Mark Tucker : Journal

Leah

Posted in Interesting People, New York by marktucker on August 29, 2013

Competition swimmer, and only heading into the fifth grade next week. Determined. Heart of gold. (with Alison Donalty).

LeahSwimmer_3b

Neil Gaiman speech

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on August 23, 2013

Lots of these commencement speeches going around. All are good. And this is good. But I find myself watching it over and over; I think I just like his voice. Or maybe because he treated college like I treated college.

Dustin Cohen

Posted in Interesting People, New York by marktucker on August 21, 2013

A diptych from today’s portrait shoot with Dustin Cohen. I guess tattoos do show up, after all. Thanks to Tricia Scott for art direction and just a fun day, and to Abby Kraftowitz for great technical help with the process. 8″x10″ collodion on black metal.

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Bukowski quote

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on August 20, 2013

I read this today. Not sure. I could make a case for either side.

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.” ― Charles Bukowski

“I Am”

Posted in Buddhism, Interesting People by marktucker on August 19, 2013

My friend Tamara Reynolds recommended this film. I watched it tonight. Very powerful. Not sure what to even say about it, (other than I need to watch it a few more times). Stream it on Netflix.

iam

Lewis Hine

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on July 26, 2013

From Shorpy.com. Caption reads: “March 1909. Hartford, Conn. Newsgirls waiting for papers. Largest girl, Alice Goldman, has been selling for 4 years. Newsdealer says she uses viler language than the newsboys do. Bessie Goldman and Bessie Brownstein are 9 years old and have been selling about one year. All sell until 7 or 7:30 p.m. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine for the National Child Labor Committee’.

ShorpyB

“The Photo Man”

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on July 14, 2013

Vimeo showing a man who deals in vernacular photography. He’s bought and sold millions of snapshots. Shows the universal appeal of photography. (Thank you, Allie Hine).

Dane Carder + Mary Addison Hackett

Posted in Artists, Interesting People by marktucker on February 24, 2013

A detail, back in the rear of Dane’s studio on Chestnutt, during the “Still Life, Landscapes, Posers” show, curated by Mary Addison Hackett.

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Jim McGuire

Posted in Interesting People, The South by marktucker on February 19, 2013

I was backing up some hard drives today, and found this image of Jim McGuire today. He’d asked me to shoot a portrait of him for his solo show. Great dog, too.

JimMcGuireBlog

Melissa Greener

Posted in Interesting People, WetPlate by marktucker on February 14, 2013

We worked on this yesterday — a wet-plate portrait, and other images for my friend Melissa Greener.

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Noah Levine retreat: new Dharma center

Posted in Buddhism, Interesting People by marktucker on February 3, 2013

We moved into the new Dharma center a few weeks ago. Dave brought in Noah Levine this past weekend, for a short talk on Friday night, and then an all-day meditation on Saturday. More information on the center and the schedule here.

Dave Smith, (left), with Noah Levine, in the front window of the new center.

Dave Smith, (left), with Noah Levine, in the front window of the new center.

Quick portrait of Noah, after the event on Saturday.

Quick portrait of Noah, after the event on Saturday.

Early morning light, on Saturday morning, as we began the retreat.

Early morning light, on Saturday morning, as we began the retreat.

Hanging around, after the event, on Saturday.

Hanging around, after the event, on Saturday.

Virginia Team’s world

Posted in Interesting People, The South by marktucker on January 25, 2013

Last Sunday, Jerry Joyner made a meal from scratch, and we drove out and visited Virginia Team, at her home near Ashland City. I met Virginia in the early 1980′s, when she was the main Art Director at CBS Records, on Music Row. She had a reputation as being a world-class Art Director, with high standards. I remember being terrified when I went their the first time to show her my book. I remember it was summer, and she was dressed in all white, and the sun was shining in the window, and she was nice to me and welcoming.

Later, we became true friends, as we traveled the country, doing record covers over the years. There were many fun adventures out west, in Arizona and New Mexico, scouting remote locations. She has a heart of gold, (even though it was scary to work for her!). She has an eye for subtle CMYK color like I’ve never seen with anyone else. She was known for taking her grease pencil to Matchprints, and marking them up for retouching. I’d just stand in her office and marvel over what she’d take note of. There was this retouching broker, in those days — Bob Towery — and he’d bring in these Matchprints and retouching — on dye transfer prints, done by hand in those days, and she’d send them back, over and over, til they were perfect.

