Merrill Photography http://www.merrillphoto.com Portrait, wedding, commercial photography serving the Washington Coast. Fri, 11 Dec 2020 23:15:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.3 Detritus Redefined http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/07/08/detritus-redefined/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/07/08/detritus-redefined/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2020 20:08:06 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1819 Of late, I’ve not only finished major projects, but have also started off in a new direction. I’m creating assemblages using a mix of alternative photographic pieces and objects found on the beach and in local waterways. The found objects? Junk, really. “Detritus” … which sounds more refined.

My three latest pieces combine wetplate collodion photographs with bones and broken china.

The assemblage above began with a Galapagos Sea lion skull a neighbor found on the beach. I borrowed it and photographed it in the studio using an 8×10 large format camera and the wetplate collodion process.  Collodion solution with sensitized silver is flowed onto a heated metal plate. (I used black aluminum.) It is then exposed and processed in the darkroom while wet. It’s like a tintype, only on aluminum. Once dry, I flowed warm Sandarac varnish onto the plate to seal it. I then used an engraving pen to give the background a silver corona (I probably shouldn’t use that word right now). The exquisite vertebra was found on our beach. I drilled holes and attached china pieces picked from the river mud. The china had been tumbled in sand for 3 days, to remove rough edges. Everything came together and is nicely balanced.

Detail of assemblage.

Above is a photo on metal of a dolphin skull. This piece also began with an 8×10 camera and the wetplate collodion process as described above. I used a different type of varnish to give it more of a mat finish. A lovely vertebra, tumbled china and a bead from the river adorn the top.

A detail of the assemblage.

The third piece in this series is another dolphin skull photographed in the studio with a crazy Kathy Ross wearable art piece as a background. Another wetplate collodion work, this was photographed with an 8×10 camera. The patina on the metal attached to the top is fabulous! Straight from the river with only a bit of preservative added by me. I drilled holes and sewed bird skulls onto the metal. The dolphin skull is so bird-like, it deserved an avian corona (there’s that word again).

Detail of assemblage.

 

This was my first assemblage. Here’s how this piece came about: I first made a pinhole camera from a large Altoids container. The [limited edition] giant sized tin. It accepts 4×5 film or light sensitive paper. I used 4×5, black and white film. I exposed the image then printed it on canvas. I’ve been thinking about how to use all of the things I find on the beach and in the rivers. I found this cigar box (and a few others) at Washaway beach a while back. I also found the bird skull near here. I embellished the edges with glass beads, and the skull with a tiny rhinestone. A piece of glass slides into the slot where the cigar box lid used to be, making this more or less a shadow box. 

Detail of assemblage.

Once the glass was in place, the piece needed some visual balance. I found this perfect little metal detail in the mud and attached it to the front.

It’s all about textures and patina. This is only the second assemblage I’d made. Here’s how it came about: I found an old silver-plated teapot in Montana a while back. The silver is mostly rubbed off and I love the look of it! I photographed it with a 4×5 camera using the wet plate collodion process. I drilled holes into the corners and sewed a thread that looks like tarnished silver.
I found the metal base piece in a local river. I cleaned the mud off and sprayed it with an anti-flaking spray that made the colors deep yet kept it from getting a shiny finish.
I bolted the wetplate photograph to the metal, leaving some space so it appears to float. I added touches of treasures found in the river. Like, the metal crown-looking piece.

Assemblage #3: Here’s how it came about: I found the delicate vertebra and snail shell washed up on the beach at North Cove. I photographed them with a 4×5 camera using the wet plate collodion process. The broken china was picked from our local tidal rivers. I tumbled the pieces for 3 days in beach sand to clean them and smooth the rough spots. I then drilled holes in strategic spots on both the china pieces and the wetplate collodion plate. I balanced everything and attached it together with twisted wire. The buckle and rusty metal (sealed with anti-flake sealer) that it hangs from were also found in the river. It is approximately 8″ wide by 8 1/2″ tall. I learned a lot during the assembly of this piece!

