Dirty Woman - Test Shot Small Black and White Photograph

About two years ago I came up with this really funny idea for a photographic series involving different objects ‘residing’ in environments that created conflict or harmony depending on what occurs. I recently decided to make it happen, but the purist in me wanted to use a medium format film camera (no offense digital artists) to create the entire set. I have not touched a medium format camera in something like 20 years and not been in a dark room in 15. Much to my dismay, I had forgotten everything about the camera including loading film and how ridiculously heavy it is!

The First Exciting Baby Steps

I snagged the first ‘baby step’ test shots with a point and shoot digital camera to document different locations within Fox Run park that may work. I’ve learned it’s always a good idea to repeatedly visit and keep a record of possible spaces so you can narrow down multiple spots prior to a formal test shoot involving film. I lugged the film camera back into Fox Run a few weeks later and shot 3 spots early in the morning – fighting the constant change in sunlight direction, exposing an entire roll of film and not realizing how much pressure to put on the lever to manually advance the film…I had an automatic winder and a fancy remote 20 years ago! However, the test shots (photographed in color) came back 98% not so good 2%(! ) meaning the tiny percentage of YES revealed all the rich possibilities this idea can have. Sometimes, a small amount of potential is all I need to put something in motion.

Re-learning and Remembering the Technical Side

Since then, I have smoothed out some of the technical bumps and performed another test shoot at an additional park oddly named Dirty Woman Park. Don’t ask. I must question the name of that park in my mind weekly (and laugh) regardless of the obligatory plaque of explanation located at the entrance. The test shot below, confirmed that yes, I want to run with this.

The final shoot of Dirty Woman Park was created a week or so ago and I am waiting for film processing by a company located in Denver. The idea is to create the series over the course of a year possibly two and try to find a grant to help fund gasoline, processing and printing. Optimal would be to do my own printing which would preserve the integrity of what I see the final series shaping up to be in my mind. Full frame, beautiful ragged film edges on the prints and printed as large as I can handle in a small dark room…20×24 matte paper? Could be, but I need to get more steps in place first. If anyone has any grand grant or funding ideas, please let me know.