Spring break! Party time? Nope, PHOTO TIME! The clocks rolled forward (how's that lost hour of sleep going for you? I'm still trying to catch up.) and so did life.
The "break" began with a long drive down back roads to Houston, where my "baby" girl headed out for a week of skiing and I embarked on an annual journey so remarkable that it changes me in a number of ways every single year. Shootapalooza is a gathering, a murmuration, a celebration of talent and friendship, a time of generous sharing and encouragement. And it's more than just that: it's a group of my dear friends. This year it took place during FotoFest , which meant we were able to enjoy a plethora of wonderful art on display around the city in addition to our own shenanigans.
We had a demo on lumens, which especially focused on fixing the finished product. The making of lumens followed, of course. We also used the plentiful UV that morning to make a cyano-banner. Waiting nearby as it exposed in the Texas sun, I thought about our much-missed, gone-too-soon leader and friend Judy. We all agreed that she would have heartily supported our efforts, and I thought I heard at least one "hot damn!" coming from the region of heaven.
There was a print exchange, an evening of portfolio sharing, silver leaf, wet plate, and hand coloring demos.
There was also plenty of camaraderie, laughter, and plain old hanging out. Can you place any kind of value on time spent with your Tribe? I think not.
Meeting and learning about fellow artists was another part of the Shootapalooza / FotoFest experience. It was such a pleasure to chat with Caroline Roberts while she shared her work and gallery with us. And learning about how Richard Tuschman makes his images was nothing short of mind blowing.
It was straight into the darkroom for me when I arrived back home (ok, I slept first), to process the rolls of film chock full of portraits of my friends. Then, a day later, it was straight back to work! This time I was fortunate enough to have my handsome "photo assistant" along for the adventure, and I was plenty grateful for the help with my gear while we hiked around Pedernales Falls State Park. Large format outings will build the muscles!
Some pinholing also took place that day. It was a challenging afternoon with the view camera. Dark cloth issues, wind, sandy / uneven / dangerous ground. . . . . it was frustrating to say the least. The work from that day seems to have (surprisingly) come out well, so expect to see new alternative process prints before too long.
What else happened during spring break? Two client photoshoots, an art opening, a load of street photography, and a partridge in a pear tree! Rest not, moss not. More news next weekend, friends! Don't forget my Instagram feed and Facebook page, and thank you for joining me here.