Now, she’s retired, and lives on many acres outside of Nashville, with sixteen chickens, two cats, and Beau, the dog. Pete died a while back; he looks a lot like Beau.

We made a nice meal that day; took the golf cart out across the land; and built a nice fire. Was a good day.

Virginia Team, behind one of the many outbuildings on her land. She's holding a basket that we used to gather lettuce for the salad, out of her winter garden.

Virginia Team, behind one of the many outbuildings on her land. She’s holding a basket that we used to gather lettuce for the salad, out of her winter garden.

A day afterwards, Virginia emailed me this photo of her as a small girl, in South Carolina. Look at that priceless face, and her prized possession.

A day afterwards, Virginia emailed me this photo of her as a small girl, in South Carolina. Look at that priceless face, and her prized possession.

Virginia throwing seed to the chickens, outside the kitchen door. Jerry amused by it all. She even grows homemade sprouts to spoil the chickens. Best fed chickens in all of Cheatham county.

Virginia throwing seed to the chickens, outside the kitchen door. Jerry, amused by it all. Beau, following our every footstep, on security detail. She even grows homemade sprouts to spoil the chickens. They’re the best-fed chickens in all of Cheatham county.

Virginia said that one day, she left the kitchen door cracked, and she turned around and the chickens had come into the house, and were on the kitchen side table, eating the cat food. So she showed me how they entered...

Virginia said that one day, she left the kitchen door cracked, and she turned around and the chickens had come into the house, and were on the kitchen side table, eating the cat food. So she showed me how they entered…

Serene setting in her living room, with Scooter holding court.

Serene setting in her living room, with Scooter holding court.

While we were in the winter garden, collecting lettuce, the cat delivered a prize, in the center of the kitchen floor.

While we were in the winter garden, collecting lettuce, the cat delivered a prize, in the center of the kitchen floor.

Virginia, armed and dangerous, and looking like either Annie Oakley or Shirley Temple, with her father, in South Carolina.

Virginia, armed and dangerous, and looking like either Annie Oakley or Shirley Temple, with her father, in South Carolina.

We made a nice campfire that burned all day. This is one of three firepits on the property; take your pick.

We made a nice campfire that burned all day. This is one of three firepits on the property; take your pick.

Beau followed us wherever we went, all afternoon. He's about 12 or 13, but doing great, for a large dog.

Beau followed us wherever we went, all afternoon. He’s about 12 or 13, but doing great, for a large dog.

Every afternoon, Virginia takes out the golf cart, through the roads on her land, and Beau gets a workout, running along beside the cart.

Every afternoon, Virginia takes out the golf cart, through the roads on her land, and Beau gets a workout, running along beside the cart.

This is Simon Levy, one of the many roosters on the land. (Simon, in real life, was well-respected Art Director at Warner Brothers, in both LA and Nashville. Great guy and excellent artist).

This is Simon Levy, one of the many roosters on the land. (Simon, in real life, was well-respected Art Director at Warner Brothers, in both LA and Nashville. Great guy and excellent artist).

A wooden egg, in the henhouse, to remind the hens about their role in life.

A wooden egg, in the henhouse, to remind the hens about their role in life.

Interior of the henhouse, in the late afternoon, when they (automatically) come home, and hop up on their perch, for bed.

Interior of the henhouse, in the late afternoon, when they (automatically) come home, and hop up on their perch, for bed.

On the dining room table was a beautiful book from Virginia's father. He'd made the book when he was about eleven years old. (Love the typeface, and everything about this book).

On the dining room table was a beautiful book from Virginia’s father. He’d made the book when he was about eleven years old. (Love the typeface, and everything about this book).

There is this famous graphic that floats around the internet -- a mark-up by Richard Avedon, to show his B/W printer how to print the final print. I sent this to Virginia to show her that there was at least one person more demanding about retouching than her! (Not bad playing second fiddle to Richard Avedon).

