A couple of frames I took while biking around Minneapolis one Friday night recently. I didn’t set any goals for myself other than to take some photos. Biking around the cities can be liberating, not worrying about having to park, much less pay for it, gives you a new sense of freedom of movement. All of a sudden I can move from Northeast to Downtown to Uptown without paying cash. The drawback? None, unless you hate the feeling of wind in your face when you’re going across the Hennepin Avenue bridge. The freedom of biking paired with the unpredictability of what you will find in the cities whilst carrying a camera is exciting, and makes one feel alive.

Going down.

Going down.

Even if it all seems a bit blurry by the end of the night.

Unfocused

Unfocused

It’s said that quality matters over quantity, and my personal portfolio has certainly gone the way of much less quantity as of late. I’ve been doing the vast majority of my work for Face Forward recently (see their photo section for that) and haven’t had much in the way of personal prints or photography. I’m trying to change that, though. I’d like to spend more of my free time out and about with my camera when life permits, so I think I’ll try to do that more. I went to Vancouver last summer and got some pretty good photos out of the trip, though most of the photos that I kept were those taken in their vast forestry. No street photography. That felt strange.

Fog I

While I have noticed that the things that capture my interest enough for me to take a photo have changed throughout the years, I feel as though the original intent of photography for me has remained constant: photography is my tool for relaxation and my preferred method of expression of emotions, whether they be happy, sad, inquisitive, or anything else, I express these emotions best through imagery. Subject matter can vary but all the same messages are there, for me at least. I think that because of this constant that I’m satisfied with taking my time with my personal work. I get much more satisfaction and feel more peaceful from putting out something that I care about with the “personal work” label on it than mass producing photo after photo and sharing it with the whole world over and over again. I could speak volumes about each of my personal photographs, each one comes with a story of its own, something that separates it from the other photographs that I take.

Fog II

Stories behind photographs are important, the photo is only half the vision, the other half is what moved the photographer to capture it. I’m not really sure what my goal with this post is, I’m mostly just thinking out loud here, but I had these thoughts on my mind as of late when I looked at how few prints I had created vs the sheer amount of images I’ve captured at shows, festivals, etc. These photos here are the only ones that I have developed in a long time, but I’m attached to them the most. The forest in Vancouver was a place where I could think clearly without hearing the white noise of the city. I spent most of my week there, exploring and taking time to myself.

Fog III

Vancouver Trip_20121221_017

I hope this made sense to at least one person.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. Given my track record it’s clear that I can’t keep a regular blog, I don’t know if I should be attributing this to my laziness to write or to my otherwise busy schedule. Either way, I’ve decided to finally put up some photos I took when I was in Barcelona and surrounding parts of Spain. Before I get into that, though, I’d like to say thank you to the nice folks over at Photojojo for featuring my post on creating solargraphs, I’m glad people are interested in doing them, and that something I wrote was helpful. Usually I’m on the receiving end of the how-to’s so this is quite flattering.

Now onto the good stuff. All photos were taken with a Voigtlander Bessa R3A and a Nokton 40mm f/1.4 lens. Various films were used, mostly Tri-X and Neopan 400 if memory serves. All films were shot at a variety of speeds ranging from ISO 640 to ISO 1600 and developed in Diafine.

Civil Worker's Protest - Barcelona, Spain

Near Plaza Del Sol - Madrid, Spain.

A Wine Bar - Madrid, Spain

Jamon Handlers - Madrid, Spain

Late Night Window Shopping - Collioure, France

A vantage point from behind a shopping cart - Collioure, France

By Candlelight I - Barcelona, Spain

By Candlelight II - Barcelona, Spain

That’s about everything I’ve managed to scan so far, when I have access to a film scanner again I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. This is only a snippet of what I saw and experienced while in Europe, but these are some of my favorite moments from the trip.

Hope everyone had a happy holidays and will have a terrific New Year.

Walking back to work from lunchIt’s amazing what you can find on rolls of shot film that you’ve left lying around and forgotten about, if you do that sort of thing from time to time. My developer recently starting changing color from a nice crystal clear to an ugly, deep yellow. I needed to test out my developer before using it any more, especially since I had four rolls I wanted to go through in one day. I rummaged through to see if I had any old film lying around, I found an old roll of Ilford Delta 400 that I shot about a year ago and never got around to developing, I completely forgot what was on the roll. Since I had no clue what was on it I thought it would work out nicely for a test roll. I process the roll and find this gem on it, a one year old frame processed with year and a half old chemistry, sometimes I love my luck :)

This is the second of two posts that will attempt to summarize my work from the past year that I can show, aka my freelance work. This set is all photojournalism from a show called Face Forward: Humanity Through Art. I became the staff photographer for this organization, which is working to raise $11,000 to build a school in India. More info can be found at the following links:

Anyway, on to the photos! This first set is from the model call for Face Forward, the process in which the designers decided which people would be modeling their clothes, etc.

Waiting for their turn, the potential models stood outside the main room and made chit chat, or watched the people ahead of them give it what they’ve got on the mock runway.

The potential models giving their information to the designers so they can find out if they made the cut.

The “model” look, seeing this was pretty common during the model call.

Posing, posing, and more posing. You could tell that some people had modeled before when they had their turn.

More behind the scenes with the potentials.

The final photo from the model call that I will show here, next up are photos from the show itself. The show happened at First Avenue, the perfect venue for such an event. The event featured musicians, the models from above, spoken word artists, and dance companies.

