Category Archives: Digital

A New Aesthete

“Increasing focus
Telescoping lines and forms
The tiny details
Come home come home come home.”

Yes, it’s been a while. Everything from this post is still true, with the addition of twenty-six weeks of not really shooting. So here’s some geometry.

Nikon D200, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX

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Filed under Digital, Landscape

So. (Psycho IV: Small World)

So I’ve been away for a while.

In the time since “The 92 Megapixel Holga,” I’ve received two degrees, accepted a faraway job offer, lived at four addresses in two (admittedly contiguous) time zones, moved halfway across a relatively large country, and started a new job (in roughly chronological order). I’ve put enough miles on my car to change the oil twice (something like 12,000, I think).

While I’d love to say I’ve documented all of those experiences with thousands of images, I haven’t. I have some, but really not as many as I should. I’ve put a few rolls through my Holga and had a few outings with the digital setup, perhaps just enough to know that I’ve lost some of my feel for it. Oh well. I’m a little more settled now, a little more comfortable, so I should probably get back to work. So.

Nikon D200, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G DX (which has been permanently affixed to my D200 since I got it), window light.

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Filed under Digital, Landscape

Light Me White (Chaos in the Windy City II)

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.

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Filed under Abstract, Digital

Sonny Wortzik

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.

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Filed under Abstract, Digital

Antelope (New Topographic)

This is another shot from the “quarry” we “visited” a few days ago.

Nikon D200, DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 G.

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Stele/Sepulchral

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?).

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Filed under Abstract, Digital

Chaos in the Windy City

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.

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Filed under Abstract, Digital