For articles, see F2 eZine Archive #12 Oct -Dec. 2002


Archive #12 - October-December 2002


WIPI News Article #1

POLAROID MANIPULATIONS
A Complete Guide to Creating SX-70, Transfer, and Digital Prints

An Interview with Kathleen Carr by Joanne Warfield, WIPI Director of Exhibitions.

 

JW: What do you consider your greatest philosophical/spiritual influences in how you approach your photography?

KC: I was fortunate to have studied extensively with Minor White in 1971. His meditative approach to photography had a profound affect on my perception, encouraging a reverence and connection with the subject before exposing the image. I then began to see photography as a vehicle for spiritual growth—a mirror of my inner and outer awareness of life. This awareness was expanded when, in 1972 I began living at Findhorn, an international spiritual community in northern Scotland. One of the founding principles of Findhorn was that nature has intelligence and a spiritual dimension that we all can contact and share, each in our own way. Caring deeply about nature, especially when I see such environmental destruction in the world, I want my photography to inspire people to honor the earth and all who live upon it.

JW: Can you give a brief overview of the Polaroid processes covered in your books?

KC: Polaroid image transfer. An image is exposed onto Polacolor ER peel-apart film by means of a slide printer, camera, or enlarger. The film is pulled apart before complete development and the dye-laden negative is rolled onto another surface, such as watercolor paper. The dyes develop onto the other surface and the image is “transferred.” The image may then be manipulated and hand colored if desired. Each image is unique due to the physical properties of the transfer process.

Polaroid emulsion transfers use the same film and equipment, however, the results are completely different. The image is developed fully onto the positive print of the Polacolor ER film. The image layer of the print, or emulsion, is removed with hot water. It can then be placed onto virtually any surface, including three-dimensional forms. The transparent emulsion can be sculpted, stretched, and torn into different shapes, then hand colored.

Polaroid SX-70 manipulations are created by exposing an image onto Polaroid Time Zero film by means of SX-70 or 600 series camera, Daylab slide printer, or an enlarger. After the image develops, the film emulsion remains pliable for a number of hours so that it can be manipulated by using different tools, such as crochet hooks, wooden ceramic tools, burnishing tools, pens, etc.

Digital Applications.  A Giclée print is made by scanning the Polaroid art at a high resolution and printing it with a very high quality ink jet printer, which can render the finest detail and vibrancy of the original image. Scanning, Photoshop, printing information and options are detailed in Polaroid Manipulations.

JW: What led you to these processes, and are you still involved with “straight” photography?

KC: After my book To Honor the Earth was published in 1991 (color photography), my fingers started to itch, and I wanted to work physically on the prints. I started handcoloring my black & white prints with Marshall’s oils. That year I attended an ASMP meeting on Polaroid image transfers and was able to make a few transfers. I loved one of my first images, and realized that my photography was about to change. I had already been moving away from the literal image in my straight photography, and image transfer allowed for a more subjective approach to express what I was feeling at the time that I exposed the image.

I continue to photograph with 35 mm slide film and black & white infrared, so I’m still involved in traditional photography—although right now I choose to work with those images that I feel would be most effective as Polaroid transfers or manipulations. Soon, I plan to create a portfolio of my “straight” underwater wild dolphin and whale photographs from over the last 10 years.

JW: I know you wanted to help others learn from your mistakes or difficulties with the Polaroid processes by teaching and sharing your insights and discoveries. How did that lead to the enormous task of writing the books?

KC: I first started teaching because I wanted Polaroid transfers to become a valid art/photography form rather than a passing fad. I figured that the more people that were involved in it, without getting too frustrated while learning, the more likely it would become part of the accepted photography world. My students kept asking if there were any books or written materials about Polaroid transfers, and there weren’t, except for an out-of-print Polaroid booklet. I finally decided to write a simple book, which kept growing. Due to the success of Polaroid Transfers, the publisher, Amphoto, asked me to do another book. I was working with SX-70 Manipulations at that point, and again, there was no thorough book out there. I decided to do a book that covered not only SX-70 manipulations, but included updated information, additional creative examples for image and emulsion transfers, and digital applications, which has been the next step for me in presenting and selling my Polaroid art.

JW: I discovered your first book while developing my own Polaroid manipulation processes, and your invitation for me to be in your second book inspired the experimentation that lead to my “Time-Zero Corrosion process.” [Below, and featured in Carr’s Polaroid Manipulations.] Has writing these two books lead you to new discoveries?

 

KC: I’m not really an inventor type. I may come across an idea or technique that I really resonate with and then explore that with my images. A few examples: combining black & white negatives for sandwiching and double-exposing; putting emulsion transfers on eggs, wood, stone, and other surfaces; further enhancing or handcoloring in Photoshop; and making artist books with the images.

