Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Think small

Mark M. Hancock / © The Dallas Morning News

Zyvex CEO James Von Ehr thinks small. He thinks so small that it takes a Ultra High Vacuum Scanning Tunneling Microscope to see the nanotechnological things he creates at his Richardson-based company.

This is a loose photo mosaic. When I got the assignment, I was allowed to be "edgy" with it. I made some standard portraits in front of a huge machine, but we all preferred this approach. I had 15 minutes to make this particular image. I would have liked more time, but this worked for the story.

I planned to work on more of the large-scale images like "Donna," but the printer went out of business when everyone switched to digital. Now, I'll be stuck with huge negative contact sheets or chrome and glass sandwiches.

The big images take forever to plan and execute. They also cost a small fortune in film, processing and printing (when it was available). However, I want to explore them more and exploit the absolute layering this approach allows.

Enough for now,


Lisa said...

wow... that is wierd!

Koz said...

I'm really fond of the phosaics. What exactly did the now-defunct printer do that you can't have done by, say, Pictopia or a custom lab?

Mark M. Hancock said...

The whole process is complicated, but basically I need images printed as a roll without being cut into individual frames. I haven't been able to find another independent printer with a "no cut" option on their printer.
Additionally, he understood what I was doing and would print in the correct order and make manual color and density adjustments I requested. He had to bypass the machine's desire to turn everything "gray." This problem was most noted on the boots because it was a solid black frame with some texture. Likewise, the machine wanted to add magenta to the green sofa and cyan to her red hair.
The real irony is we had to fight with the machine to make it do what a human would have done in the first place: print each frame as it was shot. Every frame had the exact same exposure and color balance because I controlled the lights.