There is this famous graphic that floats around the internet — a mark-up by Richard Avedon, to show his B/W printer how to print the final print. I sent this to Virginia to show her that there was at least one person more demanding about retouching than her! (I guess it’s not bad to play second fiddle to Richard Avedon).

Elle Long

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on January 25, 2013

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Sienna and Theory

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on January 12, 2013

Best friends.

Sienna Stewart

Sienna Stewart

Theory Grayson

Theory Grayson

Jerry Joyner

Posted in Artists, Books, Interesting People by marktucker on January 12, 2013

We photographed graphic designer and illustrator Jerry Joyner yesterday. Here are a couple of initial images. More to be added later.

Portrait of Jerry outside on his deck.

Portrait of Jerry outside on his deck.

Still life creation inside his home.

Still life creation inside his home.

Jerry holding a tiny miniature Dutch dictionary. A gift from a friend.

Jerry holding a tiny miniature Dutch dictionary. A gift from a friend.

Drawing Table, by the window. (T-square still in use).

Drawing Table, by the window. (T-square still in use).

JerryJoynerBook

A salad he made for Samantha and me. Lunch on the deck, after the pictures. Nice.

A salad he made for Samantha and me. Lunch on the deck, after the pictures. Nice.

Every year he does an illustration for the Chinese New Year. This year is "Year of the Dragon".

Every year he does an illustration for the Chinese New Year. This year is “Year of the Dragon”.

Jerry's quote when we're looking at this: "I've always thought I had a little bit of Gina Binkley in me..."
Bottom snapshot is Jerry, in the black suit. Amazing. And the top image is of his mother.

Bottom snapshot is Jerry, in the black suit. Amazing. And the top image is of his mother.

A chair that Jerry's father made for him. Made from clothespins.

A chair that Jerry’s father made for him. Made from clothespins.

Author photo of Jerry, with Remy Charlip. Back cover of "Thirteen". Click photo for Amazon link.

Author photo of Jerry, with Remy Charlip. Back cover of “Thirteen”. Click photo for Amazon link.

Back porch stoop. Nice lines and shapes, and pretty light.

Back porch stoop. Nice lines and shapes, and pretty light.

I made the Kitchen Chalkboard.

Beta version of the iPad Calendar. But I made it into a slot. Jerry’s handwriting looks a great deal like Virginia Team’s. Osmosis?

Wolf

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on January 6, 2013
Wolf Hoffmann.

Wolf Hoffmann.

Leipers Fork Christmas Parade

Posted in Interesting People, The South by marktucker on December 22, 2012
Local resident. He rode his horse to the parade, from his house.

Floyd, local resident. He rode his horse to the parade, from his house.

The main parade route, headed through town.

The main parade route, headed through town.

Laine Robinson, out back of Joe's Natural, with a giant white dog that matched his hat.

Laine Robinson, out back of Joe’s Natural, with a giant white dog that matched his hat.

One of the parade cars.

One of the parade cars.

Miniature pony, (with tennis shoes).

Miniature donkey, (with tennis shoes).

Lisa Fox, from The Copper Fox, along with the Dancing Traffic Cop, in front of Pucketts.

Lisa Fox, from The Copper Fox, along with the Dancing Traffic Cop, in front of Pucketts.

Mules, family, and wagon, atop the big hill, outside of town.

Mules, family, and wagon, atop the big hill, outside of town.

Boy Scouts.

Boy Scouts.

Half Blue Heeler, half Border Collie. Trained to work cattle. Great dog.

Half Blue Heeler, half Border Collie, standing on his mom’s Corvette. Trained to work cattle. Great dog.

Local residents, heading into Joe's Natural.

Local residents, heading into Joe’s Natural.

One of the cars in the parade, in the big field, preparing to get in line.

One of the cars in the parade, in the big field, preparing to get in line.

Maybe the largest dog in the entire parade. Nice temperament.

Maybe the largest dog in the entire parade. Nice temperament.

Little girl in the bed of her family's antique pickup truck.

Little girl in the bed of her family’s antique pickup truck.

Lisa Fox, in front of her gallery, cooking marshmallows for her granddaughter.

