Photographs by Frank

27 January 2023

Alt Print Exchange

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Cuprotype — Frank @ 11:30 PM

Several weeks ago I agreed to participate in an alternative process print exchange that was organized on one of the on-line fora I frequent.

A print exchange in its simplest form, means that a group of people agree to send a print to each of the folks who participate. In this case nine folks (including myself) enrolled; eight of us are from the US and one from The Netherlands.

I spent a full day on Wednesday printing cuprotypes for this exchange. Yesterday, I trimmed the prints, signed them and packaged them. This morning I took the envelopes to the post office.

The ‘rules’ of the print exchange require one to send a single print. However, being an overachiever (Ha!) I decided to send three prints*… one photo each from the three northern New England states, each toned differently.

I chose to send cuprotypes as this process is not commonly used even among experienced alt process printers. Thus, I figured I could do a little evangelizing for this interesting, inexpensive and relatively simple process.

Stalwart readers will recognize all of these photographs and may even remember seeing them as cuprotypes in the past. I make no apologies for the repetition. They should be ‘new’ to the members of the print exchange

The Bellows Falls image and the Tiptop House image are older exposures (from January 2012 and September 2013, respectively) that I knew looked good printed in the red-brown of cuprotype.

The Tiptop House print was supposed to end up a chocolate brown tone rather than the red-brown of the untoned print. Obviously this toning method did not quite work as planned. I’m not sure why but I have a hypothesis. I won’t bother describing all of the technical details and glitches here.

The Burnt Head image is from our trip to Monhegan Island this past June. I was hoping that it would look good in the more neutral tone of a cuprotype treated with an iron-based toner.

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Bellows Falls (RR Depot detail)
Bellows Falls (RR Depot detail)
Tiptop House on the summit of Mount Washington
Tiptop House on the summit of Mount Washington
Burnt Head (Monhegan Island, ME)
Burnt Head (Monhegan Island, ME)

* Really, I was having trouble on narrowing down the choices!!!!

Snow Scenes

Filed under: Monadnock Region,Winter — Frank @ 10:30 PM

Today was the first day in several weeks that we have had significant sunshine. Late morning, I noticed the partly cloudy skies and decided that some photography was in order.

I made the rounds of some of my favorite spots in the northeast corner of the Monadnock region (Antrim, Hancock, Harrisville and Nelson).

By half-past three, the clouds were growing heavier and the sun was getting lower in the sky. I headed home.

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Hedgehog Mountain
Hedgehog Mountain
Skatutakee Mountain
Skatutakee Mountain
Harrisville Belfrey #1
Harrisville Belfrey #1
Harrisville Belfrey #2
Harrisville Belfrey #2
Seaver Road Barn #1
Seaver Road Barn #1
Seaver Road Barn #2
Seaver Road Barn #2
Tree and Sky
Tree and Sky
Snowy Tree
Snowy Tree

Snow!

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Winter — Frank @ 10:00 PM

Back at Christmastime we had about fourteen inches of snow on the ground. Then it warmed up and several periods of rain washed most of it away. Early January was just dry… no snow, no rain. Then, over the last roughly two weeks, we have had three snow storms. The first ‘event’ dropped about a foot of sticky snow. Several days later we got another seven or eight inches of similarly sticky snow. Two days ago we got another two inches of snow followed by heavy rain.

The good news is that the last storm finally cleared the snow off our solar panels. The bad news is that all of that heavy, water-laden snow from the front of the house landed in our driveway! Snow with traits similar to concrete cannot be moved with the snowblower. Thus, I had to use our Snow Bull, a walk behind snow plow we bought a couple of winters ago just for times such as this. The problem was where to put all of the snow. Let’s just say that there is quite a pile towards the end of our driveway and that we won’t be getting the camper out of the driveway early this spring!

Anyway, after the second storm, I took a short walk around the ‘neighborhood’ and tried to find interesting patterns amongst the snow covered trees.

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Snowy Trees #1
Snowy Trees #1
Snowy Trees #2
Snowy Trees #2
Snowy Trees #3
Snowy Trees #3
Snowy Trees #4
Snowy Trees #4
Snowy Trees #5
Snowy Trees #5
Snowy Trees #6
Snowy Trees #6
Snowy Stone Wall
Snowy Stone Wall

14 January 2023

Mount Monadnock, Etc.

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Winter — Frank @ 10:30 PM

Last Monday after lunch, I headed out to photograph Mount Monadnock from Leadmine Road in Nelson. The weather was promising… scattered clouds and nice light.

On the drive over, I decided to head to another favorite Monadnock viewpoint in Marlboro before continuing on to Nelson. I never made it to Nelson. The constantly changing clouds kept me busy for well over an hour and by that time the light was beginning to fade, so I headed home.

