Tag Archive: chicago photographer

A day in the darkroom. With X-ray film.

October 31, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts

My photographer friend and neighbor Randy Moe just finished a huge and ridiculously awesome project: turning a large portion of his apartment into a giant darkroom.  Part mad-scientist, part photography historian and rescuer of film format equipment, he has amassed an enviable collection of cameras, enlargers, print washers, papers, and more film formats than I knew existed.  And because he’s awesome, he’s opened the doors to let me play.  It feels great to take a momentary break from digital photography to reconnect with its film roots every now and then.

This week we took a few hours to take and develop some photos of my dog.  With a process camera.  On X-ray film.  Yes, you read that correctly.  On X-ray film.  We used 8×10″ pieces of unexposed film typically used in X-ray machines for hospitals, but used it as regular camera film instead.  We loaded it into large format cartridges, took the photos, developed the film, and then used a contact printer to expose the paper and make direct 8×10″ prints.  Our first stab at it was rather successful: David Bowie the Dog sat still enough to take the photos, most of the photos were exposed properly, and they printed well.  We’ve got some tweaking to do since the contrast doesn’t seem quite right in the center of the photos; perhaps using an enlarger to make the prints and some filters to correct the contrast would do the trick.  We’ll have to find out when we go back into the lab for more experimenting…  *evil mad scientist laugh*

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the steps:

Step 1: set temperature of water to exactly 68 degrees Fahrenheit and get negative development chemicals mixed.


Step 2: admire enlargers.  Drool.


Step 3: load X-ray film.  In safelights.


Step 4: put the dog on the table, focus the camera on the dog.


Step 5: set the aperture, connect the wireless strobe from a different century than the camera, hold doggie treat in front of lens, take photo of dog.


Step 6: develop negatives. Turn light back on during the rinse cycle to find dog in center of room asking for more treats.


Step 7: hang negatives to dry


Step 8: print contact prints in giant sandwich press.


Step 9: develop prints.


Step 10: dry prints.


Step 11: repeat.  *evil mad scientist laugh*

Office holiday photos

October 24, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts

It’s that time of year again- time for me to head downtown for company holiday photos, as marketing coordinators across the city are scrambling to get some great outdoor group photos for holiday greeting cards… before it gets so cold everyone in the photo will look like a tiny head peeking out of a huge parka.

group photo

Even though it’s already 35 degrees out, we’re still ridiculously excited for our group photos!

group photo

A client you should know

October 9, 2013 Published by . Leave your thoughts

99_color_printI recently took headshots for Maggie Panagakis, a professional organizer who wanted to update her look with some new headshots as she launched her company’s website, Strategies for Organizing.  During our session we looked at the things I’ve done to organize some of my photo equipment and she gave me some great suggestions!

Working with both individuals and businesses, Maggie helps successful entrepreneurs in the Chicago area organize office and storage space, create a successful home office, and relocate when it’s time to expand.  She also helps people who are struggling with downsizing, managing documents, purging, and decluttering.

We had some great discussions about how the space we create around us in which we live or work can really affect our stress level and how in or out of control we feel in our lives.

Or as she says, “being organized is more than neat piles or a clean surface.  It’s the knowledge that you know where things are and you are able to find them in minutes.  It’s knowing that you won’t forget appointments or obligations.  It’s the personal satisfaction of having control over your life — when you know what is going to happen next and you are ready for it.”

I recommend giving Maggie a call if you’re thinking about re-organizing, moving your home or business, or are reading this nodding your head and thinking, “actually- I AM stressed out and feel like I can’t find anything when I look for it!”

Check her out on www.strategies4organizing.com or give her a call at (773) 251-3083.