Assemblage detail.

Me and the 8×10 camera I used to photograph the larger collodion pieces.

Update 12-20: Here’s a couple more pieces I made.

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CyClick http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/04/18/cyclick/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/04/18/cyclick/#respond Sat, 18 Apr 2020 17:37:51 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1761 CyClick was literally years in the making. I had a vision of an embellished bike, replete with cameras, cycling and documenting parades and various other functions. I’m also attempting to beautify the world, one rusty hulk at a time, hopefully bringing about world peace while I’m at it. That’s all. Click here for a YouTube video of my CyClick.

A couple of rusty jalopies went into the base of the bike. The parts were cleaning and overhauled by Three Crows Garage in Westport, WA. I’ll bet I started beading the bike 5 years ago. This bike is completely (almost completely, since it’s kind of done but will never actually be finished) covered in glass beads and vintage rhinestone jewelry. There are camera charms and I’ve also attached many working cameras. The cameras themselves are beaded and embellished.

The project began with this bike, an old Shelby Flyer.

The Shelby Flyer was determined to be beyond restoration. I scavenged some parts from it however.

We never did exactly identify this old bike, but we believe it’s a Schwinn. THIS is the bike whose body was sacrificed to become CyClick.

(You can click on any image for a larger view. Some images require clicking twice.)

Somewhere I have a photo of the bike in a million pieces (well, one hundred anyway) and, of course, I had to stare at that pile and think about it for about a year before I actually dove in.

I had originally beaded the spokes. But I didn’t like it. So I took it all off and instead wired them with silver wire and leaves. Much more fitting – and elegant.

Here she is and YUP, you can ride her!

Click here for a YouTube video of my CyClick.

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Dog Friendly Venues http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/03/09/dog-friendly-venues/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/03/09/dog-friendly-venues/#respond Tue, 10 Mar 2020 02:15:28 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1728

The magazines are out! 

I spent quite some time working on this one. Dog friendly venues! Straight up my alley. Over a period of a couple of months, I traveled up and down the Grays Harbor area and surrounds, taking dog pics like a fiend. Congrats to those who ended up in the bit. So sorry to those that got bumped. I didn’t have the final say and I submitted quite a few photos that didn’t end up in the article. I will share some here. But first …. some crappy snaps of a couple of pages. You’re going to have to grab a copy (available a lot of places, but for sure at the Daily World office) for yourself.

I’m very sorry if you were interviewed by me and you don’t see your pics in here. Like I said, not my call. But HERE are some submitted pics that didn’t make the cut:

 

 

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A place for everything and everything in its place. http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/01/06/a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2020/01/06/a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2020 23:17:42 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1637 So my friend said, “You should blog about some of these studio updates you’re doing.” And I said, “My blog! Holy shit! My blog! I forgot all about it!”

Here’s an update:

I decided to redo my hallway, the entry to my studio, and make it into a space where I can display my river finds.

I’m still working on it and figuring out the displays. Lots of shadow boxes appear to be where I’m heading.

Vintage work boots in shadow boxes.

The confessional was moved and shelving with LED lights added up high. I also showed it some love, adding vintage river glass as a decorative centerpiece at the top of the confessional.

I bolted empty, vintage frames to the wall. It needed some color, so I made a mosaic with river china pieces inside. That’s a dolphin skull hanging there right now.

A couple of months ago, the hot water tank went out. It’s in the back of the darkroom. We had to take a wall out to get it out of there. Since we had to do that, we might as well update some stuff, right? We moved a wall to make the room larger.

Spiffy.

Larger area.

Instead of a new tank we put in one of those on-demand water heaters. I highly recommend it! It’s a tiny little thing and it works great! I got new counters, new sink, new shelves, new paint … all either re-purposed or reused. I’m tall, but those counters we originally installed were super high. The new counters and lowered a few inches. I tiled the in-between area with china shards I found in the river.

New sign for the darkroom door. I wanted to get one of those old fashioned light-up “darkroom in use” signs, but I came across this instead.

