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Innards: Pinhole Landscapes

I have posted a lot of these images before but now I am hopeful that I can make them into a portfolio and put it up on this website.  Here is the statement that I have written about these images:

The images in this collection are made on color negative film, scanned and printed digitally onto cotton rag paper with archival inks. They were either made in a Zero 2000 medium format camera; or in a large format (4 x 5 inch) camera. Some were all-night long exposures, most were exposed for 30-45 minutes when light phenomena happens that can not be predicted. That passage of time is important in these images, for pinhole photography gathers light and records an extended moment differently than the camera with a lens. People become shadows, trees seem to replicate themselves, crashing waves flatten out. Colors exaggerate while double exposures occur without intention. Movement is recorded while the time passes.  I call this group of photographs Innards because the landscape is soft and the light is layered with what feels like memory. The images put me in touch with a side of myself I didn’t know existed. Over years of experimentation with the pinhole camera, I’ve come to this unconventional place, a mysterious landscape that glows and glistens from within–slightly ominous, endangered, beautiful, and sad. Imperfect and personal.

Getaways and Home Series

As director of the Pinhole Project, I am always looking for new ideas and new cameras with which to make pinhole images for both me and the participants.  Recently, in the past year or so, I have been using two cameras for myself  again and again:  a three hole metal can that is a former Dewar’s Scotch container and a smaller squarish can that is a bit bigger than the Altoid tins but has only one hole.  I have been working on two series of images with these cameras:  the Getaways are images that I expose from a car or truck during a road trip.  I have made several of these;  and love the way they record the sun trails.  The Home series which I have made with the three hole can, are images made within my studio and just outside of it, usually exposed for at least six weeks and they record in triplet a myriad of things both inside and outside the studio.  I have also used a smaller tin and a round tin for these images.  A friend gave me a Solarcan and I made one with that as well.  Since pinhole photography has become something of an obsession with me, I generally have two or three cameras exposing at one time.  When I tire of the look or run out of ideas I will try something different.  In the meantime, I present some of the images to you, first the Getaways and then the Home series.

The Getaways:  All were made from a moving vehicle with the pinhole camera attached either outside the car or on a window facing out.  Exposures are usually about 2 weeks.   The titles are as follows (top to bottom):  To Doe Bay and Back, Oregon Road Trip, To Northern Idaho and Back,  To the Grand Tetons and Back, Top of the World, The Sunny Arms from the Parking Lot, Near Seiku,   The featured image was made on a road trip to Oregon with the camera on the front hood of the car facing b

JanetNeuhauser road trip 01    Janet Neuhauser N_Idaho233    Janet Neuhauser249   Janet NeuhauserTOTW240    Janet Neuhuaser090   janetneuhauser4day0717

 

Home Series with the 3 hole camera:  First two are of the windows in my studio.  The next two are from the front windows looking out.  The blue image was made with a Solarcan pinhole camera exposed for three weeks.  The next image is of the curtains and the window sill made with a regular one hole camera and the last image is with a round can inside the screen doors entering the studio.

 

Janet Neuhauser213  JanetNeuhauser128 JNeuhauser Home 3 hole front  JNeuhauser3holehome236   Janet Neuhausersolarcan   Janet Neuhauser201    Janet Neuhauser092

 

There are many more.  These are just the most recent.  Thanks for looking and if you would like to be a part of the Pinhole Project, go to  The Pinhole Project website and send me an email to join.

 

Old Work/New Work

As most of you know I was a high school photography teacher for 24 years.  I loved the job, working everyday with young people who were intrigued  by and creative with photography. Teaching them was fun. I have now retired from that job.  I hate that word retired.  It sounds as if I am off  to bed to do nothing for the remainder of the days I have left.  For me retirement is not about that.  I developed a good work ethic over the years as a high school teacher which continues to pay off now:  I get up and drink coffee with my work.  I honestly do not know how I had time do the high school  job.  I spent at least 60 hours a week working including with the commute (which involved a 30 minute ferry ride). On top of that I tended to my studio and did what I could with my personal work.  I had shows and grants and sold photographs but it was “on the side.”  Now it is all about  simply producing for the pure joy of it.

