Monday, September 1, 2014

Dad Again

Here is a shot I did of dad last night with the Mark II 5D. I prefer doing b/w work with film but the digital has a real clarity to the images that is quite appealing, you can see pretty much everything in detail. When I get the 24mm 1.4 (this week I hope) I plan on using it exclusively and putting away the 24-70mm zoom. I want to try to limit myself to get more. My friend Larry does wonderful photography mostly with the Mark II, III and the 24mm 1.4.  I know that great work can be done with that simple combination, I want to force myself to try to do the same, limiting your tools should yield better quality photographs. The idea is less gadgets more creativity. Gosh thou I love my gadgets!

In the photo below dad had just wiped away a tear and was thinking.

Dad August 31 2014

Quote: Richard Pryor

On his job as a boxing gym sparring partner.

"I always had to fight the guys who looked like they just killed their parents."

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Link: Worlds Largest Film Camera

This a great little story about building the worlds largest camera. I love the fact he is using it to shoot people with, not your average landscape stuff (like everyone else). Wonder how much this thing cost to do, rather amazing in its scope. Thou I wonder if shooting cultures could have been better captured using a 8x10 or 11x14 and traveling the world for 10 years shooting thousands of portraits at probably about the same costs. The camera they made is amazing and beautiful thou I am not sure they can make amazing pics with it.

Here is a link to the article and the Vimeo vids.

Lomography Article

Worlds Largest Film Camera

Need To Choose Well

I have been thinking a lot about what 15 or so photos I will use in the show. I need to select well, not only because I am in the same show as a great photographer (Larry Louie) but also because I get these exhibitions so seldom I need to make them count. If I choose the right work and print it to the highest standard who knows there that might lead, the dominoes could fall a bit. When you get your opportunities you need to make the most. of them. There is a possibility I might include some of the Cambodian slum negs and who knows maybe even something from the bar world photos of 2003. I think thou all the work will be from the last 2-3 years.

There should be no additional costs for this exhibition, I have all the frames, cut and uncut mats and all the photo paper I need. The negs are waiting patiently to be brought to life in the darkroom. I will start printing tomorrow night. I want to make these prints SING.

Let the games begin!

Quotes: Daido Moriyama

"I think the most important thing photographs can do is relate to the photographer and the viewer's memories."

"At first sight a photograph looks straight forward as it slices off a scene or moment in time. But images that photography captures are actually ambiguous and it's because of this ambiguity that I like photography."

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Links: More Daido Moriyama Videos

I love how it this major opening at the Tate in London Moriyama carries his camera with him : ).

Here is Moriyama wandering the streets of Tokyo with a digi camera and speaking about his life and photography.

Link: Daido Moriyama Documentary "Near Equal"

Here is a fun documentary on the current photographer I am studying Mr Daido Moriyama. You have got to love the simplicity of his approach, such simple tools whether it is the camera he uses or his darkroom.

Like always it comes down to your vision, your feeling, your creative statement not the gadgets and gear you use. Moriyama like so many great artists sees with his heart and brain first everything else is secondary. It is fascinating to listen to him describe what photography is, what a photograph is, the mans mind works in such a unique way. Watching a doc like this expands your thinking, it opens doors to what really is possible in photography. This is is all very exciting.

I need to put more abstraction, more randomness into my pictures, let shutter click and the creativity flow. Lets throw all rules out the window, there are no more rules, lets begin to see at a purer more basic and truer level.

Going With The Flow

I started shooting with a compact camera today, the Lecia zoom minilux I mentioned earlier. I am just going with the flow here, experimenting and being free in my photography. I will shoot up a bunch of old Tri-x that has been sitting around for several years in my darkroom and fridges. I want to just let the expression come naturally and not over think things. I use up a lot of film shooting this way but heck its fun and it is nice to just let things go and see where they take you, it's a new way for me, a new way to create. I will try lots of the NO FINDER type of photography. The lens is only a 35mm at the wide end so not sure its wide enough for that kind of thing, but am going to try.

Leica minilux zoom 25mm-70mm

Link: Shooting On The Street With A Compact Camera

Daido Moriyama often shoots with a compact camera that does not frighten people. I have a nice little compact Leica I bought several years ago that is not to intimidating, I might give that a try with Tri-x. I bought the Leica compact years ago cheap with this in mind. The camera has a nice lens on it and should work pretty well. I could hide my hunger to make the picture, it would make me look like a average joe point and shoot dude. It would probably work better in the bar areas of Thai where the people are camera shy. I could also just use a simple point and shoot digi, which are everywhere and less intrusive. Whatever works to tell your story is where it's at, film, digi, compact cameras, adobegraphs (composite heavily manipulated photographs), there should be no rules.

This is from Eric Kim's blog which is linked below.


Daido expands on why he prefers to use compact cameras compared to big and bulky SLR’s in his documentary, “Near Equal“:

“If you use a SLR, you see things like this [holds camera to eye]. And when you do this, you want to have perfect focus.The moment which you want to capture does not fit your feeling, if you do this. If you are using a compact camera, it is simple.[While holding SLR to eye] 

Also furthermore, if you [use a SLR in front of your eyes] many people in Shinjuku, people turn their faces, or flee.”

Eric Kim wrote:
Certainly the benefit of shooting with a compact camera in the streets is the fact you don’t have to always worry about the camera settings. You can simply point, click, and let the camera do the rest (autofocus, exposure, etc). According to Daido, it allows you to focus more on the photography and the feeling of the moment– rather than fumbling around with settings on the camera.
Not only that, but another huge benefit of shooting with a compact camera is the fact that it tends to be a lot less threatening than a big SLR. It is small, inconspicuous, has a quiet shutter sound, and looks more like a toy than a “serious camera."
Here is a link to a Video of Daido Moriyama speaking of using a compact camera. Check out his NO FINDER shot at 1 minute 42 seconds of the vid.

Dad Tighter

I got some chubby chicken from A&W for dad yesterday, he had a piece which was nice, today I plan on taking him some home grown corn on the cob. I also want to  take dad the Daido Moriyama photo book before I return it to the library.

I plan on photographing him with film tomorrow again, they will be higher contrast b/w shots, probably tighter head shots, hand shots. Working with the digital camera and film cameras together is quite compelling, I will do a bunch of that in Asia next trip. I am glad I opened up more to digital, the positive effect several photo club members and photo friends have had on me I guess. We should always be open to anyway that creates positive imagery. That is why I am always against rules in clubs, you can only shoot digi or you can only shoot film rules are just to damn restrictive and confining. Stop with the rules and simply allow people to create freely.

Long after my father is gone I will continue to work with and love the digital shots I made of him in his last days. Buying the digi was definitely the right way to go, now I am waiting on the used 24mm F1.4  from the States and a cheap Chinese ring flash for the camera which I bought last night.

Here is the latest shot of dad, rather like this one, the feeling in his eyes works for me. The lower eye is sharp the upper a bit soft, it creates an stronger dynamic I think. Not sure which version I prefer, there is a simplicity to the b/w shot that I find appealing. I wish I could print it in the darkroom, I might have to settle for a digital print if I can not figure out how to transfer the file to film. As I get better at the whole digital thingy, things will work themselves out. Another fun digital fact is that every time you shoot a pic you have both a colour and b/w version of the shot.

Dad Canon Mark II 24mm-70mm F2.8 at 70mm, August 29 2014
Image converted to b/w and contrast added, 2500 ASA 1/80 F2.8