Lisa Fox, in front of her gallery, cooking marshmallows for her granddaughter.

Car in parade.

Car in parade, with portable outhouse in the background.

Selling Veterans Newspapers

Posted in Interesting People, The South by marktucker on December 2, 2012

We met this fellow today, coming home from a shoot. The offramp of I-440 and Nolensville Road.

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Western Kentucky University

Posted in Interesting People, Photographs by marktucker on November 29, 2012

On Tuesday, I helped judge some final portrait portfolios, via Skype, for the Photojournalism program at Western Kentucky University (my alma mater, if you can say that if you never graduated). Also judging was Chris Stanford, from Atlanta. Tim Broekema is the professor for that class. Looking back on it, the whole process was pretty intense — seeing all that work at one time, and trying to be honest and not candy-coat the feedback, but also trying to be supportive. I think the last thing a student needs in these crazy times is candy-coating, especially as a senior. Especially as a PJ major. Never before in the history of the world has there been such a glut and oversupply of photographers. At some point, the rent is going to come due, and you gotta do something to not live under the Shelby Street bridge.

Anyway, Tim and Chris and I have been emailing each other, since that day, and today, Tim sent these two links for review. I had been bitching to him about these young kids getting too involved with gear, and flash units, and all the things that keeps them being truly being with their subject — and the importance of avoiding people/photographers that seem too sales-motivated, with hokey gear (to get in the way). I’ll let you fill in the names. I’d teach a class where every student only had one body and a 35 1.4, and they’d duct tape their body on ASA 6400, and wide open, and no other gear, and they just get in the car and go see the world, and hang with interesting people. Be a human being first, and then a photographer second. Chris cited Danny Clinch, during the Skype session; I agree with Chris. I’d probably add Ryan McGinley to the list as well, maybe minus the sparklers.

Anyway, here are these two links. Both links give me hope for young photographers coming out of a photojournalism school in the year 2012.

© Jared Hamilton

© David Kasnic

Edit: After I posted this, I saw this link on Joerg’s site. I love the Artist Statement on the body of work. I feel this about young people — so many options and distractions. Nice images too.

“Every new day gives us hundreds of opportunities. Gigabytes of new information, armfuls of exciting events, kilometres of unexplored places, chances of adventitious meetings – all this is waiting for us with the beginning of each 24-hour time span, which we are to use as effectively and rationally as possible, acting profitably and getting a satisfactory result. It could seem that realization of this fact is sure to inspire us. The problem is that the variety of alternatives and the great number of possibilities result in a deep fear of losing something really essential, missing some unique events or relevant information. Consequently, the fear leads to an inner catatony, a moment of floating in the air, which paralyzes our will and puts us into inexplicable panic. The endless variety of choices that we have to make doesn’t let us decide on anything. Instead of taking up new challenges, we stay at home in our cosy and safe little world which is ready to keep us away from the stream of this impetuous life beyond it.”

© Anastasia Tailakova

David Geffen documentary

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on November 27, 2012

Very interesting documentary on the life and deals of David Geffen. Streaming, from PBS. (Hidden detail: Joni Mitchell’s song “Free Man In Paris” was written about David Geffen).

Joan Didion quote

Posted in Books, Interesting People, Quotes by marktucker on November 23, 2012

Stephen Jenkinson, author

Posted in Interesting People, Personal, Spirituality by marktucker on November 17, 2012

Attended a film last night, titled “Griefwalker”, about author Stephen Jenkinson. And then today, an all-day workshop with him. I made this portrait after the workshop, on the grounds of Scarritt Bennett. You can stream the entire film here, for free.

(Thank you Michelle, Kristy, Kelly).

Update: Here is Kristy’s blog post about the workshop that we attended on Saturday.

Portrait of Stephen Jenkinson.

Click to play Video.

My grandparents on my mother’s side. Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. My grandfather, Harley, was a rural postal carrier and farmer and deacon at his church. My grandmother, Rena, was a gardener, manager of the home, and raised four girls. If you’ve ever done work with Stephen Jenkinson, you’ll understand why I’m including this image.

