Parry’s Lip Fern (Cheilanthesparryi) growing beside fossilized coral (several hundred million years old) in Clark County, NV. This was one of my favorite photo-ops and one of the few cases where I had a specific subject in mind before actually finding it. I had seen lots of ferns and plenty of fossils at this spot, but I really wanted to show the juxtaposition of their patterns together—one living, the other as ancient remains. After a few visits, I finally found what I was looking for!
I took part in a workshop last weekend with Print Block, a textile printing studio founded by a group of textile artists in 2010. I’ve been admiring their work from afar since they appeared, so it was a great chance to see their studio while learning some new printmaking techniques and experimenting with fabrics and tiny drops of pigment. I was particularly enamoured with their range of wooden print blocks, later discovered to be made mostly by the Indian block company (goodbye savings), and we also did some stencil screen printing, which I’d never tried. Stencil screen printing, compared to the photo emulsion technique, has the advantage of fewer materials and immediate results - there’s no acetate, emulsion or exposure time, just newsprint and a scalpel. A great table fit for royal banquets runs the length of the studio, useful for printing long stretches of fabric with repeated patterns. Pierce and I went to a talk hosted by Print Block last year as part of Design Week, and the reams of fabric dropped impressively from Georgian floor to ceiling. Next week, building a soft fabric printing table. Our house gets smaller every month.
When, Why and How to Save A Bad Photo: follow the link to my blog to see the video.
While the best option is to make the image right when you are taking it, sometimes factors are beyond your control. Every once in a while there are images we need to save. Here is an image I didn’t get right while capturing it, why I wanted to save it, and how it was possible. I post this, not to endorse making bad images, but because I was going to share the image and wanted to point out what I had done wrong and how I saved it. Being a photographer, I often admire the work of others and never realize what they may have had to do to “save” an image that I am enthralled with because I only ever see the finished product. While I’ll admit that I don’t have to do this much work on most of my images, there are times when the image I like best in the group may not start out looking the best. This video shows the image sequence I had to work with and explains why I worked so hard to make this photo of Savineau and his horse usable. I know that some photographers will not be happy with me suggesting that you can save photos in editing, so I will point out that there are several factors you can’t fix: timing, composition/framing (to a degree), focus, and blurry images due to slow shutter speed. I got these items right on location, but did need to fix my exposure and straighten the image.