So what am I doing right now?  The Pinhole Landscapes of course.  The Innards Portfolio as I have come to call those images. I am also working on a cookbook of my Mother’s recipes, the DSLR images I randomly take, the Pinhole Project,  and two personal pinhole projects called Getaways and Home (a future post is in the works) and I of course am updating my two websites and applying for grants. The Pinhole Landscapes  involve a lot of post-processing:  the negatives are very dusty and the color is off.  Sometimes I reverse them horizontally.  Sometimes I change things in photoshop:  the aspect ratio, the background among other things.  I want these images to knock me for a loop, just like the darkroom has in the past.  I refuse to be judgmental about post-processing decisions.

I just spent 17 days in November in New York City photographing the archive of my dear deceased mentor from graduate school, Judy Seigel.  Many things amaze me about her work.  She produced a huge, incredible body of images from the about the time I met her (in the early 1980s) until about 2015. Her work ethic was so strong.  She was not always easy to be around.  She asked me hard questions and got impatient when I did not have an answer. Yet I learned so much from her and I have continued to learn from her looking at her images while I photographed them.  She produced a strong and unappreciated, odd body of work. She had an unique vision.   She was experimental and fearless.  She thought a regular silver print without any “post factory manipulations” was boring.  Her work inspires me to go into the darkroom with the Innards Portfolio.   They are film negatives after all.   I have an idea to transform these images and make them both about process and the image.  I will let you know how that works.  Meanwhile, the studio is glorious, depressing, exhilarating,  Some days I do not go out:  I mean I do not go outside at all. Forgive me if I have canceled a date with you.  But  now that I have the gift of time, I am using it.

In the past I eschewed the DSLR. But in fact I am shooting with it now and again, especially when I am on a road trip.  Here are some photographs with the DSLR from my recent trip to the Grand Tetons. I did shoot a lot with the pinhole camera as well, and I took along a telephoto lens (a rarity for me) for the DSLR.  I used it to make studies for the pinholes.  Maybe you will see some sort of relationship between the two types of shooting.  Maybe not  Let me know.  You can see two of the trip’s pinholes in the More Innards post.  Another post on them later.

 

To the Grand Tetons and Back, 2018

grandtetonroadtrip_247 . grandtetonroadtrip_110

 

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grandtetonroadtrip_048 . grandtetonroadtrip_011

 

grandtetonroadtrip_360   grandtetonroadtrip_335

grandtetonroadtrip_317   grandtetonroadtrip_370

 

These images are but a few of the 500 or so that I made with the DSLR.  It will take some time to sort them out.  The images above have popped out as favorites.  The featured image is from inside a cabin near Jackson Lake with the Grand Tetons in the background.

 

Ode to Mom and Dad and Their Love of Photography

As most people know, my parents both  passed away recently.  We celebrated their lives and their love on March 4th which would have been their 73rd wedding anniversary.  They filled the lives of others with their presence, always involved.  As children we had a big vegetable garden, chickens, bees, fruit trees.  We camped, lived life in the NW, mostly outdoors.  When I think about where they both  started and where they ended up, their life together makes sense.

My mother’s father worked for a logging company in the Pacific NW.  Her family moved 16 times before she was a junior in high school, living in logging camps around the NW.  At 16, she decided to finish high school in one place, and stayed with friends of the family in Morton, WA so she could do this.  After high school she went to college in California which was interrupted by WWII, meeting my father and then having four kids who came in quick succession.

