And I've finally finished my (first?) experiment in distorting my film negatives.
I made a (rather) artful series of it...MEN: Distortions (look it up in MY PORTFOLIO...)
There were many great aspects to this series:
The thrilling freedom of new work...
The great satisfaction of physical art creation in relation to hand distorting my own film negatives...
The complete surrender TO THE MUSES of intuitive gesture in, specifically, the scratching of
the negatives. And, above all, meeting and working with three new models.
So in a previous blog post I began by trying to soak the negatives in hot Tennessee whiskey
for about 14 minutes....NOTHING. Then 16 minutes (or so) in almost boiling red wine...still NOTHING.
Then vodka and lemon juice, this time boiling...finally got to something, but then I made the mistake
of washing the negatives and lost whatever distortions began.
I knew after these initial experiments that I had to go with a stronger chemical, or LONGER soaking times.
I opted for bleach. :-)
Then those distortions were not satisfying enough, so I added a soaking step in PAAS (blue tablet) kit. --Think easter egg coloring.-- I believe it was the soaking in vinegar that allowed me to intuitively gesture with small metal implements, and SCRATCH, SCRATCH, SCRATCH the negatives! (I think the vinegar made the emulsions soft and pliant.)
__> I did even try, once throughout this series of distorting the negatives, developing a roll using freezing, ice-cold fixer and wash in ice water...but that only turned the negatives a strange hazy gray. This was NOT what I was looking for....and even stranger with this step....when the negatives were wet, just taken to be hung and dried, I couldn't wipe any emulsion from them. I couldn't even scratch it off the wet negatives! Very interesting and surprising.
How thrilling and risky all of this felt. And, in the end, I think I got some really powerful images.
I recently finished a concept series called Censored: Look but don't See Me
I worked with Portland model (fantastic human being) @divinelyshana35. She is also the concept designer of this series.
WHAT I EXPERIMENTED WITH is overlaying a second photograph, digitally, in Photoshop.
Once I had all the images of Shana done. I went to take a photo of my darkroom buds, against a white wall.
I wanted to make it look like the men were reaching for her, without really and truly looking at her and getting to know her.
In some images it looked more interesting to invert the exposure, so every other photo in the full series alternates this look. It is the same image of men throughout, then with different "states of being a person" as Shana is presented throughout the series.
See for yourself....experimenting is KEY. I love it and wouldn't practice my discipline any other way.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
― Andy Warhol
<In all my various forms (whether I'm laughing, sad, smart as hell, angry, pretty or sexy) men may think they see me, but they never truly know me. I am never loved for who I am. In the end, I am CENSORED. Because I'm treated more like a show piece or an object. My thoughts, my speaking and my heart are irrelevant and I can only exist in a limited space in men's limited allowance.>This series delineates the lack of seeing, knowing, and truly understanding most men use when meeting and creating relationships with women. We shall not remain silent in becoming our full selves. (Nor, have we truly ever been.) We will not be CENSORED.
HEY! Do you love black cats???
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Keep your camera close fellow photographers.
Wear this easy explanation t-shirt - and SHOOT ON!
IT'S FOR THE ART!
Okay fellow darkroomers, film buffs and photographers...
I have decided to try a creative process of film distortion for an upcoming series SOON.
Here is my story so far -and I will update this post and add others as I continue to experiment with materials and see what happens!
So far I have tried one strip of film negatives in (1st try) hot Tennessee whiskey for 14 minutes. I just let the negatives soak and then washed them in water, following this, for 5 minutes. I SAW NO DISTORTION ON NEGATIVES.
Next, (2nd try) I soaked the same negatives in hot -almost boiling, but not quite- red wine, for 16 minutes. AGAIN< NOTHING.
My third attempt was yesterday evening and I soaked the same strip of negatives in BOILING vodka and lemon juice. FINALLY, I think I'm beginning to see some distortion to the negatives/emulsion!!