Nothing much has changed in the shooting area.

Really, it crossed my mind to tidy up. But I’m happiest when I have projects spread out everywhere. It looks like clutter but it really is organized chaos. (It’s really clutter.)

Light-lab area.

Same. Same.

Come here… Look at this over here! If you know me, you know I like to “mudlurk” in our local waterways. It’s like mudlarking on the Thames, only I do it here at home. One type of item those Thames mudlarkers are always finding are old clay pipes. When I was back in Michigan, cleaning out my folks’ house, I found …

… vintage clay pipes from Holland IN MY MOM’S CLOSET!   WTF? They were in a box high up and had been there a while and were pretty much un-explainable.

The examples (above) are more representative of the types of smoking items I find in our local rivers. I tried to tumble a crack pipe, but it disintegrated. These are fodder for a shadow box.

I have two photo projects in the works right now, aside from the personal projects. I’m shooting a story for the spring issue of a magazine. (It’s has to do with dogs.) I’m also photographing a group of works for Judith Altruda . Judith is researching and writing about local artist and tribal member, Eugene Landry’s work. (For now, that link goes to a Facebook page. I’ll try to remember to change it to www.eugenelandry.com once that site is up and running.)

CyClick parts, etc.

 

I was gifted this cool plaque. A new addition to the entry.

 

Hard at work in the darkroom.

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April: A month of many camera holidays. http://www.merrillphoto.com/2019/04/25/april-a-month-of-many-camera-holidays/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2019/04/25/april-a-month-of-many-camera-holidays/#comments Thu, 25 Apr 2019 19:49:04 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1577 April is slam-packed with camera holidays and two of my favorites are: The PSPCS Camera Sale & Swap and Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.

 

A Mickey Mouse camera and me at the camera show.

Mickey and me at the camera show.

The camera show happened on the 13th. Always, ALWAYS an exciting experience! The smell of dust and Bakelite … the clicking of shutters and whirring of self timers. Absolutely thrilling!  I’ve volunteered to work the show the past few years. What this gets me is free, early, admission and a gift certificate for $25 to spend at any table. They tend to put me at the club sales tables. The Puget Sound Photographic Collectors Society – otherwise known as the PSPCS or “the club” accepts donations of photographica during the year, then sells the gear at the show. This means I get to be one of the first people to dig through the goods. (Yay me!)

A couple of young collectors, wowed by zoom lens.

 

Robert Dobson, shown here with his long list of “wants” and just a dollar to spend, introduced me to Jamie. Jamie was there to work the tables and we got along swimmingly. I knew things would work out the second I heard her squeal, “IS THAT GREEN?!?” when opening a box of 126 instamatic cameras.

Jamie and a movie camera she couldn’t live without.

I remember in the 1980s when this show was absolutely packed. Nearly all of the sellers and most of the buyers were men. Sellers would treat me like I was just a girl some guy had brought along with the promise of a free lunch. Today, there are many women buying AND selling. New stuff this year: There were more vendors purchasing used gear from attendees. KEH Camera was there, buying. The Shot On Film store was there selling film. I missed Bob Kelly this year.

Start them young. Freebies under the table.

 

So much fun!

 

What exactly IS this graphic on a McDonald’s Happy Meal Camera?

 

People tend to give me cameras. “I know you’ll do something great with it!”

Here are some of my cool acquisitions:

The camera slides into the little gloved hands and stands on two feet. Like, a crazy plastic tripod. WOW!

World’s Fair Flash Camera. 1964 – 1965

Do you hear the cottonwoods whispering above? A Tammy Camera!

It’s not an Argus knock-off. (It’s an Argus knock-off.)

“To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.” – Winston Churchill

Going Kamping in June!

I know it says Canon, but still. It’s a belt buckle and I’m a sucker.

This is a gift for the Westport Aquarium folks who are hosting this year’s WPPD. But don’t tell them because it’s a surprise.

