Sunday, December 21, 2014

Quote: Karl Marx

Famous last words

“Last Words Are for Fools Who Haven’t Said Enough.”

Quote: Walt Whitman

From Whitman's epic book of poetry "Leaves Of Grass"

"Whoever degrades another degrades me...and whatever is done or said returns at last to me, And whatever I do or say  I also return."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quote: Sebastiao Salgado

"I believe  very strongly in something we could call the photographic phenomena. We decide that we are going to tell a story, we prepare then we integrate ourselves with the people we are going to photograph......What really interests me most in the photographic phenomena isn't choosing the most powerful pictures on a contact sheet but rather the phenomena itself, the integration with people in photographs. It's their acceptance to be photographed, to give an image of themselves, it's almost a gift you receive."

From Contacts Sebastiao Salgado 2: 

Quotes: Elie Wiesel

Remembering and speaking of his time in Auschwitz concentration camp and afterwards.

"But I have moral philosophies. I don't think I should accept other people's suffering because I suffered. Just the opposite, because I suffered I don't want others to suffer."

Explaining his use of anger:

"The anger here is in me. Hate, not. I'm against hatred. I write and I teach and my goal is in both cases to sensitize the reader or the student."

"Therefore, I believe anger must be a catylyst. When am I angry? When I witness injustice, and I feel helpless. That's when I'm angry. I'm helpless. I went to all the places in the world. Mainly children, children in the arms of their mothers and both are starving. And I can't do anything except use my words to shout. That's when I'm angry."

Large Format 5x7 Camera In Asia

After studying the work of Vanessa Winship recently I have a new fire under me to shoot large format negs overseas. Carrying the equipment 1/2 way round the world  can be a bit daunting, dealing with airports is tough but being lazy is not an option. For me my subjects are in Asia so I simply need to overcome the difficulties to get my equipment there. Going overseas allows me to grow, you see so many different ways of living, cultures, foods, environments, languages. Simply put you learn different ways of living and experiencing life. So many folks I know in Canada live in such terribly small worlds, it's like they live in their hallway closet. When you go out into the world, it changes you as a person. You become more tolerant, more accepting of others etc, its fricking wonderful.

In my 13 or so trips to Asia I have never had any film fogged so I am not worried about that. I have taken 35mm, 120, 4x5 and 8x10 Tri-x with me through the years and have faced no problems (even after 7 X-rays). I read today that in-fared films fog in X-ray machines. Personally I have always found that sort of film-print (infrared) very gimmicky looking so that is not a worry for me. I believe 3200 ASA stuff might also face some fogging issues at airports but I do not shoot that film either (still made by Ilford, not by Kodak).

Another advantage of shooting one film is you truly understand the film, you know how it responds to X-ray machines etc., so there are no nasty surprises. I know what to expect when I put my Tri-x in a machine, if I put other films in I am unsure, so why play games? Choose what works for you and use that consistently until you know everything about the film, how it responds in different light, how it handles different developers, how it is to print on different photo papers (preferably one or two) and how many times it can be X-rayed before it fogs. Simplifying allows you to grow as an artist.

What I want to do is to shoot the 5x7 Tri-x and the Linhof with one lens, and the Leicas with Tri-x and multiple cameras. Those types of shooting are so different it would be so satisfying to do both. One day large format, the next day 35mm. The trick is to overcome my laziness, and get the cameras over seas. Jock Sturges, John Sexton manage to do it now, Paul Strand did it back when air travel was even more difficult. Why can't I? Nothing is impossible to accomplish, you just have to want it bad enough. No excuses, the creation of the work is most important. Am really looking forward to the day I can have 6 months ahead of me in Asia to just make pictures.

Eventually I will take my 8x10 view camera to Asia to photograph. I need to use up my supply of 5x7 film first thou, it will be a bit easier to shoot and I have a ton of that stuff, all outdated.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Link: Oprah The Interviews

Here is a video link to the quotes I posted earlier. Nelson Mandela was a truly great man, I so wish I would have had the chance to meet him. The thing I find most remarkable is that he was held in prison for 27 years but held no grudges, there was no anger in his heart upon his release. Often in my life I hold little grudges, petty grievances. I know others who hold grudges over the simplest and silliest things, often for years, why? Yet here is a man who had true reasons to hate but overcame it so beautifully. We could all learn from Nelson Mandela,  he set a great example. Ugliness in our hearts destroys us bit by bit each everyday we live, it poisons our soul. If we could all learn to forgive and live life with joy, wisdom, compassion and understanding like Mr Mandela we would all be better for it.

Mr. Wiesel is at of the video 15 seconds , Mr. Mandela at 32 minutes.

Note* When Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa, 3 of the guards from his time in jail on Robben island were sitting in the first row at his inauguration speech.

Quote: Nelson Mandella

Speaking of his time in Robben Island prison when he worked in the lime quarry breaking rocks, beside other men of great courage and intelligence.

"I was in the company of great men indeed, some of them more qualified, more talented than I am and to sit down with them to exchange views was one of the most revealing experiences I had. To sit down with those men and exchange views it enriched your own life, it fortified your morality, it  gave you courage, to do better than your best."

On overcoming hate, anger and bitterness.

"You have a limited time to stay on earth. You must try and use that period for the purpose of transforming your country into what you desire it to be, a Democratic, non racial, non sexist country. That was our great task."

Quotes: Elie Wiesel

"To be free is important, but to help others be free, is even more important."

On lessons learned from the Holocaust.

"Not to be indifferent is one lesson"

"....I must have faith in the possibility of every human being to remain human in spite of everything....

Quote: "Oprah Winfrey"

"Turn your wounds into wisdom."

Quote: Martin Short

"The end result is a little less important than the joy of doing it."