Wednesday, February 20, 2008


A couple of weeks ago I got an email from LFI telling me they wanted to publish my JJ images. It was a surprise and one I wasn't sure about until I saw the pdf sent to me this week. Considering that last time the image was so small - almost to the point of embarrassment - I decided to keep quiet about this one. I didn't want to jinx myself this time. And yes, that's a little superstitious thing I probably shouldn't worry about, but there you are.

So here it is. My daughter had a huge chuckle upon reading the description. Luckily my wife was with me in Palm Springs when I shot this and can verify that I did not, in fact, drop by the local transvestite club. Something lost in the translation between English and German. But the chuckle, or should say outright laughter, from both of the women in my life was pretty priceless and well worth the crap I'll receive once this comes out and my friends see it. The joys of photography...

But this is the shoot that made me switch back to film simply because of the pure enjoyment the photographic process with JJ brought. The digital is still gathering dust for the most part and film goes with me just about everywhere. I have a backlog of film to scan, spot and work. Once I get more than a few days at home all in a roll I may get that done. It's the one drawback to my process at the moment. Because I have to set up a separate scanning station I get behind and need to find time to work the backlog. Leaving the station on the dining room table doesn't work so well for the family. So, the upcoming travel - could there be anymore - will produce more backlog that I'll eventually get around to scanning and posting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Family Images

As you might guess, and as with a lot of photographers, family is a known subject and often visited. For me it's much to the delight of some and less so with others. My wife bears it for the most part but views my images of her with the critical eye that I just don't see. Almost all of them are good and if it's messed up it's because of me.

My daughter on the other hand has grown to want very little to do with the camera and it's not pointed her way very often. This is one of my favorites and I post it here putting my life in jeopardy. You live, you learn.

The dogs are also frequent subjects. I choose to believe they delight in being my models. I've written about this before and since they don't talk back they get images made of them on a regular basis. I'll spare you most of the images. I have no idea what any of this has to do with photography except that I am traveling a lot these days and I miss the family. I'm leaving again tomorrow so I post one of them.

I realized as I was writing this post that I didn't include anything but the links to the photographers website yesterday. I was in a hurry and didn't pay attention. Anyway, that image was from a test to see how the lens would handle lens flare. Turns out I like it so I posted it.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cosmin Bumbut

Check out the work of Romanian photographer Cosmin Bumbut. I've been a long time admirer of his work and noticed it again today in Issue 17 of Blueeyes Magazine.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Last week saw me in Boise and Seattle traveling to meet customers and kick off plans for the new year. As part of my goals this year I plan to just shoot, not be encumbered with particular ideas on what I'll shoot and to see what I can make out of what I end up with. To do that I made a promise to myself that the camera will go with me on my business trips.

So, I took 3 rolls of Fuji 400X and 3 rolls of Ilford HP5. The goal was to use up all 6 rolls of film with no limitations. I failed miserably. I just couldn't do it. No matter what I did during this trip I just couldn't see images and being in work mode while traveling probably didn't help. I did shoot some stuff and I have a couple of images I like that will eventually make their way here, but I'm not wired to shoot that way and I think it added a new set of pressures on me that affected my ability to see.

What I did find was that when I slowed down I was able to see some things that might prove interesting if I just shoot it all the way through. So I did. I got the film back just before I left for this trip and I went through some of it last night and there were a couple of surprises which generated ideas for projects. I'll see where it goes but I think I'll end up with something by December I'll be proud of. As noted in my last post I just need to follow through and shoot.

This is an image from a trip to Seattle several years ago. I don't own the Mamiya 7 it was made with any longer and boy do I miss that camera and the huge negatives. And like the camera this building no longer exists. It's been transformed into a Starbuck's (I think) or it's been torn down. I couldn't really tell. It's located close the to REI I like to go to and provides a way for me to get to the waterfront. It's a shame it's gone but I now have an image of Seattle that no longer exists. Is that cool or sad? Ask me in 50 years.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mundane II

As I sat in the lobby of a customer today that blew me off, I wrote some thoughts on the United States political process. It's Super Tuesday here in the US and that means that we are closer to finding out who the republican candidate will be, and will not be any closer to knowing who the democratic candidate will be. Its a complicated process.

Anyway, considering my mood from the treatment at the hands of this particular customer, I've reread the comments and decided against posting them. This isn't a political blog and my thoughts are pretty much irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. So I post another mundane image.

This one was made in Cambridge outside the window of the bookstore I frequent when I go there. The light was nice but the scan was a little muddy. It's illustrative of the merged processes in photography these days. I don't think I could have made a good print of this in the darkroom due to my limited printing skills. I don't know if a master printer would have been able to do so. But the print from the scan on rag paper looks incredibly good. I like the image.

As an aside, I have a general question. How are people framing images that are the 3:2 format ratio? This image, as an example, would be cropped in an 8x10 standard mat. Why do mats come in formats that don't reflect that majority of the images made? I don't like to crop and do my best to frame the image in camera both digitally and on film. I want to see the whole image when I frame it. How do others go about this? Do you use custom mats, and if so, what are the dimensions for a 16x20 frame for instance? Any thoughts are welcome.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Over the last several months I've made sure that I've had the camera with me a lot more than usual. If I don't have it I certainly cannot make images. When I see interesting light I try to see if I can make an interesting image to match. The stuff can be pretty mundane at times but I've found that the time that I take to get stuff processed provides a little space. In a recent article in PDN, Steve McCurry talks about the fact that he has images from as long as 15 years ago that he hasn't edited. Garry Winogrand said in an interview in the 1980's that he waited a year to process his film to give himself enough space to have forgotten the making of the image. They are both photographers I admire so maybe it's not so bad that I don't get instant gratification. It'll be interesting to see how I view these images in a few years.

Over time I wonder if any of this stuff will amount to much or build up into a body of work. I was recently encouraged when I read about an older gentleman getting a show at 65 years of age. At this point I think it's about sticking to it and making images. Over time I believe a style will emerge and it'll be based on what interests me and little else. I'm not too old to change but I am too old to change simply for the sake of change. If it isn't important it'll be a waste of energy and that is something I don't want to waste at all.