Cuttin' Loose

Cuttin' loose. The reportage festival, though mostly now ended, was an awesome event. A time to see old friends and an opportunity make new ones. A personal highlight was meeting the master, James Natchwey at Ambush gallery for the closing of Reportage. Photographer Yuri Kozyrev had an amazing body of work, with the good folks at Ambush hosting a lovely night. I'm very much looking forward to next years festival…..James Natchwey
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Andrea in the dark….

Andrea in the darkAnother day in the dark. A quick shot of Andrea viewing his print for his upcoming exhibition next Wednesday. This shot is gonna sell for sure.
And the film continues to flow. So far this week (ie 2 days) 23 rolls of 35mm, 22 sheets of 5/4” and 3 out of 12 sheets of 10/8 in PMK Pyro. Surely 10/8″ film is a joy to view…… Oh and I almost forgot to mention the 110 format film that has be re-born, thanks LOMO!!

Keep shootin’ and stay POSITIVE, i.e. print your FILMS


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Hanging with Raul & Leysis

Raul Canibano & Leysis QuesadaWhat have I been up too…? Where to start! REPORTAGE – how good has this show been. Amazing works from around the globe, right here in Sydney. Well done Steveo & Anna.

First off I had the pleasure of working on a special folio for Mr. Jack Picone. We spent several days in the dark. A real gentleman and a fine snapper.

Next was CUBAN photographer Raul Canibano with Leysis Quesada translating. In the dark we all speak the same lingo I discovered.

Also under the red light was Manuela from the Rennie Ellis Archive checking out the digital enlarger. Considering I only made a quick test, she was most impressed.

And lastly Mr. Page and Mau have some brilliant news regarding a very special folio, but all I can say is that the images have never been seen as a collection. More on this to come.

Have a great long weekend and get out & about to see some fine works hanging around Sydney’s galleries

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“Over The Line” by Mike Magee

I’m happy to announce the latest exhibition at Blanco. Mike Magee has been shooting the Newtown Jets for years now. It’s time to hang some works on the walls. So come on down and catch some real B&W silver gelsMike Magee exhibition

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Raskols book

Wow, two posts in three weeks. Carisse would be proud….

I received my copy of Stephen Dupont’s RASKOLS book which I think we made the first folio way back in 2004 or so. All 20/24″ on the Foma Warmtone. He then scratched the txt into fogged black paper and added some colour with red Indian ink. I suggested he use his own blood, but he wimped out…..

So one month back in the dark and I was a tad worried about business. So far though I have processed well over 250 rolls / sheets of film and made over a 110 prints (includes work + proofs). I was thinking of taking MORE holidays 

Next out the block is Andrea Francolini’s exhibition prints with a mural or two in between, exhibition prints for “The Gathering” at GOLD ST STUDIOS, a final folio of Tobi Wilkinson’s “Gyuto’s Monks” work and a start on Dupont’s “stray dogs in Bucharest” from 2001. He’s only been waiting since November last year!

Last but not least, the new FOMA order arrives in a few days for those of you waiting on supplies and I’ll be offering a discount on the NEXT delivery due in April for all advance orders.

Have a great safe weekend, ChrisRaskols book cover

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Raph Gibson @ Point Light Gallery

With Ralph GibsonOpening night of the Ralph Gibson show at Point Light Gallery, Sydney. What an AWESOME exhibition and evening. This show is a must see. I also had a call of duty upon the return of by brief holiday. My job was to process + super/proof (20×24″ enlargements of a whole sheet of negative) x 30 rolls for the next morning for Ralph's workshop students. Lets just say a beer at 2.20am after the evenings work felt like bliss, then it started all over again on the Saturday. And then all over again the following Fri/Sat nights. Personally I have never seen so many excellent photographs and it was a great compliment to hear Ralph mention he has never has such fine service in 50 years! So it was well worth the extra effort.

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Ricky Maynard with test prints

Ricky MaynardYea for Fridays! What a nice week this has been. I just finally finished Andrea Francolini’s 100 FB print job of traditional sports, a 4 folio edition of 24 images, all on the DeVere Digital D504. What a great unit this is, and ever better after I discovered the tweaking controls…. Also I was lucky to have 2 visits from Ricky & Anita Maynard. There nothing more exciting than beginning a new exhibition. I made about a dozen test prints, a set for the contrast/density, a toner (thiocarbamide) set and finally a bleaching time set. They were happy campers. Last but not least, after a review of FOMA stock I have offered another 30% off sale. Please check the specials page for details. And to Carisse, I balanced all the accounts!

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Stephen Dupont's “RASKOLS” book

I printed an edition of 20/24″ prints for the original folio way back in 04/05′ I think. 24 Prints which Steve then hand bound and placed into a custom made box. Pretty sure the NLA snapped one up….

