June 27, 2014

Leopard Express

My beautiful friend Leo / this is his true self.
On a mission wearing his new Tommy hat from Meme.
This is Leo's true self too. Laughing or demanding, I like him all ways.
This is us. 
I will always kiss you a good one. I will always be your nanny.
Like father, like son. I like both.
Longboat baby.
An apple and stripes at the races. My kind of morning.
Here lies a happy Leo clutching his Skarlowey tender while riding his beloved Tommy train.
My friend Leo.
* Canon EOS 3 // expired Fujicolor 400

June 18, 2014

Essential oils

I wonder if the baby can smell fresh marjoram on my fingers when I stroke his forehead in the morning right before he goes down for his nap? I like to tend my potted plants in the dark after the street has gone to bed, with a hope that the natural oils released upon contact will seep into me: marjoram, rosemary, thyme, oregano. I hope to eat enough marjoram this summer that my body will give off plumes of it when tended as passionately. Fresh herbs man, fresh herbs. Nothing better than fresh marjoram, I'm telling you.

I bet he sweats smoked meat. Schwartz's Deli, Montreal / 2011
Giving it away for free. Montreal / 2011 // Nikon F3 - whatever 400 film

June 15, 2014

Full frame

Rainy weekends are a wonderful excuse to stay in and print all day! Yesterday morning I woke early and decided to get my darkroom into shape. We had been using an old, crappy, bowed particle board desk for far too long as the tray table. NO MORE! It felt so damn good to kick the the life out of that desk once and for all!! I cleaned out the area, organized the chemicals and tools that are in heavy rotation, heaved the old and organized the spare parts for a friend looking to build her own darkroom.

In a house of three printers, we have triple the stuff necessary for a working print studio. As a birthday gift, Craig built me a new stainless steel work table. Unlike the old, the new one stands much higher! I can finally agitate prints on my feet with no stoop in my back! Thrilling for this old granny. This probably reads boring or nerdy but my print game has completely changed thanks to my new table.

Last night I printed up a storm while it rained buckets outside. Filled three orders and experimented with new techniques and new-to-me paper. My local camera shop had sold out of their pearl-finish photo paper so I settled for glossy and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Prints took about three times as long to dry with a slight curl, but the contrast came out so snappy. Le yum, I love me some snappy contrast.

Here is one 9x12" print I shot and hand printed full frame for a good friend. To me this looks straight out of the sixties with her leg slung over the saddle, laced boot wagging, little rubber boots and engineer stripes happily accepting some mama love.

Life is good.
Mama love on Westminster. 9x12" print // Canon EOS 3 //  Delta 100 pro

June 12, 2014

Goldfinch two-step

"he had crawled a slow fuse under her clothes" page 8 / Anne Michaels' The Winter Vault

Sometimes things change simply because the time has come, an inner moment is reached for reasons one cannot explain--whether grief takes six months or six decades or, as in our case, eight years. Something latent in the body awakens. Sorghum seeds can lie dormant for six thousand years and then stir themselves! It happens all the time in nature; we should not be surprised when it happens in human nature.

* excerpt from Anne Michaels' The Winter Vault / page 60 / a weathered favorite of mine

Joan's spirit has passed to the other side. Free bird. She would have approved of the memorial service held in her honour methinks. Beautiful flowers, hundreds of super fans, raisin buns, not to mention her two sons' delivery of their tribute to their mom which caused the entire congregation to erupt countless times. Contagious laughter at a funeral. True to Joan form, even in death. Up until the moment a gentleman with an enormous singing voice took to the stage to bellow out How Great Thou Art, I was in disbelief that a woman of such vitality and laughter could be gone so swiftly. Must it be? Muss es sein? It must be! Es muss sein! Then when those first bars of that hymn (long embedded within me) came, so did the tears of acknowledgment; for her pain is finished. While my sorrow is a drop in the bucket--comparatively--it is strange to be back in this place.

Nightly, I have been laying my home projects and busyness to rest to retire for the last light of evening in what has quickly become my favorite room in the house, the sun porch. In the spirit of Joan, Linda and Marj--three great fallen matriarchs--three beeswax candles remain alight until bedtime. Fire restores.

There has been plenty of good too. May and June, my favorite months, the Hopefuls I call them, have arrived. Productivity rises, Lilacs bloom and fade as the next round of flora emerges to take over the neighborhood (peonies!), the light lingers, clothes come off, socks lay long forgotten. I have been shooting photos again, after a stretch of repose. I am trying to pick up my big camera more to actively capture the magic hour at home. The other day while home alone, I was sitting in my porch with my Kiev in my lap when a sauntering man caught my eye. It had been quite some time since I shot a stranger's portrait so I sauntered down the walk to meet him. I asked for his name and he replied, Lenny. I replied, Hey Lenny, you don't have to hide your beer, it makes the shot. Oh no, I couldn't, he said. After explaining I only had one frame left on my roll, I asked for his portrait and this is what he gave. Then he sauntered southbound on Victor, shirt tails flapping in the wind.

Summer is in.
Here is a look in.

Lenny's portrait. Expired 220 NPC 160. Winnipeg, MB.

* Kiev 60 // expired 220 NPC 160