Appears to work except the little switch on the front won’t budge. Hmm …

And then THIS! My friend Phil Arny gave it to me. A lovely handmade pinhole camera which I plan to use on Sunday, which is WPPD.

Sunday, the 28th, is the Pinhole Holiday. Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day – or WPPD for short. There’s a group of us gathering at the Westport Aquarium . Come visit us starting at 10AM. It’s an informal gathering of pinhole enthusiasts. We’ll have lunch / dinner afterward – it may involve beer. I’m hoping Marc Myrsell will play his accordion for us. For more info on WPPD visit the Pinhole Day Website.

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Did I photograph you a thousand years ago? http://www.merrillphoto.com/2019/03/24/did-i-photograph-you-a-thousand-years-ago/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2019/03/24/did-i-photograph-you-a-thousand-years-ago/#comments Mon, 25 Mar 2019 02:25:50 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1559 For nearly 30 years I have been honored to have photographed local families. Their milestones. Their everyday lives. I’ve got dozens of file boxes of negatives to prove it. I used to give my clients contact sheets – 8 1/2″x11″ sheets of small images. The other day, I was kicking around these file boxes of negatives up in the studio loft. I stuck my fingers inside a folder and took a peek. “Oh somebody’s baby!” … another folder … “Somebody got married.”  *sigh*  And then I thought, “What if some day all of these people in these thousands of strips of negatives are able revisit themselves? Would it bring them joy?”

Taken 22 years ago at the Tokeland Hotel.

I believe photographs, with time, increase in emotional value. Maybe I photographed you and you ordered an image or two? What about those outtakes? 20 years on, wouldn’t you love to peruse them? Many of my clients have become friends over the years. Many, many other clients I’ve lost touch with. Here’s where it gets tricky. Do I try to contact the people I’ve lost touch with? I mean, family dynamics change, divorce happens … life, you know? I believe, in most cases, the people in these photographs will be happy to see the images and take a walk down memory lane.

Kelly and Angel.

I posted my question to social media and received quite the response. It warmed my heart – and will keep me scanning negatives for many weeks to come. [Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it’ll be worth it.]

Anyone who’s scanned negatives knows it’s very tedious. It may take me a while to get the albums online and there might be some dust spots I’ll miss – hey, they’ve been sitting in my loft for over 20 years, if there isn’t dust it’ll be a miracle. Each online album will have a private link. You can order prints from this album and share pics. Even though I had a larger response than I’d originally thought I might, the offer to scan and post comes from my heart. I don’t plan to charge for the online albums. HOWEVER, should you feel the urge to support this project, a donation via Paypal or check would be gratefully accepted. ( marcy@merrillphoto.com , PO Box 575 , Tokeland, WA 98590 )

I’ve already begun contacting folks as their albums are available. I’m excited to have these images once again see the light of day. They deserve to be enjoyed.

 

 

 

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Petoskey Universe http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/12/14/petoskey-universe/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/12/14/petoskey-universe/#respond Fri, 14 Dec 2018 23:44:41 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1482 [Tangent alert: No photography/camera stuff in this post.]

There’s a universe in a Petoskey stone. Growing up in Michigan, Petoskey stones were the holy grail of fossils. When I was a kid I could spot a Petoskey stone at 50 paces. My dad marveled at my Petoskey spotting skills. Years later, I realized my Petoskey prowess was merely due to the fact that I was a child, closer to the ground and with clear vision. Having lived in Washington state for many years now, I have only recently been reunited with the Petoskey stone. My folks still live in southeast Michigan so there’s reason to stay away … I mean VISIT! There’s reason for me to visit. During one of my visits, I don’t remember how or why, but I ended up in Petoskey . Maybe I entered the state from the north? Maybe I was cruising around taking a break? At any rate, I remembered the stone and the name … and ended up walking the beach at Petoskey State Park. It was cold and windy, as the waves lapped the sand, those stones were everywhere. I had a plastic grocery bag and my pockets. That’s it. But that was enough. It sparked a memory and I stuffed my pockets. A couple, walking in the opposite direction, asked, “Having any luck?” They had such confounded looks on their faces, as if the beach had conquered them. I was, like, “Fuck yeah!” Then I went back to my room and poured out my plunder. Everything had turned to a dull, dry gray. Somewhere inside were my fabulous Petoskeys. Finding them made me feel like a kid but this pile sure looked like  … bleh.