PowerHouse Books release Stephen Dupont’s book ‘Raskols: The Gangs of Papua New Guinea’ – October 2012 Omsee by S. Dupont

PowerHouse Books is set to release this October, Stephen Dupont’s book ‘Raskols: The Gangs of Papua New Guinea’. The collection has been previously only available for sale as one of Dupont’s limited edition artist’s books.

The October release published by PowerHouse sees the Raskols work put together in a beautiful hardcover copy 8×10 inches, 144 pages with an accessible retail price of $30.00.

To read the official press release for the book’s publication follow the link below;

PowerHouse Press Release for Stephen Dupont’s Raskols: The Gangs of Papua New Guinea

a preview of the book itself can be viewed here

from the series Raskols, by Stephen Dupont

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National Library of Australia print job

NLA print jobWell it’s FRIDAY, so another post on the wall….
The below image is from a job printed this week for the National Portrait Gallery using the De Vere DIGITAL enlarger. It’s reassuring the state & national institutions are beginning to realise the value of this machine. Because I’m hand processing the FB silver gelatin, (not to be confused with FB inkjet paper: WTF is nothing sacred?) this time PROVEN archival process will become invaluable for our future generations. Oh, I’m also away next Tuesday 6th until the following Tuesday 13th at Gold Street Studios in Victoria. I’ll be giving a few snappers a hard time, which is what I live for….
Slan, for now
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Ian Flanders – “Cruising”

Ian Flanders ‘Cruising’ is an intimate and confronting portrait of prostitutes in Sydney’s Kings Cross. 

In the current photographic landscape where the conceptual artist statement is often more interesting than the photograph and the audience is asked to intellectualise the artists intent, the power of the camera is all but lost. Flanders ‘Cruising’ stands outside this trend and uses the camera at its most powerful, the images need no explanation and the portrait they paint of the hidden world of prostitutes in Kings Cross is profoundly moving and sad.

Reminiscent of the work of South African Photographer Roger Ballen, the strength of the imagery comes from Flanders ability to step beyond the role of detached observer. Ian spent 13 months getting to know the girls and earning their trust to allow him to walk into their personal worlds. The resulting work depicts a stark truth that has not been framed from a judgmental viewpoint. Flanders has not glamorised or eroticized his subjects and despite the images of nudity and masturbation ‘Cruising’ is not a show about sex. This is best illustrated by the most confronting and poignant image in the show, that of an anonymous prostitutes groin, her emaciated and scarred genitals exposed, her body vulnerable and damaged.

When ‘Cruising’ was shown as a multimedia presentation as part of Reportage 2010 Flanders came under criticism from some audience members for paying the prostitutes for their time. ‘The agreement was, I would pay for their time, and they would show me the rooms and let me take photos of them and the working environment. I was taking them away from their job while they were working, so I had no issues paying for their time.’ He was also asked whether he ‘ethically wanted to have sex with the girls’. In response Flanders ‘challenge(s) the viewer to find the beauty, and eroticism, then ask themselves that same question’

Whilst ‘Cruising” will undoubtedly have its detractors and Flanders’ intentions will come under scrutiny by some, his work takes the audience to a place where most people fear to tread and the work in ‘Cruising’ is as brave as its subject matter.

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Argentum Digitalis

Blanco Negro, the only dedicated Black & White Commercial Darkroom left in Australia has imported the world’s only Digital Enlarger to Australia, the De Vere 504DS. To mark this important step in photographic reproduction in Australia, Blanco Negro has put together an exhibition of black and white images from some of Australia’s leading photographers, all from digital files and printed on various Silver Gelatin media using the Digital Enlarger.

Exhibiting artists include Robert McFarlane, William Yang, Tim Page, Yellow sperm color Stephen Dupont, David Flanagan, Corrie Ancone, Ben Ali Ong, Phil Quirk, Tobi Wilkinson, Andrew Quilty, Sophie Howarth, Adrian Cook, Andrea Francolini, Michael Prior, Christopher Samuel and Chris Peken.

Printing techniques include traditional bromide papers, colour toning, the “Lith” process and liquid photographic emulsion coated on to watercolour papers.

Why is this so special? Since the digital revolution in the photographic industry the gap between new technology and traditional handcrafted printing has only been widening and we have very rapidly lost most of the darkrooms and practitioners of this time-honoured craft. Darkrooms have all but disappeared from our institutions and with them the skills and historical appreciation of photography’s past. Despite this, Silver Gelatin remains one of the few proven archival photographic methods of reproduction.

The Digital Enlarger is the first new technology to bridge that gap and for the first time offer digital photographers and artists paper stocks, toning techniques, alternative processes and proven archival quality reproduction, once exclusive to the analog user.

Importantly this new technology offers the photographic arts industry a step towards the continued practice, appreciation and preservation of its historical roots in an environment where every other advance has led it further away.





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