JW: You’ve been very successful at teaching workshops as well as selling and showing your work in galleries around the country. What advice can you give in combining the transcendental aspect of creativity with the pragmatic details of business?

KC: I’ve found it very difficult to balance these two aspects of being an artist. I end up working too hard on the business details because I have to support myself. However, it is very exciting and fulfilling to create art and career together. I have a part-time office helper, but I often don’t do as much artwork as I yearn to do. I’ve realized that I can’t do everything, at least not at the same time. Belonging to an annual Sonoma County ARTrails "Open Studios" program and having exhibitions of my work provide deadlines to force me to do what I really want—create new artwork.

JW: Congratulations, Kathleen, on a beautiful and informative book. As with your Polaroid Transfers, selected by Photo-Eye Books as the first “Best Technical Title, runner-up,” this one is sure to be a stellar success.

Kathleen Carr is a fine art photographer, author, and teacher. After studying with Minor White, she spent seven years producing three books and multimedia materials at the Findhorn Community in Scotland. She was staff photographer at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and is a NEA Fellowship recipient. Widely exhibited at galleries around the country and featured in publications such as National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Esquire, and Decor, Kathleen has written three books: To Honor the Earth: Reflections on Living in Harmony With Nature; Polaroid Transfers: A Complete Guide to Creating Image and Emulsion Transfers; and Polaroid Manipulations: A Complete Guide to Creating SX-70, Transfer, and Digital Prints.

Kathleen's images:
"Beach Palms, Thailand"—SX-70 Manipulation
"Orchids 1"—SX-70 Manipulation
"Pregnant Nude on Ostrich Egg"—Emulsion transfer
"Estero, Point Reyes"—Hand colored image transfer

Joanne's images:
"Rosa Doble Gold"—Time-Zero Corrosion
"Orange Filigree"—Time-Zero Corrosion

View more...
Kathleen’s work: WIPI Professional Gallery Archive 11, July 2002
WIPI f2 eZine book review Archive 12, October 2002
website: KathleenCarr.com

Joanne’s work: WIPI Professional Gallery Archive 9, January 2002
WIPI f2 ezine “Afghanistan” Archive 8, October 2001
website: JoanneWarfieldFineArt.com

 

 


WIPI News Article #2

TZONE



Tyra Banks is Helping to Build A Better Future For Girls
Through Teamwork, Communication and Trust

photographs and story by Cat Jimenez, 2002



The Southern Slopes of the San Bernadino Mountains set the backdrop for the 2nd annual, week long overnight camping experience designed for young girls (ages 13-15) to help build their self-esteem. Based in Los Angeles, and founded in 1999, the TZONE project was established by the sucessful and talented actress and model, Tyra Banks in response to the thousands of fan letters from young girls expressing issues with self-doubt, negative body image and pressures from the opposite sex. The girls are selected through an application process based on merit, need (lower socioeconomic groups) and community service. TZONE is a remarkable self-esteem building adventure for young girls for whom this experience would otherwise not be available.

Carolyn London (Tyra’s mother), Executive Director of The TZONE Project and past history as a medical photographer for 15 years, contacted Women In Phography International in search of a female documentary photographer to creatively document the 5 day/4 night August event to capture the images of the camp.

After my portfolio presentation, I was selected to join the camp as staff photographer by Tyra (who is also a shutterbug), I was secretly giddy inside to finally have the overnight camping experience that I longed for when I was a child but had resolved to never have in this lifetime. A camp pre-requisite for all in attendance, staff-included, was to chose a name other than your birth name that you would be called for the duration of the camp. Tyra became BBQ for her adoration of BBQ sauces and foods and I transformed into MAX, a name given to me by a friends ‘hard-of-hearing’ mother who, upon first introductions, thought my name was Max. As I shed my name-sake identity and dawned the new MAX nametag, I felt a certain sense of anonymity and opportunity to be whomever I wanted to be. This was the first ofmany skins that were shed during this “not-so-ordinary camp” experience.

Of course, there were camp-associated activities such as campfire songs, arts and crafts, cold showers, the occasional bear sightings, and carbohydrate-laden food. But as days activities passed into evening discussions facilitated by BBQ (Tyra) and a wonderful, wise-beyond-their-years camp counselor staff, I could see the girls felt a certain ease and safety about sharing some painful memories and experiences. The staff to campers ratio was 1:2 and many of the junior counselors were previous campers themselves, fortified with previous knowledge of the

TZONE experience. Emotional guards down and barriers dropping quickly, I started to see the girls as a field of poppies getting ready to bloom right before my very eyes (and camera lens), The Transformation Zone.

