Mark Tucker : Journal

Bitter Southerner

Posted in The South by marktucker on August 11, 2013

Peeling Wood

Posted in The South by marktucker on August 4, 2013

This morning, Lynchburg, Tennessee. Love the peeling wood.

Sign

Yard Art

Posted in The South by marktucker on July 20, 2013

This is something like my mother’s mother would have done, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, when I was a kid. Neat, with weedeater trim. I still love The South. Nelson and I ran upon this yesterday, scouting in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

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Lower Ninth Ward

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 30, 2013

Wall in abandoned building, New Orleans. Last week.

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Dinah DiNova plate

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 29, 2013

I sent Dinah DiNova some money for her New Orleans kickstarter project with wet plate. Yesterday, an original plate arrived. Whole-plate; just perfect. I love how the right side is irregular, like she cut it out with tin snips. A human hand touched it.

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Missionary Mary Proctor: Ogden

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 28, 2013

Discovery of the day, at the Ogden in New Orleans, in the folk art section on the fifth floor: Missionary Mary Proctor.

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Princess Stephanie

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 26, 2013

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Sidewalk sculpture

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 25, 2013

Unexplained sidewalk sculpture in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans, yesterday. What a great city; will be back soon. Back to NYC today.

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Summer

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 24, 2013

I took time out to shoot a portrait of one of the Talent from a recent commercial project. Oh, to be a kid again, and for it to be summer forever. Beach every day; hot dogs for lunch; campfires at night…

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Pride Parade: New Orleans

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 23, 2013

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Great style. Great face.

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Street Life: New Orleans

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 22, 2013

Brass band on Orleans Street today, mixed with crazy parade down Bourbon. Wild day. This is Ronald, age 52, who was dancing with the brass band. Hot, humid, sweaty, and fun. And then another street dancer, younger. And then a frame from the Gay Pride parade that ran through The French Quarter today.

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Katrina building: Lower Ninth Ward

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 22, 2013

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French Quarter magician

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 21, 2013

Portrait of magician, last night in the French Quarter.

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Foley, Alabama

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 21, 2013

In the middle of a commercial project, I ran upon this beautiful child on a fishing pier in Foley, Alabama, on Wednesday.

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New Orleans, Day One

Posted in The South by marktucker on June 21, 2013

Pulled into New Orleans today, via Highway 90, through the Lower Ninth Ward. Still grim, after this many years; Katrina residue everywhere. More pictures to come; I’m still processing them. But here are some good faces from today — the stand-up bass player at The Spotted Cat; a waiter at Cafe Du Monde; and two lovers on the banks of the Mississippi.

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On the road

Posted in Production Photos, The South by marktucker on June 16, 2013

Funny scene this morning on a fishing pier in Gulf Shores, Alabama — a fisherman shows us how this particular type of fish “suckers” onto larger fish, in order to catch a free ride. So he just pulls up his shirt and instantly attaches the live fish to his belly. (Location scouting for a ad project, with Brett Sahler. Sunscreen and bathing suits required).

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sting rays.

Attic, Adams TN

Posted in The South by marktucker on May 14, 2013

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Jesus Kidnapped

Posted in The South by marktucker on April 28, 2013

Today, with my iPhone hanging out my passenger window at 75mph. They tied him up and were last seen, headed to Gallatin.

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Adams, Tennessee

Posted in Spirituality, The South by marktucker on April 27, 2013

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Spring

Posted in The South by marktucker on April 10, 2013

Yucca

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.

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My Neighborhood Church

Posted in The South by marktucker on February 7, 2013

9th Avenue South, and Bradford. It wasn’t immaculate?

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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).

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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12South gets better and better

Posted in The South by marktucker on November 30, 2012

I shot this today at dusk. This unloved empty lot has just sat there for years. Then, finally, someone rented it this winter and installed a Christmas Tree yard on it. The smell of wood burning; warm lights in the trees — amazing how one thing that truly complete a neighborhood. 12South, 12th Avenue South, Nashville.