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Mount Mondanock (View 1)
Mount Mondanock (View 1)
Mount Mondanock (View 2)
Mount Mondanock (View 2)
Three Trees
Three Trees
Cupola
Cupola
Barn Door
Barn Door

Two Photos

Filed under: Landscapes,Winter — Frank @ 9:45 PM

Most of the time I take a camera with me when I leave the house. One never knows when one will come across something interesting to photograph. However, my trip to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago was one of those times when I went camera-less… much to my chagrin.

On my way home at dusk, we were treated with a spectacular sunset. As I was driving by this riverside farm field covered in frozen flood waters, I was ruing the fact that I lacked a camera. I was well past the field when I remembered that I did, in fact, have a camera with me… my cell phone! I turned around and made the photograph you see below. It came out okay for a phone photo.

The second photo (below) was made a few days ago while standing on the stone arch bridge on Beard Road. We have had a lot of rain along with bit of snow recently. Thus, the brook was raging. I really wanted a much lower viewpoint, but upon noting the ice and snow covered rocks along the shore I opted for the safer spot; old age does that to you!

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Sunset (27 Dec 2022)
Sunset (27 Dec 2022)
Gleason Falls
Gleason Falls

6 January 2023

Three New Salted-paper Prints

Filed under: Alternative Processes,Landscapes,Salted-paper Prints — Frank @ 6:30 PM

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening in my basement dim room. After my recent flirtation with cuprotype*, I have returned to making prints on salted-paper. I made three useful prints.

The three exposures shown here were made in December. The first is another view of Mount Monadnock and Silver Lake from Leadmine Road in Nelson. (I am still working to get the ‘perfect’ exposure of this scene, but this one is pretty good.)

The second exposure is an example of the adage which circulates among landscape photographers… i.e. “Remember to look behind you.” The rock outcropping in this photo was off to the right near the camera when I made the first exposure.

I have probably made as many exposures of the outcropping as I have the grand view of the lake and mountain. However, the light on the out cropping is really only nice in the morning. Whereas, I think one can make nice photos of the grand view in either morning or evening light.

The third print is of a new (to me!) barn in Harrisville. One my way home from a previous trip to Nelson, I followed another landscape photographer’s adage… i.e. “Turn down any dirt road you come across.” Many times these are just roads through the woods with nothing of particular photographic interest. Sometimes, though, you find interesting barns!

The first print is my standard ‘large’ size (a 6×7 .5 inch image on 8×10 inch paper). The other two are 4×5 inch images on 6×7.5 inch paper; my standard small print.

All these prints were made on Legion Revere Platinum paper. This paper is specifically made for alt process printing and is somewhat less expensive than the Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag I usually use**. So far, I am liking this paper a lot except for the shipping***.

The odd paper size for small prints comes from the way I cut up large sheets of paper. It is my habit to buy paper in large sheets; 22×30 inch sheets are a common size. This allows me the most flexibility in sheet size for various project. However, my standard way to cut up the large sheets yields six 8×10 inch sheets and four 6×7.5 inch sheets from a 22×30 inch sheet with zero waste.

Enough technical talk! Here are the prints:

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Mount Monadnock/Silver Lake
Mount Monadnock/Silver Lake
Outcropping & Sky
Outcropping & Sky
Hill Top Barn
Hill Top Barn

* I’m tempted to return to cuprotype in the near future. There have been some interesting developments in the ferricyanide toning step yielding cleaner highlights. I also want to perfect cuprotype on cloth.

** The Revere Platinum is about sixty percent the cost of the Platinum Rag. Otherwise the two papers are quite comparable. They are both heavy (300/310 gsm) smooth, bright white and contain no carbonate buffers. The last feature is important for most alt process printing. When one uses papers not specially made for alt process printing you need to pre-treat papers to remove the carbonate present in most watercolor or printmaking papers. This is not difficult but it adds an additional step to the process.

*** I buy most of my paper from a small company (Acuity Papers) that sells only art paper. When I say ‘small’, I mean ‘small’. As far as I know the company consists of two brothers. Anyway, these folks really know how to package large sheets of paper so that they are not damaged in shipping. However, they do not stock the Revere Platinum.

Thus, I ordered the Revere Platinum from B&H Photo, a large, well-known photography/camera store in New York City. B&H is a great company to buy from. However, they clearly know very little about safely shipping large sheets of fragile paper.