© Estate of Edward Weston. (You must go study with Stephen to get the connection…)

Tia Danko / Martina Dankova

Posted in Artists, Interesting People, Photographs by marktucker on November 15, 2012

A friend shared this work with me. I love the Orwo Chapter. No idea what it means, but it’s strong work. On Facebook, she’s leading a double life as Tia Danko. Not sure about all the backstory, but all that matters is that the work is interesting. She lives in Slovakia. It’s a big world out there. (Edit/Clarification: She writes that Orwo is an expired GDR film that’s very unpredictable in its results).

© Tia Danko

© Tia Danko

Congratulations: R.A. Dickey

Posted in Interesting People, The South by marktucker on November 14, 2012

R.A. Dickey won the National League Cy Young Award tonight. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. We shot his book cover recently, and after the session, he actually pitched some knuckleballs to me, (but not at full speed). And yes, they were hopping around more than Charlie Sheen on a fresh EightBall. I have some iPhone video of it somewhere. Anyway, below is an outtake frame that I shot with the old Liberator camera, on 4×5 B/W Polaroid. Congratulations to R.A. It was one hell of a season — he went 20-6, and was the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young. His entire family was at the shoot — a bunch of kids and a really kind wife.

Diptych of R.A. Dickey, and the County Fair ballpark in Alexandria, Tennessee.

Book Cover, from Amazon.

Lauren Simonutti

Posted in Artists, Interesting People by marktucker on November 14, 2012

Two images from “The Birthday Series”

I know very little about Lauren Simonutti. I’m just now beginning to read about her. All I know is that she had some type of mental illness, and that her photographs were strong, and that she seemed quite intelligent. She seemed to do all of her work in a very small area, in one room. She died this year.

Also, I just rewatched the Francesca Woodman documentary the other night, so all this is on my mind.

Link to Chapter One work from Edelman Gallery.

Link to Chapter Two work from Edelman Gallery.

And below, a video of Lauren, explaining her work.

Artist Talk with Lauren E. Simonutti (2010) from Catherine Edelman Gallery on Vimeo.

Modern Collodion Woman

Posted in Interesting People, WetPlate by marktucker on November 13, 2012

I watched this nice video today from a woman in Washington state. Her name is Dinah DiNova. She’s doing a kickstarter thing to go back to her hometown area, New Orleans, to keep shooting. Her pictures are quite nice. The video is especially good. I also love the background music; the dog is pretty bad-ass too. I think it’s a Rat Terrier; might be a good breed to consider. Will send her some money today; she’s very well-spoken about her work and her approach. I like when people take a more modern slant on the collodion process.

Location Collodion: Red Barn Roundup

Posted in Interesting People, The South, WetPlate by marktucker on November 11, 2012

Here are some frames from today, from Allison Marusic’s Red Barn Roundup in East Nashville. We got great character faces all afternoon, but ran out of ambient light at dusk. Could have shot faces all night. We went back to the Dallmeyer 9″ Petzval on this project, to get in closer to their faces, and to throw the depth of focus to almost nothing.

Thank you to Samantha Angel for great collodion prep, and to Derrick Hood for the dark box design.

Also, here is a link to Kathryn Johnson’s photos from the party. Here’s a frame with Allison.

The master grid that I put on my website, in AltProcess chapter. Cattle rustlers and bank robbers. http://www.marktucker.com

Allison Marusic, founder of RBR and owner of the great home where it all happens.

John McTigue, drummer. 8″x10″ collodion on black metal.

Elizabeth Bradley.

Grant Johnson, 8″x10″ collodion on black metal.

Kathryn Mitchell Johnson. Married to Grant Johnson, above. Co-founder of RBR, with Allison.

Preston Kyles and Sarah Gayle Meech.

Cowboy Keith Thompson.

Jared Manzo, 8″x10″ collodion on black metal.

Photograph: Kim Jameson

Portrait of Courtney

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on October 31, 2012

I took a small light and a camera to a Halloween Party tonight at my friends Diana and Brent, on Belmont. I shot some portraits of all the children in their outfits. I’ll post those tomorrow. But I shot a portrait of Courtney also; I could not stop looking at this picture when I got home. Mesmerized by her face and spirit.

