I’m currently in post-production with all my images from the residency. It is a huge task to sort and select, and then select again before deciding which images will go all the way through to a final edit and eventual print or selection for the book. It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been home and I’m just now getting to the place of doing a final editing run on some of my images.

screenshot of images I'm ending in lightroom
Screen shot of 5 images I was working on tonight

Tonight I was specifically working on the images that I will turn into engineer prints and give to 4 of my kickstarter backers. I’m glad to finally be fine tuning adjustments (yay for masking!) and I can’t wait until I see the final prints. If you don’t know, an engineer print is basically a giant xerox, so you end up with a black and white image that has a low-fi look. My images will be printed 3ft x 4ft and I’m pretty sure they’ll look awesome.

Next I’ll be working on finalizing the images that I’ll be giving to backers as inkjet prints. I’ll also be making all those images available for sale on my website.

Thanks for staying tuned.

Rocky Mountain National Park: First Full Day

The first evening in the William Allen White Cabin

The Artist in Residence program here at Rocky Mountain National Park is awesome. Everyone is so nice and helpful, it really feels like the VIP treatment. I walked into the main, bustling visitor’s center my first day, expecting to have to explain to a couple people who I was and what I was doing there, but instead they recognized me as I walked in and greeted me with an enthusiastic “Hi Ben, we’re so glad you’re here!”. That is a nice way to start, I’ll be honest.

The William Allen White cabin is incredible. It’s spacious and perfectly situated on Moraine Park for incredible panoramic views. I am soaking it all in. You know how special a place is when one of the best views around is from your own front porch.

My First Day:

I got up for an early start today, (5:30) hoping to get a feel for the sunrise (not quite so easy to figure out when there are so many mountains around) and explore a couple of the more popular locations before the crowds. I’m told there’s been some moose around there too, so I’ll probably be back several times to try and catch a sight of some.
Then later this morning Melissa and Jed and I were able to go for a good 3.5 mile hike up a canyon along a picturesque stream. Jed got to ride in the pack most of the way, but we’ll break in his hiking legs soon I think.
So, here are just a few photos to give you a quick glimpse into the incredible landscape and experience. I don’t think I’ll be able to post something everyday, but maybe every other. There are just so many things to see and do in the park, it’s hard to pull myself away and look at a computer screen.
Jed’s enjoying the great outdoors.

Part of the view from the porch.

Sunrise at Sprague Lake 
After sunrise at Sprague Lake


This is the view from the bench at the visitor’s center where I am writing this post…. not too shabby. There is also some kind of swift or swallow (I’m no birder) building a nest right next to me.

Beaver Meadows Visitor Center

Fully Funded Kickstarter Project


Fully funded for a residency in colorado

My Kickstarter campaign is now 100% funded, and it’s all thanks to my generous backers. The time was starting to wind down, I was beginning to get a little nervous, but then several backers jumped in and propelled me across the finish line! This is so exciting and encouraging to have you all on board.

Kickstarter 100% funded
So, I’d like to thank my most recent backers for supporting me in my residency project.
Jim & Ann Panter
Kelly Budesa
Neysa Hardin
Tom Panter
Robbie Reynolds

Thank you all so much (and all my earlier backers too!), I couldn’t do this without you.

Also, remember that I’ll have very limited connection to the internet during the residency, but I’ll do my best to do several updates during my time there to keep you all up to speed on the latest. It’s coming up soon, I’m so excited to begin!

Thank You # 2

It’s been 10 days and we’re 54% there. AWESOME! Remember to keep sharing with your friends and family. Let’s get this thing to 100% (and beyond!).

I also want to thank all my newer backers. I couldn’t do this without you.

Bruce Garrity
Megan Bakke
Mike and Cheryl Chinn

Thank you so much!

Kickstarter Thank You #1

It’s been 5 days and you’ve already brought me so far! 8 backers and 37% funded is such a fantastic start. It also feels great that this group is a mix of friends, family, backers from my last project, and people who just discovered the project. So, I’d like to thank them all right now, and keep in mind all my backers will be also be thanked in the ebook I produce (and distribute as a reward to all backers) and in the photo book that is a reward.

