January, 2010 Archives

Crestmoor Road Brick

Crestmoor Road Brick - January 10, 2010

This is a brick from the house I grew up in. It was located at 2411 Crestmoor Rd, Nashville, TN 37215. That address is no more. They tore the house down to make way for eight or ten $700,000 condos. It was a great house. There is just something about white brick houses.

Details: Fuji 135mm,  f32,  Flash, Delta 100 4×5

P.S. You might be wondering where the shots from the other days are. Well, I shoot film and make prints in a wet darkroom. This limits the amount of finished prints I can produce and show here.

Circuit Board Detail

Circuit Board Detail - January 8th, 2010

My left and right brains collided on this one. I tried to isolate the patterns into a circular type of shape that simplified the details into a stronger more coherent pattern. I really enjoy this photograph. I tend to think of the computer as the great simplifier, but this image pulls back the curtain on that idea.

I took this shot with my 8×10 Cambo monorail and my 105mm Tominon.  That’s right that tiny little Polaroid lens will cover 8×10 and is sharp to the corners! This shot is just over 4 times life size. The detail in the contact print is just wild. It took 6 flash pops from two 700w heads. That is a lot of light (2 to 3 times as bright as a clear noon day).

Details: Polaroid Tominon 105mm,  f45,  Bulb with Flash, Delta 100 8×10.

I went to the local Nashville photo store today. We still have two, but only one still carries any significant amount of black and white chemicals/paper. The store has all the cameras (digital) in the front and the supplies (inkjet paper, lighting supplies, seamless backdrop, and chemicals) are in the back. I walked to the rear of the store; right to the isle where the paper and chemicals used to be, and nothing…notta. It was gone. I thought well that’s it, Nashville no longer has a traditional photography store. I started to feel a little bad about not supporting them enough and then I found where they had moved everything. The paper had been shifted over a few isle to the far left and the chemicals were in the very back of the store in the corner. I was off the hook.

I started digging through the shelves. I had come to get a 5 Liter jug of Hypam fixer, but  they were out. I picked up some Kodak rapid fix instead, grabbed a roll of white seamless, and made my way to the front to check out. I figured I would ask the clerk if he thought there might be some Hypam hiding somewhere amongst the clutter; computer said yes, clerk also thought yes. So we both headed back to the chemical corner to hunt around some more. While the clerk was shuffling around boxes looking for that case of Hypam; I noticed some large gold paper boxes crammed up behind the shelf. I asked the clerk if I could pull them out, he said sure. They were Forte Polywarmtone Variable Contrast Fiber Semi-matte, 20×24 – 50 sheet boxes; i.e. big expensive paper that is no longer made. They were also old and semi-open. I figured I would ask and see if the clerk would let me take them with me seeing as they were probably ruined, he said sure no problem they couldn’t sell them. I tried to act unexcited. I told myself that there was no way I was walking out of this store with $460 worth of paper, for free, but I did, and it is beautiful stuff. There is no fog and only the slightest edge burn on one box.

I love how paper can inspire you. It’s one of the things that I love most about photography. The materials can inspire you, especially when they are free.


Columns at Scarritt Bennett

Columns at Scarritt Bennett - January 4, 2010

I have to admit this was about as close as you can get to a snapshot with a 4×5 camera on a tripod. It was cold, windy, and the light was fading. I knew I wanted to capture the intersecting curves (and stonework under sunset conditions has a wonderful tonality), but other than that I just set the camera up and got it done. I started out with a 135mm but I needed more curves and depth, so I switched to my 75mm, which was perfect. Focus, meter, and done. Except the exposure ended up being 5m, which meant 10 more minutes of wind and cold (I almost always take a safety exposure).

This prints nicely on warmtone paper and could easily be enlarged to 30×40. The negative is razor sharp.

Details: Rodenstock 75mm Grandagon,  f32,  5m, Delta 100 4×5

Aloe Detail

Aloe Detail - January 2, 2010

It’s been a little over a week and the dailies are progressing nicely. It has re-energized my creative spirit in all sorts of new directions. I even pulled out the 8×10 this week for some macro work, not the easiest chore, but those giant negatives are worth the trouble.

This particular shot is a detail of an aloe plant in my wife’s office.  I love finding the beauty in details. I tried to capture the texture and form as simply as possible. I wanted to  let the curves and natural patterns of the plant create the photograph. This is a rather extreme macro photograph and is right at the limits of my little Polariod Tominon 105mm. It is just about 3 times life size on the negative. It makes a fine 8×10 print, sharp at the thorns fading to a nice soft bokeh to the left.

Details: Polaroid Tominon 105mm,  f45,  3m, Delta 100 4×5.

2010 Dailies: Aloe Detail

White Fuji Mum

White Fuji Mum, January 1st, 2010

My wife’s birthday is January 1st. She had mentioned how much she liked this flower, which was sitting in an arrangement on our breakfast table, during morning coffee. I had been thinking about what to start the dailies with; running through compositions, thinking what and where I might photograph. I don’t often attempt still life work, but the combination of a birthday, a beautiful flower, and morning sun made my decision easy. I set up a simple black cloth background, arranged the flower, and set up my camera. This shot was just about lifesize on my 4×5. It prints easily on Ilford warmtone  and has wonderful soft tones. The morning sunlight was perfect.

Details: Polaroid Tominon 105mm,  f45,  18s, Delta 100 4×5.

2010 Dailies: White Fuji Mum

Happy New Year and welcome to my new blog. I will be posting general thoughts on photography and the modern art world, as well as updates on my own work. I work in black and white. I shoot large format, typically 4×5 but also 8×10. If you haven’t had a chance to visit my main website, please do, www.willwilson.com.

I have a few different projects in the works. I am continuing my work with patterns and texture, exploring simple and complex subjects of all types. I will also be taking a photograph daily in 2010, updates on the 2010 Dailies Project will be made here. The first photograph in this series was taken today 1/1/2010, my wife’s birthday. I should have a print ready for scanning and posting soon.

I am currently taking commercial assignments of all kinds from commisions to portraits to event work.  Please send me an email for rates and further details.

A New Year of Photos