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Cyber Monday

Posted in The South by marktucker on November 26, 2012

Some people shop at Best Buy, or WalMart, or Amazon. I shop at Hailey Salvage, on Dickerson Road, after Black Friday.

A sea of faces. All I wanted was a gorgeous piece of used plywood with character. (Click to enlarge).

Kristy Robinson, Skye, and Holly

Posted in Mothers and Children, Spirituality, The South, WetPlate by marktucker on November 24, 2012

We photographed another in our series of mothers and children today. Just starting the edit, but here are a few images to start.

Kristy, Holly, and Skye (and June). 4×5 collodion diptych.

Kristy Bartlett Robinson. Radiant.

Skye Robinson, in the field at their home, with Johnny and Abby.

We called this picture “Skye’s Breakup”.

Skye, with guitar, under the fallen tree.

June, voicing her approval over my ability to capture her essence. (Photo: Kristy Robinson)

Working with test print. Finals for project will be 30″x40″, framed. Multi layers, hopefully. Multi materials.

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.

Harry Taylor: Tintype Photographer

Posted in The South, WetPlate by marktucker on November 13, 2012

Nice video and story about Harry Taylor, of Wilmington, North Carolina. Harry is a good man; he’s helped me a good bit in my search for strange lenses.

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

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.

Settling into Penland School

Posted in Personal, The South by marktucker on October 7, 2012

Note: This post is not about “serious photography”. This post is about me falling in love with the North Carolina mountains, here at Penland School. I just shot snapshots all day, but loved it. I have no idea where I am, but it’s about an hour and a half drive, north of Asheville. The iPhone5 GPS woman just said, “Just keep driving; you’ll get there soon enough. There’s no hurry; there’s nowhere else to be; just enjoy the view, and stay present, and keep listening to that Tara Brach podcast”.

I started out this morning, after coffee, shooting black-and-white, but the fall color just made me cave in, and switch over to processing in color. The artists in residence here are serious working artists; we toured their studios today. Very impressive work, and an even more impressive work ethic.

(Note: Updated images, posted at the top here, after the initial blog post).

A group shot of our “Photography at Year Zero” class, with Dan Estabrook in the foreground, as the Zombie Slayer. Twelve of the nicest people to spend a week with. (Not pictured: Betsy, the studio assistant). Sadly, tomorrow is the final day, then I’ll spend some time helping a fellow artist, and then wander back to Nashville on Sunday.

I forgot about these two early images that were on my iPhone, from the first hour of the workshop, on Sunday night. The workshop was officially titled “Photography at Year Zero”, and Dan set the Zombie Theme all too convincingly.

A close-up of Dan’s “Zombie Heart”, in the photo area.

Two images from today. No camera at all used today; the cardboard box camera got retired. Now I’m down to sunlight, watercolor paper, silver nitrate, sodium solution, inspiration, bright North Carolina sunshine to expose the plates, and a great teacher. Each image six minutes exposures, 11″x14″ salt prints.

Early this morning; nice light. Portrait of one of the guys in the theatre troupe that came through town. They began their trip in Boone, NC, and travel 15-20 miles per day, on bicycle and horse-pulled covered wagon. They performed here last night, and are headed to Spruce Pine tonight, and then back to Burnsville.

One of Dan’s pieces, in progress. You can see the white sheet, coated first with a dilution of salt, and then coated with Silver Nitrate, and then the leaf is inserted into the Contact Printing Frame. Here it sits, in the afternoon sun, outside the photo building, being “exposed” by the UV Light of the sky. Approximate exposure time is about thirty minutes, then it’s brought inside to the darkroom to be processed.

Dan’s hilarious concoction of boiling down Sumac leaves, in order to make a custom print developer, this afternoon. Pot clearly marked: “Photo Only”.

Rachel, doing her Tiger Woods impression — stepping back to line up her shot. In our low-tech, zombie world, we use stools for tripods, and rocks for leveling devices.

We started today by going on a long nature walk, through the fields and around the campus, talking to the farmers and petting the curious dogs, and gathering raw materials for photograms. Here’s one I made today — it’s been in the UV Oven for about a half hour, and you can see the background turning the color of dark Eggplant. Once the raw materials are removed from this Contact Printing Frame, I’ll develop the print, (and then want to immediately re-do it).

