Just got back from a couple days in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North dakota. Above is a gif of a sketch I did overlaying a photo of the scene I sketched. I used a 9B pencil with a paper stump for blending. The wind was blowing 40 mph—oh the challenges of sketching on site in the elements.
Pheasants head to the feeders between snow storms.
First view of the sun in days. Even through layers of clouds and ice fog it was a welcomed site.
We’ve been hit with arctic air (3 days below zero for highs) and now 4 more inches of snow on the way. The sun picture above reminds me of Cormac McCarthy’s novel “The Road” which, by the way, I wouldn’t read if I was feeling down or a little blue.
Up to this point we’ve had 29 inches of snow in seven days. As I was finishing up shoveling snow from the driveway last night, the sky opened up for a brief 30 seconds giving us this light show. Back to reality—We are in the midst of a full-blown blizzard with no travel advised and all schools and government offices closed. Wind is gusting to 50 mph and wind chills are well below zero. A poem I saw recently on the Writer’s Almanac that I thought fit this image.
I’ll tell you how the Sun rose…
I’ll tell you how the Sun rose —
A Ribbon at a time —
The Steeples swam in Amethyst —
The news, like Squirrels, ran —
The Hills untied their Bonnets —
The Bobolinks — begun —
Then I said softly to myself —
“That must have been the Sun”!
But how he set — I know not —
There seemed a purple stile
That little Yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while —
Till when they reached the other side,
A Dominie in Gray —
Put gently up the evening Bars —
And led the flock away —
“I’ll tell you how the Sun rose…” by Emily Dickinson. Public Domain.
Shane Blakowitsch, proprietor of Nostalgic Glass, exposes a glass plate with an 8 second exposer.
Recently my colleagues and advanced design students had an opportunity to take part in a wet plate ambrotype photo shoot at Nostalgic Glass Studio, proprietor Shane Blakowitsch. As Shane explains on his web site, wet plate collodion photography is the earliest form of photography. Most of the Civil War photography we’ve seen over the years was wet plate photography.
The bellows camera Shane used to take 5×7 glass impressions.
The camera above is a bellows camera meaning, the bellows go in or out to focus the subject. The exposure time Shane used was 8 seconds. Because of long exposure, the subject needs to be perfectly still. Notice on some of the images with the models, a metal pronged stand is set up behind (out of the cameras view) the sitting subjects to keep the sitter from moving.
Bright lights and no blinking are needed for a good exposure.
Shane leaning on the metal prop that keeps subjects from moving.
Plate One from our outing.
Plate two from our outing.
One of Shane’s Images on the cover of View Camera magazine.
Shane worked with a Custer impersonator to recreate the iconic image taken by Matthew Brady. This image is on the cover of the current issue of View Camera magazine.