Friday, July 26, 2013

100th Post!

  Wow - can't believe this is an update #100 for this blog!  I can't describe how cool it is to be able to do this and how thankful I am to those of you who have followed this blog from the start.  I am going to have to try to put these updated up a little more frequently because at this pace too many memories build up and I end up writing too long of posts, it takes too long and also I bet I miss some stuff, which is unfortunate.  So, with that in mind - here we go on the 100th update!

  Last update was written from Minnesota and I was planning on going to Madison WI.  I decided to avoid being in the city since it is no fun to be in one while driving a 35ft bus with no particular destination - streets get narrow fast and plus the traffic drives me nuts.  Instead I took a smaller highway and headed to Winona MN.  On the way there I made this image - the only one for July 21st.

  As I mentioned above - I need to post these updated more often because according to my Facebook update on July 22nd at about 1pm I made these images of the lock upon the mighty Mississippi, but the timeline somehow doesn't make sense because I know that I got to Winona on the night of the 21st and these were made before that...  So much happens I can't keep my dates straight - sorry.

   I do remember that I made it to Winona at night and found a nice bar where to get a pint of local brew.  The bar happened to have been owned by a Ukrainian guy and so we had a nice little chat.  Well, I was mostly talking to his lovely fiance, who was helping him behind the bar, but it was nice nonetheless.
  In the morning I drove to an island in the middle of the river to get some shots of the floating houses that someone at the bar recommended I check out.  They were truly unique and I spent quite a good amount of time shooting these unique structures.  Apparently no new ones are allowed to be built, so there's a finite number of these odd flotillas.

  While on the island I saw a beautiful lady by the name of Elena, who occupied one of the structures. We made conversation and that resulted in me doing one more plate.  Unfortunately she was sitting on a floating platform and her dogs were playing next to her and that resulted in a rather blurry image.  It wasn't so bad that I wanted to scratch it out, but it wasn't up to the standards of the collections, so I decided to leave it for the model.  I also showed her how the plates were prepared and processed and she said that she happens to be a model and works sometimes with a photographer in La Crosse WI who has done some wet plate images of her in the past.  I was excited to hear that and asked her for directions to his studio, which she gladly provided, so my next destination was clear.  Before setting off from Winona I did go back into town and made these two plates by the light of the setting sun.

  La Crosse is not too far from Winona and so I was able to get there pretty quickly and spent the night at a local rest area.  In the morning I looked up directions given to me by Elena and drove over to the studio.  The sign on the closed door read that the gallery/studio was 'open by appointment and chance' (love that sign!).  I thought to myself "what are the chances of me making an appointment for right now?"  I called the number provided on the sign and spoke with the owner - David Bass.  He was at his regular job, but sounded very excited by me showing up and agreed to meet me on his lunch break and show me the space.  I was happy with that arrangement and went to get lunch myself. 
  David showed up right on time and we had a great time, though it was short due to his work commitments. SG1311 is a space he opened up to the public after the original owner (a painter by the name of Willian Vafeas) passed away in 2011.  Now David shows a lot of local artists there, does photography right in that space and shows the wonderful works of Mr. Vafeas as well.  David has made tintypes in the past, however he confessed to me that he hasn't done them for a while, but does hope to dig up all the equipment and get back into it soon.  I truly hope that he finds time to do that and to see some wet plate work appear on his blog.  Meanwhile David collects tintypes and after looking through my most recent plates he expressed interest in purchasing a plate of Aleasha and Ford Fiesta that I made back at Buttercup Ranch in Lake Nebagamon.  He also asked if I could make a tintype of his gallery for him and I was happy to oblige.  Here is that plate and the one I made along with it of the buildings right next to his.  Actually SG1311 is located in a 1898 building that used to be a butcher shop in the olden days and it's really cool to have David now cleanse the space with artistic vibrations.  Do check out SG1311 blog - David has already put up an entry about my visit and there's much more about his artistic ventures.  David also blessed me with a really nice print of Elena, seeing how I met her and she was the one who brought us together.


  After leaving the varnished plate in an vintage Kodachrome 5x7 box along with the shot of Aleasha I moved on down the road.  Along the small highway I was traveling by I saw a scene that I couldn't pass up - an American Legion Post 13 in Richland Center WI.  Here are some plates from there.

