Free Field Guide downloads

For DIY Rubber stamp field guides, I use these on 3x5 rubber stamps and waterproof ink pads to make my own exposure log books. Click the images to download.  Enjoy and happy logging!

Wet Plate Collodion Log book stamp . 

 

 

 

Medium and Large Format log book stamp

8x10 camera tripod mount

A cheap DIY solution to tripod mount problems for my 8x10 camera.  So this is my Eastman View no. 1 it's not the most stable camera in a tripod head, it was pre sliding tripod block so it has a static tripod mount point, the rails are a bit thin and not exactly rock solid, usually takes 2 tripods to fully support it. So since the tripod itself is ample I decided to make a platform and mount it directly, in place of the ball head, for maximum support. 

What it consists of is a piece of pine 9.25in wide by 4ft cut in twos couple of hinges up front, a shim glued to the underside of the top platform at the front side to keep a gap, a 3/8ths mount post ( I went with one that used screws to mount it for max stability) , and a couple of trunk pressure lifting things (with the hinges in the hardware store). Finished off with some wine colored felt, and a single layer of stain rubbed in. All and all about 40 bucks and a couple hours. 
 

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Seen here at full rear extension. You can see the counter sink for the 3/8ths mount post in the middle, it's screwed on this visible side so as to give only a smooth mount surface on the tripod side, so theres no marring of the tripod.

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Here you can see the through bolt that mounts to the camera itself, this is what the shim is for to keep the gap. 

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And it's still stable Alllllllll the way up there .. 

New Year musings on the value of a Social Media driven World and its impact on fine art. 

So I've pretty much decommissioned my personal page, it's more of a "service account" at this point. And, as I've been reorganizing content lately, and pulling away from most things that aren't directly in my area of focus both socially and creatively, I've been pondering something.. 

At a certain point in the social media driven world, when sharing art on social media, is there really a point.. do we get anything out of it, do we grow at all? And, I'll elaborate there, if you think back to a time (and I suppose this is one of those.. if your old enough things.. ) to when creatively you did just as much work but there was no Facebook, no Instagram, no whatever the hip kids use etc. and your circle of immediate exposure was likely just those close to you, friends, family, fellow artists who you knew personally and quite likely absorbed something from and passed something on to just by general influence via osmosis, essentially "YOUR Community". I think back to those times, and I can say.. yes I truly got something out of that, we all did I think sharing work in that manner, typically meaning in each others homes/studio's or at the local coffee shop etc. being there .. physically talking to one another and looking over a physical work of art, and having a dialogue about it, maybe even spinning off observations and idea's that grew into the next piece.. it was tangible and real. And, then I think of today.. how many of us are guilty of - create new piece, digitize it - upload it - share it - move on to new piece, maybe only showing a physical work in a show where lets face it, is not a real great setting for getting into deep conversation about a single work, its broad its social and if it's your work hanging you're doing your best to make sure to say hello to everyone there and thank them for their support, or watch for possible interested parties for sales etc. etc.. your mind is elsewhere and not "back in the studio". And, when uploading that now digital content online, the typical lay of the land is - get likes - get some comments - until it runs its course in the page feed or the IG algorithms and then rinse repeat, with comments like "love this" "fantastic work" or "#mood" - don't get me wrong.. I've done it.. we've all done it, it's because the platform isn't one that yields itself to authentic discussion about a work, there's no room to ponder over something theres not a selected audience of people that one expects to garner constructive criticism from because they themselves look to you for your return opinion on their own work making it a give take of high value thought. The platform is such that its set up to be a "praise machine" which Im sure there are prob studies that link that to brain chemicals spiking feel good juice keeping us all addicted, but too much sugar makes you sick.. as does too much of allot of things that make us feel good. 

Now.. full disclosure I'm super anti-social and a bit of a nihilist (those that know me personally are certainly keen on that Im sure) so maybe I just have an bleak outlook on it, but I'm generally speaking, pretty darn good at observing patterns, and this is just all coming from my own personal experiences of pre-post social media in relation to sharing art, so take it with a grain of salt, but as objective as I can be, I don't think it's just my own nature at work here. And, yes the argument could be made of "why not have both" to which I don't think it's so much a why not just go do that other thing then.. naturally social media doesn't halt that, so much as I think it's formed a trap that allot of people fall into, because if theres one thing human nature has taught us is.. we are more likely to opt for the easy solution even if it's not as good as the harder one, that has more substance to it.. just look at the diet of the American people for that one.. 

So .. as another year rolls around if your actually seeing this and you actually read this far (bravo to you) think about it.. in this social media world is there really any creative sustenance in it, or are we all just mindlessly consuming massive quantities of cotton candy and telling ourselves that it's so great because we can have any flavor of cotton candy from anywhere in the world at any time.. Sure connection and information share is fantastic it really is, but I suspect thats only a tiny sliver of what we call "social media" and it could certainly be maintained without mindlessly consuming all that damn sugar... Just saying..

next level design

Working on an easel project for the plate holder/GG back and a film holder to be carved on an X-Carve machine and laminated together.. hoping to make a simple and reusable (once scaled) design, little preview of what Im working on... 

This is the laminate for the dark slide to fit between the plate 

This is the laminate for the dark slide to fit between the plate 

Full tilt

added in some rise fall/tilt movement to the front standard swing will get added as an upgrade well after this is complete. For now this'll work. 

 

 

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Riding the rails

Finally making some moves on this thing again. Rails split and get bolted for compacting in storage/transit. Next is to drill/mill out the channel in the front standard posts and get it mounted then onto mounting the bits for the lensboard.  

 

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Building the bones

After going back and forth with all the posibilities I decided to start in phases, for phase one I'll just be doing rise and fall only on the front standard instead of incorporating swing which will require some more bracketry. Instead the front standard will bolt to the rails for now ensuring that heavy Artar lens isn't going anywhere. The front standard will be able to unbolt and adjust to pre drilled segments on the rails. Fine focus control will be handled on the rear standard. The rails will be split for easier storage when not in use as it will otherwise be 4ft long. Build updates for this first phase to come this week . 
 
 

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Ground Glass pt:2

Doing the final 600 grit finish grind.. 

Getting Started.. The Ground Glass

One thing that I'm sure of is the ground glass size, so just to "get started" thats the easiest place for me because 1 it's a fair amount of work, and 2 it's a finite shape thats not going to change based on anything else with the design, because it's core to the design. So there are plenty of tutorials on this, but this was my experience with it. 

 

Designing.. drawing.. designing..

I sketch out designs nonstop for anything I build often they are just "idea's" that may not even come to pass but allow me to visually think through things, here's a mess of some of just them, numbers aren't even correct here, just "thoughts". I find drafting out concepts helps to break them down in my head later. 

 

Why?

Why On Earth build a 16x20 View Camera, especially when I already have a 4x5 and an 8x10 available to me in the studio.. well..  because I can.  After seeing a few people post some very inspiring build process photo's I was hooked on the idea, Giles Clement and his 10 hour 16x20 build comes to mind, but there have certainly been others since I've been researching and exploring the space. I'll be documenting my build here just to help proliferate more information out into the world on the topic. So with that.. my 16x20 view build..