My father grew up on a farm in the middle of South Dakota.  The farm, now thousands of acres, is still owned and worked by family members.  At 15, Dad decided that he wanted to finish high school, which meant living 75 miles away from his family in Pierre. the nearest town and also the state capital.  It took him an extra year to finish because he had to work to pay his room and board.  Both of my parents were determined to get a diploma, both were avid readers, loved to try and do new things,  They both knew that they were destined for lives different than their parents had.  When they met during WWII, at Keyport, in Washington State where my dad was stationed, they fell in love immediately and were married within a few months.

Upon their passing, my siblings and I started to go through their things and found an incredible amount of photographs that documented every aspect of their lives as well as a huge archive of photographs of their childhoods taken mostly by their parents, in particular their mothers.  It was not a surprise that so many photographs existed, it was a surprise that I had not seen so many.  For both of them,  when they turned 90, I collected many of their photographs and made books dedicated to each of their lives.  My mother had also made photo albums for each of her children and grandchildren, culling out the best from the past.  But beyond the albums, there was a giant black metal trunk full of images, boxes of seemingly random images and many envelopes full of negatives and prints.

Photography was always a very important part of what we did as a family.  In the early  1960’s, Dad bought a Polaroid Land camera that was seemed like a miracle.  Instant photography!!  That summer we took hundreds of those images.  Recently, I found a taped together polaroid of our house, and yard.  It brings back memories of that summer, shooting anything and everything that came along.

polaroidtracytonhouse163

After that summer,  Dad got another polaroid that made beautiful rectangular images.  Dad always had a camera with him;  when I was about ten, I remember his mother, my grandmother Bertha telling me to always have a camera ready, loaded and at hand in case any thing “came up” that needed to be photographed.  During most of my childhood, Dad had an old Argus 35 mm camera with which he made Kodachrome slides.  Since photography was important, it is no surprise that I loved it at an early age.  I was given a camera at the age of 10 for Christmas and took it everywhere.  I only got one roll of film at a time, but when I shot that, there was always another roll ready.  Each image was precious and important and I think this is the way that my parents felt about photography too.   Dad kept up on all the latest inventions in photography and in his eighties acquired a computer, a printer and a digital camera.  He loved printing his digital images, loved taking photographs with that little digital camera, thought it all amazing and miraculous.

This morning, I spent some time going through what may be the last major box of images.  So many questions for both my parents, so many mysterious, funny, really well composed images.  I am grateful to have grown up in such an environment, so rich in image making. So here is my thanks to both of them for passing on this love of taking a picture, for acknowledging the importance of it and for never getting rid of any images.  Our personal history is intact and so wonderful to view.

I post this blog with a handful of images from their lives;  taken by their mothers, themselves and by me.  I have written several other blog posts on the publication of their 90th birthday books, and my Uncle Bob and Grandmothers involvement in photography as well.

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My Mother, her Grandparents, Parents, husband, Siblings and Children

My Mother, her Grandparents, Parents, husband, Siblings and Childre

 

book order049 dads book Kid with chair in field copy book order110 book order141 book order063

Long Shot and the Pinhole

Every year Photo Center NW in Seattle sponsors a fund raiser called Long Shot.  Essentially everyone shoots within the same 24 hour period and a week later a pop show happens with one juried print from everyone who registered and submitted.  It’s a great excuse to shoot even in the throes of life.  This year, Saturday, June 10th, the Long Shot coincided with the Georgetown Carnival where I have manned the Spin Art booth for I don’t know the last ten years….In the midst of spinning records with lots of paint involved I took some pinhole photos.  I used my old Zero 2000 and had it set on the inside for a rectangle view and advanced it as if it were set for a square view.  I got overlap and no frame lines, just as I hoped I would.  They negatives  are dense and grainy and very very colorful.  I  submitted four images to Long Shot (LongShot) of which there are a few versions here.  One was chosen from each person submitting for the pop up show.  The top image on below might be my favorite of the bunch. My shadow, the Spin Art Booth made with  the Zero 2000 on color negative film and it was chosen to be in the show!