 Down the road was a town of Harvard and I reached that place just in time to hear Johnny Cash blaring from the open doors of a small bar.  That was a sign for me to go in.  As soon as I walked in a guy sitting at the bar looked at me and asked me if I was a blacksmith.  I answered that unfortunately I was not and that started a instant friendship. That guy happened to be an artist by the name of Gabriel Karagianis and after a quick beer he invited me to park the bus at the lot by his studio.  His studio happened to be located in an huge awesome space called The Starline Gallery and I can't really even begin to describe how cool that space is.  Gabriel is a great guy and we had a wonderful time talking about art, listening to Chopin and Felonious Monk, looking at his and mine art and even taking a meandering tour through the winding halls and stairs of the building at close to 3am.  Here are some images of Gaberiel's studio and even a short video shot while some of his original music was playing in the background.  I was also very happy to trade him one of my silver 8x10s for a high quality poster of one of his paintings.

  We stayed up so late that by the time I went to bed it was getting light outside, so I woke up pretty late.  In fact Gabriel's phone call woke me up and he brought by another artist friend of his (I am VERY sorry - if you are reading this I do not remember your name friend, but I did very much enjoy meeting you - please contact me and I'll update this little section to include your info).  His friend actually happened to have been a photographer back in the days of film and with a glimmer in his eyes remembered the days of shooting 4x5 product shots by a boatload.  He also said that somewhere in the attic of his garage there lay  giant copy camera bellows and a set of lenses for that camera - he promised to send that to me and so I gave him my card with my San Diego address.  It would be really cool if he did send that before I get back home as I can totally use those lenses on the new 24in camera that's waiting for me right now.

  From Harvard it was a relatively short drive to a place I've been waiting to visit ever since I started to do Wet Plates - Main Trophy Supply in Mt. Prospect IL.  This is the place that supplies aluminum plates to tintype photographers all over the country and even outside of US as well.  I have ordered from them in the past and was very excited to actually be there in person.  I was also running out of plates, so I re-stocked with about 25 12x24in sheets and had them cut me some more 8x20 plates for the next time I get brave enough to use that monster camera. 
  The company is small - only 5 employees and I met two of them - Dave (manager) and Karen (the lady who is always so nice on the phone while taking my orders).  I think wet plate photographers make up less than 1% of their business - mostly it's companies that make trophies (as the name suggests).  They carry aluminum and bronze sheets for plaque engravings in any color, thickness and finish that you can imagine.  They even have iodized aluminum and Dave was kind enough to give me a sheet of that to try out.  Here are some images from that mecca:

  Now when I call up I'll have a wonderful visual of the location and the smiling faces of the people who work there and my readers can see where the support for the tintypes I'm currently making come from.  I do wonder where they are actually manufactured... That's next on the list I guess.

  Main Trophy Supply is located in an industrial part of Mt. Prospect and I shot the following two images in their parking lot.  These images perfectly exemplify industrial parks across America, so I think they are entirely appropriate for my 'Landscape of America' series.

  From Mt. Prospect (which, for those of you who don't want to look that up on the map is just above Chicago) I shot down past the windy city with its traffic, crazy road construction and the nation's highest murder rate and back to the small country highways that define America for me.  I spent the night parked behind a small grocery store somewhere off the two-lane highway and was awoken rather early by the owners saying that deliveries are coming soon and I had to move...  Nowhere near enough sleep was allotted, so in the morning, when I found myself passing a town of Fort Wayne IL  and found more industrial parks there, I took a nap before making the following images.

  Heading farther east on highway 6 I came upon a town of Waterloo where I saw a very typical mobile home park on the north side of the highway and an out-of-business building on the south side.  That provided a perfect opportunity for the following two images.  Middle America is full of mobile home parks comprising half of small towns and empty business buildings filling the other half....

