Wednesday, February 28, 2024

In Focus

The official opening of the InFocus Edmonton exhibition was on Saturday February 24th at the Art Gallery of Alberta.  One of the shows, that is a part of the overall exhibition, was on display at this location.  There are several other venues around the city that will display the other shows.  The two pieces that I had accepted are showing at the Wild Skies Gallery.  This is a space in the Renaissance Hotel out at the Edmonton International Airport.  There is also a show at the Red Brick Common in Stony Plain, as well as several others.  More information about the event is available on their website.


This year is the tenth anniversary of the event.  I have had my work included in eight of the ten exhibitions.  The other two times I was busy and didn't get around to submitting anything in time.  This year, in commemoration of the anniversary there was also a book produced.  I bought a copy of the book and one of my images was included in it.
This time around my friends Steve, Arturo and Louis also had work accepted for exhibition.  Arturo won runner up in the Portrait award.  Louis was the winner of the landscape category.
The opening was well attended with many of the photographers present.  Margarit joined me and we enjoyed the afternoon.
I have known Alexis Marie and her husband Aaron since the first show a decade ago.  I really appreciate all the effort that they go to in order to make this event such a success.  I am a sucker for getting involved in managing things... like my hockey team, and my photography club, but that pales in comparison to organizing an event such as this.  I commend them for all the hard work.




Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Infrared compared to Panchromatic Film - Example Two

Here is another example comparing a negative shot on Kodak High Speed Infrared, to a typical panchromatic negative.  
I took these shots of some hoodoos in evening light, not far from East Coulee, Alberta.  The upper image is the one that I shot on Kodak High Speed Infrared.  The film was loaded into the film holder on October 10th 2022, and the image was taken on October 16th 2022.  The exposed film was pulled from the holder on November 14th 2022, and stored in the fridge until I developed the film on January 14th 2024.  The film reached its expiry date in August of 2001.
I shot this on October 16th 2022 at about 5:30 in the evening.  I used my one of my Ebony view cameras and a Fujinon-W 125mm lens.  A number 25 red filter was used, with no filter factor.  The film was rated at 100 iso and exposed at F20.0 for 1/15 second.  Development was in Kodak T-Max Developer, diluted 1:6, for 6:45 minutes at 22C [71F].  This one turned out pretty well, and even though it sat in the fridge for a year before being developed, it was exposed shortly after being loaded.  In my experience, prompt exposure and then a return to cold storage seems to yield reasonable results.
The second shot was actually taken moments prior to the infrared version.  It was taken on Kodak T-Max 100 film, rated at 80 iso and given Normal development in 510 Pyro.  Exposure was with the same camera and lens, and a number 25 red filter with a three stop filter factor was used.  Exposure was at F18.0 for 1/2 second.  Development was with hangers in open tanks for 7:45 minutes at 24C [75F].
The images actually look fairly similar, though there are some obvious differences.  In the Infrared shot the sky is noticeably darker, the shadow values have fallen off, and the vegetation has that IR glow.  Either negative would make a great print... in my not so humble opinion.