I have saved all the alcohol to re-use if I so choose. I think it definitely needs to be boiling if using alcohol.
I never knew my film negatives were so hearty and could withstand so much abuse! How interesting.
Next, I will try bleach in some form. Either I will put the negatives on glass and swipe with a bleach-soaked q-tip, or I will fully soak the negatives in bleach.
*Keep in mind, to never mix bleach with any other chemicals! And to have open air around you at all times - the ability to open to a window, etc.*
Excited for the abstract, unknown, mysterious quality!
More to come.
I am embarking upon a fun street photography project with another photography friend of mine from darkroom.
It's called: SIGNS ...
and here's what I've got so far...wandering around #Portland
Short of it. My kidneys are on their way out of town - and they are almost all the way out.
I hover around 30-22% kidney function.
I have many complications and recently....back in October(!)...while LIVE on a webstream,
interviewing the great Benjamin Von Wong....my liver failed (I'm still afraid to go back and watch the video.
Gawd! I don't even remember it!!!) For interest, I've listed the link below:
A few days later I went to the emergency room and from there into the ICU.
I was dehydrated to an extreme degree from throwing up all the night before interviewing Von Wong....BUT HELL FIRE if I was going to miss that interview! When I got to the hospital (my lovely daughter drove me), I knew things were serious but because my liver had failed and, one of the symptoms, is total mental confusion....I did not consciously "know it."
But, ENERGETICALLY, I knew I was dying.
A kind of "undocking" if you will from my physical body. I was preparing to leave the planet.
This is my attempt at capturing the full-round experience of my near death experience.
Hint: It was wonderful.
The first photo represents the first glimmer of my death.
This is very personal work for me. I had a near-death experience and it took me a long while to process it. I have tried my best to capture, what for me was, "visiting the other side," "being dead," "piercing the veil," etc. Bu tthis was an entirely multi-dimensional experience that cannot be well explained with words or 3D earth mind-relates. The light that exists here is simply not beautiful enough to relate to you what I saw. The bottom line is it was a wondrous experience. I am not afraid of death. It was utterly lovely and has now further expanded my heart, my art, and the life left within me, in this body - on this planet. Spend love. Nothing else exists - All else is illusion.
For one instant, I tried to hold onto this world....
I realized, only much later, that I "knew" I was dying.
I didn't consciously know it, but I knew it energetically - if there is such a thing. It felt like I was "undocking" from my physical body. It was a big energetic movement and decision, and inevitable. I felt crazy in my conscious mind though, because I was effused with such joy. I was elated. I did not go through "a tunnel." I immediately experienced myself - and all others/all else - as pure light. AND LOVE.
Nothing else existed. No anger, no jealousy, negativity, misunderstanding, etc.
I knew everything, all at once. I was ONE with every being.
My dad was there. We were so happy to see each other...We didn't "speak," but shared each other. he knew that I was not going to stay very long, and I ONLY wanted to stay. LOVE SOUP.
That was nirvana and that is what I experienced. Looking back and analyzing the experience, I knew my body was below me, but in the experience it mattered NOT AT ALL. I was in another place and it was totally where I wanted to be.
Then I woke up in my body. It was a long while in understanding why I was so sad. So heavy. So NOT back fully in this life again. It took some time to get into the gravity, the physical spanx suit this human body IS.
But I am back and fully present. With great insight and experience.
There is no need to be afraid of death. How fascinating.
Pierced the Viel...
The first glimmer of my own passing.
I realize only on an energetic level that I am leaving this 3D planet; this earth.
My energy body prepares itself, a shift to "undock" and leave behind the body.
In a floating instant I slipped the skin.
I pierced the veil.
I am on the other side.
There is nothing but a beautiful light - and love. Nothing but love.
I realize later piecing this otherworldly experience together that amongst the soft, wonderful understanding of LOVE everywhere, that my dad who passed away about a year and a half ago was also there. There was no tunnel. Just instant all encompassing light with my body below. This, however, did not matter to me because it was total euphoria where "I" was.