  These were made on the last of the 4x5 plates that I had originally started the journey with, so that indicates that I have made at least 100 tintypes by now as I vaguely remember there being over 100 to start with.  As you can see in the background of the above images, by the time I was done drying these plates the sun has gone down and it was well into the dusk part of the evening.  I decided to finally break down and find a motel for one night in hopes of getting some rest and maybe catching up on emails.  I reached the city of Bowling Green OH pretty late at night and saw a glowing sign that read 'Best Motel'.  Falling for this advertisement I pulled over and got a room.  I should have known...  Nothing that claims to be 'best' usually lives up to it's name - the room was rather dingy, there was no tub to take a bath (just a very minimalistic shower stall) and above all the internet was so slow and connection so spotty that I barely got to read and answer a few emails before becoming frustrated and falling asleep.  I dreamed that a professor that I had in junior college actually bought the 8x10 camera that I could not find in the clutter of the Duluth house and now was trying to sell it to me for an inflated price...
  In the morning I had to cut the 12x24in sheets that I just picked up at Main Trophy Supply.  I cut down 4 out of 25 sheets into 68 smaller plates - I'll be set for another couple of weeks now.  I am very lucky to have this wonderful cutter - it came with a ton of junk for which I overpaid when I bought the equipment of my San Diego darkroom.  This cutter rocks and saves me 35¢ for every plate that I cut.  Furthermore it is a very expensive cutter and I would never be able to talk myself into buying it if I didn't have it already.  On top of that this one can even be considered to be vintage by now as it was made in Western Germany - a country I grew up knowing, but that no longer exists.

 While I was at work the bus drew the attention of the owners of the motel (an Indian family).  I was going to make a couple of plates of the motel (as it was again a very typically American one) and so I offered them a rare opportunity to see the creation of a tintype.  The kids jumped on the opportunity, but their father waited outside of the darkroom - I think the heat and ether fumes were too much for him while the kids were so interested that they didn't seem to mind those factors too much.  Here they are watching the magic of a clearing plate come to life and the images created on the property of 'Best Motel'.

  I really didn't drive as far as I planned before seeing a scene that drew my attention - ruins of a barn were being burned and a very interesting boat was sitting just by the raging fire.  I turned around an pulled right onto the property, approached the owner who was idly watching the flames, explained what I was doing and was given permission to park anywhere and do what I needed to do.  I was very interested in how fire would show up on tintypes.  The answer came soon - NOT AT ALL!  Here is a an image (Fuji FP100c with Polaroid 450 camera) of what the fire looked like:

And here is the resulting two plates.  Notice that there seems to be no fire at all!  The exposures were 2 seconds at f16 and 1/4sec at f5.6 (the sun was going in and out explaining the difference).  I did suspect that I will not get much of the flames to show as collodion images are sensitive to UV and blue light, but I thought at least some glow will be recorded...  Nope - daylight completely overpowered the flame and the scene looks more like a post-war smoulder than a full-on fire. 

  I swear - there were 3ft tall flames in both of these compositions...   Collodion sees right through them though.  Oh well, it was well worth a try and the experience.  Plus the owner of the property got to observe a making of a tintype and then we had a very nice chat while I was washing the plates.

  After drying the above tintypes I said my goodbyes and pulled out of the driveway back onto highway 6.  While waiting for the cars to clear the way for Gilli I saw an interesting character walking on the side of the road heading west just about 40ft to the right of me.  I think this is the first pedestrian I saw on a side of the road for a long long while, so I paid close attention when I passed him.  he was pushing a baby stroller and on top of the gear loaded was a sign proclaiming that he is WALKING ACROSS USA!  WOW!  I couldn't believe my eyes, immediately pulled over, left the bus idling, grabbed my Rolleiflex, caught up to him and made one exposure before calling his attention (can't wait to actually develop that shot and send him a copy).  Turns out that his name is Don Erickson and he's walking from NY to CA to raise awareness about organ donation for Iowa Donation Network.  What an incredible coincidence to run into this guy!  We hugged, wished each other safe travels and good weather and went on in opposite directions.  Here is a shot of Don with Gilli in the background and the driveway that I pulled out from on the right.  He also asked me to stand behind his stroller and took a very similar picture with his phone - can't wait to see it!  Good luck Don!  It's a great cause and you are doing a wonderful thing.

  The rest of the day my mood was definitely uplifted by this most random encounter.  I drove a bit north to the shore of Lake Erie and found a nice little park from where I could make some exposures of this great body of water.  When I pulled in I saw a sweet-looking older couple sitting in folding chairs gazing at the water.  I decided that my first exposure will be of them, but I wanted it to be as natural as possible - they were so engulfed in the bliss of the moment that they didn't even turn around when I parked the bus just about 40ft behind them and set up my 4x5.  I really love the resulting plate as it really has a feel of a lot of my street images.  After developing the plate I showed it to them and they told me that today was their anniversary!  Here's to Mel and Carol - may you have many more happy anniversaries!  I sent them a copy of this image - hope they print it out nicely, the plate is really nice actually - the shadow detail and the fact that the sunny background both recorded were slightly surprising to me, maybe I'm getting better at this whole tintype thing...

