Saturday, November 25, 2017
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Saturday, November 18, 2017
I have never understood why there has always been so much argument between digital vs film. To me, there is no debate— use whatever you want to, in whatever combination you want to. If it works for you, then the rest is just internet trolling. The whole idea is to get the images that are best in your eyes and suits the purpose you have for it. I use both digital and film. I don't really care what someone else does or doesn't use. Both processes have strengths and weaknesses. I don't care to give up either. I do not think either is going to replace the other at this point. For a while, many thought that film might go away. As with vinyl records, I knew that would not happen. To be sure, there were all of the frustrations of film supply companies going out of business. Thankfully, there is now a resurgence of supplies. The availability of cameras, on the other hand, was never an issue. I never got rid of my favorite film cameras or my darkroom, and I appreciate my foresight. I definitely find digital to be easier and more practical for most purposes. I have to admit that I found digital to be such a pleasure when it legitimately arrived as a viable option. But I don't think that you're going to get a good argument that a good platinum print from a large format film negative is not perfectly exquisite (and that it always will be), though. There is something to be said for how easy it is to care for collections of photos in a physical format. Darkroom prints kept in linen clamshells, or web images on sites & blogs, or images that are made from digital files and then printed or web sized. I use all of these methods. Plus I have a few gorgeous books utilizing the digital process. You then just store them on a bookshelf. No hard drives, online, or computer storage needed. I have thousands of photos stored on all of these places, but I wonder how archival any of this is. Will anyone care about these digital files when I am gone? I have a feeling that the hard copy stuff will be better kept and/or cherished— but who knows?. Long live choices. Use what works the best for you and makes you happy.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
When it comes to portrait photography, I tend to find myself gravitating towards themes and styles that go beyond straight portraiture. Nothing against the usual posed model shots (actually, I do have something against them...), but portraits that reveal a bit more, that are unguarded or even awkward score more points in my book. This image, however, is not posed or unguarded or awkward or a even a portrait. I just like it.
Monday, October 23, 2017
I used my beloved Mole-Richardson Fresnel lantern for this shot, along with some fill-in Smith-Richardson spots. A Fresnel is usually used these days just for theater lighting— you know, when the light looks very dramatic on the stage. For old Hollywood films and stills (especially film noir), though, it was the go-to light source. It can be rather unflattering and hard to control if you don't know how to use them, but they make exquisite images when used properly.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
I've always been a fan of the extreme low-angle shot— photographed from a camera angle positioned low on the vertical axis, anywhere below the eye line, looking up. Sometimes, it can even as far as from below the subject's feet. Psychologically, the effect of the low-angle shot is that it makes the subject look strong and powerful. The downside is, well, it's a hard shot to get right. It's often not flattering, or looks amateurish. Also, frankly, it's not really comfortable to shoot for long that way. The trick is to keep moving, looking and slightly changing up the angle until you finally see it working. Typically I can never really know if an image is successful until after editing— but with a low angle you usually know it right away, because it will pack a punch. That is the upside.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
I like this shot. It reminds me of the work of photographer Imogen Cunningham, who lived a long life shooting from the late 1800's to the 1970's. She would often create images like this— tightly cropped and more concerned in making a compelling composition rather necessarily flattering the subject. She was a big influence on my early work, and I've been trying to create images that might rate up with her ones that are always stuck in my head. Easier said than done, of course. This one is getting closer.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
I shot these images the day after the bathroom shots in the previous post. I like changing gears like that— going back & forth from fetishistic stuff to natural outdoor portraits, et cetera. These are definitely different for me, though. Slightly Edward Weston influenced. I love Edward Weston, but I rarely take much direct inspiration from him. Seems to work here well enough!
There was a mirrored ceiling in this bathroom (which is a kinda weird thing in a bathroom, right?), so I decided to turn it into a unique opportunity. Shooting the images from the mirrors made for some really interesting straight out of the camera shots, although the first one here is something that I don't usually do— a two shot composite. I think that composite shots typically look like a gimmick, but here it seems to make for a noteworthy if not remarkable image. I'm very happy with these bathroom pictures. There are more to come...
Monday, October 9, 2017
Thursday, September 14, 2017
The window series is easily going on ten years now— which means that I have to either stop doing them or get ever more creative. I've always pushed the lighting boundaries, so that's a given. I've been playing around with giving them extra depth and some movement to prevent them from being too static. Me likes this latest one...