My camera for the week, so far — a corrogated shipping box for artist clay, with added duct tape. (Lots of it). The lens is a PBR can piece, with a tiny pinhole in it. 8.5″x11″ fiber paper is loaded into the camera, to make a paper negative. Then, from there, salt prints will be made by contact printing. (Then, we’ll probably go kill a wild animal, and eat the raw flesh; that’s how primitive the photography is).

Rear of the covered wagon for The Rural Academy Theatre. They just “came through town” yesterday, and stopped over for a performance here tonight at 815pm. Musicians and bicyclists and horses. Nothing surprises me here at Penland — of course a traveling circus just “comes through town” and stays with us.

The view today, across from The Pines. Gorgeous warm day, sunny. I tried a self portrait here, but my fourteen minute exposure was too long, and it just blew out. There’s more to that story, but we’ll leave it at that.

An undercover espionage photo of Dan Estabrook, and his assistant Jimmy in the background, leaving the Photo building. All I know is that there’s a plan to build our own cameras from scratch, and then mount lenses onto them, (maybe), and then do callotypes and salt prints. We’re headed back to the 1800’s. No darkroom involved; only sunlight, contact frames, silver nitrate, and water. There’s also a Zombie Theme involved. More later about that….

The Road to the Artist Barn workshops.

Panorama of the main courtyard area, with the view of the North Carolina hills.

Main courtyard of the school. Kids playing, and girl playing with Crickett.

Gorgeous light in one of the main buildings: Weaving looms.

Street sign on campus.

Handmade detail on the wall, outside the drawing studios.

Work in progress, in one of the wood studios. Head carved out of pine.

Fall colors.

Custom book, found in the bookmaking/binding room.

Interior wall of one of the wood working studios.

Standing guard, outside the Drawing Class.

Gorgeous (giant) stone table, down the street from the Artist Barns. (amazing).

Gorgeous portrait painting, just hanging over in the corner of the wood shop. (Yes, I’d like to buy this painting).

Couple holding hands, in love.

Fabric dye swatches.

Glass-blowing area, this morning.

Early morning rain.

Dried sunflowers, in front of nice blooming flowers.

Margie the dog, spotting an approaching Beagle, early this morning.

Morning fog in the mountains, behind the Drawing Room building.

A glass head, buried and hidden in the tall grass, outside the Glass Studio.

Liz Murray manages a part of the fabric area. She’s working on a table runner for her mom.

Sample piece from Rachel Meginnes, who’s a three-year Artist in Residence here. Very strong work. See more of her work at http://www.plainweavestudios.com

Crickett, the little female Corgy pup, outside the dining hall. We’d flip her over on her belly, and rub her little pink stomach. Really sweet dog.

Penland Workshop, via Newport, Tennessee street fair

Posted in The South by marktucker on October 6, 2012

On the way to attend a Penland workshop, high in the North Carolina mountains, with Dan Estabrook. The iPhone5 GPS took me thru Newport, Tennessee. I found an excellent street fair, filled with interesting faces.

Two friends on the sidewalk. She’s wearing his ballcap. I love their faces.

This fellow was running a Civil War information area, complete with weapons and uniforms. Nice guy. He gave me the full tour, even in the rain.

These two guys were running the Hatchet Throwing Area. The guy on the right is named Water Bear; the name was given to him two years ago.

This is Water Bear’s medicine bag. Inside were rocks and various roots. That’s also a real bear claw, on the other chain.

Beauty Contest winners.

Another Beauty Contest winner, from a younger age range. She had a massive head of heavily-sprayed, bright red curls. They were riding the toy train down Main Street.

Kudzu field #1.

Kudzu grand field #2.

Quiet Gentle Summer Rain

Posted in The South by marktucker on July 14, 2012

Nashville is turning into Portland, Oregon. The coffeehouses must be doing gangbuster business. Day six of rain. My bicycle is restless.

I did squeeze in one ride yesterday, right in between storms. Nice light on the Cumberland.

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