Copper wrapped Petoskey.

Oh wait! I remember! I’d flown in to Detroit and had a rental car. I ended up at a place called the Terrace inn in a town near Petoskey. There was only so much I could pack in my return suitcase and I hadn’t counted on rocks. So I kept my plunder to a minimum. Meanwhile, I do this thing … I rock tumble. DON’T tell anyone! My friends will expect me to begin making those cut-out petticoat garden figures out of plywood. Anyway, I tumble rocks in private, okay? I threw these Petoskeys in the tumbler all happy-go-lucky like. (I believe I just heard a collective sigh from my Petoskey Stoner friends.) Well, I tumbled those stones into nothingness. So began my foray into Petoskey tumbling. They’re soft and porous and can’t be tumbled like regular rocks. They’re special. I had enough left to experiment with and, after doing research, I experimented. From that first batch I ended up with one perfect stone. My friend, Sharon, wrapped it in copper.

I came away with a better idea of how to attack my next Petoskey haul. This exposure to the beauty that northern Michigan holds also sparked a curiosity in my home state that I hadn’t experienced before.

Visit # 2: I’m a runner. I run and I’m kind of collecting bridges. One day it occurred to me to wonder if they ever run across the Mackinac Bridge? So I did that. I stayed at an Airbnb in Petoskey and ended up staying up well past midnight, engrossed in conversation with the Airbnb’s owner. Good times! Another cold and windy visit. This bridge run was an excuse to visit Petoskey and I came away with [what I consider] a great haul. Since I’d worked on perfecting my Petoskey tumbling skills, I ended up with a better outcome.

Nerding out on fossilsClick on any image for a larger view (but mind, if you click, YOU definitely are a rock nerd). I think you gotta click twice to get a really large image:

Okay so then came visit number three. I drove my camper-topped car across the northern plains. I got sick on my way to southeast MI *cough*  *cough* . Not wanting to bring this contagion with me to my destination,  I camped at Petoskey State Park to wait it out.

This past summer I found a Thumler’s Tumbler at a yard sale for $5. I polish my Petoskeys to a nice luster. Not high gloss, but lustery. Here’s my secret recipe for lusterishness: 2 days in 220 grit. 2 days in 600 grit. 12 hours ( or so) in soap. That’s it. Tweak it for the more or less porous stones.

I told Bob that when I’m old and have lost my mind, just put me somewhere comfortable and surround me with my Petoskey stones. I’ll simply stare at them all day and be very happy. I find myself kind of looking forward to it.

 

Oh my GAWD! While writing this blog post, I stumbled upon this on Etsy. Gotta have ’em!

 

Got ’em!

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World Peace through Junk Store Cameras http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/09/06/world-peace-through-junk-store-cameras/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/09/06/world-peace-through-junk-store-cameras/#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2018 02:45:51 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1421 Ari Sigvaldason, shown here with my Gala Edition Hawkeye camera and his book REYKJAVIK.

At Fotografi in Reykjavik.

When folks ask, “How was your trip?” Where do I start? Where do I even begin? So I say, “Oh it was good … Fun.”  We touched down at Heathrow. The customs agent at Heathrow asked me where we were headed and since I didn’t know I asked him where he’d go if he had a rail pass? He said, “I’d go as far north as I could possibly go. Northern Scotland.” I said, “Well, that’s what we’ll do then.”  I want to tell that customs guy that THAT’S exactly what we did.