I did not want to leave. But I did. I came back.
Do not be afraid to die.
Love & Light is all there is on the other side. This is the dream; the mirage.
This is the unreality.
Pierced the Veil : A Near Death Experience
Photographer: Jady Bates
***I am updating this blog post to say that it is the last day of 2017 and since experiencing the above -- I've begun to experience extraordinary healing. My body is working better in ways that is has not for YEARS. What is that quote?
"I don't believe in miracles.
I rely upon them."
This was so awsum.
I posted photos from an "attempted" body paint shoot (See previous blog post) -and- Simon Tam reached out to me on social media, asking me what the Rock Icon photo shoot was with their Yellow Album mentioned.
I was stunned and excited. I mentioned how much I would love to have the chance to take their photographs. AND...we scheduled the shoot.
Just like that I was living the dream. To take photos of musicians and bands. Awsum.
These guys were so cool too. I had so much fun working with them.
MORE GIGS LIKE THIS< YES PLEASE.
See some of my favorites from the shoot....Gratituuuuude!
This conceptual shoot - I had been planning and "envisioning" in my mind for quite a while before starting to put together.
Because I wanted to try my hand and begin learning body painting on models....body art....
I started to ask myself, "What would make body painting interesting to me? What images would I want to see?"
(That also wasn't so over the top complicated for a first time body painter.) Ha!
And it came to me: Rock icons. Great album covers. Things of this nature.
So I began to list out all the icons and pictures that really interested me to paint and I came up with a short list to begin to practice and learn to compose:
1/Rolling Stone's icon, 2/Radiohead, 3/The Slants Yellow Album, 4/David Bowie's lightning bolt, and 5/Nirvana's happy face icon --- These were much more challenging to learn to draw and paint on a body than I had thought! First it was an issue of materials. What kind of paint/powder/brush/tattoo pens, etc. It took a lot of time and experimenting. The lightning bolt and the Rolling Stone's icon became the most tricky and difficult. The Slants' Yellow Album icon...I just couldn't get the paint to drip just right. The details would make a great difference. BUT...I had the model scheduled, and the studio, and I could have spent years perfecting this craft alone. In the end, I decided to simply go for it and learn from there. And...it came out okay. BUT! I spend so much time concentrating on painting the icons correctly that I couldn't also pay my full and usual attention (in real-time in the studio) to also nuance the lighting and photography. AUGH! Still. A great experience.
I honor the body painting artists out there....it is a vocation and studied talent in and of itself.
The great thing that came out of this small failure....? And the model Raquel (@itsjustraquel ) was beautiful and amazing!
One: a great working relationship with the model. But two...I met Simon Tam (bassist/founder of The Slants) through social media and my posting of this experimental shoot!
The lesson? Experiment. Do your art. Pursue your visions. Even if you quote, unquote "fail..." MAGIC HAPPENS.
It's been awhile and I felt moved to post today.
I've been busy "shooting" all summer. A number of different projects in-studio, environmental portraits, side one-offs, and also, street shooting with friends.
It is this last activity that has sustained me.
Sometimes the concept work in the studio seems more exciting and with awards, can seem outwardly, more rewarding. It is, of course, rewarding..
But the group of friends/photographers I fell into when I first began darkroom sustain me. When we go out shooting we joke around, argue, wander, photograph anything and everything - We have a ball. Even if it's just a lunch hour. And each one is so different and so good in their unique perspective. Everyone has different ideas and no one is shy to say their. I value this very deeply.
I have been terribly ill lately, and almost lost my life. But I didn't. And it's horsing around with great people that make these memories dear and propel me to continue to jump in and try new things with photography.
So in this post....I honor my mates from darkroom..
Each one of these people are extraordinary, loving and wise people. It has been my honor to photograph each of them for this series. Here are two more finalized images and their stories: Kyra and Eric.
....more to come...
Once in awhile, well, BAM!