Back in October 2013 I held my annual artist retreat in Coffs Harbor/Sapphire Beach Australia. Here is a little movie short I made while there.
We are currently gearing up for the 2016 fest to be held in Hawaii June5-15. You can read about it here; http://www.zoefest.photo You’ve got two weeks to get on board if you want to go and make art with us.
You never know what you will run into hiking in the woods. About 2 weeks later we had a little earthquake and it collapsed this piano into dust. Vassanta and I passed it together at just the right time. Perfect kind of magic.
I’m still shooting often. Just decided to take a break from the computer one day and it turned into a year. How did that happen? I have a backlog of work to catch up on… and probably a lot of models wondering where I disappeared to. I haven’t forgotten!
Here are a couple images I made with Jasmina, an incredibly bendy yoga instructor + awesome model.
And of course no photo making is ever complete unless Ollie gets in the frame.
I had plans to go out to the sand with Floofie for our shoot last week but catching a silly cold prevented that. So we stayed in and made some Polaroid Type 55 images. Yes, I still have a stash luckily. It doesn’t like to get warm so I have to press the film against the freezer wall right before I insert it into the film holder. It’s getting very finicky. I like the torn look and don’t really mind unless it’s messing with the composition. I’m glad to still be working with the film and thanking my foresight when it came to stockpiling it before the demise. For now I don’t need to start shooting regular 4×5 film and developing later. I like the on the spot developing. It makes me happy. I obtained a minute amount of solarization on this shoot and I’m super stoked about that. I usually get it easily with the Polaroid Type 85 I use with my Holga and Polaroid Back, so maybe the aging process is lending more funk to the film. I’ll take it.
I just returned from my yearly festival for ARTnudes Network. One of the images I made there with the model Ella Rose is one of my most surreal to date. When pulling apart the Pos/Neg Type 85 Polaroid I decided to only solarize 1/2 of the image instead of the entire piece of film. What happened was a trip! I’m going to do this more often. This is just tripped out. Check out what it did to her torso. And the peel marks… how did they not affect her skin?
There is zero photoshop manipulation on this photograph. It’s all on the film.
I feel so happy (and lucky) to have been able to try out this film and be part of the very beginnings of bringing my way of working back to life. As I am sure those of you who love Polaroid Type 55 (and miss it dearly) are anxiously awaiting the day when you can go out and shoot and develop a negative right in the field may feel just by knowing that the negatives have been exposed. Once in a Blue Moon (when I shot the images) good things do happen! And it’s all thanks to Bob Crowley who has been working like crazy to produce the film again. Please visit the New55 FILM project website and get to know the new goodness!
I received the hand made film and immediately got nervous, “what if I mess this up?” Luckily it is so much like shooting with Polaroid Type 55 that from the first exposure, and handling it so very delicately, I lost that sense of nervousness and just started dancing (uncontrollable dancing happiness) around after each click of the shutter.
It fits in my i545 back just as easily as the Polaroid Type 55 does.
I still have a stash of Polaroid Type 55 locked away in a secret bunker so I was also able to shoot with both and compare the two films. Gladly, I had a model, St. Merrique, who is quite the pro so doing the same poses and remembering them wasn’t a big deal for her. Let’s hear it for awesome models!
As you can see, it’s truly the beginnings of the film. Hand written instructions on the film sleeve and everything. It’s amazing what they have done so far in such a short amount of time. The “Stop” is obviously where you stop pulling up the sleeve before you expose your neg. The dotted lines are a guide for where you need to cut the sleeve open with scissors as this is truly the beginning of the film production. Shooting it like this really made me appreciate it so much more.
See the Polaroid Type 55 negative in the bucket of Sodium Sulfite with the pinkish chemicals washing off the negative, I didn’t get this as much with the New55. It was a bit pink, but not as much.
There are no attachments on the negative of New55 like there are on Polaroid Type 55 (paper – see above, first photo) – which I found to be lovely. A pure sheet of film that has been hand coated almost even resembling a platinum print. I allowed each New55 negative to sit in the bucket of Sodium Sulfite for 5-10 minutes. They suggested using Rapid Fix but I didn’t have any so I used Sodium Sulfite (to clear the chemicals off the neg) and it worked fine.
When you come back to it a white goo has formed on the negative which you have to gently smudge off by hand by carefully rubbing the negative. I suggest wearing rubber gloves for this but I didn’t have any so I just sacrificed myself and dove in naked.