  After my tintype paparazzi experience I made the following plate of the quiet beauty of Lake Erie's shoreline.  The Great Lakes are really something to behold...  Beautiful! 

  Washed and dried the plates and decided to have a sandwich at the table by which Mel and Carol were sitting (they had left by that time).  While I was making my sandwich a family had occupied the table, so I chose to sit not too far from them on a lonely bench.  Just as I sat down they had a delivery of pizza come to the park and I overheard one of them saying that they didn't have napkins, so I went to the bus where I have a plentiful supply of those and brought out a stack.  In return I was rewarded with a few slices of delicious local pizza pictured below.
   I wasn't about to get free food without some sort of a return favor (napkins just didn't seem enough), so I invited all 5 aboard the bus and gave them a really quick history of photography rundown - starting with camera lucida and shadow drawings, through daguerreotypes, tintypes and albumen prints and into platinum, carbon, gum and bromoil prints and finishing up with gelatin silver and Ansel Adams.  They thanked me profusely and said that since their two kids are home-schooled this was a really nice treat - that made me even happier than I already was and so I decided that it was time for this update.

  Now I am sitting at Blue Sky restaurant in Amherst OH, it's 3am, I'm hopped up on coffee and am actually ready to go back to the bus and varnish the 28 plates that I have recently made.  I really shouldn't fall back on both writing blog entries and varnishing plates - this update took me a few hours to write and then 28 plates are going to take me another few hours to varnish (especially seeing how I really should filter the varnish at this point).

  Tomorrow I will sleep in as long as the sun will allow me and go explore Cleveland.  

  How was that for a 100th post?


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Minnesota Plus

  I'm going to very quickly try to recall what happened to me in the past week and then get back on the road.

  First off here is an interesting story that happened while I was still in North Dakota.
  After leaving Shane's studio in Bismark I drove as far as could before getting tired.  By that time it was the middle of the night and I was ready to pull over anywhere to get some shut-eye time.  The exit I chose at random had a very small town that stretched along the road leading away from the freeway.  I don't like to park by occupied houses because when I bleed the air from my breaks it makes a very loud hissing sound that wakes up the entire neighborhood and raises panic in the minds of sleepy residents.  With that in mind I drove almost past the town and took a road that led to the right into the fields.  The road quickly turned to gravel and there was no place to pull over with corn fields on both sides of me.  I kept driving for a couple of miles before seeing a shadow of a large tree against a night sky and under that tree was a tractor with just enough space next to it to park Gilli.  I happily pulled over and went to sleep.  In the morning I was awoken rather early by a loud banging on the door - I knew that type of a knock can only come from the cops and indeed found a nice lady-sheriff peeking into the window when I drew the curtain open.  Of course I was on someone's property and upon seeing a big yellow bus that appeared in the middle of the night the owners called authorities.  I explained to the sheriff my situation and that I was planning on taking a picture of the tree and then taking off without damaging anything or causing any more havoc. She said that she'll relate that to the residents and left.  No later than 10 minutes after that the owner of the property appeared on a 4-wheel drive carrying a cup of coffee and a warm bunt cake.  We had a nice conversation and he said that his daughters might be interested in seeing the tintype-making process, so I told him I'd wait to start till he brought them over.  He came back not only with his two kids, but with his father as well and so I made the plate while being observed by three generations of the family.  The entire experience was much appreciated with many oohs dispensed throughout.  After the father left with the two kids grandpa stuck around through the washing process and explained that the tree I just made a plate of was the only tree around when his father bought the property in 1930s.  He said that at the time the tree was only 15ft tall and that his father planted all the other trees I was around me (and there were a lot of them including the ones on the horizon).  That being so and having seen the process of creation he asked if he could buy the plate from me and I was happy to agree.  I varnished the plate and handed it over in exchange for a check - the picture below is of that tree and the original plate is now residing withing a few hundred yards of what is possibly the oldest tree in the entire area.

  After that it was on to Fargo for me.  Fargo is a neat town that lays right on the Minnesota border and so it was my last chance to get some tintypes done in North Dakota.  I pulled into downtown and made the following two plates.