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I also really like the presence in this little girl’s face, below. It was a madhouse in this dining room, where I was shooting, but still, she found this nice moment where she was truly “there” with me. She’s an Old Soul.

Test with Jessica Clay

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on October 27, 2012

Shot several things with fine artist Jessica Clay today. Tested some wet plate; bought a hampster; shot a lot of candles; this is a frame with a collection of walnuts from a tree in my back yard. I keep them, knowing I’ll use them for something.

Portrait of Jessica Clay, in the upstairs room of my house. Pretty light thru giant window. Walnuts from my back yard. (Click to enlarge).

Upstairs studio room. Soft natural light. Makes me think of Duane Michals. (Click to enlarge).

Jessica with the little Zombie Gerbil. He drew blood from two of the three people in the room today. Bit hard and held down. 8″x10″ collodion, on black metal. (Click to enlarge).

Final setup downstairs, with tungsten. (Click to enlarge).

Setup in my upstairs studio room. Pretty natural light. We were in the same Art History class. Since she cut her hair, I’ve seen her as this vagabond character from the 1940′s. Very strong face and eyes. (Click to enlarge).

A setup with some vintage glassware that I’ve been collecting lately. Window light. Shot with one of my busted-apart lenses, held up to the camera body. ASA 1600. (click to enlarge).

Dealing with death, with an online friend?

Posted in Family, Interesting People by marktucker on October 21, 2012

I’m not sure how to really write about this, but in the past few weeks, two “friends” have died. The odd thing, in my mind, I think of them as a friend, but in actuality, I never met either one of them face to face. Both were photographers, and we shared this interest in historic photo processes. It’s just so odd to have shared emails and even phone calls, but never having met, and then one day you simply get the news that they died.

The first man that died lived in Clarksville, Tennessee, and he collected a large assortment of historic lenses, and he was always scheming, (like me), on how to fit old lenses onto new cameras. He’d come to town fairly often, “to go to Vanderbilt”, he said, but I never really thought that much about the degree of his illness. We kept planning on meeting up for lunch, to look at the old lenses, but our schedules never coincided. But we kept talking over email, and kept exploring our passion for old cameras. Then, one day recently, I see on Facebook where he simply died. Quickly. Unexpectedly. I can remember that disbelief in my chest, when I kept reading and re-reading the post about his death.

The second fellow, well, I never really had a chance to ever meet him, but we wrote back and forth a couple of times, and I’d follow his posts on a photo forum. He was probably well into his 80′s, but it was his profile photo, and the way he wrote, that captured my attention. He was one of the early “modern guys” doing wet plate collodion, in London, so I had massive respect for him. His name was Sean MacKenna.

Bio photo of Sean MacKenna

I’d made up this story in my mind that he was the modern grandfather of wet plate. There he sat in his chair, proud and dignified, and I wondered all the scenes he’d witnessed through his years in England. Here is one Obituary article.

And then a couple of days ago, I see where he went in for emergency surgery, and he just died. Gone. So today, I’m mourning the loss of two people I only met over the computer screen. Maybe in Mr. MacKenna’s case, I’d created some grand story that was much too large. Or, maybe I’m just missing my own grandfather as well.

Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper, October 14th, 2012

Posted in Interesting People, The South by marktucker on October 14, 2012

Here’s a teaser image from tonight’s Buttermilk Road Sunday Supper. A gigantic stripped-together image from the kitchen. By the looks of this image, everyone in 37215 was in attendance. The soup and the biscuits and the figs were to die for. Yummy.

I think I counted 32 attendees tonight, (plus an incredibly cute granddaughter who retired early).

The Team, for October 14th.

Dave Smith, from Against The Stream Nashville

Posted in Buddhism, Interesting People by marktucker on September 28, 2012

We had a great time with Dave Smith, from Against The Stream Nashville today. A diptych portrait; 8″x10″ wet plate collodion on black metal. Good stories; lots of laughter. Dave is a very admirable guy; he’s done the hard work.

Update: Here is Dave’s talk from last night’s practice, (Sunday night, Sept 30, 2012).