Thank You

Jane Panter
Peter Classetti
Jim Diericks
Sue Satterthwaite
Jason Galloway
Lisa Riefer
Ken Hohing

I really appreciate you all getting this project rolling and supporting me in this artistic venture. I couldn’t do it without you. If you know anyone else who you think might be interested in backing the project, please send them the link. Let’s spread this far and wide together!
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Kickstarter-Started, among other things

The cabin I’ll be staying in for my residency this summer.

Once again it has been entirely too long since my last post, almost 2 months to be exact. As usual, lots has been keeping me busy since then and I guess I’ll give a general update to keep you in the loop.

I had the cool opportunity to give a presentation for the 2015 Faculty eLearning Conference, talking about my experience and recommendations for developing one’s first online class. It was my first experience being on a panel like that and it was lots of fun.

2015 Faculty eLearning Conference

In May I finished up my first semester of teaching Art Appreciation at Burlington County College. It was, of course, a much different experience than what I’ve been used to in photography studio classes I’ve been teaching, but it was a good experience. Good enough, in fact, that I’m scheduled to be teaching it again in in the Fall (friday nights, for anyone who’s interested). I’ll also be teaching a section of Photo 1 at BCC this Fall, in addition to working on developing a new class for their photography program.

And now for my biggest news…..

You may already be aware that I was selected for a residency this summer for Rocky Mountain National Park’s Centennial Celebration. And now I have officially launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the costs. The residency includes a free stay at a historical cabin inside the park, but I’ve still got to cover travel and art production costs. So, go to my Kickstarter page to learn more about what I’ll be doing for the residency and consider backing me for some pretty awesome rewards. And of course, I’d appreciate you sharing my project with anyone you think may be interested.

Toning and Reward Prints

A cyanotype that has been toned with the “Eggplant/Black” method
Last night I was finally able to take the time to tone a few prints from the residency. I had the necessary supplies to attain a Black tone as well as Eggplant/Black. With a small test print I tested the Black toning first, and it really just washed out the tones too much (which should have been expected since toning always reduces print density). So, then I went on to the Eggplant/Black toning process and was much happier with the results. That said, one could be tempted to call this “brown” or maybe “rust” (though I have done actual brown toning before and the results are much different in comparison). At any rate, I’m pleased with the tone shift that took place despite it’s lack of eggplanty-ness, and I think the two tones of prints work well when seen together in a group.
I also am happy to announce that the 5×7 reward prints are selected and just waiting to be mailed first thing on Monday morning. If you’ve been following along you may remember that my plans changed a little from what I had originally proposed. I had wanted to do my best rendition of an Anna Atkins style series of water plant prints. However, upon arrival to Artscape Gibraltar Point I set out looking for these plants and came up more or less empty (there were plenty of lily pads, but I just couldn’t bring myself to make 40 prints of lily pads). Later in the week I actually did stumble across some more aquatic vegetation, but at that point time was against me since it would have taken a good amount of time to dry the plants (moister and sun-printing don’t mix).
So, I changed my plans and let myself be inspired by the place. Artscape has a wonderful series of semi-cultivated flower and food gardens, and so I resolved to make prints that came directly from that place. However, the typical practice of making these type of sun prints would be to cut the plant in order to make printing as easy as possible. It just seemed a little silly to me to"preserve" an image of these plants by killing them. So I settled on making a “no plants were injured in the making of these prints” series of cyanotypes. I was able to take my sensitized paper and little portable contact printing frames made and quickly bend the branch or stem down under the glass, make the print, and then release the plant unharmed. Working this way definitely presented its own series of problems to be worked through, but I’m very happy with the results. I hope they find a good place in the homes of my backers.

Winding Down

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday. So sad my time here is nearing the end but also proud of all the work I’ve accomplished in such a compact timeframe. I think I’ve pulled off what I set out to do though: break some new groud, dedicate time to the studio and give myself a new jumping off place for future work.

Here’s to finishing well!

Also, i woke up early this morning and got some nice sunrise shots down by the pier. I also stumbled across some kind of bird migration. 
It was incredible to see hundreds of thousands of birds all on the move together.