Took one last trip out to Midland before the year ended. We took a nature trail that followed a small river out until we wandered into a clearing.
I'm not much into landscapes, especially this time of year when the trees are laid bare and everything appears a bit messy. Instead, I shot portraits, detail shots, and even managed to snag a photo of an opposum!
I closed out the night with a long exposure of the Midland Tridge (as the name implies, three bridges connected together). The photo turned out a little (and by a little, I mean very) underexposed. The sunlight was very rapidly falling away, and, by the time I metered and calculated the exposure time, and then tested it with my camera, the remaining sunlight had completely faded away.
This business of celebrating the New Year is strange. Everyone knows the reality that we are really marking, the Earth's journey around the sun. But we don't return to the same space, the sun is also moving. Everything is constantly moving. I feel that's something the typical model of though surrounding New Year’s celebrations forget.
I'm not one to look back very often. I typically think in terms of what I want to do next, what I'd like to be doing next week, next month, etc. But every now and then, looking back (sometimes as painful as it might be, is necessary for growth. I tend to get wrapped up in the future, making plans, pricing out trips, drooling over equipment, and compiling mood boards on Pinterest. But none of this is photography. None of it amounts to development.
Developing involves taking photos, engaging with people, and simply “doing stuff.” I’ve made a lot of great friends over the course of the year. I’ve helped to put the Cardinal Photography Student’s association on track to helping photographers find a community to share and develop together. I’ve been to a lot of cool places. I’ve purchased new equipment. I’ve gotten more into film photography. And I’ve taken a lot of great photos.
Previously, I’ve been hesitant to invest in photography. I’m someone who can easily develop an interest in anything, so I’ve always had to juggle multiple different pursuits. In 2016, I’m learning that’s not really an option. I can’t take on a million different things that I feel passively interested in. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to make an investment.
2017 is going to see an increased dedication to photography. Of course, I already have a lot of material that I’d like to shoot. 2016 has been a personally rewarding year, despite setbacks and more globally troubling concerns. But that’s just how events unfold, and I’m looking forward to doing this again right here at the end of 2017.
Drove out to Grand Rapids on Thursday, leaving at around 4 or 5 and arriving at Bellknap Park to each the sunrise. I wanted to take the drone up a few hundred feet for what I assume would have been an awesome view of the city, but it was a bit too windy (and the wind would only pick up later in the day, making the outdoor photo taking somewhat of a nightmare).
I primarily shot on the Mamiya, using up most of the polaroids (just got another box in today, another $20 down the drain) and going through almost 3 rolls of film (2 black and white and one Lomochrome Purple XR).
Shooting film gives me a considerable amount of anxiety. I'm sure that the people I was shooting with were getting a bit tired of having to take several minutes at a time just to set up one or two shots. I meter at least twice, make sure the dark slide is out multiple times, make sure I'm shooting on a new piece of film, make sure the shutter is loaded, the settings are right, the focus is as good as it can be, etc. etc. It’s not that there’s a lot more to worry about, it’s that each missed exposure is money down the drain. Having shot on film all day and really really enjoyed it, I’m hoping either my interest in film goes away or I somehow manage to get decent exposures with an iffy meter. Can’t wait to mail in the film and get the stuff developed (also very anxious about that process, too).
The second installment from a shoot earlier this December! Click here to view the first.
I spent a couple hours today testing out some Illford Plus HP5 120 film and FP 100c in Bay City. Although I burned through a couple shots by forgetting to remove the darkslide, I’m extremely happy with these results! We weren’t able to get a ton of shots simply because we started during the golden hour and, very shortly after starting, there just wasn’t enough light left to work with.
I went through 6 or 7 sheets of FP 100c and one roll of Illford, which leaves plenty left for the larger trips I’ve got planned before winter break ends. I’m very bummed at the cost and time consuming nature of all this film stuff. I’m considering holding off sending in the roll of Illford because I should be able to develop it next semester at SVSU. That means, though, that I could be creating photos with missed exposures. Most likely I’ll wait to develop the film myself to save money and hope the photos turn out!
I'm not sure if it was a lack of time or motivation, but I didn't manage to get many photos today. Understandable, due to the holidays, but nevertheless a bit disappointing. Most of the photos on my card were related to the water-pouring-into-the-glass shot. Played around with the in camera double exposure effect. Some of the shots were a bit tight, so some of the background ended up in frame. Discovering a pineapple led to these shots.
In the process of planning trips for the next two weeks. Grand Rapids and Traverse City, along with a few local locations this week, and then up to the Huron National Forest late next week. In between trips, I’ll be finishing up plans for the Cardinal Photography Student Association and mentally preparing for the next semester.
I've loaded the first roll of film into my Mamiya RB67! Very excited to put it to the test tomorrow.
I'm really enjoying getting back into shooting everyday, even if it is during the holidays. Got the chance to create 2 mirror prisms (a portable and a not-so-portable version) to put a spin on the obligatory "Christmas Tree Bokeh" photo. Spent a good amount of time messing around and having fun with the camera. Reletives had their point and shoots laying around, so I took those for a spin, too! Made the best of having to attend mass by getting a few cool mirror prism and drone shots. I'm sure everyone down below was...interested...in the thing buzzing up around 100 feet in the air as they entered the church!
Looking forward to a couple cool things coming up. December 27th I'll be attending a small get-together for artists in the local area. Sometime after that I'll be heading up to the Huron National Forest to do some hiking/adventuring (not looking forward to lugging a lot of grear around). And I'm sure I'll be adding onto that list of upcoming events! Really excited to make it a practice to shoot some material everyday! Feeling a lot better, a lot more productive, and I feel like I'm creating some pretty cool stuff!
Cousins came over. Parents decided it would be a good day to clean. Snowballs were thrown at my camera. Had a drone scare. Overall a hectic day.
I miss SVSU's studio. The lighting equipment, the space, the backdrops, all of it. Recently, I was invited to a boudoir-style portrait session at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Saginaw, which was similar to the studio-style sessions I can't wait to get back to.
This session, hosted in a small hotel space, was far from an in-studio experience, though I enjoyed it all the same. While there were a few minor problems I had with the location, the overall results were very satisfying. The room we reserved was small, so we didn't have much space to work with. Additionally, the walls were a weird green, and the carpet looked like a strange animal print brown-black. The angles we had to work with were limited (we ended up coming back to one or two angles that managed to avoid both the carpet and the walls), but I'm extremely happy with the results!
This was one of the first boudoir sessions I've been a part of. Part of my preparation process involves appreciating the work of those who have been engaged with this type of photography before. So, after looking through Pinterest, tumblr, etc., I was provided with photos more documentary and explicitly sexual in nature. While that may seem obvious, to me, these types of photos fall flat; what's the purpose behind taking photos that wholeheartedly emphasize a dedication to figure while ignoring subtly? This subtly, found in a few select photos that I added to my Boudoir Mood Board ended up directing my focus. I wanted to create an intimacy between the models and the camera. Something softer, not as explicit in nature. I wanted to create a casual, almost-nostalgic intimacy, something more at ease that still embodies the celebration of figure that is present in the boudoir genre.
The old site is gone! Initially, I really enjoyed the parallax scrolling effects. It looked nice, to me anyways. But the more I used it, the more cumbersome it felt. It was difficult to manage, and made it an annoyance to access some of my content.
So I decided to keep it simple. I might have gotten carried away with creating a website, using all the tools, and trying to create something attractive looking.
The website shouldn't get in the way of content. Now I have a site that's simple, easy to use, one that can highlight my work, and one that I'm excited to grow!