Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Today I followed up on a system Alex MacKenzie introduced me to a couple of years ago, that is to use a flatbed editing machine as a contact printer! A flatbed is a table with multiple platters that hold rolls of film that run through a gate area where light shines on it and reflects the image up onto a view screen. The machine can go fast or slow or hold on one spot. By running unexposed film bi-packed with film that has an image on it through the machine at the same time in such as way that the light shines through the image on one film and onto the raw film, you expose it. Of course you must stop light from hitting the film when it is on the platters or leading towards the gate, so this morning I purchased a metre of black, opaque sable suede cloth ($25) to drape over everything. I had Eric there to ensure that the platters were able to turn without tangling the cloth. The next big trick was exposure. I used low speed black and white film (Kodak 7363 hi-con) which I rate at 6 iso under tungsten light (as this was) and ran the flatbed as fast as it would go (about 4x speed, reducing the exposure by 2 stops), but still measured it as too bright. I used a one stop neutral density filter to try to compensate the rest. The results were not bad, although perhaps a bit overexposed. The image was steady and clear (of course you also should try to print emulsion to emulsion, which was easier due to the fact that this stock was double perf and thus could be loaded in any direction). This is part of my Grain film project.
Eric is working on transferring the work to video so I'll be able to post a clip soon.
Tomorrow night I will be showing about 30-40 minutes of Modern at the Cathedral Arts Festival at 10:45 at night in accompaniment to Intergalactic Virgin.

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