I love it when friends come into town.... I get to abuse them. Brian stopped down from the north side to try out Orland's finest cuisine. I love to get together and chat business and family. This time it was more about family, we have kids about the same age that getting back to school.
Brian runs a photography business that is very different from mine. His company, Picture Day, creates school portraits that are heads and should better than you than your typical school photos. Our business’ are at opposite ends of the volume meter. Where my sessions are counted in the hundreds he photographs over 15,000 kids a year. Its aways good to hear a different perspective on the industry.
Im starting to get a good look going with the paper negative and my Deardorff. Its been a nice summer, but too many distractions. Im starting to look for create portraits with this process as an art project. Im on the hunt for worthy cause or group that’s open to something different.
I was in Homewood on Saturday visiting a client and seeing their new office and on the way back home I stopped at the tracks in downtown to see this motley crew pushing a load back into the Markham Yard. I admit that I am a bit of a rail fan and its like coming home since I grew up not far from hear in Flossmoor. I fondly remember, on these hot summer nights as a boy with the windows open, going to sleep to the sounds of the engines straining to pull their load out of the yard. I find the sound of the rail road much more enjoyable than the jet plains coming overhead going to Midway. Now, when Im up late I have a nice reminder as the 12:30 Metra makes its last run through Orland. Surprising how some things keep coming back, I wonder what sense memories my kid will look back on fondly.
We saw where they lived, We learned how cute they could be, now were going to eat them.
I took the kids to the Shedd Aquarium yesterday. After a long day of looking a fish in their habitat and seeing the show and how cute they can be, I saw this in the parent torture room.
The kids did get a neat chance to pet a Lake Sturgeon. Thankfully Ryan has let go of wanting a lizard for a pet but now wants a large fish he can pet..... Oh bother....
A few more for the fun of it
No my kids didn't go anywhere. I got my baby back from her second overhaul and I have to say that there is something really wonderful about shooting film with a completely manual camera. 27 years old and she works like she was new.
I have to say that I do love the digital age. The technology has created opportunities that were not available, or were out of reach, in the film days. What I see though is a tyranny of choice or an over reliance on the digital adjustments and the computer to make the final image. We start to interact with the technology and futz with the image more than we interact with the world and see our subject. Seeing the subject, creating a vision of the final image, and trust in your skills takes you out of focusing on the camera and places you with your subject. For me, shooting film is an exercise in awareness training. Because of the minimal nature of my camera, the most important tool is my eye and my mind.
Intention and attention, am I focused on the camera operation, viewing the world through the screen on the back of the camera or am I out in the world with the subject. A number of years ago I was attending a seminar held by a nationally recognize commercial photographer. When asked by a participant what one thing could be done to improve the quality of their photography, he answered, “cover the back screen of the camera with black tape so you cant see it anymore.”
There was a short period of time, when we moved to digital cameras, where I stopped shooting film entirely. When I picked up the film cameras again I realized that I was missing out on one of films greatest gifts…. Serendipity. The chance to make a mistake that turns out to be a great success. The more you eliminate the chance of mistakes or failures the more you limit your chances for success. Now Im not talking about the game ending failures where you come away with nothing, those are not what I look for. It’s those little ones that can create the most interesting possibilities and open doors to new ideas. Digital in many ways encourages shaving off the rough edges, its those rough edges that makes the possibility of what we do interesting.
More playing with paper negs.... the texture in the photo is from the paper fibers in the negative.
and Ry from earlier this summer.
Still workin on getting the wet plate going... its just taking time with the crazy summer schedule.
Being on vacation is always double edge sword. I love the going away part but the getting out of town and (worse) the getting back in the swing of things is a killer. It was a great time away with E and the kids, time to let the hair down, I take my fun seriously.
I also had fun working on being present and aware... its amazing how many times I go somewhere only to realize I'm not there, busy in the past or the future. When you at Disney, there is so much to see if your looking. Its one of the fun parts of photography, aware of my surroundings then using the camera to record how I see it. Now, to plow through the all the images, here a few
Ready, Set, Attack!!!! Cyborg Mickynaughts away. The digital wrist band that tracks you through the park combined with the finger prints scanner required to enter the park is a little disturbing.
Now to refocus. I hope to have my wet plate gear and chems up and running by the end of next month. A lot of work to put it together, but Im excited to start making some images with the process. Other projects in the works, hope to share as they develop... no pun intended.