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A conglomeration of stuff, from the front page of my site.

Front page archive.

A loose collection of links, thoughts, quotes and other crazy stuff, that originally appeared on the front page of this site, that I think is worth archiving!

November 2003

26.11.03 19:27 ESDST

Once again enjoyed a quiet day off at home — alone, I only work 4 days a week at my regular job, spent the day printing, after a couple of phone calls and tinkering with the style sheet for this site. One of the phone calls was about the exhausted chemical Glycin from my last post. I popped in to town and picked it up from Vanbar in Carlton, a great supplier of all things photographic. Yes it was as pricey, as I remember it, but it was worth it let me tell you. I even worked out a way to keep the consumption of the chemical down slightly, I make a half strength solution starting with 500 mls, and simply top up to 2 liters. Giving me a 1+3 strength solution. This means I only use 5.5 grams of Glycin, and at a dollar a gram this could mean a substantial saving. Not sure about the keeping properties of this solution though? The prints I made today are rich and warm, with a soft full body. Hmm sounds more like wine doesn't it? Anyway this developer has some characteristics that I really like. While it's not as soft as ANSCO 120, it certainly has a depth and tonality that I am suitably impressed by.

Graduation night at PIC {Tuesday night} went very smoothly, the certificates all were printed in the nick of time, a huge thank you to Ed, over at Raon Consulting for all his help. Our great new database will make all our assessments so much easier and more streamlined, hopefully allowing us to concentrate on the real issues at hand, teaching AND photography! Congrats to all the finishing students this year good luck in all your future endeavors, to all of our returning students, have a safe and prosperous Christmas and New Year. Look after yourselves and make sure you come back to us in one piece next year.

22.11.03 20:38 ESDST

my notebook in the darkroom

Back in full swing and loving it, the site is all updated as far as I can tell. Spent the day in the darkroom, made a bit of a switch with developers today. Been using Ansco 120 for so long that it just felt right for a change, which developer though? Ansco soft warm low in contrast, steady, reliable. Ansco as a developer has served me well over the years, and as there is no Exhibition on the horizon it's time to experiment.

One of the things that I most wanted to do in the Nineties was find a nice counterpoint developer for the warmth and softness of Ansco. Today with this in mind and knowing how good the developing agent Glycin was I went looking for a developer with Glycin in it's list of ingredients. Ansco 130. Of course the key ingredient, Glycin, is expensive, this means I haven't bought any for several years, but not only is it not cheap it does not keep well as a powder. First batch gets made up using the last of all my remaining Glycin, and of course it develops *and* it tones. It is after Midday on a Saturday in Melbourne Australia, this means no more Glycin for today! I funnily enough had plenty of Hydroquinine for the day. Back to the photo chemistry books

Tucked away in my favourite, “The Darkroom Cookbook” by Stephen Anchell, are several pages given to me by one of my former lecturers. These pages were copied from the original 5 set series of books by Ansel Adams, now a 3 set know as The Camera, The Negative, The Print. Listed are a couple of recipes that don't seem to be in Stephen Anchell's fine publication. One called DuPont 54—D, catches my eye in particular. It is described as “Suitable for blue black tones on most papers”. So what the hell I think let's give it a try. At the end of the printing session I reckon it has rescued a couple of the negs for this series that I was having second thoughts about being able to print.

So at the end of the day I am pretty happy with this new developer. It seems to separate out the shadows quite nicely, and even with the 11 grams of Hydroquinine not as contrasty as I suspected. One other thing I will want to see how this developer will handle toners such as Selenium. Stay tuned on that one.

For any one who cares here are the recipes from today's little experiments. All measurements are in grams unless other wise noted. As always start with 750mls of Water at 52°C and top up to 1 Liter

Recipes used in the Darkroom Saturday 22-11-03
  Water Metol Sodium Sulphite Hydroquinine Sodium Carbonate Pottassium Bromide Glycin
Ansco 120 750mls 12.3 36   36 18 mls of 10% sol  
Ansco 130 750mls 2.2 50 11 78 5.5 11
DuPont D45-D 750mls 2.7 40 10.6 75 8  

21.11.03 10:02 ESDST

Feels like a 3 days, but its been nearly 3 weeks. And so begins yet another entry just like millions of others out there. The tardiness is easily explained however.

Firstly I received some shocking news about an old friend around about the 11th of this month and as a mark of respect removed all access to the site. Please if you have a story or anecdote you'd like to share with me or any of Nick's friends, please contact us.

Secondly, late October after I attended a great workshop held by John Allsop from WestCiv software, on CSS positioning, I of course promptly wanted to apply the recently acquired knowledge to help it sink in. A whole new redesign was up and coming.One feature that my previous 2 column design layout didn't permit me to apply was a hierarchy of links. Maybe hierarchy's not the right word but I wanted to separate my NAVIGATIONAL links from the RELATED links. This where I thought a third column would come in handy. So the new design was to incorporate a fluid 3 column layout.

This is the result, I of course borrowed heavily from Eric Meyer's book on CSS to accomplish this, simply changing the colour scheme and a few other minor details to have the whole layout suit my look and feel.Site wide though this was a fairly major change, simply linking a new style sheet up to all the existing pages was not enough so I have been tinkering away in the background on and off for 3 weeks or so making the entire site fit together. So if you see a section I have missed or feel something does not work contact us and we'll fix it as soon as we can.

Also have on a the trail of information on an upcoming Tassie Trip and I am still astounded by the number of pages that are slow to load, stuck in some kind of 1995 design look and plain down right just don't work cross platform. Oh lordy lordy, if only I had the gumption to get up and out there and start drumming up some business to push these technologically stranded sites into a forward thinking approach.

I remember why… at one stage a couple of weekends ago I had spent almost 2 days of repetitive hand coding on this new look for my site, when I realised I could *not* do this for a living! As an aside, I contacted one company after trying to find a room in Hobart. The enquiry form was not working on my Mac with Safari OR IE 5.2, and of course all they could say was, it works on all flavours of PC! So Peter from online-int.com.au work it out, the web is for ALL platforms, not just— and I quote,“ various MS operating systems” . With sharks like this company providing a sloppy and unprofessional service, that is out of touch with what's happening out there in the WWW I am not surprised that the dot bomb ever occurred. What surprises me is companies like this one survived!

Photo—wise I have a huge back log of Nokia Mobile phone phone photos to add that little gallery, but otherwise all's quiet on that front at the moment. Hasn't helped having a bout of food poisoning. I swear that this is the sickest I felt in my short 42 years of life on this planet!