This is what the negative looks like before peeling it off of the sleeve to dip in the bucket. Notice the hand taped love! So cool.
The white section on the sleeve that holds the negative in place are the chemical pods. When you yank the film out of the i545 back these chemicals get dispersed so a positive side of the negative can develop. An immediate contact print. (and yes, that’s a rubix cube)
The positives of the two films are completely different. The New55 positive (on the left) looks like a platinum print while the Polaroid Type 55 positive looks like a straight black and white image. The developing time for the New55 is 2 minutes while the developing time for the Polaroid Type 55 is about 20 seconds. I wish I would have tried developing the New55 just a little bit longer, maybe 3 minutes, to see what it would have looked like, but I JUST thought of that this second. I wonder if it would give me more contrast or darken it a bit. I hope I get to try that out some day soon!
I posted this image on Facebook right after I shot it (before it got flagged by a prude and facebook deleted it) and someone (I forget who) asked me a question that I’ve heard lots of times from photographers. Do you have to expose for the negative or the positive to get a good positive side? Photographers who don’t religiously (I’m a zealot) use Polaroid Pos/Neg always seem to think that the exposure for the positive is different than the exposure of the negative. I THINK THIS IS A MYTH. The way the positive develops is completely different to how the negative develops. And who wants the positive anyway? It’s really only a contact sheet. The way you get a good Positive is not to peel apart the two pieces (the negative and the positive) before the developing time is up. With Polaroid Type 55 in 75 degrees that’s 20 seconds. If I want my negative to be darker I let it develop more (30-40 seconds). If I want it to be lighter, I peel it apart after 5 seconds. Just like you would in a darkroom under a lamp when you’re printing. Or if you’d leave a print in the developer for too long it would get too dark. But I just don’t put a lot of interest into the positive side of the film. It only shows me if I’m on target and if I shot what I thought I shot, or if I need to try it again. Plus, the model can see if she needs to adjust her pose or I can see if I need to adjust my exposure a bit. The negative is the big deal, the big kahuna, the whole enchilada… If I wanted a positive “only” why would I bother shooting pos/neg film? I’ve always wondered about this when some photographers say this about the exposure thing. And I could be wrong… I’ve just never concerned myself with the positive. Unless it pertains to happiness.
Speaking of HAPPINESS!!!!!!!! Check out the negatives!
and expired Polaroid Type 55 (peeling negative sadness)
If you have followed my work at all and have seen my Polaroid Type 85 or 665 images where I solarize the negatives, you will understand why I like the New55 film better than the Polaroid Type 55. What depth and funkiness and just WOW awesome!
After testing my first image (it’s a bit lighter than I’d ultimately like it) shooting at 50 ISO, I decided to change my settings just a tiny bit. I don’t remember exactly how much. But just a tad. So I probably shot the second exposure at about 35 ISO. I just had an impulse to do it and it worked out great.
And the Polaroid Type 55 for comparison (shot at 50 ISO):
So as you can see, much different films, but just beautiful, luscious, and YUMMY. For my work… this is what I want! The New55 Film reminds me more of the Polaroid 665 or 85 films than the 55 film. With the 665 you would always get little surprises that would put a unique spin on the image. I live for those little surprises. I enjoyed shooting with Type 85 on a Holga with a Polaroid back way more than I enjoyed shooting with Type 55 because of this. Like shooting a Holga with a peculiar light leak or solarizing your negatives in the sun. (see an earlier post I made about this here: http://www.zoewiseman.com/ZW/2011/08/04/85/)
Sure – you can get tack sharp images with a Hassy or some digital contraption, but I have always loved quirks. The quirkier the better. And the New55 film has got quirky covered.
The next 3 images were all shot at 50 ISO.
With the image below this text, I tried peeling it at one minute instead of 2 minutes (the total developing time) to see if I could get some solarization happening by holding it up to the sun. I think that’s what the fog bit is on the lower left and the funky line near the top edge. I wish I would have been braver and pulled the negative at 2 seconds to see what would happen, but testing it just proves to me it’s possible – I just got chicken and waited too long. (see an earlier post I made about this here: http://www.zoewiseman.com/ZW/2011/08/04/85/ if you don’t know what I’m talking about)
And on this image below… as I was putting the film into the film holder the sleeve slipped off about a quarter inch. I caught it in time before it exposed the entire negative (cursing at myself), but as you can see it has the line at the top of her head where the sleeve slipped. I think it may have fogged the negative just a little bit because of that. But I love the way it turned out anyway.