We took the Tube into London and stayed at an over-priced hellhole beside Hyde Park for a few days.Then we headed north. As far north as we could go.  Mostly Airbnb’ing it, we met so many great people and saw so many cool things. (Oh it was good … Fun. ) I’d brought three US made junk store cameras to leave behind. The first I left behind was an Imperial Delta . I put a note inside with info about my “project” – world peace, and some technical note about the camera (“technical” is stretching it in regards to the Delta). I left it at a charity shop (that’s what they call thrift shops over there) in England. I felt like I was tossing a message in a bottle. Haven’t heard anything back about that camera yet. These cameras are my family, so I hope to hear something soon. The second camera, the Argus C3, I left in Brighton with Mr. Magpie . He gave me a Purma Special in return!

A pinhole photo of me &pinhole photographer Howard Arthur Mosier.

In Largs, I received a message “What are you doing in my neighborhood?” I can now say I have personally met a master of pinhole photography! Me and Howard Arthur Mosier! (He took this pinhole shot.)

So much more to say about the UK, maybe later. After spending a few weeks there, we went to Iceland. We rented a car. Here are few random Iceland shots:

I still had the Gala Edition Kodak Brownie Hawkeye to disburse and bring about world peace. Here are some fun shots taken with this particular camera. I’d flipped the lens so it renders images that have distorted edges and a central sweet spot.

Fotografi in Reykjavik. What a shop! I knew right away that this was the perfect next home for the Gala Edition Hawkeye. From the funky music, to the display of junk store cameras, to the wonderful photography of Ari Sigvaldason … took my breath away.

He immediately put the camera in a prime spot in the front window. “This isn’t original?” he asked, running his fingers over the iridescent purple beads. Perfect end to a pretty perfect trip. That was my summer.

I figured I’d better put together a post about this past summer’s trip before I start talking about this fall’s trip. So I did that (see above) and now let’s move forward:

I’m heading out, I think it’s going to be on September 18th-ish. I’ve mentioned it before. Remember? The Element? That place in Wyoming?  I wanna go there again when they’re open. Little Missouri Gallery in Alzada, Wyoming. Anyone know if they’re still open ever? Anyway, I’ve got to select some junk store cameras to bring along to leave behind (kinda funny, that choice of words). Maybe some Galas? Going east …

It’ll be good … You know, fun.

I’m taking the cameras I acquired in England around the PNW. Seeing the sites. Here, the Agilux Autoflash Super 44 and I are exploring the rainforest in the Olympic National Forest.

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Admissions of an addict. http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/06/09/admissions-of-an-addict/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/06/09/admissions-of-an-addict/#comments Sun, 10 Jun 2018 02:21:09 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1374 My name is Marcy and I’m an addict.

“HELLO MARCY”

I haven’t been to the river in three days, fourteen hours and thirty six minutes.

The scent of the earth … the mud, the brackishness of the water. The train echos across the river, gray in the morning light. I can’t get ENOUGH!

I find things:

So far I’ve stuck to the south side of the river. The homeless there have a few encampments but most of them keep to themselves. The homeless on the other side of the river have been drawing attention lately. They’ll probably get kicked out and move across to “my” side. There’s plenty of room for everyone, I guess. Meanwhile, I’ve met mudders like Donny. Donny is a life-long mud scavenger. He eagerly educates me regarding his finds and where he found them. The day I met him, we were both poking around. He found a vintage lipstick container and gave it to me.

“Irresistible Orange”

I can’t not go there. If you want to know how I find the time – see my last blog post. When I first began going to the river, I thought I was looking for broken pieces of vintage china to mosaic my stupid bathroom.  I was overwhelmed.

My trips there have morphed into much more. I’ve begun reading history books. Me! Interested in history! I’ll tell you what … if I had a dollar for every bottleneck. There are millions of bottlenecks out there. And shoe soles. Why so many shoe soles? Vintage boots, really. Pieces of vintage boots that were probably discarded between 1900-1930 or so? Thousands of them. My friend Kat asked, “Just like the Holocaust? You know, when they took all the shoes?” Yeah. It looks kind of like that. So now my interests have morphed again from china to weird little foundlings to vintage shoes pieces. These boot pieces tell the story of Grays Harbor’s logging industry, having been discarded near old mill sites. History in a boot. I’m documenting them on Tri-x film with my trusty Nikomat. Here, you get a glimpse in living COLOR. Ha!

