked up film and paper production in small batches, but Kodak is one of the oldest photographic companies and for a lot of photographers it has reached a symbolic status.  It would have been a shame to see a century-old company like Kodak come to their demise and it would have certainly made it harder on The Photo Palace Bus and our mission of keeping Film Photography alive and thriving.

  Legendary films such as Technical Pan, Verichrome Pan and Kodachrome were still in production when I started upon my personal journey with photographic art medium.  Since then I have been lucky enough to print on such Kodak papers as Azo, Velox, Bromesko and others.  I am sad to report that all these products are far better in quality than anything comparable on the market today and they ALL have been discontinued though the decades.  We hope Kodak may consider bringing back production of at least a few of the hundreds of their gems of the past. 

  On a lighter note The Photo Palace Bus will have an opportunity to develop Tri-X with HC-110 - that is great news.   Kodak Dektol is a great developer for paper, but it does tend to give some papers a green tinge... What to do?  The solution is simple - Kodak Selenium toner, diluted to various degrees, will not only balance out the green, but also add longevity to your silver print.  The best of the darkroom technique books often mention specific Kodak products and it is reassuring that at least those that have not been axed already will remain in production.

  It is also exciting to see what Kodak may come up with in terms of new black and white films (or... may we dare... papers).  Will they have an answer to Neopan Across 100 - a great, rich, relatively new film with very fine grain for its speed developed by Fuji?  We hope so.

   It is good to know that The Photo Palace Bus and all film enthusiasts across the world will be able to enjoy the trusted quality of Kodak brand for years to come.  Today I had Verichrome Pan loaded in my Rolleiflex 3.5F.  Here is an image captured on Telerollei with Verichrome Pan on Alcatraz Island. That films tonal response and the ability to hold detail are hard to match.

Anton Orlov

Monday, February 6, 2012

Construction Update

Anton came with one of our supporters Greg McMahon (who took the picture of us) to bring up the flat-file as well as put in the newly arrived water tanks. The flat-file will hold photographs / art pieces / supplies for shows, lectures and classes.

Plumbing is an important staple for any darkroom and a mobile darkroom is no exception. The tanks were ordered custom to fit in our cargo bay below the floor.

The larger tank is for fresh water which will serve the darkroom print washer, chemical dilutions, and the kitchen/bathroom utilities. The smaller tank is our grey water tank. Together the tanks  hold 135 gallons of water. Of, course, they won't both be full at the same time.
   Only one more tank to go. The Black tank. We want everything involved with that tank to go as smooth as possible.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Feb 1st 2012 - First day of the rest of our lives! Plus - PayPal saves the day.

Well folks, the kickstarter funding didn't go through and that's a pity. With it The Photo Palace would have been assured of a quicker and less painful building process. There is nothing however that will stand in the way of this wonderful dream from becoming a reality so I will push on and throw all of my efforts toward seeing it through.

In the wake of the recent news on the funding campaign I can not and will not lose sight of the plethora of positive developments that were enabled by that campaign.
• We are lucky enough to have met many amazing people from so many parts of the world. Some of them are continually working with us now on promoting The Photo Palace and we are eternally grateful for that and hope to build many wonderful working relationships in the upcoming years.
• The publicity gained by the news of our project being featured on as many blogs and community pages as we got is going help us tremendously in the long-run. This is a great first step - now, by the time we will be on the road, we will have a network of photo communities around the globe watching us and maybe even waiting for our arrival. I hope we can be on the road by the end of this Mayan Calendar Long Count.
• All the pledges that we did receive show us that there is already an audience tho believes in us and wants to see this happen - I promise I will not fail them!

In a week or so I am moving to Northern California to join Ryan and The Bus and begin the full scale conversion process. I look forward to the adventure and hope to see many more followers on thhs blog.

For now though :)...

PayPal Saves the Day

Why not take a look at the new 'Support The Vision' tab on the right side of the page?

There you will find a simple PayPal donation button and the funds donated through there will go directly and immediately towards purchases of things like batteries, heaters, wood and many more things we'll need to get this bus in shape.

For your generosity you will be rewarded with the same gifts as we were offering in the kickstarter campaign! (but only for a week on those terms as there are limited edition prints offered there that I still have to make and I have to leave my beautiful Rollov Film Center darkroom behind in San Diego when I move up - after a week we'll have a different reward section added to that page).

If you feel like donating out of the goodness of your heart and don't want a reward simply let us know and all that will happen is an increase in your positive karma. If you would like a reward (and I totally understand and look forward to sending out some prints across the globe) - when you donate please include a message stating which reward you would like and make sure the address is correct on your PayPal account.

Thank You All,
Anton Orlov