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Click on image
for larger view
Notes on the Photographs (text by Robert Balcomb)
"Sandpipers" (1956)
Taken at one of the four beach areas owned by the Treasure Island Trailer Park in South Laguna Beach, where we stayed for the six-month stay with Mortensen.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2. 
"George Dunham" (1956)
This pictorial-portrait was a joint effort between Mortensen and me in his Laguna Canyon studio as a learning session for me in the Pigment process (see Mortensen Pigment Process Notes). I shot the sitting with George, and Mortensen developed the film. In his studio he did all the work as I watched and made notes. Therefore this is an original Mortensen print, a proud part of my collection.
Rolleicord, Gevaert 120 DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof diapositive, Gavaert Z-2 paper negative, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Final print: Strathmore watercolor paper.
"Girl in Hat" (negative 1956, print 1976)
Model was a girl I found behind a teller's cage in a Laguna Beach bank and at my request came to the Mortensen studio to sit for me. The outstanding part is the beautiful hat. To date, its whereabouts are unknown, despite my many attempts to find it. Background including wall: Wollfe's BB carbon pencil. "Costume": patterned cloth, simple chain.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2.
"The Priest" (1956)
Posed by George Dunham, who came to the Mortensen studio at times just to sit around and observe and would sit if asked. George collaborated on the Mortensen books.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2. 
"Model Gazing Upward" (1956)
A bank teller in Laguna Beach whom I invited to the Mortensen studio for a series of sittings. The background is one that WM had done on an illustration board with charcoal.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2. 
"Frederick O'Hara" (1957)
Fred was a nationally-known stone lithographer, at one time involved with Tamarind Printers in Los Angeles, now in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He did not want to accept the invitation to sit because of a severe left eye distortion, but when he saw this portrait he liked it so much that he gave me two of his prints (Mexican and SW Indian motifs). He died in the 1980's.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2.
"Wilfred E. Kitsch" (ca 1958)
Mr. Kitsch was a real estate developerand a neighbor of ours in the north valley area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He stood at about 6'-4".
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2. 
"Model on Beach" (1957)
Taken during one of the times I had returned to Mortensen's studio for further work. It was the only time there was another student present, an airline pilot. She was also the model for Mortensen's "Pouring Milk," after Vermeer.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2. 
"The General " (ca 1958)
Joe Scepansky had married my first-cousin Ann after becoming a "Johnson" General in the USAF, finally to become Commander of the Southern European Forces in Italy.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2.
"Amy, Windblown" (1960)
Daughter Amy at age four. The only thing that inspired the "windblown" idea was the ends of the pigtails. The rest I added with pencil, along with the scudding background.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screen: Mortensen Etching 2.
"Amy with Ribbon" (1962)
Daughter at age 8—one of my favorite portraits. I call it a young Mona Lisa smile, as much of a smile as I allow. A sepia tone taken to full before the toning.
Rolleicord, Gevaert DandiPan, Gavaert Portrait Proof, Mallinkrodt Pictone. Texture screens: Mortensen Etching 2, Craquelure.
"Mary with Pigtails " (1968)
This was used for the dust jacket of Mary's first book Nicolai Fechin, Russian artist, 1975.
•Rolleicord, Panatomic X, Agfa PR 118-2, MQ developer. 
"Curtis Miller " (1975)
Curtis is retired from the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton WA. He is an amateur stage actor, having done over 130 plays at the Bremerton Community Theatre, plus several at other local theatres. BCT named her Green Room after him. He and I have done several plays together at BCT.
•Rolleicord, Panatomic X, Agfa PR 118-2, MQ developer. Texture screens: Mortensen Etching 2.  
 

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ROBERT S. BALCOMB

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