Monday, February 26, 2024

Infrared compared to Panchromatic Film - Example One

The Infrared Film that I have been using is the old Kodak High Speed Infrared.  I have quite a bit of stock left in 4" x 5" sheet film format.  This film is long discontinued and the stock that I have left in my freezer hit its best before date almost a quarter century ago.  The expiry dates on the boxes that I have are all in 2000 and 2001.
As a result of age some of the shots are showing a fair bit of fog, and are really susceptible to uneven development.  The results seem to be better if I keep the film frozen and don't load my film holders until shortly before I plan to expose the film.  Then, after exposure I pull the film from the holders and store the sheets in the refrigerator until I'm ready to develop them.  I always try to accumulate a batch of at least 15 sheets or so, to make the best use of the chemistry, so some of it ends up being stored for a while before the batch accumulates to enough for processing.  It's really all that I can do... to attempt to make use of it in this manner, and hope for the best.
I took these shots of Coliseum Mountain, from on the Forestry Trunk Road, near the Nordegg Industrial Park.  The upper image is the one that I shot on Kodak High Speed Infrared.  The film was loaded into the film holder on September 6th 2023, and the image was taken on November 21st 2023.  The exposed film was pulled from the holder on November 26th 2023, and stored in the fridge until I developed the film on January 14th 2024.  The film reached its expiry date in August of 2001.
I shot this on November 21st 2023 at about 3:00 in the afternoon.  I used my one of my Ebony view cameras and a Fujinon-C 300mm lens.  A number 25 red filter was used, with no filter factor.  The film was rated at 100 iso and exposed at F22.0 for 1/30 second.  Development was in Kodak T-Max Developer, diluted 1:6, for 6:45 minutes at 22C [71F].  There is a little uneven development noticeable in the image, but all things considered, it isn't too bad.
I actually have three Ebony view cameras.  The one that I used for this shot was my Ebony SV45Ti.  I recently purchased this camera used, from my friend Rob, when he gave up on large format photography.  I keep that camera, and a small selection of lenses, out at Nordegg, so that I don't need to haul camera gear back and forth whenever I go out to the cottage.
The second shot was actually taken moments prior to the infrared version.  It was taken on Ilford Delta 100 film, rated at 160 iso and given N+1 development in PMK.  Exposure was with the same camera and lens, and a number 25 red filter with a three stop filter factor was used.  Exposure was at F22.0 for 1/4 second.  Development was on my Jobo Processor for 22:30 minutes at 20C [68F].
The images certainly look very different and I'm not sure which one I like better.  I posted this mostly just as an example so that the differences between these films could be seen side by side.  Of course if the Infrared film wasn't so far out of date, it would have a little more snap and contrast.



Sunday, February 25, 2024

Digital Prints from the Beer Parlour Project

When the Beer Parlour Project visited the Chipman Hotel back in early February, the owner, Dave, requested a print of Gail.  Gail is a long time waitress at the hotel, and she is planning to retire at the end of February.  Dave was planning a retirement party for her, and wanted to give her the print.
I knew that I would not have time to develop the film shots that I had taken, and make a print before the end of the month.  So instead we selected one of the digital images that Connie had taken during the outing.  We had that printed by a photo lab and I dry mounted it and cut an overmat for it.  I delivered it back out to Chipman in mid-February and presented it to Dave.  Of course I had to have it packed up in a large envelope so that Gail wouldn't see it, as the party is going to be a surprise.
The Beer Parlour Project made a return visit to the Victoria Hotel in Bruderheim the night after our stop in Chipman.  We shared some of the digital shots from that outing with Liza, one of the owners of the Victoria.  She really liked the shot of Willy, a 93 year old patron of the hotel and wanted a print to hang in the tavern.  So, we did the same thing with that one.  We had a photo lab make a print from the digital file of the image, once again taken by Connie.  It is Chris' out of focus shoulder that can be seen on the left edge of the image, as he was in the midst of an interview with Willy, when the shot was taken.  While I was finishing the print of Gail, I did the same thing with the print of Willy and dry mounted it and cut an overmat.  While I was out making the delivery to Chipman, I also stopped at the Victoria and dropped off this print as well.
Everyone was really happy with the prints and appreciated our commitment to follow through with them.




Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Beer Parlour Project 8.0 - Fanny Bay Inn