Today Aberdeen’s Museum of History burned down. I feel like we all need to run out and grab stuff and preserve it and build again. Meanwhile, I’ll photograph my finds. I’m bringing a butt-wad of pinhole cameras down there over the summer to document tiny, muddy things. I like my images of the leather pieces but the leather pieces almost really speak for themselves. The river is the museum.

An absolutely ridiculous bottleneck lamp shade.

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Time is an illusion http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/05/30/time-is-an-illusion/ http://www.merrillphoto.com/2018/05/30/time-is-an-illusion/#comments Wed, 30 May 2018 19:17:14 +0000 http://www.merrillphoto.com/?p=1312 Mark O’Brien visited me all the way from Ann Arbor! After the usual pleasantries, food … liquor, we headed out to the studio for some camera talk and more libations. He had come not only to visit but also to interview me for possible inclusion in a future Film Photography Project podcast. [Update: Here’s a link to the entire FPP podcast episode.]

Photographer and extremely famous person, Mark O'Brien.

Photographer and extremely famous person, Mark O’Brien, talking into his recorder during the interview in my hovel … I mean studio.

As we sat down, and before the interview began, Mark said “Let’s talk about the beaded stuff! I gotta know… where do you find the TIME?” *more on that later*

We had the BEST time, yakking it up about cameras and film! I rarely get a chance to talk so enthusiastically with someone about analog photographica because all of my friends are so lame. (Just kidding, friends!) Anyway, it was a great time. We discussed a few of our favorite cameras then talked about my intention to bring about world peace through junk cameras. I’m going to pepper the world with plastic cameras and see what develops. In my last blog post, I mentioned I’d be bringing – and leaving- some cameras while on my trip to the UK and Iceland. (Still seeking cool, funky camera destination suggestions, by the way.) I’ve already been invited to Italy next year and, dang, I’m going! What the world needs now is film sweet film.

More of Mark’s visit.

*back to the time question* (A different subject begins now.)

I’ve always wondered. Just how much time should a person spend on their art? (I use the term “art” loosely.) A painter isn’t asked, “Where do you find the time?” Or maybe they are. How would I know? Granted, a painter when finished painting, has a masterpiece. When I’m finished I simply have a crappy camera with beads attached to it. Here’s what was on the work bench when Mark was here:

Gala Edition Kodak 120 Autographic folder.

Gala Edition Kodak 120 Autographic folder.

I’m almost finished with it but I still have some touchy-uppy things to do. Threads need to be burned off, some touch-up paint. I will then coat it with a sealant. I might leave this one in Italy. Always seeking that pesky world peace.

Whether it’s Gala Edition beaded cameras, wetplate work, hand tinted prints (Click on any image below) … I am always asked the question about time.

I have some really pretty decent artist friends. In the past I have displayed my work alongside renowned metalsmith Judith Altruda and wood artist Jeffro Uitto::

Judith Altruda's earrings.

Judith Altruda’s earrings.

Jeffro's Rhino

Jeffro’s Rhino

I became the joke. Seriously. Folks would peruse the art. They’d pour compliments on my friends. (For good reason!) When they’d get to me and my work there was , most often, a pause. Then they’d bring up the time thing. Rather than the question of where do I find the time, it was often put to me as a statement. The viewer would give me a conspiratorial smile and, while nodding, they’d say, “Someone’s got too much time on her hands.” One time someone really took interest. They actually walked around and I felt honored they looked at what I had created. Then they said, “I REALLY like that easel!” I swear Jeffro snorted hummus out his nose.

I’ll bet Alfred never told Georgia, “O’Keefe, you’ve got too much time on your hands.”

Anyway, Mark and I had an excellent time wondering about the neighborhood, burning up some film and pixels.

Gotta go! Time’s a tickin’ and that Argus ain’t going to bead itself.

 

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ”
― Coco Chanel

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