The daytime activities soon became equally as powerful as the evening discussions. The skills that the girls were required to learn and master in such a short period of time were tools that could easily translate in the outside world. Teamwork, communication and trust were essentials in ensuring the girls could accomplish their tasks at hand. One such small group (10 girls) activity required that each girl have the same size tube. The object of the activity was to get a ball to travel through each of their tubes without dropping the ball on the ground before it reached the basket. The girls had to line up the tubes and once the ball passed successfully through their tube, had to

run to end of the line to ensure the ball wouldn’t drop, and so on, and so on. Sounds easy in theory, but it proved to be quite a challenge. This activity (and many others like this) provided the forum for girls to communicate clearly, trust one another and realize that they had to work together in order to successfully accomplish the goal. Watching their faces go from doubt, worry and frustration to the pure joys and satisfaction that come with a job well done sent me, an observer, down such a path of delight and glee.

Night 3 proved to be the most intense of the evening discussions, topic at hand – “beauty and body image”, facilitated by both BBQ and her mother. This is where I thought all women, of all ages, could participate and truly benefit from a discussion that would help us move through our own personal hang-ups, self-perceived imperfections and ideas of beauty. As BBQ facilitated discussions and connected with every single girl (and person) in the room by sharing her own painful and personal experiences with negative body image and insecurities, she transformed into a real and tangible human being, who happens to get paid for being very beautiful. I had found a deep respect for BBQ (Tyra) after this discussion because of her ability to facilitate breakthroughs with these young girls. Not to mention these other qualities I witnessed while at camp: her tireless energy, her level of openness/availability to the girls, and her dedication, desire and interest in providing a life-changing opportunity and experience for others. She was and is truly an inspiration.

With tears shed and sobs released, everyone knew they just had experienced or witnessed a transformation of sorts on many different levels for each individual present. With the lightness of being that comes after a good cry, a spontaneous dance celebration erupted and we all had an opportunity to “shake it”. My field of poppies had finally come to full-bloom and I was so fortunate to witness the radiant display of unique and individual beauty from each girl.

As camp came to a close, I came to realize that for me, TZONE represented the Transformation Zone. I had felt transformed and I had no doubt by looking at the faces of these young girls that they too, were transformed.

Before the buses took the beautiful poppies away, BBQ passed out bubbles to everyone, and we all stood in a picturesque, open-air grassy field, blowing our bubbles, silently and symbolically letting the bubbles carry our worries, fears and insecurities away.

Photographs
Evening Talent Show
TZone
Tyra Banks
Impromptu Dance Party
Rope Activities
Dance Class
Group Hug




Article and photographs by: Cat Jimenez aka MAX
Cat Jimenez


WIPI News Article #3

Burning Man 2002 .... hotter than ever..!

Story by: Laura Casey - Photographs ©Susan Holmstrom 2002



On the dusty, prehistoric lake bed Burning Man participants dub the playa, flames began to lick the sides of David Best’s Temple of Joy as the last notes of a bittersweet solo rendering of “Amazing Grace” fell onto the audience’s ears. Drummers, intermixed in every corner of the crowd, beat a steady, thumping language as burners watched the three-story tall Temple ignite, roar into a sheet flame, and slowly disappear into ash Sunday night. As the recycled wood composing

the walls, ceiling, and altars of the Temple crashed to the playa floor, so did the thousands of messages participants wrote to their lovers, their spiritual families, and their friends during the short week the Temple stood under the Nevada sun.

It was a meditative place where Burning Man’s nearly 30,000 participants were compelled to "reflect upon the gifts we have received from those we love, both living and dead, and to consider how these gifts have changed our lives," Best writes. And it was awesome. Once again, Burning Man finished another year as the nation’s most celebrated and controversial museum of modern art. Execpt it is not a museum. And much of the art is built and burned within a week. Yet it manages to attract some of the country’s most talented artists, and artists from across the globe.

They build temples and solar-powered lily ponds, blazing burn barrels and towering art cars. Nearly everything above and below the sea was represented at the 2002-themed Floating World event. It wasn’t unusual to see a bus-sized whale buzz past a lifesize Spanish Galleon manned by 40 members of the rowdy Extra Action Marching Band while a school of glowing sea horses 10 feet tall looked on. Artist Kiki Pettit built a 10-foot fountain titled Egeria Firefall, after the Roman goddess of fountains who cried for so long after Rome’s King Numa died that she turned into a fountain.

A small crowd gathered in the dead of Monday night and sang as water fell from one copper tier to the next for the first time. Dutch artist Dadara’s nearly 50-foot tall wooden Fools Ark crossed the Atlantic to burn at the event. Despite the dot-bomb that left several Bay Area high tech employees without a paycheck, and an economy that continues to crumble in every sector, Black Rock City’s population grew this year as it has nearly every year since the event moved to Nevada from San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1991.

