still alive, still making stuff.

I’ve begun working as a technician for an art school here in New Zealand – I’m a photo technician, though ironically what I do in that role is basically all digital, video, database, and even computer programming. Pretty funny given that my specialty dates back to about the time that people were astonished by electricity.

This is from a quickie show that I was a part of;

The big print in strips is a shot I took with a rebuilt digital camera a few years (2008) back, and printed out with a receipt docket printer – suffice to say that the printer makers never planned for this – all told it’s about 150+ meters of printing.

The small prints are half plate physautotypes from the same series of images.

I can finally say that I have something of a handle on the physautotype process, it’s only taken five years for me to basically understand what’s at play there. I am not sure that I’ll ever reach the point of completely controlling it, let alone mastering it. That said, I’m starting to work on larger prints. There is no other process which looks like it – it has a translucent irridescence which I suppose looks like the bastard child of a dageurrotype and an ambrotype.

In other news, I now have a studio set up, and am looking forward to summer when I’ll be getting a lot more of my own work done.



I’ve been playing a fair bit recently with different ideas and antique processes. In large part because I’ve no access to running water in my current studio space, thus my re-visiting physautotype. It’s a nice process for me in that it doesn’t require water at all, and it’s really not terribly sensitive to light (I also have no capacity to black out my space during the day, closing the curtains and working quickly is sufficient ).


This was a bad pour, the imafe is from a lith negative I had lying about. It was very thin, it seems that physautotype likes thin negs.


This is from my digital infrared series, I finally found an output from these files that I like.


This was a test exposure, it gives you a decent idea of what the plate looks like without any special holder. There’s a lot of detail there when it’s displayed correctly.

So the next step is re-jigging my negatives to be a bit thinner, which should preserve the shadow detail.

I’ve also been playing with an idea about dageurrotypes.IMG_20160322_155900

This is as far as I’ve gotten, not so special really. But in this case I’m trying to use cheap silver plated flatware and I’m using iodophor steriliser with a wet treatment to create the sensitive plate, so even this level of success is pretty surprising.

It’s not something I expect to work out very quickly, but it is fairly cheap to do.


Physautotype… again.

So I’ve started working with physautotype again. right now I’m gettting some decent results, not quite perfect, but it’s starting to happen.


These are made with one gram of violin rosin which is crushed to powder, then heated till liquid, cooled, crushed to powder again and added to 100ml of ethanol alcohol. (I’m using purple meths, seems to work fine).

This solution is put to the glass plate with a syringe (the glass plate held level on the fingertips of the opposite hand), the solution is swished around till it covers the whole glass plate, then swished around some more before it’s poured off the corner.

After the plate is poured off and stops dripping I turn the plate by 90 degrees so the next corner is down (the plate being held vertically at this point) and I use a paper towel to mop the bottom two edges of the plate till no more solution beads at the edge (note; the edge, not the surface of the plate).

Soon after this the plate will pass from transparent to a light frosted look, when this light frost covers the whole plate (it can be sped a little by fanning or lightly blowing on the plate) the plate is put down and over the next few minutes a secondary frost will occur. If the coating is uneven or the glass wasnt clean it will be obvious.

I’m using overhead transparencies for the negative (it’s direct positive, so the negative is actually a positive), which seems to work, though I still have a little work to do there, I give it three hours under a nail polish setter and then develop using mineral turpentine fumes.

The mineral turps fumes incidentally don’t need to be concentrated, I put a small splash on some black card in a pyrex dish and that’s enough to last a few days, if you can smell it then it’s probably strong enough.

Then leave it somewhere that it can air and get some sun, and it’s fixed. hold in front of a black surface and the image will show up nicely.

More later…

Digital infrared completion.

I’m now at a stage where the camera is giving me the results that I desire, it’s taken 10 months of sporadic research and camera building to get to this stage. That and over 1500 photographs, many (most) of which fell short of the mark – during this time I’ve had to assess not only how to get the camera to do what I want – but also how to best post process the images so that they fulfill their potential.

I’ll devote a (most probably long) post to this process, but for now – there is the latest batch.

Not too shabby 😀

More infrared

Well, I’ve worked out the filtering issues that made it look odd – another specialist red filter over the lens and all of a sudden i had near infrared, take for instance what I had here;

it’s the colour version, only the infrared overpowered it – the UV issues that I was having are clearly evident in the water (the water was brown, but water reflects UV, thus blue – the filter I was using cut out visible light, but not uv or ir) – so I add a red filter (which cuts uv) and whaddayaknow…

I get black and white infrared, I didn’t expect that – and frankly the online guides didn’t lead me to it either, so I find that sky’s are black…

and everything’s kinda soft and pictoralist…

and stuff’s pretty funky, I wasn’t expecting this shit 😀

A New Project?

While ambling around a city I bacame fascinated by the spaces that have seemingly been excised from the environment, these are the sites that have been ereased in order to create something new, but they haven’t really been ereased at all – sure, the things that have formerly occupied these sites have been removed, but it feels to me like the sites themselves have retained or even gained some kind of resonant tennancy from this action of erasure. Kinda paradoxical really.

A new project maybe?


We’ll see I guess.

Road trip – again

I’ve recently found myself on an unexpected, and not entirely welcome road trip, this far I’ve been travelling for a week or so, On a long boring bus trip I ran entirely out of things to do, so I decided to play with the digi infrared camera and see what came out – as it happens, I think I found something quite interesting.

There were some technical issues that were nearly insurmountable, namely the fact that I was on a bus that was travelling pretty quick and had a camera with a very slow shutter, but i don’t feel that really detracts from the images. They have an interesting feel to them, sorta new Zealand Gothic gothic I guess.

There were of course planty of tree’s – One big problem was that the weather was cloudy and cold for some part, thus given that I was working with a camera that primarily see’s IR and UV I didn’t have much light to work with.

The shutter speeds also gave something of a differential focus effect, caused by the relitive speeds of near and far things.

Streams seem to reflect UV light, at the angles that the UV wasn’t reflected the IR recording saw the water as black.

Cow zoom.

The JPG clipping was also extremely noticable – you can see it here at the top of the tree.

And there’s a selection of 3-400 photo’s taken in a prolonged fit of boredom…