New Large Plates: Jimmy Abegg

Posted in Interesting People, WetPlate by marktucker on June 14, 2012

Yesterday, we made three large plates of good friend Jimmy Abegg, here at my house with the homemade collodion camera. Three plates in three hours; not bad I guess. Thanks also to Samantha Angel for great assistance with the chemistry and the workflow. Everything about this process goes “against the rules” of how the real collodion guys do things, but we are learning as we go. Once you go up in size, and leave the traditional plexi compartment workflow, it all gets dicey. We had some silver issues; not sure why. We had some skimming issues; not sure why. Hopefully the varnish will cover over my mistakes. Below are the actual black aluminum metal plates, (24″x28″) that we load into the camera. Each one is a mono print; no negative, no copies (unless you rephotograph it).

Jimmy, in my back yard, as we were washing the plates.

Plate #3, probably my favorite. We called this one: “Scholarly Moroccan writer”.

Plate #2: We called this one “Amish Preacher”.

Plate #1: We called this one, (as we were laughing): “Dust Bowl preacher, 1945: “Damnit kids, I told you to git out of my yard, or I’m gonna go git my shotgun!”.

Scouting Trip: Radical Faeries, Liberty TN

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on June 4, 2012

Long story, but I shot this image of this man in New Orleans a few months ago. Then, my cousin called me and said he knew the person, and he once lived in this commune of “radical faeries”, about an hour from Nashville. So I just had to go there, to see what it was all about.

Today, I drove there for their weekly open-to-the-public pot-luck dinner. I took some chicken salad, (and then freaked, on the way, thinking they were probably vegans). What I found, after driving deep into the boonies, and then down a long gravel road, was a nice farm with multiple buildings and dwellings. There was a main community building, and a community barn. Goats and chickens were on the land. Dogs lying on the sofa. They all pitched in for the weekly dinner.

Of course I want to photograph it, but after today, I think I want to photograph a much larger “gathering”, that happens twice a year there. Probably a couple hundred people. Today was just a gentle “entry trip”. I would say that when they saw the camera, they were a tad skeptical. But I will go back, and try to sink into the spirit of it. I think I had expectations of some type of “living Renaissance Festival” or something, with people flying from tree to tree, with translucent wings.

This was a dammed-up pool, or tub, made from a naturally-running spring.

A sweet dog lying on the sofa, on the front porch of the community building.

Some type of altar, in an awesome bamboo forest.

Rush hour gridlock, in front of the community building.

A tiled sistern, water source on the property.

Towels hanging on the fence, next to the spring pool.

Mr. Sherrill, on a perfect spring weekend

Posted in Interesting People by marktucker on March 18, 2012

This weekend was perfect — rented a giant tiller, and cut up my front yard, making borders for mulch and bulbs.

And then, about sunset, we’re sitting on the front porch, and I see my neighbor across the street, shuffling down the sidewalk with his dog. But this time was special — he was in his church clothes, and I’d been waiting this for months. I lurched up out of the chair — haircut half-finished — one side long, the other side short, and ran inside to grab my big camera, find a card, and grab the right lens, before they made the corner. The light was perfect — golden sunset and saturated.

They make my block most every afternoon. His full name is Mr. Matthew Sherrill, and he was raised outside of Pulaski, Tennessee, (and original home of the KKK). He’s now either 96 or 97, depending on which day you ask him. He moved to my street, Bradford, in the late 1960′s, when this street was very rough. He raised a family here.

Today, he told me the story of Lacey, his dog. He had rushed to the vet one day with his old Bulldog, because the dog had overheated. The dog didn’t survive the night. But the next day, the vet called him and told him about an older lady in the neighborhood who’d had a heart attack, and she’d died, leaving this white/yellow mixed breed. The vet offered her to Mr. Sherrill. She was named Lacey, and she went home with him that afternoon.

He also told me today that he was leaving the street, and moving in with his son, out on the river. His house had been sold. It was time. He needed someone to check on him a bit more often. (Mr. Sherrill still drives, to this day — a giant, gold Lincoln Continental — and you see him coming down Bradford, at about 15 miles an hour, and then he finds his house, drives the car up on the curb, and then drops it back down in the street, perfectly in front of his house).

Note: He still sings in his church. Here is a video that I shot of him and neighbor Julie Lee, singing in his driveway, last year.

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