 

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The Pinhole Landscapes

I am pleased to announce that six  of my Pinhole Landscapes will be on view this summer at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (bima.org) in a  show called Women in Photography and I am one of ten women being exhibited.  When Greg Robinson, the curator asked me to be in the show, he wondered how being a woman had influenced my work.   It was an apropos question.  I have long wanted to photograph the landscape but not in the way it had historically been done.  I did not want to work in the same vein copying the greats, like William Henry Jackson, Timothy O’Sullivan and yes even Ansel Adams.  And it seemed that all the greats had been men.  Making the urban night photographs (Nighttime)  had inspired me to try the landscape in a kind of crooked way (see asterisk below).  I wanted color, mostly because I love the way the long exposures at night shifted the colors and recorded a certain kind of movement.  I knew I could not get that feeling  during the day with the a lens camera.  The pinhole camera allowed for both a long exposure and color. I have owned a  4 x 5 pinhole camera for years with which I had mostly made still lifes (loupe-holes).  I began with an all night long exposure, and it was a perfect negative (a happy accident I later discovered).  I scanned that negative and printed it digitally.  There was something about that image (Tomales), a seven hour exposure that made me realize that I could do the landscape both at night and during the day.  In a crooked way, with the pinhole, with film.   The long exposures, in the wind, rain, snow, darkness,  make the images soft;  the pinhole records light and time like no other type of camera. Mostly when I am making images with the that camera, I am pushing the exposure envelope hoping to get enough light on the film, hoping for the image that I see before me, but it is always turns out differently once it is developed.  Sometimes I am constrained by the available light.  Sometimes I am in love with the light and the moment and simply hope for the best.  All in all, I am well into making the landscape my own way.  I am happy not to see the image immediately.  Not to be able to actually look through the camera.  I love the mystery and the uncertainty.  The crookedness of it.

I am beginning to understand that  photography is as much about time as it is about light and the pinhole  records both.  Each image seems to happen against the odds.  Usal Beach, below is an example. Taken on the Lost Coast in Northern California, on a dreary, gray evening. It felt creepy there, with its  abandoned campground, dried-up river to the ocean, high crashing surf, strange things one could hear but not see.  A whole town once existed on this site. The three mile drive on a treacherous dirt road keeps most people away.  Yet on the evening I made the image, it seems there had been many people on the beach that day, there were lots of footsteps in the sand. No one was there when this image was made.  The waves were  close with a steep drop off yet the surf looks deceptively calm in the exposure.  While making the image, I had little hope it would turn out.  When I saw the negative a month later, I knew I had something.

UsalBeach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t mean to take creepy landscapes but somehow end up in creepy places.  Usal Beach was followed by several more images but the one below taken near the Dyke Access Road on the Columbia River speaks to the same aesthetic.  Cottonwood Tree, Columbia River was made with the camera perched on a plastic box near the water.  It started to rain about 15 minutes into the exposure. A big ship came up the river, in from Astoria. It moved slowly and I decided to make the exposure the length of time it took the ship to come past the camera, about an hour. The cottonwood tree was a victim of flooding and erosion from a very wet winter. I was surprised how it seemed to be growing out of the water. The wake from many boats on the river must have created that effect because the tree looked like it was growing out of the mud when the photograph was made. Again, none of the boats appear in the photograph, because the exposure is too long to record their swiftness.

janetneuhausercolumbia river178

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are four other images in the show.  One made three years ago, the others within the last year.  I hope you can stop by BIMA.  The show will be up the entire summer.  The work of the ten women included in the show is diverse and interesting.  If you are in the Northwest, the opening is on Saturday, June 24th, from 2-5 pm for friends of friends of friends, all are welcome.

*My dear friend and mentor Judy Seigel coined the phrase crooked photography in the 1980s.  I am not sure if she invented the phrase but for her, it included all the photography that was not considered mainstream.  I am grateful for her support.  A blog post is in the works about all the years I knew her.  She passed about a month ago at the age of 86.  RIP Judy!