So those are the 5 images I was able to shoot from the 5 slides of film I received. I would like more please! haha. I’m just happy I have the negatives and it worked and that I didn’t disappoint myself or Bob as he’s worked tirelessly to make this happen. Does anyone have a few hundred thousand dollars lying around? Production must commence! If you are an investor and believe in art related goodness… give Bob your money so I can shoot this film every day. Please? With sugar on top?
One of the other things I love about the negative is it conforms to all the standard 4×5 film holders! Especially for the film holders on my scanner. The Polaroid Type 55 negative is just a smidgen larger than a 4×5, so trying to get that huge negative into a 4×5 film holder and scan the entire negative can be quite the challenge. The New55 negative fits in perfect with no fuss at all. It’s a true 4×5 negative.
I took some iPhone snaps of what I’m talking about so you can try to see what I mean.
Please let me know if you have any questions about my experience using the film below in the comments section. I hope I covered everything! If not, just ask! And if you have any questions about the production or that sort of thing – Please visit the New55 FILM project website and get to know the new goodness! Bob Crowley answers a lot of questions about this and his FAQ will tell you a bit too. And don’t forget to send him a few hundred thousand dollars. Annenberg… are you listening? Please please please? 🙂
Everyone have a very safe and sober Labor Day! Much love!
In case you haven’t been paying attention there have been over 1100 pieces of legislation introduced to federal and state legislatures over the past year which severely impact women’s health. And if you’ve been following me on twitter, you’ve probably seen my disdain for the jackasses who are responsible. And please ignore the fat man with the golden microphone (is that his golden penis phallic fetish?), he isn’t the one responsible for creating bills designed to discriminate against women. The only thing he does is throw white trash easily mutable fly over’s into a hate frenzy – and yeah, well he calls women sluts. But so what? Slut shaming is so 1965. I can’t remember a time when I felt ashamed when someone called me a slut. It usually made me laugh myself silly. But hey, I spent 10 years with a rock band listening to their hilarity, so I have thick skin. And I’m probably a little more harsh than even they were sometimes. I’m impervious.
What myself and the rest of the 51% of the population (women) aren’t impervious to is the legislation being introduced into state and federal legislatures. It is infuriating. These tiny little boys who are playing politics with my body need to find a new job. They should be censured for discrimination against a group of people. They should be charged with hate crimes against women. But that’s just how I feel about it. The Catholic Church should lose their tax exempt status for this (< click) and Darrell Issa needs to be sent packing. He is a disgrace to my state. I think people are afraid to blame the one entity responsible for this war on women, the Catholic Church. They have displaced their rage on to a fat man with a golden microphone. Criticizing a church isn’t criticizing a god. Their ego wants you to think that, but it’s perfectly OK to be angry at the church. Jesus was. (or so the scripture tells us) I’m rambling, aren’t I? Sorry, I’m really upset.
I realize when it comes to women’s health and a woman’s anatomy, most men are baffled. It’s no wonder a group of men from the Catholic Church wouldn’t understand the many uses of birth control pills. Nor would they realize that they actually help women conceive children. I don’t think the nuns really talk to them about these things, and mixing with women really isn’t their thing. So it’s no surprise to see an all male panel discussing religious freedom and being so stringent to a false belief that they won’t even allow a woman to speak – thus creating a national stir on the issue and turning Sandra Fluke into the poster child for “government handouts of birth control pills” which is a complete falsification. Ladies and Gentlemen – we have our Martyr! This is so fucking high school bully syndrome. What are women supposed to do who pay for insurance plans, prescription drug coverage and a list of other health related things to do when they have an ovarian cyst eruption that could have been prevented by taking a pill that their insurance should pay for? This is childish. The only people who should feel shamed are the Catholic Bishops and Darrell Issa. Wasn’t Jesus into healing the sick? This is elementary my dear Watson!
Women, if you don’t vote things are going to get very taliban(y). Everyone else – please educate yourselves about the many uses of birth control pills.
***all words are my own***
But this is by Carl Sagan:
“How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant’? Instead they say, ‘No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.’ A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.”
So, I made some images. And they are free to share all over the internet if you want to grab them and post them everywhere. Just as long as you aren’t making a profit from it. Not for hardcopy publishing rights though. I retain those.
Let’s be BLUNT! BE BLUNT EVERYWHERE!!!! with credit please.