  Then I backtracked a bit because I thought I saw some more industrial-looking scenery on my way to downtown, but couldn't get to it because it was on the other side of the railroad tracks with no roads crossing over.  While searching for those spots I came across a most interesting collection of random large objects on the side of the road and just had to stop and explore.  Apparently the place is a repository of vintage junk - the owner, who came out to greet me, is an auctioneer and makes a living by rescuing unwanted stuff from all across the country, piling it up in front of his warehouse and selling it off little by little.  He was very proud of the various treasures that were strewed about the yard and even invited me into the warehouse where I found the most amazing assortment of most random objects I have ever seen.  Stuffed buffalo heads, horse-drawn carriages, Native American art, model cars, pieces of old farm equipment, furniture and much more were all in complete disarray making it quite a visual treat.  Here are the two plates I made in front of the place - if there was enough light in the warehouse I could have probably made a dozen plates there too...

  When I crossed over into Minnesota it was still light and I decided that I should pull over and make a couple more images happen.  Pretty soon I noticed a large compound of metal barns and thought they would make a good composition.  I don't really remember where exactly this is, but it is right off highway 10 and not far from the ND border.

  By the time I was done with the wash it was getting pretty dark.  I decided to drive until midnight and see where I land at that point.  The towns that I encountered were extremely small.  I was really hoping to find some life and maybe grab a beer at a local dive bar, but even though the bars in towns of population around 100 or less were open they only had one car in front of them and I assumed that it was the lonely bartender's vehicles.  Amazingly enough, right as the clock struck midnight I saw a town with population listed as 250 and in the middle of it was a bar with live music.  I can't describe the looks I got when I walked in there - I was the only person that they didn't recognize and I really felt like I was back in the villages of Japan.  Nonetheless a nice older couple struck up a conversation with me a even bought me my first drink.  What a place!  Tap beer is only $1.25!  The band was not bad and played some good American rock-n-roll.  There was even a guy wearing a San Diego t-shirt that made me feel more at home.  Here he is dancing with a lady who was responsible for my first beer.

  In the morning I kept on driving until I reached Duluth.  Duluth was the place that I reached last year and took a short route going south from there, so now I was in more familiar territory.  It's a nice old industrial city and I drove about until I found a few compositions to capture.

  Just south of Duluth, in Lake Nabagamon Wisconsin lives Aleasha - a friend of mine from Rainbow Gatherings whom I met in 2009 in New Mexico.  She is a very cool lady - welder, mechanic and teacher, fire dancer, artist and animal lover and in general a great, low-stress person to be around.  Her ranch is a place I love to visit and so I decided to stay there for a while and take a little break from the road.  Here are a couple of pictures taken on Buttercup Ranch, as she calls it.
 Solorized Tintype (my first attempt at this technique)

Earth Rover (an art project built by Aleasha)

Aleasha fixing a donated Ford Fiesta
Wood Pile 

   Duluth is only 30mi up from Lake Nabagamon and I decided to go back there in search of some more compositions and with a plan to test out my 8x20 camera.  Luckily, back in Bismark, Shane has donated to me a liter of silver nitrate, so now I could finally fill the enormous sensitizing tank for those size plates.  I drove about until I found a way to access the grain elevators that are very prominent in the Duluth landscape.  The place I thought would have the best perspective of them was a salvage yard and I had to get permission to park there.  Lovely ladies at the office were very helpful and gave me a hard hat and a yellow jacket to wear and told me that I could park there for about 1.5 hours.  Well....  I ended up being there almost 3 hours and this is the resulting best plate.  8x20 in is infinitely harder than simple 4x5 or 5x7 and I'm going to need to practice a lot more before I can pull them off faster and cleaner.  I like this one though, glad I pushed on.

  While I was shooting Jillian, a good friend of Aleasha's, called me up and invited me to a small get-together on Lake Superior.  The darkroom was hot and stuffy, so I was happy to jump on the opportunity to join some folks for a swim.  Lake Superior was very calm and relatively warm and I very much enjoyed seeing Jillian again.  The only downfall was an over-abundance of small flies, which kept biting with a bite as vicious as that of a horse fly...  Still - isn't it pretty?  It's so big it totally looks like the ocean.