Featured image:  On Road 2740, Olympic National Forest, Washington State, 2014.

Rachel and Nick Got Married

This past fall, I was invited to the wedding of my dear friends’ daughter, Rachel.  I went not only for Rachel but for her mother, my friend Connie who passed away 3+  years ago.  Rachel  got  married on Cape Cod,  head over heels in love.  I know this because a year earlier, after knowing the groom to be for only a month, she told me he was the one.  Truly love at first sight.  When Rachel asked me  if I would take some photographs at the wedding,  I laughed.  I used to shoot weddings for money when I was young but quit the practice as soon as I was able to.  I am not good at shooting those types of events and I say hats off to the professionals who are able to capture moment after moment. Rachel and Nick’s wedding was not going to like a normal one and I said I would be happy to shoot a pinhole image or two, one for sure, the length of their ceremony, what ever amount of time that was.  In retrospect  it was actually quite hubristic to imagine  that such an exposure might work in the bright fall sun of Cape Cod.  And I had no idea where they were actually getting married. But I packed my 4 x 5 pinhole camera and some color negative film loaded into holders and hoped for the best.  The entire trip was bittersweet, full of laughter and tears.  Missing Connie all the while but feeling her presence strong.  I know she would have loved every minute of it.

The featured image was made the night before the wedding on a warm beautiful night on a Cape Cod beach.  We ate great food, talked, laughed, watched the sun go down and yes, those are all people on either side of the sun.  The colors are pretty true to what it was really like.  We dug our bare feet into the warm sand, everyone aglow in that orange light.

Rachel and Nick were married by a beautiful pond near Truro;  The weather was perfect and the light beautiful.  The exposures were so long,  but people are recognizable in the blur.  The landscape is  intact. In those 45 minutes there was the magic that happens when two people come together in love and celebrate that with their friends and family.  It turns out this was shortest exposure of the four that I took:  the featured image exposed for about an hour until well after the sun went down.  The dinner  image exposed  for about two hours while incredible food was eaten;   the lawn image exposed in the gray light of late twilight for about an hour.  Rachel was a beautiful bride, and it  so incredible to see someone I have known her whole life become a such an elegant, wonderful young woman.  I present these images here as an homage to Rachel and Nick and their love, thank you for allowing me to make memories of your wedding and congratulations making the commitment to be together.

 

The ceremony.

Rachel and Nick wedding ceremony 45 minute exposure

 

After the wedding, everyone went to the home of Nick’s Aunt where we ate and danced and celebrated the beautiful couple.  The lawn photograph exposed until it got too dark to see, about an hour.

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Then, the meal!  Fantastic food with lovely wonderful people.  This exposure was about two hours. And finally when the dancing began, I closed the shutter.

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f/D Book of Pinhole

About six months ago I submitted some of my new pinhole work to the ƒ/D website call for work for a book on pinhole photography.  A passion for pinhole photography by Kier Silensky gave birth to a  book that will have ninety-nine images by pinhole photographers from all over the world.  My image, Under the Tracks/Inside the Box was accepted to be a part of this book.  Now the website Kier maintains, fslashd.com has started a Kickstarter site for the project in order to print the book as beautifully  as possible.

On the Kickstarter site, Kier states, “while photo books are a great way to collect photography, the pinhole photography community is greatly under-represented on bookshelves. In response, we ran a call for entry asking photographers to show us what they’ve seen through a pinhole. We received an overwhelming response from around the world, and selected 99 photos to publish in a book created to celebrate pinhole photography. In all, the book features 60 black & white and 39 color photos. The photographs represent techniques that demonstrate the “pinhole look” in general as well as the unique ways in which pinhole works with motion and time, bent film planes, infrared, and other techniques and formats.”