The Fanny Bay Inn, also known as the FBI, is a cool place out on Vancouver Island.  It is in the town of the same name... Fanny Bay... go figure.  The building itself dates back to 1938.
Chris and I were out exploring one morning while Arturo stayed behind at the rental house in Courtenay.  By lunch time we were getting hungry, so we stopped at the FBI for something to eat.  At that point it inadvertently became one of the locations for our Beer Parlour Project.
Chris and I were having lunch when we noticed an elderly gentleman having a beer in the far corner, by himself.  He looked the part of a mariner or fisherman, and we thought he was really photogenic.  We called our waitress over, and told her about the Beer Parlour Project.  We asked if it would be alright to approach the gentleman and see if he would allow us to photograph him.  Her name was Starr, and she thought the project was really cool, and encouraged us to pursue it.
Rather than be inundated by two strangers we thought it would be less intimidating if just one of us spoke to him.  Chris went over, introduced himself, and explained the Beer Parlour Project.  The gentleman declined our offer to photograph him.
Later, as we were finishing up lunch, Starr came over and asked if we had been successful.  When we advised that we had not, and the gentleman did not want his photograph taken, she was really disappointed.  She took it upon herself to go over and managed to convince him that he should do it.  With the ice broken, Ken really opened up.  It turns out he was not a mariner at all.  He was originally from Olds, Alberta, and had retired out to Vancouver Island.  Ken graciously allowed us to take a few photographs of him, including a couple with another patron.  The other guy was Sebastien, a Polish immigrant and a big fan of tattoos.  He was also very cooperative and Chris and I really enjoyed the afternoon.  By the end of it, Ken tried to donate 20 bucks to our project to help fund it.  We graciously accepted the money, but before we left we gave it to Starr and asked her to put it on his tab.  
Something doesn't sound quite right about this.  Here I am referring to Ken as an elderly gentleman, which he is, but I'm kind of in the same boat.  I'm now retired, and over 60 and some see me as a senior citizen... though not many see me as a gentleman.  Ken certainly was, an we really enjoyed the time spent with him, and with Sebastien.
I just recently processed  these shots as they were part of the batch of Kodak Tri-X Pan 320 4" x 5" sheet film that I developed in PMK Developer on my Jobo Processor.  It is time to reach out to the people we met at the FBI and share these images with them.






Friday, February 23, 2024

Print Changeover at Mimi's Pub

On February 22nd I changed over one of my five prints at Mimi's Pub.  Mimi's is a neighborhood pub a few blocks from our house.  We are regulars there and have been since they opened several years ago.  They recently started a trivia night every Wednesday, and we have gone out to take part on a regular basis.
Our middle daughter Anna recently started working there as a server, so we have even closer ties now than in the past.
I made this 16x20 print back on January 18th, at the same time as I printed my Blackstone Panorama image.  More recently I dry mounted the print and cut a matt and backing for it.  This large format 4" x 5" negative of some bunchberry blossoms was taken in the yard in Nordegg, back in June of 2023.
After Trivia night on Wednesday, I pulled down my print of the Warwick Sunflowers, and brought it home.  That print has been popular, and I made several copies for friends, and actually sold a couple as well.  But it has been on display for several years now, and it was time for a fresh look.  So on Thursday morning I took the frame apart and slide the Bunchberry print into it.  I delivered the frame back to the pub and hung it up later that afternoon.





Thursday, February 22, 2024

West Lawn Entrance - Essondale

This is another shot of the West Lawn Building at the Riverview Mental Hospital in Vancouver.  Originally the hospital was known as Essondale, and the name changed to Riverview years later.  This is one of the older buildings on the site, and one showing the worst deterioration.  It was used as the location for a number of horror movies over the years, and certainly looks the part.  This is the main entrance, and the building was used to house the men that were committed to the facility.  The previous shots that I posted of some large columns are these here at the entrance.  Public access is permitted up to the locked entrance door, but the remainder of the building is fenced off, and security patrols the site.
This images was shot on Kodak Tri-X Pan 4" x 5" film and is part of the batch that I recently processed in PMK Developer, on my Jobo.  I shot this on October 29th 2023, just before noon.  I used my Ebony view camera and a wide 90mm lens.



Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Alcove

This is a shot of the West Lawn Building at the Riverview Mental Hospital in Vancouver.  I explored here with my friends Chris and Arturo after we had spent a week out on Vancouver Island.  The facility is abandoned, for the most part, but relatively accessible in a park like setting.  Access into the interior of the buildings is definitely not allowed, but you can get up reasonably close to them to photograph and visually explore from the exterior.
This is part of the batch of Kodak Tri-X Pan 4" x 5" sheet film that I recently ran on my Jobo Processor in PMK Developer.  I shot this one on October 29th 2023, at about 11:30 in the morning.  I used my Ebony view camera and a long 360mm telephoto lens.





Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Roots and Leaves - Cathedral Grove

This is another scan from the recently processed batch of Kodak Tri-X Pan 4" x 5".  I ran two tanks, each of ten sheets, on my Jobo Processor in PMK Developer.  All of the shots were from Vancouver Island, taken during the trip last fall.
Arturo and Chris and I took a drive inland to visit Cathedral Grove, and later that same day, the Port Alberni area.  Cathedral Grove is part of MacMillan Provincial Park and is an area of old growth forest that includes some huge cedar and fir trees.  There are many big leaf maple trees in the understory, and during our visit the maples were in full color.  
I took this shot along the walking trail in Cathedral Grove.  Cameron Creek is just over the rise.  I shot this on October 26th 2023, at about 1:15 in the afternoon.  I used my Ebony view camera and a wide 90mm lens.



Monday, February 19, 2024

Side Fall - Englishman River Falls Provincial Park

This is a scan of one of the Kodak Tri-X Pan negatives recently processed on my Jobo in PMK Developer.  I shot this one out at Vancouver Island during my trip last fall with my friends Chris and Arturo.  On a rainy day Chris and I ventured out while Arturo stayed behind at the rental house to do some work.  We ended up at Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.  This is a small section of the waterfall at one edge.
I shot this on October 24th at about 2:00 in the afternoon.  I used my Ebony view camera and a long Fujinon 250mm lens.



Sunday, February 18, 2024

Printing - Blackstone Panorama

A short time ago I spent a couple of days down in my darkroom, working on some prints.  One of several negatives that I worked with was this shot of the forest edge, along the Blackstone River.  This spot is along the Forestry Trunk Road, not too far from our cottage.
I shot this image back in 2020, on June 26th, right around high noon.  It was shot with the intention of cropping to this panoramic format.  I shot it with my Ebony 4x5 view camera on Ilford FP4 film.  I gave the negative plus development in Kodak HC-110 Developer to pump up the contrast, as the light was rather flat.  It was shot with a long 240mm lens to get in tight on the treeline, which was actually across the river from where I set up my tripod.  A #25 Red Filter deepened the shadows.
I made two versions of this print.   The small version was printed on 8" x 10" paper and cropped to approx. 5" x 10".  I mounted and matted these and they will be offered for sale at the Beehive Artisan Market in Nordegg.  I also made a large version on 16" x 20" paper, cropped to approx. 10" x 20".  I have this one mounted and matted and will be putting it into a frame, and hanging it at the cottage.




Saturday, February 17, 2024

No Pooping

Another negative from the recent batch of Tri-X Pan developed in PMK.  This was an abandoned lumber facility in the interior of British Columbia, that we explored on our way home from Vancouver Island.  I think this place produced cedar shakes back in the day, but that is only a guess on my part.
There was garbage strewn all over the place, and almost every surface was covered with graffiti.  I got a kick out of the graffiti near the bottom right of this image that says "No Pooping".  It seems that must have been a problem...?
I shot this on November 1st 2023 at about 2:00 in the afternoon.  I used my Ebony view camera and a long 250mm lens.  I shot this with the intention of considering it for the Apparitions project, and that may in fact happen.



Friday, February 16, 2024

New Logo for the Beer Parlour Project

The Beer Parlour Project now has a logo...!!  We had this one designed for us and will start using it immediately.  We hope to eventually be able to offer some swag... T-shirts, hats, beer mugs, etc. with this printed on it.
We also now have an official website as well.  It can be found at...  beerparlourproject.com
At the moment it is still under construction and there is just some very basic information available.  But we will be working on it over the coming weeks and will eventually have a bunch of information about our project, a list of locations visited, upcoming visits, and a photo gallery.
When we were last out on BP 9.1, our return visit to the Victoria Hotel in Bruderheim, we were interviewed by a reporter from the local paper.  Apparently there is an article about our project in the Wednesday February 14th edition of the Lamont newspaper.  I haven't seen a copy of it yet but we are attempting to secure one.

