Friday, October 31, 2008

The Boy In The Moon

Photography, as with the written word, has always been an avenue to tell a story. I’ve never been very good at it, and am amazed at the talent of someone that can tell a story, visually or with words. Click on the title to see, hear and read a story that will make you think, question and wonder. It’s the story of a rare disorder and the boy who has it. Told by his father, a journalist for the Globe & Mail, it’s eye opening to what other people go through on a daily basis. You’ll need some time.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fairyland Palms

OK, I’ve had enough of the political coverage. Enough of the business coverage and just about had it with all the negative stuff on TV. So I’m watching a DVR recording of Fleetwood Mac (shows my age I know) and enjoying the music and not worried about much else. So I thought I’d post an image and go wherever it may lead.

This is another image from a day out with the Flexbody. I’m still not sure about the camera but it’s unlikely I’ll get rid of it. It’s unique enough - only 2500 made - that I want to keep it and see if I can learn to get along with it a bit better. In the meantime I’ve jumped into the large format arena full force. After a good day with Michael Gordon, large format isn’t so scary. I’ve shot a few sheets, developed them, and found it’s something that I think will fit pretty well with what I want to accomplish with my photography. Time will tell if that is true but I think it’s going to be a good choice and I look forward the experience. I think shots like this will be more aggressive and allow more freedom with LF than I can get today. It’s really a very versatile system.

Palm trees are everywhere in Southern California. There was a huge importing of palms to Southern California in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and a lot of these trees still exist in California today and have actually come to symbolize the state. But there is only one native tree to Southern California and that is the Washington Palm which is rare according to what I’ve read. I’ve not done much more searching beyond that but I’ve always thought the palm trees in Orange County looked too perfect and they have always intrigued me photographically. But as with much of my work it’s never very flushed out. This just happened to be a day when I thought I might be able to capture what I was seeing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Office Parks

I spend a lot of time in office parks, coming, going, coming, going... in my day job. I spend some of the time just looking as I drive by and wonder what I can see and if I could make an image. A few weeks ago I took out the Flexbody, which I am not getting along with very well, and wanted to try to get a better feel for the camera. Driving home that afternoon I saw images in my head and thought I might be able to actually make an image I liked. This is from the first roll that I developed yesterday.

I thought the Flexbody would allow me to get what I wanted better than a straight focused sharp image. And for the most part it did. These office parks are the factories of my youth. They house workers like me who push out products doing the same thing day to day. I may wear a tie today but it’s not much different than when I flipped metal from one pallet to the next at the aluminum factory. But I do have air conditioning and that’s a major plus.

I’m back to developing my own stuff because I didn’t like the delay, didn’t like the condition my negatives were coming back, scratches, dust, etc. and I wanted to get my stuff developed and worked a little sooner in relation to shooting it. And the reality is I can scratch them, cover them in dust absolutely fine by myself and it’s a lot cheaper. So after a few mistakes here and there I think I’ve got it down again and will get through my backlog of stuff in the coming weeks. I’ve already developed 7 rolls this week but I purposely used rolls I knew didn’t have anything good on them for the most part, you know, just in case.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BJ

Most of my work lately has been of family -- documenting them, the animals, and just in general -- making a record of what I know it to be. Someday this will matter to a few people. Right now I don’t think so, but since there are only a few readers to this blog we’ll see. But mostly I am doing this for myself because I simply enjoy the act of photographing. And as I’ve written before, there aren’t many in the family that seem to enjoy it as much as I do. Actually, they may like the images as long as they aren’t of them.

But it does get me thinking about photographers like Mark Tucker who seem to be able to get over that and make wonderful images of people close to him as well as those that might not be. I also look to images from Mark Robert Halper for inspiration as well. He just goes about his business and makes striking images of the people in front of his lens. There are other guys like Jay Reilly who I recently came across. I couldn’t shoot his way but his images really resonant with me. It really looks as if he enjoys himself very much doing something he obviously loves. And then there is Michael E. Gordon, a landscape photographer that produces images that I just really like to look at.

So this is an image of BJ, my brothers horse and extraordinary one at that. At least to me he is since I know nothing about horses but any four-legged creature that comes up to me wanting an ear or nose scratch is extraordinary. I’m a sucker for the attention. I hope my brother likes this since he wouldn’t let me get an image of him.

Friday, October 03, 2008

James Nacthwey - TED Project

James Nachtwey won a TED Prize in 2007 which gave him a chance to “change the world.” You can see the award video here.

Today, TED and James Nachtwey launched XDRTB. Check out the images and give it some thought. It’s not the only issue in the world that needs attention, but along with the other issues, it needs action. I’m excited to see this type of imagery being used and more excited for what this might do in bringing about education and knowledge to people that don’t know about this. I’m also excited to see how technology will be used in the future to make lasting and important changes in the world.

It makes my previous post rather irrelevant.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bummed

Working with camera equipment, as with any type of precision equipment, leads you to think things just won’t wrong. Rationally I know this to not be true, but I simply have it happen so rarely that I think the issues I hear with other cameras won’t happen to me. Inevitably it does, the gremlins find you and make you pay at the most inopportune times.

My Leica has a frozen shutter and it’s being sent in for repair. I am so bummed right now. But I have other cameras so I’ll get by but I had plans for it over the coming weeks and I’ll have postpone or go with something else.

This image is from my backlog of scanning from this year. I can’t believe it’s already October and I still have undeveloped film. It’s a shame really, and since I’m no Garry Winogrand, I don’t really have any excuses.

I do however, need to shoot more stuff like this when I’m back in Kentucky. Documenting my family, and the place where I grew up, just seems natural. Unfortunately my family doesn’t necessarily agree. So I get what I can and occasionally make an image I really like.