I personally still do not have a name for the camera that was constructed to make the  image that was accepted for the book. Basically it is a larger (2 x 2 x 2 feet) pinhole camera with a round hole placed right below the pinhole into which  a digital camera fits to  record the pinhole  image inside the box. A kind of mini-camera obscura room, aka Abelardo Morell, one of my heroes.    I am thrilled to be a part of this book and hope you will consider donating to the Kickstarter project so this book can be realized. You can go to the site  and see for the project for yourself:  the-f-d-book-of-pinhole.

I have made several images with this box as well as experimented with placing the DSLR inside of other giant camera obscurae and capturing the image that is made.  I am not sure where this work is leading me but it’s been fun!  I love the idea of making a pinhole image and capturing it with digital. Below I have added the image for the book and one other I’ve made with this camera.

Under the Tracks/Inside the Box

Outside the Sunny Arms/Inside the box

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self-portrait-outside-the-sunny-arms

The Pinhole Project Has Its Own Website

I  am happy to announce that the Pinhole Project now has its own website thepinholeproject.org .  It went live about a week ago and it is still   far from being complete.  Over the last three years, we have collected about 3000 images from eager and enthusiastic pinhole photographers all over the world.  As you know, these images are all long exposure, in small metal tins, exposed for at least 3 weeks sometimes much longer.  I am gratified and humbled by the response and always look forward to opening that tin, seeing the negative and making the scan.  The pinhole archive on this site will soon come down and all those images will be transferred over  to the new site which has a search box, so users can search their name to find where their image is on the site.  While this is a major improvement, there are still some snags to be worked out with that search mechanism.  Bear with us, because I think it is more important to be live while the snafus get worked out that to not be live at all. I will now dedicate janetneuhauser.com  to my personal photography and that is all!    The Pinhole Project site will not contain any of my recent pinhole work unless it is an image that is specifically done for the Project.  I plan to use the thepinholeproject.org to celebrate the work of all those pinhole photographers who trust in a tiny metal tin with a hole punched in it, and tend their cameras for long periods of time, sometimes coming back right at the end to find the pinhole bandit has come in his/her stealthy way and taken the camera  down.

Please visit thepinholeproject.org and enjoy all the beautiful images there.  And come back often because each week more images will be  added and soon all 3000 will be up.  Oh and don’t forget to put up a camera.  The winter months are dark and exposures take a long time!

Here are a few images to refresh your memory about just how fantastic this type of imagery is.  Top image is by Greg Staley, made in Maryland, the bottom is by Eric Riedel, made in Washington.
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Featured Image:  Johanna Mendelsohn, two hole pinhole camera.

The Pinhole Project on a King County Metro Bus Shelter!

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Over two years ago, the artists at the Sunny Arms, the building where I live and work, agreed to expose pinhole cameras out their windows for 90 days, from the Summer Solstice to the Fall Equinox.  The results were so spectacular that everyone agreed to expose cameras until we had covered each season.  The project came  to be called, Out There:  Pinhole Images from the Sunny Arms Artists.  Over the course of the next two years (the time it took us to expose all four seasons), over 100 images were made from our windows.  The residents changed, but the pinhole cameras continued to be exposed.  You can see an update on this project in this blog,  http://www.janetneuhauser.com/out-there-an-update/ that was published in 2015.

When I heard about the public art project called City Panorama, I was inspired to submit the first season of Out There to it.  Sponsored by Photographic Center Northwest, King County Metro and 4Culture, the project has placed hundreds of murals in the last six years on bus shelters throughout King County.  I am pleased to announce that the Sunny Arms first season of Out There has been placed on a bus shelter on Beacon Avenue South and South Holly Street, just up Beacon Hill from our building.  A great big thanks to all three organizations who have sponsored this wonderful project.  A great way to make our bus shelters more inviting and show off the photography of so many people throughout King County.