  This is a bit off from the timeline, but an interesting story and I'm happy to relate it.
  At some point while being in Duluth I stopped by a local camera store called First Photo and asked them if they had anything really old or odd for sale.  They said that unfortunately they didn't have anything of the sort, but gave me a number for a local repairman and said that if anyone would have anything like that it would be him.  I called him upand met him at his home/office.  He was very impressed with the bus and actually donated an odd little camera that I will do my best to use for making small tintypes.   Also he said that he recalls there having been a collector who died last year and left behind a pile of boxes filled with random old cameras.  That sounded very exciting and I asked if he had any way of getting in touch with his relatives to see if that stuff was still around.  He said that though he didn't have any numbers he did remember the last name and so I wrote down every number in White Pages associated with that last name.  There were 6 of them and the next day I started going down the list until at last I spoke to the son of the deceased photographer who gave his sister's number saying that she lives in the house where the stuff is stored.  After calling her I arranged a meeting for later that evening and soon found myself in a house crowded with boxes that went up to the ceiling.  Boxes upon boxed, in front of boxes and behind boxes - layers and layers of boxes.  It appears that her father was not only into collecting cameras, but also guns, stamps and old radio and television equipment.  There were boxes of vacuum tubes, stamp albums and envelopes from all over the world, transmitters, receivers and of course cases of guns, shotguns and rifles.  For the safety of the household I am not disclosing the name or location of this stash, but I am happy to say that after digging there on that evening and coming back the next day to dig some more I was able to find a lot of cameras and other photo-related stuff that I bought.  One of the coolest things in there was a box filled to the brim with Lantern Slide making materials and two large boxed of Lantern Slides.  It appears that the photographer was one of the last to not only process his own medium format slide film, but also to make them into Lantern Slides and I saw (though did not purchase) a box filled with what must have been a few hundred or even a thousand slides - all neatly stacked up in filing boxes, but, as usual, missing any labels and descriptions.  Now I have the supplies to make my own slides - anything from masks to cover glass and sealing tape.  The tough part is going to be actually making the black and white images on glass, but I'm hoping to take a workshop on that when the time for that project gets closer.  Oh yeah, I also did a couple of tintypes while parked in front of the house to illustrate what I do.
Back Yard Barrel

College Students - they were all invited aboard the bus for a demonstration of the process and I can't tell you how excited and amazed they were to see the image appear on the plate and then clear in the fixer....   They also were giddy with excitement to see the row of Polaroid pictures I have in the bus - it seems that a couple of them have never seen real Polaroid pictures and they were amazed at their colors.  I love what I do!

  After relaxing at Buttercup Ranch I headed to Minneapolis.  As some of my readers may remember I am in the process of researching the history of the Lantern Slides taken by John Rahill in 1917-18 in Russia, China and Japan.  Rahill was working with YMCA at the time and the larges archive of that organization happens to be located at University of Minnesota.  Once again I found myself deep in letters and field notes of the brave and idealistic men who went into a vastly complicated and dangerous situation and tried to help out in any way they could.  This time I was able to find some more interesting information including the exact dates of John's departure and return, the ship he was traveling by and much more, so it was a great day at the archives. 

  Afterward I went to meet another wet plate photographer by the name of Richard Jones.  Like Shane, Richard has no formal education in photography and started doing wet plate out of sheer fascination.  He took a workshop from Quinn Jacobs in Denver and says that it's the best investment of money and time that he has ever made.  His plates prove it - they are clean and well precessed.  Here is Richard at work in his makeshift bathroom-darkroom and the resulting plate of yours truly and Gilli-the-Gillig

This copy is a bit bark - the original is better.

  After meeting Richard I drove down toward Rochester (the Minnesota one) and met with Peggy Williams - a relative of my lovely ex-girlfriend Rachel.  She lives in Oronoco and was kind enough not offer me a place to stay here and I was happy to oblige.  Peggy, along with her husband and his 92 year old WWII veteran father lives a bit out of town on a nice piece of land up on a hill.  There are horses, chickens and apple-eating dogs here.  I have been here over the past two night and now feel completely rested and ready for more road-time.  Here are the plates that I made during the say.  After demonstrating the process Peggy expressed interest in buying a plate of the house and that made me really happy.

Peggy's home

Yet another cloud shot.  This cloud was messing with me - every time I would shoot it would cover the sun and then when I would emerge from the darkroom after developing the plate it would let the sun shine and make me want to coat another plate. This went on for the three previous shots, so when I refocused once again (in nice sunset light) and came out to see that the sun is once again covered I just pointed the camera at that cloud and shot it as to show the wet plate gods that I can not be deterred.  I think it came out rather well and after that the cloud almost dissolved leaving room for a very nice sunset.

  OK, I think this is the bulk of everything that happened in the past week.  Now I am going to explore the smaller highways if eastern Minnesota and Wisconsin.  I think I'll stop by Madison - it's a place I enjoyed very much when I was there last time in 2002 and I can't wait to see it again.