Thousands of volunteers, some of whom arrived on the playa a month early to build the infrastructure of what would become the seventh largest city in Nevada that week and stayed almost a month to make what remains disappear _ helped light the lamps glowing along the city’s Esplanade, greet city residents as they entered the front gate, and collect smaller pieces of art for the Black Rock City Arts Foundation, which promotes Burning man art off-playa. Still in the midst of dusting off their camping gear and costumes, burners are gathering across the country to continue their version of the event sans Nevada desert. Some of the 400-plus fire dancers who performed in the fire conclave as the man came down Saturday night meet every Sunday in New York under the Brooklyn Bridge to practice their spinning art and swap stories about this year’s event.

British burners are planning a gathering in Wales and Los Angeles burners have marked their calendars to for a post-burn “play-o-ween” party Nov. 2. Flambe Lounge, a group based out of San Francisco, (the offical Burning Man Decompression party), have secured three blocks of space and a park near a local nightclub to host one of the largest decompression events in the country Oct. 20. Some burners like to say the Burning Man experience is akin to stepping into a stark Salvador Dahli painting _ and most never want to step out.

Laura Casey

Suzie Holmstrom / Los Angeles Based Photographer

ALSO see WIPI article about Burning Man 2000, wipinews - Archive #4.

Desert festival reaches its fiery climax September 3, 2000


WIPI Features From Abroad

SLICES OF ROMANIA


Story and photographs by ©Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, 2002


When I initially received the cryptic email from one Florin Dan Prodan, I never imagined that the amazing country of Romania would reveal itself to me. I was invited with a handful of writers for a cultural exchange - an opportunity to meet Romanian poets and journalists, to open up an international dialogue and to discover the beauty of the landscape, culture and people.

The number of things I knew about Romania could be counted on one hand. Of course, everyone knows about Dracula and Transylvania (based on the legend of Vlad the Impaler). We also may know about the more recent history, unforgivable brutalities under the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu, which rippled throughout the international news. This country, from which such cruel leaders sprung forth, also produced wonderfully creative minds as Eugene Ionescu and Constantin Brancusi.

When I arrived in Bucharest late on a September afternoon, my mind was a jumble of essays by dissidents, short quips from travel books, and disorientation from hours spent in airports and planes. I was greeted by the unassuming, but friendly Florin. His nervousness and enthusiasm put me immediately at ease in a country whose language and culture were only research subjects for me a week prior. We met the other writers and enjoyed an easy evening dinner>

That night a train ride gently rocked us to sleep, and nine hours later we found ourselves in the early morning fog of Campulung-Moldovenesc in Bucovina. Iulian, our faithful host, was waiting in his convenient white van to take us to his cabaña, a spacious two-story house he had built on the hillside overlooking the town. After enjoying the first of many meals prepared by Iulian's daughter and niece, we sat in the dew-glazed morning watching the slow haze lift over the town, as a rooster's crow in the distance summoned the sun from its lazy arc. We had entered a land almost frozen in time, a state induced by homemade liqueurs and the hypnotic sounds of bells from cows grazing along the hillside. Our dreams were only disturbed by the electric ringing of cell phones and the static persistence of modems in internet cafés.

After what they've had to suffer throughout their turbulent history, one would expect to find a bitter and suspicious people. In spite of almost 50 years of communist rule and a recent student protest, whose violent end is only rivaled by the atrocities of Tianamen Square, Romanians are some of the most generous and open people I have ever encountered. In some ways they were like people anywhere-generous to guests, distrustful of politicians and open-minded about the future. In other ways, their political and cultural history left them scarred but determined.

Geographically, Romania boasts some of the largest virgin forests in Europe, which hold fairytale trees hundreds of years old. Nestled in the more inhabited parts of the Carpathians are beautiful monasteries painted in the16th Century by Romanian Orthodox monks, medieval castles reminiscent of feudal societies, and pastoral fields showing off a still rural culture. The arts of weaving, embroidery, wood carving, folk tales, poetry, song and dance are alive and well.


A couple of days into my trip, I was surprised to find that my torturous years of high school Latin actually came in handy. Romanian is the only Romance-based language surrounded by largely Slavic countries. Maintaining some archaic forms of old Latin, the language has had some influence by Slavic, Turkish, French and Magyar. In some cases, I was able to communicate with people by thinking about the words in Latin, but saying them with a Slavic accent.


Our brief sojourn around the Bucovina and Moldova regions treated us to a lazy picnic along a river bed, a rewarding hike in Rarau peak, and an evening of traditional dance and music by a traveling group of semi professional child dancers. In Iasi, we enjoyed delicious dinners under grapevine canopies and tours of underground tunnels, which had been transformed into wine cellars.

I know that this short trip scratched only the surface of Romania's deep secrets I have yet to discover. Would I return to dig further? Of course. And would I recommend this largely unknown country to the rest of the world? I don't know. In some ways, my selfish self wants to keep this Romania, untainted and virgin, from the hungry eyes of tourists.


Story and photographs by ©Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
Fluxmaster@earthlink.net





For articles, see F2 eZine Archive #12 Oct -Dec. 2002