On the Photographic Center NW website (pcnw.org) a description of the project is as follows:

The City Panorama Project began in 2010 when King County Metro, WA partnered with PCNW to expand the public art scene in Seattle and other cities in King County. As a way to incorporate art into everyday life, to beautify Seattle and other cities served by Metro, and to make new perspectives and ideas available to all, the City Panorama Project seeks photographic artwork that will accomplish these objectives while increasing the visibility of the photographic arts. Over 450 photo murals have been installed since the launch of this public art project in 2010. This annual project is funded through a 4Culture grant and now enters its sixth year.

So special thanks to the Sunny Arms artists who collaborated to make this project happen and to all the Seattle and King County organizations who also collaborated to beautify our county.  I am honored to be a part of this.  If you are in the neighborhood be sure to stop by “our” bus shelter and oh, don’t forget to take the bus much more often!

 

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In Search of Edweard Muybridge

Last winter I read a most wonderful book about Edweard Muybridge, the photographer known widely for his motion studies. The book, by Rebecca Solnit, is called River of Shadows: Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West.  If you have not read it, I recommend that you do, not only for it’s in-depth look at the life and work of Muybridge but also as a history of the Wild West, the railroads and early San Fransisco.  Partly in  search of that American West, this past Spring, the Road Trip Maestro (who prefers to be anonymous) and I  drove to Oakland and then back towards Seattle through the beautiful National Forests of Northern California.  We went to Lava Beds National Monument right on the Oregon/California border where Muybridge had been hired by the US Army to photograph the tired, senseless war it was waging against the Modoc People who were making a stand against the federal “relocation” of their culture, their life, their history.   Since it was next to impossible to photograph this ridiculous war, Muybridge, in 1873, made photographs from a rock known as Signal Station looking down on Tule Lake and the Army encampment  near the Lava Beds. He put together a panorama from the stereotypes he made there which Rebecca Solnit reproduced in her book.

We wanted to re-capture the same photographs Muybridge made some 143 years earlier, minus of course the Army encampment. Much had changed in the landscape.  All that was left of the encampment were two historical Army structures visible in the Muybridge photographs:  a large square stone fence to the South was apparently a wall around a temporary cemetery and a small round stone structure to the North is believed to have been a corral of some sort.  We parked in the hot, empty parking lot (visible in our photograph) and went looking for the place Muybridge stood to take his photographs. Tule Lake has almost disappeared. In its place, a  rich farmland stretches out to the east. On the distant horizon are low hills, not visible in the Muybridge’s images. Was it a hazy day when he took his photograph?  Why were those hills not visible then?

We climbed around the cliffs;  they were steep and the afternoon was bright and hot  even though it was early April. We saw lizards and lots of coyote scat and watched out for snakes. I headed up the hill on the right-hand side of Muybridge’s panorama. The RTM (Road Trip Maestro) climbed the cliff, up and up to the base of a large rock.  It was Signal Station seen in the featured image for this post. The two stone enclosures were clearly visible from below.  It was the spot!  The RTM lined up the shot and we fired away.  Then we sat and thought about Muybridge in that same place. Such a complicated figure, a mixture of genius, scalawag and fiction. So mysterious. Quickly, we gathered up the equipment and raced down the hill, chased by ghosts perhaps and the need to get back to the safety of the car (and the dog whom we had left there). When we arrived at the car,  I realized I had left my old black sweatshirt up on  the hill where we sat.  I could clearly see it with the binoculars and  I held them against the lens of the DSLR to take a photograph, my low tech answer to a long lens. In Photoshop, I circled the sweatshirt for your convenience.  I imagine it is still there;  we simply could not climb that hill again.  If you are in the area, go there and find it please!

signal rock


Below is our rephotograph of Muybridge’s panorama.  In the lower right corner is my camera bag; you can just barely see the corner of tripod for the pinhole camera.  The steepness of the hill is not recorded by the camera in the Muybridge’s photograph or ours.  If I go back to retrieve the sweatshirt, I will record my lack of breath on the way up to that rock. The parking lot is the white dot in the right hand photograph.  It actually is not that far away, just a big drop in elevation.  If you zoom in, you can see the round stone corral, almost dead center.  Off to the South, the larger stone structure that enclosed the Army’s cemetery is partially hidden by the trees which have grown up on the hill.

