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Just a quick update on the fine art photography front.  Last night I finally had a chance to break out my chemistry and step wedges to do some testing and calibrations for my carbon transfer print workflow.  I’ll talk more about carbon transfer printing in another post, but it’s basically the most archival of all photographic printing processes, with prints dating back to the 1800s looking brand new today.  The most defining characteristic of a carbon print is the very cool 3D relief of the gelatin standing off the paper a bit.  It’s an exquisite sight when done with highly textured or detailed images.  But it’s only practiced by a few hundred people in the world, because….

It’s an incredibly fickle and time consuming method of putting images on paper.  To date I’ve spend nearly two years off and on trying to get a print, to no avail.  It’s a maddening technique when you don’t have the right work environment and uninterrupted time to devote to the process.  But I think I’ve solved my prior issues and am nearing my first real carbon print.

Unlike my first attempt years ago, my gelatin image didn’t float off the surface of the paper before my eyes during development.  I also didn’t have any shadow areas of the image lifting off the paper, which we call “frilling”.  I’m still dealing with some gray highlights and underexposed shadows, but I’ll hash these out with some chemistry and exposure changes in the coming nights.

I love this stuff, as frustrating as it can be.

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The last few days I’ve been busy getting my darkroom area set up, and it’s nearly done and ready for developing and printing.  The safelight has been installed, darkroom sink plumbed, and yesterday I cut new glass to refurbish my NuArc UV exposure unit for printing handmade alt-process prints.  In the next few days I hope to get back to testing my carbon-transfer process using that fancy color chart and step wedge you see on the table there.  Lots of testing ahead I’m sure, given I tried off and on for over a year in Hawaii to get a decent print and failed.  It’s that hard of a process if your environmental conditions aren’t dialed in.  In Hawaii the humidity and some other factors prevented me from succeeding, but I’m starting from scratch with a better workspace here, so I’m anticipating better results.
But before I can print, I need a light tight cabinet to dry sensitized films and tissues in, as well as some beakers and protective gear for mixing up my chemistry.  That is next on my list this week.  Hoping to have print updates soon thereafter.

Wet area on left, dry area on right.  Temp/humidity gauges, glass plates and reference texts...oh and a Brownie Camera to refurbish.

Wet area on left, dry area on right. Temp/humidity gauges, glass plates and reference texts…oh and a Brownie Camera to refurbish.

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The awesome LVSK8 art show is upon us again and I’m working on a new skatedeck design for this year’s show. Last year I did a hand-carved tiki (see it here), but this year I’ve put much time and effort into researching how to get a photographic image onto wood. The answer seems to be water-slide decal transfer paper, which I have yet to try. I just ordered a batch online and will make some test prints to transfer to an old deck before I do the final piece.

I figured the show’s deadline was a good excuse to complete a half-finished project that has been collecting dust in the garage for about two years. Late last night I finished building the motion rig for shooting moving cars. Depending on what camera angles and distance away from the car I desire, I have some more support arms to fabricate, but this rough start is functional for some shots. I hope to post a blog post and video strictly on this rig sometime. It uses some steel tubing, insanely strong magnets, fence hardware, and a Super Clamp.

Anyway, here is a sneak peak at the theme of the deck, although probably not the final shot I’m going to use. (Keep clicking on the image to get into a higher res version two pages from here)

68 Cadillac motion rig

68 Caddy with motion rig for LVSK8 IV art show deck (Copyright 2010 - Radiant Photography. Rights reserved.)

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If you live in Vegas and weren’t at the LVSK8 III art show June 19th, you missed out on an awesome exhibit opening.  Probably the most diverse and talented exhibit I’ve seen in some time, the show was a hit with the overflow of people who attended.

The decks played canvas various styles of artistic media and techniques, including found object sculpture, airbrushing, colored pencil, graphite, carving, light installation, leather-wrapping, and more.  It was amazing to see how each artist approached their project.

I was told that my tiki board was a hit with the crowd, by one of the gallery owners.  I didn’t get to stick around long enough to overhear anyone talking about it, but it was one of only a few carved boards on display.  Moreover, it was a very fun project that I learned a ton doing.  I had never carved anything before, and had only stained a few pieces of furniture.  By all accounts, it was a successful project in my eyes.

See the pics of the boards below, and check out the show for the next few weeks at Henri & Odette.  They’re located at 124 South Sixth St in downtown Las Vegas.  http://www.henri-odette.com/

– Ryan

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Radiant Photography‘s owner Ryan Weber has be invited to design a skateboard deck for the LVSK8 III art exhibit.  The show will take place June 19, 2009, from 7-11PM at Henri & Odette, in downtown Vegas.

“I’m extremely honored to be a part of such a cool and unique show,” Weber says.  “After focusing on commercial work for years, I’ve been looking to get reconnected with the fine art side of my photography.  This opportunity will motivate me to set time aside for shooting some very personal work.”

The LVSK8 III show might be the start of a few exhibitions this year for Ryan and Radiant Photography.  There are already talks of participation in a summer show of local artists.

“Fine art is a world I’m unfamiliar with and I will embrace the learning curve.  Business is going well, and I’d love to step into the world of fine art photography and maybe even installations,” Weber says.  “During grad school I realized light is my paint and the camera is just the brush I’m currently using to paint with.  I have some light installation ideas using lasers and such that I’d love to put some time into.  If this year goes well with photography exhibits and I start getting more comfortable with the industry, I might dust off the idea book and tackle a couple exhibition projects.”

For now, the LVSK8 III show is the focus.  As for Radiant’s skate deck, there is talk of hot rods, roller girls, giclee, textures, Mod Pog, resin coatings, and pinstriping.  Come out to the show and see what is unveiled.

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