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"Solitary Oak" Jenner, CA. Kodak Masterview 8x10, 2016.

New images from the 8"x10" film camera, and, finally a home...and moving sale!

Almost a year since the Valley Fire and its been a wild ride! Just moved into a new place and its really the first time I've felt like I was home in many months. The shop and studio are coming along and they'll be better than before - upgraded equipment and bigger, more efficient work area! 

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Morning on Pole Mountain. Kodak Masterview 8x10, 2016.

In June I was commissioned to shoot a 650 acre property in the Gainesville area of Florida. One observation: The food chain is alive and well fed! From bugs to the billions of lizards and geckos, snakes (almost stepped on a water moccasin), amazing variety of birds, to the alligators! Loved the gators - even named one "Eddie" that frequented the dock area that I often found myself on days the light wasn't "on". The wind and light were often a challenge for my slow film during the month, but, I did get a few images that I'm scanning, the first couple are here in the letter.
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First light through pine forest, Florida. Kodak Masterview 8x10, 2016.

Also spent some time on Sonoma Land Trust's "Pole Mountain", in the hills above Jenner back in June. I've scanned most those images and there's also a couple here.  The top image was shot about 9am, which puts the sun up about even to this oak on its mount. 
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Dock on Bivens Arm, Gainesville, Florida. Kodak Masterview 8x10, 2016.

I have some nice works, including one from the new 8x10, up at Cloverdale Art Alliance till September 16th. Their hours are 11-5 Fri, Sat, and Sunday. Or by appointment - let me know. 
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Sun rising on Mt. St.Helena with fog covering Sonoma County. Kodak Masterview 8x10, 2016.


During the last year I've focused more on shooting and doing odd jobs, like electrical, while I looked for a new space for my home and studio. It's been good to do other work, if only to help me focus on what I know is my true love.  

In hopes of getting the energy flowing here at the new place, I'm taking 20% off anything that ships through September. I'll send a price list and we can discuss specifics if you're interested - just shoot me an email.

From my perch above the lake, I hope everyone is well and taking these times in stride!

-John


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Dock on Buckingham Park, Kelseyville, CA. digital capture


 


New printer, some remarkable clients, bigger film, and a special upcoming show!

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In large part due to the generous contributions to my GoFundMe campaign, I'm printing and producing new images from my studio in Cotati! The new printer was covered with this funding and additional equipment was purchased from insurance proceeds and some surprising sales. I wasn't able to replace all the equipment needed so I'm outsourcing most of the woodwork. As promised though, now that I can print, I'll be making limited edition prints as a "thank you" to all contributors. Actual print orders from the campaign will take time though. Some Remarkable Clients! Just prior to the fire I was approached by the chef, Christopher Kostow, and the director of The Restaurant @ Meadowood, a Michelin 3-star restaurant in St. Helena. Winter Oak #1 was chosen for the dining area, and, Christopher later chose Estero Americana for his home. The possible use of larger images was discussed for future projects and at that I mentioned the possibility of shooting with an 8x10 film camera due to its amazing resolution. The following week I was talking to my good friend, Bill Theis, about shooting the larger 8x10 format. Bill then brought out a complete 8x10 setup, with 70 sheets of my prefered film since 1993 - Fuji Velvia 50! This film is difficult to get these days as it has to be ordered from Japan. In return, Bill simply asked that I give him a print! Well, he has 4 prints now with more to come! Another new, recent client is Sonoma West Medical, in Sebastopol. The director of the Medical & Surgical Unit, Maben Rainwater, was looking for a large piece to hang in the "lounge" area of that facility. This is where doctors consult with patients and their families. "Sonoma West #4" (first image of this newsletter) was placed there a few weeks ago and I can think of no better place that a person could use some solace!  



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A Challenging, and Rewarding New Format

Working with the 8x10 is all similar to the 4x5 but is more challenging in many ways, and as Bill says "It's a box kite" - the sheer size of its bellows makes it extremely susceptible to wind! My recent focus has been on the Sonoma County hillsides (see main image), and I found out quickly that a good breeze will easily soften the image since even the Eucalyptus, a mile away, will be seen with the resolution of the 8x10. But when it all comes together and the image is captured, the results are stunning! I expected the detail to be great but there's a feel that's come as a great surprise. You just have to see it for yourself - nothing seen on the screen can do it justice!
 

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A Gala Showing Next Weekend!
Engage Art Fair, in Calistoga on April 30th and May 1st, from 10am to 4pm each day. This is late notice but I was moved from the "wait list" to participating artist last week, so, I am scrambling! This show is really one of the finest I've been to. It's indoors, there's high walls and great lighting for the few (26) artists, and, there's great food, drink, entertainment, talks, and demonstrations. Its really a classy show in comparison to most "art & wine" shows. 

Hope to see you there!

-John

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to one of the few remaining pro photo labs in San Francisco, 
Lightwaves - thank you Dirk & Tim! - You guys rock the E-6 film processing! I also want to thank  Lenny Eiger, the master of film scanning!

 

I'll be showing at the



After the Valley Fire

Late afternoon of Saturday, September 12th, I saw smoke rising up from behind Cobb Mountain, about 10 miles away. The wind was blowing harder than I ever recall in the last year and a half since I moved to Hidden Valley Lake (HVL), in Lake County, California. I hoped it was a control burn. After maybe a half hour I could see it was getting out of hand and large pieces of ash were now falling on my deck!
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(4:15 pm, looking West, toward Cobb Mtn.)