thomsonpanorama copy

Here is the reproduction of Muybridge’s panorama.  If you look closely, you can see at least one person standing on the hill on the right side of the frame.  It is clearly the same hill on the right side of our photograph.  How alone those men in the Army must have felt!  The war actually only lasted a year but the conflict really started years before. The Army outnumbered the Modocs 10:1 but could not subdue them until the end when they brought in 300 troops with Howitzers.  The area was barren and hostile. It was a war no wanted to fight. In the labyrinth of the Lava Beds, the Modocs made their stand, waiting out the white man.  All they wanted was to stay on their land with the right to hunt and fish and gather food as their people  had done for centuries.  It was not to be.

muybrigespanorama tule lakePanorama of Lava Beds from Signal Station at Tule Lake, Camp South, from the series The Modoc War, 1873 (one frame each of five stereos) by Edweard Muybridge

I am indebted to Rebecca Solnit and her wonderful book.  I am indebted to the RTM for his insights, dedication and diligence concerning  this crazy pursuit.  I am honored to have stood where Muybridge once stood.  It was a great road trip overall, but more on that later.

Featured image:  Signal Station from below, 2016, Janet Neuhauser

Tales of Multi-Hole Pinhole Cameras

The Pinhole Project continues with over 2000 images made in the last two and a half years.  What I love about the Project is the willingness of the participants to try different cameras and wait for sometimes up to three months to see the image they have made.  While a certain breath mint tin makes a fantastic camera and has been used for the majority of the images in the Archive,  several photographers have ventured into new territory and  made cameras out of a variety of tins with several holes, sometimes placed evenly around the front of the tin and sometimes randomly placed.  The beautiful thing about the Pinhole Project is that anything goes and almost always everything works out well, even images that have been soaked with water and are damaged,  even cameras  that have fallen down and been put back up several times.

This post celebrates those participants who tended and placed their multi-hole cameras or whose cameras persisted despite all odds and were put up after falling down, again and again.  The two holes harken back to the old stereotype cameras of the 19th century and the old landscapes which took lots of time and effort to expose.  They reinforce my love of the diptych.

One of the great experimenters has been April Surgent who took cameras with her to a remote scientific station in Antarctica a few years back.  She was a novice at making the cameras and inadvertently at first poked several holes in the piece of brass shim stock where one hole usually is poked.  She made beautiful images with sun trails floating across the sky like flights of birds in  dreams.  For a full account of her journey, take a look at an earlier blog post on here work: http://www.janetneuhauser.com/april-surgents-pinholes/

11-15-20-BB2-4AP-Gamage Point-color

Another major player in the two hole pinhole camera world is Eric Riedel, a fellow Sunny Arms artist coop member.  Eric has made over 20 exposures over the last few years and his images are stunning.  He generally exposes the images for just three weeks.  Here is an example of one  of his  recent images

:ericriedel048

Isabelle Ranson has experimented with several two hole cameras.  Here is one of her’s:

Isabelle Ranson141

And this one from Joanna Mendelsohn, a Seattle photographer and contributor to the Pinhole Project:

joanna mendelsohn491

This one is from Ryan Cox:

RyanCox260

I have been working with a three hole camera;  here is one of my recent 90 day exposures from the Sunny Arms Artist Coop, where I live and work in Seattle.  The yellow lines in the foreground are car lights coming in and out of the parking lot.

JanetNeuhauser062

The featured image is by Libby Bulloff and Stephen Robinson, two collaborators who are not only amazing pinhole photographers but wonderful tintypists as well.  For more of their tintype work, go to their website:  http://www.seattletintype.com/portraits.html

Look for a new website for the Pinhole Project coming soon.  It is now under construction….