For the first shipment, the package of 22×30 inch sheets was rolled up and stuffed into a nine inch square (by roughly 40 inch long) box. The entire stack of paper was crimped as it was carelessly rolled up. Furthermore, the plastic wrapper was torn and tattered. B&H, to their credit, were very easy to deal with and issued a RMA including a prepaid shipping label quickly. Of course I had to wait for them to receive the return and resend another package. They took my complaint to heart and shipped the second package of paper flat. I’ll spare you the details (which included FedEx misdirecting the package) but it arrived in barely acceptable condition. I am hoping to convince Acuity to stock then Revere Platinum by the time I need more!

1 January 2023

2022 Adams Dozen

Filed under: Adams Dozen — Frank @ 11:00 PM

Here is the latest iteration of my annual ‘Adams Dozen’, a tradition I began in 2011 (see this post for the first iteration and an explanation of its genesis). It is difficult to believe that this is my twelfth version.

One can see all of the previous iterations here.

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Iron Work / Window
Iron Work / Window
Cemetery Gate (Temple, NH)
Cemetery Gate (Temple, NH)
Mount Monadnock / Silver Lake
Mount Monadnock / Silver Lake
Aurora Damsel (male)
Aurora Damsel (male)
Blue Dasher (imm. male or female?)
Blue Dasher (imm. male or female?)
Poppy
Poppy
Loon with Chick
Loon with Chick
Surf
Surf
Summer (Freshly Cut Hay Field)
Summer (Freshly Cut Hay Field)
Three Pears and an Apple
Three Pears and an Apple
Piscataquog Riverbank Foliage (New Boston, NH)
 Piscataquog Riverbank Foliage (New Boston, NH)
Torn and Tattered
Torn and Tattered

Interestingly, this first post of 2023 includes the nine hundredth (!) gallery of photos that I have added to this site since I began blogging (on 24 May 2010).

Additionally, for the those keeping track of such things. My Lightroom catalog says that I made 7,400 exposures in 2022. This is number is quite a bit lower than my average of 11,671 exposures per year since 2013, the first full year that I used Lightroom. However, this is not my least productive year to date; that would be 2020 with 6665 exposures.

Year End Outing

Filed under: Landscapes,Monadnock Region,Winter — Tags: — Frank @ 6:00 PM

On Friday, I headed out to Leadmine Road hoping to make a photo of Mount Monadnock/Silver Lake before the current warm spell removes all of the snow. The skies were okay but the light was miserable. I think that the sun is just too far south this time of year to nicely illuminate the north face of the mountain. I did not make any exposures of the grand view but I’ll keep trying.

I did, however, make a few photos of the rock outcropping near where I like to stand for the distant view and a few of the woods road near where I park the truck. On the way home, I stopped by this hilltop barn in Harrisville that I recently discovered.

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Outcropping
Outcropping
Outcropping Detail #1
Outcropping Detail #1
Outcropping Detail #2
Outcropping Detail #2
Woods Road
Woods Road
Hilltop Barn (camera obscura)
Hilltop Barn (camera obscura)
Hilltop Barn
Hilltop Barn

21 December 2022

2022 Winter Solstice Print

Those of you who have been following this blog for some time are probably familiar with my ‘Winter Solstice Print” tradition; if you are not I refer you to this post, where there are some details.

This year’s print (the tenth) is a cuprotype, titled “Two Pears”.

In late August, Joan picked the remaining pears from the tree in our yard because the local squirrels were decimating the crop. I had been experimenting with cuprotype since early August. Watching these pears on the kitchen counter for several weeks, I decided that a photograph of the pears was an apt subject for the warm tones of cuprotype and went to work. The exposure was made on 13 September 2022 in my basement studio.

This scan does not do justice to the originals which do not have the ‘grain’ seen here. However, I seem to have neglected to save a print for myself and thus can not make a better scan!!!

Sunny Winter Solstice

Filed under: Landscapes,Winter — Frank @ 10:15 PM

I had a meeting this afternoon at the Vermont Center for Photography. Leaving the house just before eleven, I took a very (and I mean very) indirect route* to Brattleboro. I did not make many photos but I did stop in Newbury, NH and photographed the snowy/rime-y peak of Mount Sunapee. I stopped in Chester, VT for a late lunch. After lunch, I made some photographs in the center of Chester before heading to Brattleboro. I was only a half hour late for my meeting!

One nice thing about photographing on the winter solstice is that the light comes in at a nice low angle… all day long. All of these photos were made between noon and 3 PM. Try that at the summer solstice and you are likely to make yucky photos.

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Mount Sunapee (three frame pano)
Mount Sunapee (three frame pano)
Chester (VT) Academy
Chester (VT) Academy
Public Tomb (Chester, VT)
Public Tomb (Chester, VT)
Victorian House (Chester, VT)
Victorian House (Chester, VT)
Porch Flag (Chester, VT)
Porch Flag (Chester, VT)

* Take a quick look at a map if you want to see just how indirect!

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