In what seemed to be no time, I could see flames coming from either side of the peak, each side being miles apart. I decided to run into Middletown, for what, I can’t remember. As I arrived I could see the fire had been running up the valley towards town and so I turned around to head back, and realized the fire moved so fast it had crossed Hwy 29, from where I’d just driven!
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(Hwy 29, looking east, toward HVL 5:34pm.)

As I got within a couple miles of HVL, I could see the fire had crossed the road and so after pulling over for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, I followed them through the fire to get to my place.
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(Hwy 29, 1 mi from HVL. 6:03pm)

When I got home and looked out over the lake, toward where the fire had started, I could see flames lighting the smoke that that was rising up from the base of our community, so I began to grab what I’d flee with!
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(Looking West toward Cobb. 6:17pm)

I started collecting things to take - passport, transparencies, some clothes and camping equipment, etc.. When I took the first load out to my truck, away from where the fire was coming, I realized an ember had dropped into the community, up from my house, and was now 15 yards from my neighbor’s place, and he was leaving!

I threw everything together and headed out, but, one block away I could see traffic was at a stand still. I decided to go back for a few things and noticed an 87 yr old woman standing in the cul-de-sac, above my house. She said her son was fighting the fire behind their house. I went to lend a hand and ended up dragging my hose over so we could reach the fire. He ended up taking his mother away and after about 30 minutes I thought I’d actually stopped the fire from taking the row of homes above me (Later found that the fire also came from another direction and burned the lot of them.) As the fire came down the hill, igniting the homes, the sound, the heat, and the smoke became too much. After moving my car from the garage to an area that had already burned, I took this photo of my immediate neighbor’s place before jumping in the truck and leaving:
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(Neighbor’s home engulfed. 8:18pm)

The next day I volunteered at the evacuation center in Calistoga - was good to do something productive! After that and since then, I’ve been staying at a friend’s in Cotati.

It took about a week to get confirmation that I’d lost my home and shop. Its been a roller coaster ride since then - grateful for all the support from so many individuals and groups, wondering how to work, then hopeful that the future is bright and the fire was necessary for it to happen, then remembering more stuff that no longer exists, etc., etc..

I had some friends talk me into doing a “GoFundMe” campaign to try and raise money to get my shop back up and running. The support through that effort has been humbling and the words of encouragement and concern are inspiring. You can check it out here:
https://www.gofundme.com/johnhansesfire. I would ask that if you contribute, please select an image for a “reward” - the greatest thing about the money its raised is that it means I have work to do to fulfill the print rewards!

The ride is flattening out a bit, life’s not normal but its approaching a new normalcy, and so many great things have happened, and will happen, that I know I’ll look back sometime and be so grateful to all this because I’ll see it from a future I could never have imagined!

Peace,

John
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(September 21st 2015, first view of the site.)

Custom Framing to Fit the Space


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"Sunset Near Sea Ranch"
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Custom image size and frame styles to fit a space.
In the last few months I've had a couple clients that liked my images and frame style but had spaces that had specific needs. One couple, Marty & Marlene of Los Gatos, had two alcoves, one to either side of the hearth, in their newly remodeled home. I had them send me a photo of their space and I used photoshop to mock up different images at different sizes, and, in differing framing styles. After just a few rounds we came up with the solution and I installed them the following week! (See images below).

The second client, Debra Johnson, was almost ready to open her new real estate office, Berkshire Hathaway Sonoma County Properties, in Sebastopol. Debra took an older building with cinder block walls and remodeled it into an expansive bright space with polished cement floors and simply styled decor, and now with large landscape images that look like windows. The biggest challenges with this was the need for custom frames to look more like window moulding, and one image with a feel for a long narrow window - 10 feet long! The length required oversized framing materials and slight modifications to the tooling in my shop, but, the results proved to be worthy.

In addition to the satisfaction of great sales was the opportunity to create works of art in size and finish that worked best for the client's needs with certainty from the final mock-ups - that meant before I started working with the image, I knew the client would be completely satisfied.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have a similar need!

Enjoy the season!

-John

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Mendocino Arts Fair



Mendocino's 55th Annual Summer Arts Fair
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Sat & Sun, July 19 & 20, 10 - 5pm at the Mendocino Art Center45200 Little Lake Street at Kasten Street
This will be a more laid back, lower key event than some of the bigger Art & Wine shows in the Bay Area. "Fitting" I hope would be a fair description given the surroundings. Mendocino is a quaint oceanside town with lots of shops and restaurants that are elegant and "homey" at the same time. The show is basically an excuse for me to set up camp there, do some early and late shooting on the coast, and maybe sell a photo or two during the day. If you've been to Mendocino then I'm sure you'll appreciate the excuse, but, if you've never been there, well, it should be on your bucket list! This would be a good time to partake in some festivities at the Mendocino Art Center and stroll the town.

Aside from the show, I've been busy in my new and much larger shop getting everything in its place. Once that's completed I'll post videos of the whole process from printing & mounting to building the frames - I'll compress it into something quick though since I don't think anyone's gonna spend an evening watching it. 

Images: Top - Looking North at Mendocino, Bottom - "Mendocino Coast #3". both from 2010


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