“Wrong is right.” -T. Monk

Add fireworks to the list of hopeless, unredeemable cliches, along with barns, sunsets, and cats (sorry, Erica). But soft! Might these be reinvented successfully?

“More Diligence.” Yikes.

This, from the Great Yellow Father:

As many of you know, the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has recently been installing Computed Tomography (CT) scanners for carry-on luggage in US airports. In the coming months these scanners will be operational at 145 airports in the US. CT scanning technology has been used for checked luggage for many years, and Kodak Alaris and Eastman Kodak have warned photographers not to check their film, but rather to carry it on and request it be hand-checked by TSA agents at Security.

To better assess the risk to film from the new carry on scanners we brought a small quantity of Portra 400/135 to John F Kennedy Airport in NYC. With the help of TSA representatives the film was put through the new carry on CT scanners from 1-10 times. The film was then evaluated at Eastman Kodak Research facilities. The initial results are not good. Just 1 scan shows significant film fogging, leading to smoky blacks and loss of shadow detail. This will be more significant for higher speed films. Although it’s possible that a roll of 100 speed film would show less degradation, we strongly recommend against putting any unexposed or exposed but unprocessed film through a CT Scanner.

We reached out to the TSA to ask what options there might be to warn passengers. We originally asked if it would be possible to add signage at airports that utilize CT scanning technology. We are developing warning stickers that can be placed on your film. These will be available in a label format so they can be printed on your in-home or in-office printer. Just attach the label to the plastic bag as described in the TSA description below.

The TSA did tell us that all TSA screeners are trained to hand check roll and movie film as well as single-use cameras. Sheet film in boxes may require more diligence on the part of the photographer.

From the TSA:

Most x-ray machines used to screen carry-on bags should not damage undeveloped film under ASA\ISO 800. There are a limited number of screening checkpoints that use x-ray equipment that may damage undeveloped film. These airports will have signage in front of the x-ray stating that the x-ray may damage undeveloped film.

If you are traveling with the following types of film, please pack it in a clear plastic bag, remove it from your carry-on bag at the checkpoint, and ask for a hand inspection:

• Film with an ASA\ISO 800 or higher
• Highly sensitive x-ray or scientific films
• Film that is or will be underexposed
• Film that you intend to “push process”
• Sheet film
• Large format film
• Medical film
• Scientific film
• Motion picture film
• Professional grade film
• Film of any speed that is subjected to x-ray screening more than five times

In most cases, the x-ray equipment used for screening checked baggage will damage undeveloped film; therefore, please place undeveloped film in carry-on bags.

For more information on TSA use of CT technology, please:

These US airports currently use CT scanning technology:

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
Houston Hobby Airport (HOU)
Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Logan International Airport (BOS)
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Miami International Airport (MIA)
Oakland International Airport (OAK)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD)

Kodak Alaris warning: New hand luggage scanners ‘will damage unprocessed film’

Here’s an update from Tim Rudman.

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He’s referring to the image at the top of this post.

Printing The Positive

Here is a fascinating relic from our Armed Forces.

#1. Crumple!

#2. Fix for 8-10 minutes, or for 15.

#3. The siphon washer keeps prints separated during washing!

#4. How many more arresting details can you find?

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Jane Jacobs Meets Brian Eno: Jerry’s Map

In the grand tradition of local daily papers reviewing art exhibitions in the last week of the show, we now recommend you take the Blue Line to Chicago Avenue sometime during the next five days to see Jerry’s Map at Intuit Gallery. https://www.art.org/directions-and-hours/

“Gretzinger paints and collages pieces of the map based on randomly-generated instructions drawn from a special deck of instruction cards. When an instruction card is drawn, a modification is made to the specified panel, depending on what card and instruction is drawn. The original panel is scanned and filed, and a new panel takes its place. Rules could call for the addition of a new panel, new painting or collaging on an existing panel, the creation of a new facility or feature, or even the addition of a “void”-a white space removing what is underneath that can only be stopped by a defense wall card.”

Jerry’s Map



The Art Institute of Chicago’s Holiday Hours

Go, man, go. artic.edu


“… an idea is just the beginning. It’s not the work itself. The work begins with a rigorous process of making and engaging that, hopefully, leads to something more than what one might have expected. Otherwise, what results, other than a resonant object, idea, or experience is merely the illustration of an idea.”

Mr. Bey traces his beginnings as an artist to one specific Saturday morning in his teen years. Many of us can relate to that.

Glad Tidings

…of great joy. This news is one month after the official announcement — but it’s also one more month until the biggest gift-giving day in the States of America so, to quote Alfred S. once again, “A word to the wise is sufficient.”


John McLaughlin vis-a-vis Chuck Close

“The only instructions Miles Davis ever gave me were, ‘play it like you don’t know how to play the guitar.’ It’s not something you can logically understand. To me Miles was a very advanced human being—a Zen Master. I’m standing with this piece of music, and he totally threw me out of my normal state of mind. I had no idea what I was doing when I was playing after that request. And yet Miles loved it. That was the ‘In A Silent Way’ recording. I can tell you that I had no idea what I was doing until I heard the playback.

“Which is the way you should be when you play music. You cannot be in an ordinary state of mind.
You have to be kind of inspired. You have to have some kind of joy—some kind of exultation. You need basically what’s inside everybody, but in music we have to be able to bring it out.

“I remember we were in the middle of a session and he wasn’t happy. He stops the band and walks over to Jack DeJohnette. He said, ‘Jack: ba……..Ba…….boom…..Ba….Ba…ok?’ Now what do you make of that? Jack says, ‘OK, Miles,’ and his playing changed dramatically from that point. He just cut right loose; he freed right up. That’s the genius of Miles. Never ever would he speak about reading or guiding—you had to watch him, and see what he was doing, and how he was doing it. It’s as important to know what you don’t want as it is what you do. I learned just being with him as a sideman.

“‘Bitches Brew’ is a classic example, in my candid opinion. Miles didn’t know what he wanted. All of BB he didn’t know what he wanted. But he knew very well what he did not want. So that left the door open for all kinds of opportunity.”

“Ease is the enemy of the artist. When things get too easy, you’re in trouble.”

“All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”

“Get yourself in trouble. If you get yourself in trouble, you don’t have the answers. And if you don’t have the answers, your solution will more likely be personal because no one else’s solutions will seem appropriate. You’ll have to come up with your own.”

W. o’ W.: John Sypal

“…we know it’s not about some deluded ideal of one day being remembered for a single photograph. Don’t let anyone belittle you by saying you’re only ever going to be worth one picture. It’s about a continual process. You keep on working. “Projects” aren’t secret or blogged about in abstract terms- instead here they’re series which are consistently worked on and exhibited in ongoing sets as often as possible. You keep on working. It doesn’t have to be perfect- it just needs to keep going. You need to keep on working. You have to keep on working even when you work- that is, like most of us who regularly exhibit photographs in Tokyo, [D] has a full time job completely unrelated to photography. If you really want to do it, you will find ways to do it. Photographers make photos, not excuses. You need to keep on working.”


“Shooting film and processing it myself, printing the negatives in the darkroom and hanging the work on a wall for a week all on my own dime/yen for no real reason– That’s the opposite of so much this age tries to sell us on. Maybe having disinterest in profitability or gain and a love of physical materials is in 2019 an act of subversion.”

We agree with all of this.


What’s Wrong With This Picture?

…at approximately 0:44.