With no road trips planned, or any trips for that matter, I’ve been making photographs around the house and garden and printing them small, and in silver-gelatin. They’re just 4 x 4″ in size on 8 x 10″ paper, slightly selenium toned and matted to 8 x 10″ in 4-ply museum board.
My prints have always been fairly small, either 6 x 6″ or 7 x 7″, but I find myself being attracted to smaller prints more than ever before. I love Polaroid for its size, squareness and colour palette, and the Polaroids of directors Wim Wenders and Andrey (Andrei) Tarkovsky, cinematographer Robbie Müller and, in black and white, Patti Smith, I find mesmerising and were the reason I started working with Polaroid again. Other photographers and their work I’m revisiting are the IOWA images of Nancy Rexroth, more so for the prints than her choice of camera, and the work of Øyvind Hjelmen.
There’s a great documentary on the writer, photographer and curator Bill Jay, titled Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay. Until this week is was only screened at selected venues, and those were primarily in the UK, but it’s now available on YouTube. I’m only part way through, as I usually am with most things right now, but I can really relate to many of the people in it and status of photography as it was then, in the 1970s in the UK, having started a serious interest in photography around 1972.
I’m slowly working my way through processing the film from a recent short trip to the Badlands of South Dakota. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of visiting there.
These are scans from the film originals which were made on Ilford Delta 400 with the Rolleiflex 3.5F and the Mamiya 6 and processed in PMK Pyro. Eventually I’ll get in the darkroom to make gelatin-silver prints from them but I often find it easier and cheaper to scan the film and to edit them in Photoshop, just to give me an idea of how to print them.