• Grant Handgis Author/Photographer

New Books in the Works

I have been remiss in adding to this blog over the past weeks as I have been, one might say, immersed in field work. Legitimate of course. It is no secret that my vocation in life was photography. Thirty years worth. That tends to get in your blood, so to speak. A part of it burrowed deeply into my blood cells, and that would be discussing black and white film photography and historical hand coated processes. Then I'm home. I was doing photography even before I began writing, and that was a long time ago.

I am straddling the fence here, working out the writing that will come of immersing myself in printmaking. The way I look at it, independent publishing demands multi-level knowledge, a bit of talent and a learning curve that demands much patience. Adding a photographic theme doesn't really rock that boat. And that is what will be coming of this delicious marriage of artistic mediums. As I also made known, I am self-taught and my photographic mentor was Alfred Stieglitz, who had this wonderful theory he referred to as "Equivalence". That is a fine print is equal to a fine rendition of Mozart on the piano, or a fine painting. Each expressing an artist's rendition of their artistic vision, through their work.

But I digress. I did study writing, creating and otherwise, and writing 101 demands one 'write what you know'. I commend that statute of academic writing. Not many of them, but that one, and black and white film photography I know. When I lie awake at night staring up at the ceiling, that would likely be the thoughts flittering through the brain pan. Formulas, printing procedures, print time, dMax.... That was a decent clue there was something to that.

I have entered a new direction of creativity the delicious, addictive path of printmaking. Historical hand coated processes that must be dealt with tenderly and with great care, seeing a process through multiple stages, each altering the outcome of the final print. Here, there is no editing, no changes or revisions. Make a mistake and it's junk. Start over from the beginning.

Any writer who has worked on a manuscript to a novel immediately grasps that connection to the work. The work becomes you, your vision, your artistic statement. A flawed piece of work, in any genre or medium can only receive low marks by the reader, viewer, listener. It is this sort of dance between the two genres that makes this project feel worthwhile. By blogging on the subject, the material needed to make the upcoming books worthwhile is being written, and collected for later retrieval and editing for context.

I am taking the advice of writing 101; Write What You Know. I can report that after I began blogging on the subject, the sales of my existing book on black and white film photography picked up in sales. One more advantage of mixing these two genres is that I will have most excellent images to use for the books' covers. Those are the types of book covers that even non graphic artist types can bring to fruition satisfactorily. Some are better than others. I make no judgement, I am a terrible graphic artist.

For context of the printmaking of which I speak, I leave an image printed thirty years ago when I last make such hand coated prints. Then, it necessitated a large view camera to make the negatives. I used a 5x7 view camera, hence those images were of that size. What I am about to do is enlarge those negatives digitally then print them onto film and contact print them as I did back then. Ultimately the silver prints will be toned in Palladium, rendering them a true palladium. The print here is un-toned.

Salted Silver Print ~ "Sailboat on the Canal"

1984 ~ 5"x7" ~ 3/5

Veneta, Oregon


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