Rachel in her Grandad's cabin, New Hampshire. June, 2005.

Rachel in her Grandparents’ cabin, New Hampshire. June, 2005.
Scan from 6×6 negatives

Much has been shown, written, and published about the relationships between photographers. I love, live with, am married to, a photographer. What cannot ever be adequately written about is what one person in a relationship grants to the other in that moment of being photographed. For all the years, all the countless moments of stillness that you have granted me, Rachel, thank you. Happy birthday my friend – you are the best!

Robin Gillanders, Sewanee, TN. June, 1994

Robin Gillanders, Sewanee, TN. June, 1994
scan from 8×10 negative

Geoff Frosh. 1988

 

Geoffrey Frosh, 1988
8×10 inches, platinum-palladium print on Fabriano 5

Tam McPhail, in his studio. Orkney, Scotland. October, 2014.

Tam McPhail, in his studio. Orkney, Scotland. October, 2014.

Figures, Barbara Hepworth and Robin Gillanders, Pier Arts Centre

Figures: Barbara Hepworth and Robin Gillanders, Pier Arts Centre, Stromness, Orkney. October, 2014.

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Mike Ware, Near Syria, Virginia, USA. October, 2014.
Digital photograph

I presented, a couple of weeks ago, at  a symposium on platinum-palladium photography, at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. It was an impressive gathering of curators, conservators, scientists, historians and photographers. To stand up in front of this group was quite daunting, to talk about something that has infatuated me for over 30 years was an honor, but most of all, to publicly thank Mike Ware was the sweetest and greatest privilege. This is an extract from my introduction…

“Before going further, a few nods of thanks: to all of you for being here, and sharing in the work and dedication of Connie McCabe and this extensive network of collaborators and colleagues. And one more expression of deep thanks, and one I could say for every second of the [the rest of my presentation] – I would not be standing here were it not for the patience, generosity, creativity and sheer brilliance of one person: Mike Ware, my friend, thank you. “

Brooke Irvine: Crossed Vines, Sewanee, TN. September, 2014. Pall

 

Brooke Irvine: Crossed Vines, Sewanee, TN. September, 2014.
Palladium print on 100% cellulose Weston paper, from 6x6cm negative.  5.5×5.5 cm [courtesy Brooke Irvine]

Over the next few weeks, I am going to occasionally post new prints by students taking an upper-level photography class with me. They work with medium to 8×10 format cameras, and make palladium and platinum-palladium prints. Some of them are new to all of this, some have only taken one other photo class, and one has never taken any photo classes.

Trees. Shadow. Fog.Trees. Shadow. Fog. Sewanee, TN. December, 20

Trees. Shadow. Fog. Sewanee, TN. December, 2007.
Palladium-platinum print on vellum from 11×14 negative.

 

So, that’s how I got to the above image, from this image below…

 

George Mackay Brown, Foss, Perthshire. 1985

 

George Mackay Brown, Foss, Perthshire. 1985
palladium-platinum print from 8×10 negative

Globes. Winter. Fog.

Globes. Winter. Fog.Sewanee, TN. December, 2007.
Scanned image from 11×14 negative (I hope to post a scan here from palladium-platinum print soon)

Almost done with this didactic traipse. What is obscured the moment we see; obscured by being seen? And the corollary, how then do we consider the obscured? I think obscurity can be accessed by gazing, and gazing requires humility and kindness, or gracefulness. And humility and gracefulness in the image is all about transitions, and the manner by which infinity is rendered between fixed points (thank you Roger Vail), where process has no consequence other than to get you somewhere.

The next image, tomorrow, is all about obscurity and gazing. But I could have only made it by ‘thinking’ in the language of its making.

Orb i

 

Orb i, Sewanee, TN. December, 2007.
Palladium-platinum print from 11×14 negative