Sunday, June 7, 2015


(another phone pic--all I have available here)

The workshop ended yesterday.  It was a tremendous workshop, a good group of people.  I got my money's worth.  Now all that is left to do is return home and spend a bunch more money to get set up for making platinum/palladium prints.  And it is a lot.  I need a dedicated printer to make the negative images on transparencies.  Then I need to buy special inks to do that.  I need to buy some software to run RIPs for the printer and a printing tool so that it works with the Epson tool.  I need to buy some other software, too, that will help me develop the image.  I need to buy hundreds of dollars worth of platinum and palladium chemicals and papers to print on.  I need to buy humidifiers and LED lights that give off no ultraviolet light.  And finally, I need to buy an exposure unit of the type they use in commercial print shops.  I am hoping to find a used one for hundreds rather than thousands of dollars. 

What I have just learned can keep me broke.  But the prints. . . .

We went to the Bostick and Sullivan  one day to see what they have and what they do.  They gave us the tour. . . oh my!  The place is a small wreck, but it is full of beautiful pictures.  They showed us many prints and explained the technical aspects of what was done to make them.  I was inspired.  Then they gave us a tour of the facilities.  The son (Bostick and Sullivan have been married for about forty years) is a wet plate collodion photographer, and he answered every question I needed answered to set myself up at home to make tintypes.  The workshop has turned into a two-for-one for me.  I will be able to spend even more money now to make both palladium prints and colloidal prints.  I will definitely need to sell some things--hopefully pictures--to keep myself going.  But I might be able to. I'll tell you why. 

We had been asked to bring prints from our workshop for Bostick and Sullivan to see.  It was to be a critique, of sorts, where the old masters made appraisals and gave advice to the newbies.  At this point, we had only worked for two days out of the five day workshop, so the best prints were still to come.  But we laid the prints out onto a prepared table for perusal.  They were noticeably moved as the prints were very well done.  The process is known to be finicky and difficult, but we were learning (at a high price) to do it beautifully.  We had.  Bostick, Sullivan, and Son were all there looking.  They picked up my print and asked who had done it.  They asked me many questions and gave it high praise.  I was very, very pleased, of course (I might say "relieved").  Yes, the prints I made looked very, very good. 

On Thursday night, the workshop guru made us all dinner.  We brought the wine, and there was plenty.  He grilled shrimp and vegetables.  Salsa and chips.  The evening was luminous, the sky a clear, darkened blue, the setting sun fiery.  It was all good 'til one of the fellows brought out the mescal and marijuana.  Bubble, bubble, toil, trouble. 

Some people just don't know their limits.  I, however, a seasoned veteran. . . .

I texted the picture to a friend.  She wanted me to bring home the bottle, full, I presumed, but impossible.  At the end of the workshop, however, it was presented to me as a gift.  We'll see if it makes it back unbroken. 

Now I have three and a half days to take in the sites.  I am holed up in my cheap-ass hotel, but it is fine.  I have internet most of the time and a bed and a kitchen and a bath, though there is no comfortable place to sit.  Today I will go gallery hopping.  I must tell you one thing, though--I am loved in the west.  In the east, I am barely tolerated, but I get more attention here than is good for me.  It will make it difficult for me to go home.  For there is one thing for certain. . . I love me lots of attention.  Oh, I do, I do, I do.