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The Hidden World of the Nearby

An Odyessy


It seems overdramatizing to call my quest for images an odyessy, yet 28 years is a long time, and wearing out 2 1/2 automobiles is a long drive, especially when you don’t know where to start nor do you know where you are going.

My first inspiration was Eliot Porter, or I should say one picture by Eliot Porter. It was Redbud Tree In Bottomland, the cover image of his signature book, Intimate Landscapes.

The second inspiration was seeing dye transfer prints for the first time. Oddly one time was in South Station in Boston in a display case. The second time was the Carl Siembab Gallery on Newbury Street in Boston.

In the mid-1970s there was no good way to make color prints, with one exception. Color purity and especially control over contrast and saturation had nowhere near the artistic satisfaction of black and white printing.

However dye transfer was a sufficiently difficult process that many photographers who tried it abandoned it. I watched master printer Bill Butler make a print, ostensably as a first step in teaching me. However, the equipment was non-standard. Everyone made their own nor was the process standardized. I told Bill there was no hope but to build my own lab where I could experiment at my own pace and make mistakes at my own pace.

So it was time to play engineer. I walled off a little more than 1/2 a garage and constructed a lab specifically for making dye transfer prints. It took a full year.

The slideshow below was made in my lab. The photographs are by a dear friend, Marlene Nelson.

DYE TRANSFER SLIDE SHOW

Along with the slide show is an outline of the steps necessary to make a print.

As best as I can tell it was work on Technicolor that provided the basis for dye transfer printing. More information can be found in Wikipaedia under Dye Transfer Process.

The real issue is whether or not I should make myy own prints but from the beginning I found there was no choice. For documentary photography there is wiggle room. For a fine art landscape there is none, whether anyone agrees with me or not that I have chosen wisely in how I made the print.

Kodak discontinued dye transfer in 1993 despite there promise to continue the process. It was, however, a blessing because it forced conversion to digital (and the purchase of a $35,000 drum scanner. This led to experimentation with other printing processes and I will return to that later because simultaneously there is the story of finding my own red buds.

Poster Porter Intimate Landscapes

Next, Next, Next & Next

The following ten years could fill a book. However, this synoposis will haave to do:

1. EverColor Fine Art. I became CEO of a small California company.

2. Laser exposure of chromogenic paper (the LightJet) 3. Dye sublimentation printer.

4. Ultra=stable Permanent Color prints. 5.

We we arrived at our new home in Northborough, Massachusetts there was waiting the first of the large format Epson Ink Jet printers: the 9800. The was followed by the 9900 and then by the P9000 ten color printer.

Finding My Own Red Buds

Where does one look for pictutures when one doesn’t have a clue what to look for. Click

My Landscape Photogaphs

Links To Landscape Galleries


A Pond In Maine ~ A Pond In N.H. ~ Blueberry Barrens ~ Grasses ~
Grasses With Dew ~ Ground Covers ~ Frozen ~ Meadows
Milkweed ~ Ocean’s Edge ~ Salt Marshes
Trees–Autumn
Trees–Spring ~ On The Water ~ Walden ~ Wyman’s Meadow-Walden I explored the eastern United States for 28 years with a 4" x 5" view camera exposing 20,000 sheets of film.

The images I made were mostly from ordinary roadsides, country roads and often Interstate Highways. Expecially along the Mass Pike these roads provided views I could not have achieved any other way, high and close to the tree canopy. This made it possible to photograph the textures of trees budding in springtime. This provided a sense of excitement in capturing something I admired but was usually impossible to photograph.

If you move your cursor to the lower right of the slide show (above) and click, it will fill your screen. At the top of the page on either side are links to my 18 landscape. These links are reproduced below as well as links to my recent work.

The earth still sings, but it is a mournful cry. For those who listen, it is wrenching beyoond words for the time of regression has passed.

So we turn to other ways of expressing joy and beauty. Flowers grown in our gardens create fabulous trays of blossoms and petals.

But there is always the temtation to wander, to use the minds that creation has given us, and so come the contradane and the horn.

Decades of experiments bring somthing entirely new, for the creation has us...to create,a and so we do just we are intended to do in my view. We experiment until something touches us, and then having learning we experiment more until something begins to feel right.<

HIDDEN WORLDS VI

MY ROAD HOME

It is hard to say that any one image is typical of what made The Hidden World of the Nearby. However, Monet's Meadow still seems to me, after 30 years, to be remarkable. I passed this corner every day for 18 years going to and from work. In the late summer of 1981 it looked unusually green and I stopped, parked across the street and happened to catch a glimmer of the setting sun. As is true for virtually all my images, this was the only time in my years of passing it that it looked like this. Click on the image. It will take you to the gallery for a better view. Thanks to Google for satellite and street views. Monet's Meadow Monet's Meadow Woodland Road, Southborough, Massachusetts, September 1981, JW 0044

Monet's Meadow

Woodland Road, Southborough, Massachusetts, September 1981, JW 0044

THE BOSTON-WORCESTER TURNPIKE is always referred to locally as Route 9. It is a very commercial, busy commuter highway, divided, full of stop lights and to be avoided at rush hour. Woodland road is a typical suburban access road and this intersection was about two miles from my home. These details may seem superfluous but it is the ordinarious of the location that makes, to my mind a photograph like Monet's Meadow amazing. Where did this come from? Why did it disappear never to return. I photographed it once just before sunset. You can see the yellow highlights from the sun low in the sky. The reeds, grasses, two red flowers and a suggestion of a stream all seem to me like a flower arrangement.

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