 The Beer Parlour Project is a long term documentary project being undertaken by Fine Art Photographer Rob Pohl and his wife Margarit, from Edmonton.  Working along side them are Chris Doering and Connie Biggart, friends, historians, researchers and photographers from Calgary, Alberta.  We are travelling to locations throughout western Canada to document small town hotel taverns.  Not only are we fascinated by the history of these places, but we are also intrigued by the current evolution of these establishments as the gathering place that they have become in many small towns.  We are meeting and visiting and photographing the current owners and their patrons.  We respect the fact that some do not wish to have their picture taken, and there is no pressure.  Those that oblige us and allow photographs to be taken, may someday find their image included in some part of our project.  This is in addition to the research that is undertaken to uncover the past history of these places, some over a century old.  The project has an online presence and a website is in the works which will follow the path of our explorations.  In the future we are also planning to put together a gallery exhibition of photographs, and eventually a book.  The project was originally conceived in 2019, but the Pandemic put things on hold for a while.  Our first trip was in July of 2022 when we visited the Hidden Gem Tavern in Egremont, Alberta.  It is anticipated that the project will continue for most of the next decade.


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Old Boat

This is another negative from that batch of Kodak Tri-X Pan developed on the Jobo Processor in PMK.  This abandoned boat was sitting in someone's yard on Vancouver Island, not far from Fanny Bay.  I thought it would work well for Apparitions, and in fact included it in a recent Grant Application.
I shot this one on October 25th 2023 at about 12:30 in the afternoon.  I used my Ebony view camera and a slightly wide 125mm lens.  A #8 Yellow filter lightened the foreground foliage a little and created some separation in the boat.



Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Beer Parlour Project 9.1 - A return to the Victoria

On February 3rd we made a return visit to the Victoria Hotel in Bruderheim, Alberta.  In addition to our usual crew, a couple of friends joined us on this one.  Steve and Arturo, friends of mine from the Monochrome Guild were along to experience the vibe.
Margarit, Connie, Chris and I had lunch together in Edmonton and then set out for Bruderheim.  We arrived shortly before 3:00 in the afternoon.  The owner Liza and her brother Al had arranged for a couple of elderly locals to be in attendance.  Chris interviewed them and gained some background information for our project.
Willie is 93 years old and has been in the area for a long time.  Chris gathered some information from him about the history of the area.  Hazel, now retired, was a waitress at the hotel for many years, starting around 1967.  She shared some stories about the goings on at the place over the years.  I managed to get a portrait of each of them with my big camera.
A short time later Arturo and Steve arrived and we visited with them, as well as with all of the other patrons.  As in the past the owners were very accommodating and allowed us free run of the place.  They also promoted our visit on social media.
There was a pretty good crowd in attendance and we managed to visit with many of them, as well as to photograph a few.  I also handed out some black and white prints made from negatives taken during our previous visit back in December.
Chris brought along a couple of ALCB Glasses.  This stood for the Alberta Liquor Control Board.  There must have been millions of these glasses issued to the licensed establishments across the province back in the day.  The draft beer would be filled to the line on the glass and served to thirsty patrons.  I remember hearing stories from older friends and co-workers back in the day about the draft being 10 cents a glass.  Later I remember it being 50 cents.  We had these two filled with draft and photographed them in the tavern.  Liquor sales were privatized in Alberta over 30 years ago and these glasses disappeared from use.  It seems lots of people stole them as they show up regularly at antique and thrift stores.





The Beer Parlour Project is a long term documentary project being undertaken by Fine Art Photographer Rob Pohl and his wife Margarit, from Edmonton.  Working along side them are Chris Doering and Connie Biggart, friends, historians, researchers and photographers from Calgary, Alberta.  We are travelling to locations throughout western Canada to document small town hotel taverns.  Not only are we fascinated by the history of these places, but we are also intrigued by the current evolution of these establishments as the gathering place that they have become in many small towns.  We are meeting and visiting and photographing the current owners and their patrons.  We respect the fact that some do not wish to have their picture taken, and there is no pressure.  Those that oblige us and allow photographs to be taken, may someday find their image included in some part of our project.  This is in addition to the research that is undertaken to uncover the past history of these places, some over a century old.  The project has an online presence and a website is in the works which will follow the path of our explorations.  In the future we are also planning to put together a gallery exhibition of photographs, and eventually a book.  The project was originally conceived in 2019, but the Pandemic put things on hold for a while.  Our first trip was in July of 2022 when we visited the Hidden Gem Tavern in Egremont, Alberta.  It is anticipated that the project will continue for most of the next decade.