Why I make pictures

A local newspaper article this week reported there are many hate groups in Ohio.

Contrary to what the media would have us believe, our world is full of love.

Paris is just one example.

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Love and joy are all around us at home, too.

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This is why I always wear my camera.

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All we have to do is open our hearts and our minds.

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“Laughter is the sun that drives the winter from the human face” - Victor Hugo

“Laughter is the sun that drives the winter from the human face” - Victor Hugo

Making pictures preserves these moments of joy and love, and is my way of sharing what’s right in our world.

Thanks for reading, and for joining me in celebrating the good.

“You can't fix anything by condemning it. That only adds to the destructive energy that's already permeating the atmosphere.” - Dr. Wayne Dyer

What's the Difference Between Fiber-based and RC Prints?

Back in the day photographers printed almost all black and white pictures on fiber-based paper. Fiber-based paper is just that - a photographic emulsion on a base of paper, which is made from wood fibers.

To ensure the highlights reflect enough light and that the shadows absorb enough light, manufacturers add a layer of barium sulfate. As a result, photographers sometimes call fiber-based paper “baryta” paper. 

In 1975, Kodak began to offer resin-coated, or “RC” paper. A layer of polyethylene, or resin, separates the emulsion from the paper base.

Because the paper base is separate from the emulsion, RC prints develop more quickly, and require only a five-minute wash as opposed to an hour or two for fiber-based paper. RC paper’s reduced processing time appealed to news and other photographers working on a deadline. 

Fiber-based prints depict a greater tonal range, partly because fiber-based paper’s semi-glossy surface (compared to RC prints) reflects less light in the deep blacks of the image.

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Although fiber-based prints require more processing time and must be flattened and then carefully dried, their greater tonal range makes them more valuable to fine art print buyers, and they command a higher price than an RC print does.

RC prints' utility stems from their quick drying time and ease of mounting. Many clients find them more suitable to their needs and budget. 

Working with film and printing in a traditional wet darkroom, I enjoy the best of both worlds - Fiber-based and RC. 

Photo: The Art of Living, La Brasserie de Île Saint-Louis, Paris.  

Photo and text © Bob Soltys All Rights Reserved

There's no place like home

Although I’ve been blessed to have galleries in London, Chicago, New York, Durango, and at home show my Paris pictures, far away places where we spend limited time can be challenging to photograph and to market. I’m glad I included some pictures of my faithful friend and companion Lucky the Jack Russell Terrier the last time I showed prints at FotoFest Paris.

Thankfully, Krzysztof Candrowicz of Łódź Art Center said “Go with it!” when he saw the picture of Lucky wondering what to do after the new owners of my home town camera store no longer allowed pets. 

 

  As I continued working on the project, which eventually illustrated the book A Lucky Life, I realized what Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz is a truth in photography. Our best photo ops are right here at home, with unlimited projects, if we keep an open mind, remember to carry our camera so we’re ready for the decisive moment (as @thorstenovergaard explains it), and make time to see what’s right in front of us. 

 

Because most of us spend the majority of our time where we live and work, we have a better chance to make great images in our home town than we might at a frequently photographed far away place. 

      So click your ruby red shoes (or cordovan loafers in my case), and remember: “There’s no place like home.” 

                     Photos © Bob Soltys All Rights Reserved

 

Did you remember your camera?

As I carried my devoted friend and companion Lucky the Jack Russell Terrier across the street couple of nights ago , a driver slowed down and told us: “I wish I had my camera!”  Her wish - and the encounter - was the Universe’s reminder to always carry your camera with you.

Remembering my camera meant I was ready after listening to the voice of synchrodestiny – as Deepak Chopra calls it, aka the law of attraction – that said: “Go to the diner for breakfast,” bringing me to walking monk Bhaktimarga Swami’s world when he visited John’s Diner during his walk across America.

Rosie, Bhaktimarga John's Diner

My ever-present camera allowed me to take the photo of Lucky that became the cover of his new book, A Lucky Life, which is illustrated with my photographs of his travels and encounters along the path of a lucky life. 

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After one too many missed photo ops (hat tip to David Kennerly) because I didn’t feel like dragging my motor-driven SLR with me, in 1989 I bought the Leica M6 I’d been wondering whether I should spend so much money on. That smaller, lighter camera facilitated carrying my camera on my shoulder or in my satchel. No more excuses for not bringing my camera.

Although you can buy a used Leica at a reasonable price - for example an M4, M4-P, M2, or (for those who work with digital) a used M9 or Monochrome M at Tamarkin Camera, it doesn’t have to be a Leica. Any small camera - film or digital - will do. 

Whatever you have (or get) - carry it with you. 

   Photos © 2016 and 2004 Bob Soltys All Rights Reserve