JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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My Favorite Twenty One Havre de Grace Street Images from 2017

Feb 19, 2018

Plus some notes on tools of the trade and a couple of lessons learned… My 2017 Havre de Grace Street series is now printed up as 8.25x11s and framed 11x14. I selected twenty-one of them (including a couple from At the Opera House) and was able to frame them a little more reasonably than usual because I scored a discount on the 11x14 frames – that doesn't happen that often. The shot above includes thumbnails of all 21 images – I'll need a small poster so I put this file together (sorry, thumb links don’t work from the blog entries). These are just my favorites, there are more in the series here in the Street and Opera House sections. Anyone wants any of those done up, the terms are the same.I'll be figuring out this week where I'm going to hang them in town, with a poster explaining that if one finds themselves "featured" in one of the images, it's theirs for 80% off the posted price (which should be around $75) or free without the frame. I stress the word "featured" simply because there are a couple of crowd scenes – you can see where I'm going with that one. Not in this series are scenes without recognizable people – see those printed larger and in RiverView Gallery.

I'll be figuring out this week where I'm going to hang them in town, with a poster explaining that if one finds themselves "featured" in one of the images, it's theirs for 80% off the posted price (which should be around $75) or free without the frame. I stress the word "featured" simply because there are a couple of crowd scenes – you can see where I'm going with that one. Not in this series are scenes without recognizable people – see those printed larger and in RiverView Gallery.

Still gotta work out how all this will be handled. Soon. And hopefully 2018 will prove even more fruitful as I recover from my decade of working on the Easter Island project and get into something new here.


Vacuum Dry Mount Press HGP 260:

The last really good and reliable place to get my work dry mounted will close at the end of March. That left mehaving to decide between two ugly choices, a 500T-X hoit-plate press that weighs almost 300 pounds and measures 24x30 inches and a 32x40 inch vacuum press that weighs half that. Price is about the same for a used press, anywhere from 10 to 20 percent of the original price because framing shops are closing at a fast rate. The problem was finding one within driving range – on the east coast they seem to be grabbed up quickly while they lay in wait for a buyer in Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, etc. So I decided to take whichever one was gettable.

I scored the larger but lighter, a measely 160 pounds, vacuum press, in beautiful condition. I pick it up sometime before the end of March – it's awkward however and I'll have to take someone with me, along with one of those strap sling things, to help load it into my wagon.

I have to do two things first. One – have a 220 outlet installed in my storage room (the only place I have for it) – fortunately the dryer is already located fight down the same wall so the routing should be easy. And two – I need a sturdy table to set it on, which I will work on getting on the cheap.

Every piece I sell will help pay for this thing to the tune of (other than the 8.25 on 11x14 works which are hinge mounted) on the average $15 each. Since I figure this will cost me in the end about $600, that's 40 pieces – I had better get busy.

Birthday-wish Lens:

One of the cool things happening in the world of cameras and photography today is the resurgence of the utility of old film-camera lenses. They are often useless on digital SLRs because of the way they have to be constructed. But mirrorless cameras don't have that limitation. OK, it will be something of a toy, but I have my eye on Canon 500mm f8 mirror lens mounted via a $20 adapter on my Fuji – it will instantly turn into a 750mm beast, wow. The only loss will be autofocus – which is no big deal. These things are running $250 to 300 used but in good condition on eBay right now. If I get one great shot out of it, it will make it all worth while.

The only reason I'll pass on the Nikon version of this lens is focusing direction. Canon lenses, like Fuji, focus right to infinity while Nikon reverses this. After decades of shooting one way, to switch would simply screw with my head too much. I've always thought that this difference could be one of the reasons Canon and Nikon people are so averse to switching.

A Couple of Lessons Learned:

1- I have a habbit of leaving my camera battery chargers plugged in – it's just handier that way. I just had one go bad after about 8 months – on checking I found out these things have only a 90 day warranty so I probaby contributed to its demise. Oops. Oh well, this is one item where the third party substitutes are as good if not better than the name brand, and can be had for a third the cost.

2- Re: my notes from the last posting – on uncurling prints made on roll paper. I've revised my notes to read:

"after waiting a short time so the print can be handled a little, reverse curl it just enough to slide it in the end of an empty 3 inch diameter roll-paper spool. OK, I guess a shipping tube would work too, and one could easily use a 4 inch plastic plumbing tube for slightly larger prints. The ends almost meet, leaving no overlap to threaten the image. And one will fit in each end so two can be done at a time. Leave it 12 to 24 hours – depending on how close to the end of the roll the paper came off of (gets quite curly near the end). Then slide it out and, protecting the image with a sheet of paper, place a layer of mat board over it and place this under a heavy book for another 12 to 24 hours minimum, again dependent on the part of the roll the print came off of... "

This reflects the fact that I am almost right up to the tight end of a printer roll and at the same time got anxious and tried to cut my timing back a little – to not-so-good results. Now those four images are back under a stack of books.