The techniques I used were called out loud by the moment. Cameras at hand, film, knowledge, and sometimes even inspiration, are always in abundance. I'll try to break this by gallery, one by one, starting with the easiest ones to explain.

Very straight forward: [Bronica 21/4 camera, sometimes Minolta. Echtachrome or Fujichrome film.]

I was lucky enough to work with one of the biggest dance schools in U.S., Retters Academy of Dance in Agoura Hills. Between 1998 & 2022 I took hundreds of thousands of pictures of my little dancers, for dancewear catalogs, advertising, trade show displays, concert programs... you name it.

The Retters: not just teaching kids how to dance, but teaching them how to become GOOD HUMAN BEINGS. From sponsoring unfortunate other children in the Philippines or Bolivia, to feeding the homeless here in Los Angeles, and cleaning the beach in Santa Monica and Venice.

Over the years I heard too many complaints from fellow photographers that children are tough to take pictures of... well, I simply disagree. Just let them do what they want, most of the time, because they're always more creative than us. Trust them. Respect them. They will do the same for you when they'll be in their 30s and you can hardly drag your farts behind you while limping all alone and semi-concious on a benchless cemetery alley somewhere in the middle of a toxic wasteland. [Minolta with Fujichrome at the beginning, Canon digital later]

For some old 50's cars I found in Death Valley I used "the rice paper sandwich technique". Don't look it up. I made that up. I laid a sheet of coarse fiber rice paper over the photographic paper, kept flat by an optical glass, and projected the negative through that. [Minolta with Kodachrome film]

I used Ansel Adams 'zone system' mostly, graded in 12 steps. It is just humanized sensitometry afterall. [Cameras & Film: Bronica 21/4, Calumet 4x5, Minolta; Kodak TMAX or infrared film, AGFA lithographic film. To print, I much favored Ilford paper. For some reason, I felt that this English brand from Cheshire honors the Old School a lot better. Subjective, of course, how else? And then, as important, are the chemical formulas for film and paper developers, toners and... but let's skip that.]

For all the good reasons, Kodachrome 25 was, for many years, the favorite film of the National Geographic photographers. It's sharpness, color saturation and lack of grain were unbeatable.

The rumor was, that for this particular film, Kodak didn't use layers of photosensitive emulsion for each of the primary colors, but rather microscopic grains. So I had to wonder what will happen if I push the 25 ASA film to 800, or even 1,600 ASA, even if Kodak was recommending not to try to push any higher than 75. Thanks to Ron Miller, the owner of our Santa Monica studio, who gave me unlimited access to the lab on my own time, I soon found out. Most of the time I'd use a Minolta 9xi, my favorite camera ever (it had a little microchip card you'd slide in to bracket ~ made all the difference).

Looking closer into Kodachrome's developing process, also known as Acceleration Process, what jumped at me was that the first bath was a black and white developer. I started experimenting with different developers, different temperatures, and different “push” ratios. The result was pretty cool. The size of the grain would increase dramatically, and looking close at one of these photographs I could actually see the different grains for each primary color. From a distance, the photograph would have an impressionistic look. Later on I brought a strobe in the darkroom, triggering it a couple of times when the film was moving from the bleach tank to the color developer tank in a dip & dunk C41 machine. A posterization would take place, sometimes partial, sometimes complete (that's where bracketing plays a major role). Thus, the “fauve” look. Or "Apocalyptic" as Art of California magazine said. Or "Augenblicke der Stille" (The Instance of Silence) as the German ColorFoto magazine called it.

Or even better, just call it fun, like I’ve been doing all along. Argue over negative thoughts all you want, me not there. Augenblicke der Stille my ass.

[Minolta X-700 & 9xi, Kodachrome 25 & 64]