“Yeah, they’re bright in a hollow sky”
Produced entirely from the (figurative) road without the aid of any of my usual photography stuff, but then I got lazy and didn’t post it for three weeks. A proof of concept, maybe.
It’s a cipher.
This is another from my first-ever Holga roll. In addition to setting the counter to 645 (vertical rectangles 6×4.5cm) instead of 6×6 and therefore overlapping exposures, this one was accidentally set to bulb, resulting in blurring and overexposure. I think the effect is interesting, though unintentional. Isn’t that the point?
Black and white can make you crazy.
(Chaos in the Windy City I can be found here). This was another attempt to represent the chaos in the Art Institute of Chicago on New Year’s Eve. Anyone who has followed this blog for any amount of time probably recognizes by now that I am big fan of the square aspect ratio, particularly for my more abstract work, and this is no exception. Something about it just makes sense. I actually didn’t even see htis installation because of how crowded it was (this photo was when we were on our way out right before closing time, so the herd had thinned a little).
When I was processing this batch, I spent a lot of time with alternate versions. I had a lower-contrast high-key version, and a higher-contrast version that was a little more balanced across the tones. I couldn’t make the decision between the two almost identical shots, so I decided to come back to them later. After a month, I still couldn’t decide, so I ended up splitting the difference. This version is descended from the low-contrast version, and I think the low-contrast high-key aesthetic might be growing on me.
Big photo-related life event coming up on Tuesday. I will provide more details for those following along at home, but for now, suffice it to say that a print of this photo will likely be traveling as checked luggage on Monday morning, along with some other prints, a small 35mm developing tank, empty bottles labeled “developer” and “fixer,” and n uncut but developed roll of APX400. Curious?
Can anyone confirm or deny my suspicion that real developer and fixer, even in quantities smaller than three ounces, will not fly with TSA regulations? I wouldn’t be using them anyway, at this point I’m just curious.
Nikon D200, Nikkor DX 35mm f/1.8 G, long exposure with the assistance of a countertop, security people out of the frame to the right looking at me very suspiciously.
Another from the “abandoned quarry,” which is apparently not at all abandoned.
Films aren’t “filmed,” they’re “photographed.” Early filmmakers drew heavily from the work of early photographers (particularly in the area of very careful composition, as any of the Lumiere brothers’ films will show you). I think some of my work is heavily infuenced by my favorite American films of the 1970s (Taxi Driver, The Warriors), particularly in their warm color tones and their persistent examination of the aesthetic decay of the American metropolis (typically, and in both of those cases, New York). When I watch a good film, I find myself constantly noticing things I could try to recreate or reinterpret in a photograph (and my criteria for what makes a “good” film have a lot to do with its aesthetic merits). To me, this instantly recalls the supersaturated tones and visual metaphor of Rear Window, though that film is neither urban nor from the 1970s.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8.
At least that’s how it looks to me.
I went out shooting with another photographer friend tonight, and we had plans to work our way into a freight yard to get some pictures of abandoned, decaying, or otherwise interesting trains and their accessories. Unfortunately, security was tight, so we found what appeared to be an abandoned quarry of some sort across the street. Fading light is always my favorite, but it’s a serious technical challenge for a photographer using a camera body that is mostly useless above ISO 640 and who left all three of his tripods in his apartment. The 35mm f/1.8’s huge maximum aperture was really the only thing I had going for me, but I did get a few shots I like that were free of motion blur. More from this shoot will be coming.
While I do love shooting with fast primes, I missed having a wide angle tonight. Perhaps an ultrawide is in my future?
Nikon D200, DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G wide open (not too soft, eh?).
Sometimes art is chaos.
I guess this is the beginning of my catching up from the holidays. I was lucky enough to be in Chicago for the first time on New Year’s Eve, and what a city. We stopped in at the Art Institute of Chicago, which happened to be free for the afternoon. As nice as it was not to have to pay admission, the downside was that every exhibit was chaos. I quickly gave up on trying to take interesting pictures of interesting art, and decided it might be fun in the spirit of the place to try to represent my experience there. What followed was a series of long shutter shots in an attempt ot capture the chaos of the place. This is one of my favorites, but there is at least one more I really like.
This picture brings me to one of my favorite photography soapboxes: Photography doesn’t have to be still. At some point along the way. someone decided that images created by the photographic process needed to represent an infinitesimally small portions of time. While this is useful for most photographic situations, I firmly believe that photographers who never explore the possibilities of motion are missing out.
Those who have followed the blog might notice something new in the info below.
Nikon D200, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8, 1.0s exposure.
Too many hobbies, too little time.
This bike is done, and it’s gorgeous (this picture is from the day I brought the frame home, which was probably four weeks ago. I finished building it about two weeks ago). Building it and riding it are two of the many things I’ve been doing instead of photography. I got back home Wednesday from a six day backpacking trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway area of western North Carolina (unfortunately, we were blown off Mt. Mitchell by a hailstorm, but nearby Linville Gorge is incredibly beautiful and has some of the most technical trails I’ve ever hiked), and spent that week surrounded by people who are enthusiastic about photography. This made me want to get back to shooting. Hopefully I will.
Apparently I’ve missed a few things since I’ve been, well, doing other things. I’m a bit of a gear nerd, and I’m working on catching up on the things I’ve missed. Most notable so far:
-Pentax’s K-x, which I can find precious little information about but has an impressive buzz (good for Pentax)
-Pentax’s K-7, which doesn’t seem that impressive to me (come on, Pentax, I thought a K#D would be a professional model, not a K20D with the zero dropped)
-Nikon’s D300s, which means my body of choice is now 1 1/2 iterations out of date
-Canon’s 7D, which is yet another violation of the number-of-digits-before-the-D-connotes-the-level rule (definitely not worth converting over)
I’m sure there’s plenty more that I’ve missed (unfortunately, this does not seem to include a $50 35mm f/1.2 Nikkor or a $75 10-20mm f/2.8, though I am still looking), but I’ll catch up eventually. For now, I need to start shooting again (and to get a Nikon lens that will go wider than 50mm. Or longer).
Nikon D200, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D, ancient Minolta strobe somewhere off camera.