Several of the models were used a few times for different outfits, and a few times the designer walked out with the models, as in the last photo (rightmost in the photo). Once the fashion show was over, it was on to spoken word, music and dance.

That about sums it up for the second update, hopefully I didn’t bombard too many people with a ton of photos, and again, this is old news to some, but I thought I’d update this end of the numerous amount of pages that I maintain, so those of you who only see this end, hope you enjoyed it!

It’s a been a long time since I’ve written here, and I apologize for that. College and work tend to take over my life when they’re in full swing leaving no time for me to write about recent shoots. As a result, I’ll try to sum up a year’s worth of work, hopefully it won’t end up being too long. Most of my work in the past year has dealt with studio shoots, on location shooting and photojournalism, so it’s all been entirely digital due to the work being for somebody else more than for myself. I’ll start with the studio work. Over the winter I did several studio shoots for people with various needs such as portfolios and applications, I used the same studio I had for the Lights, Camera, Interaction! post a while back. Some of these photos might be old news to some, especially those who follow my facebook, but nevertheless a few stragglers haven’t checked on everything I have there ;) Due to me having a lot of photos to add, this is gonna be the first part of a two part series, so the posts aren’t so long.

Studio Shoot 1

This was before we actually drove over to the studio, we did some on location shooting. This is my favorite photo from the on location set.

The photos were for an application to NYU for dance, so I thought we should incorporate some dance elements into the photos, such as this one.

Fun with mirrors, surprisingly a lot more fun than I had thought was possible in a studio.

More dance theme like photos, I couldn’t get over the staring at the shoe photos. I think I have more of these than any other type of photo from this shoot.

Sitting on a stool, pondering life I think. Lots of pondering goes on during studio shoots, with the looking away and all. Oh, and if you’re wondering, she ended up getting into NYU in the end, glad that I contributed to that outcome :)

This shoot was also for a portfolio, a modeling portfolio if I remember right. I had a lot of fun with this one, she was a great person to work with, and since the shoot we’ve become better friends.

I wonder what she’s looking at over there, seems mildly amusing…hmm

I had a fun light setup for this series of shots, black umbrella with a 300w continuous light camera left and slightly behind me. I liked the results for that setup a lot, some of my favorite shots came from this series.

Same light setup as the shot before it, the umbrella was working really well for these.

This was for an album/acting/modeling portfolio, wish I had a ringflash for this one, but alas my equipment is limited. Hopefully soon I’ll be incorporating a ringflash into similar shoots.

Rockin’ the fedora, probably my favorite shot from the entire shoot.

More fedora action, still love it.

Playing around with clothing ideas, a lot of that happened during this shoot.

More shooting for an application, another dance application I believe. Again, I tried to get some “safe” shots and then went for some more creative ones.

I love the shadows here, they make a nice mysterious look.

A conventional “safe” photo for application use, you never know what’s acceptable and what’s not when it comes to applications to artistic institutions. Finding the borders between being the same and standing out, or just being too outlandish takes some practice.

Similar to the shot above, but with a black backdrop.

That’s it for this portion of updates, the next section will feature all photojournalism, get ready!

After over a month long hiatus on scanning, I decided it was time that I got down to business. I scanned in most of the images that I liked from my Seattle trip, but i’ve got more on the way, which will be in another posting here when I get around to doing that.

Seattle was an excellent week long adventure full of shooting, and with my then new voigtlander bessa r3a and nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC, no less. I shot with mostly Neopan 400, Tri-X and Fujicolor Pro 400H (NPH 400 for those of you who remember that). The 400H performed nicely, it’s an excellent substitute to Kodak’s PortraVC, which is only sold in packs of 5 now if you don’t order online, which was why I went with the fuji. I only wanted a few color rolls, not an entire box. I had concerns about this film simply because I didn’t know it’s capabilities, but it performed like a champ. Neopan 400 was also relatively new for me at the time, I’d only been shooting it for a few weeks beforehand, but I was pleased with the initial results. the SC lens combined with a film that’s already claimed to scan nicely definitely didn’t dissappoint in that area.

On to the actual visit. I spent a lot of my rolls on Pike’s Place Market alone, it’s hard not to over there. The market itself takes up a vast space and sells a huge variety of things from food to handmade leather goods, to magician’s supplies. Figuring out how to capture the spirit of this place when walking around takes some work, despite the endless photo opportunities.

One particularly popular area of the market was a certain booth that sold a variety of seafood. These guys loved to entertain, they would toss fish around from place to place, and were just very energetic people in general.

EDIT: A reader kindly reminded me about this fact, none of the people working in the booths are the actual farmers of the food, but simply resellers. It’s a sad fact that it’s rare to catch a glimpse of the actual makers of the products, but the place is still very photogenic.

Fish Tossing Booth, while on duy. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Fish Tossing Booth, while on duty. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

I managed to catch them during some downtime, which seemed like their relaxation period. No presentations going on, no tossing of fish, no nothing. Just a moment of silence for the booth that seemed to show a side of the workers that one normally wouldn’t see. Don’t let the quiet side fool you, however. These guys are just as energetic off duty as they are on duty.

Fish tossers while off duty. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Fish tossers while off duty. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

While the booth was at full capacity again, I walked around back to avoid the crowds, and saw a few of them who were off duty, they were just as vibrant and charismatic in the back as they would’ve been up front. Talk about seeing immediate duality in the same place from one image to another.

There are a lot of people with cameras at Pike’s Place, and I mean a lot. It seemed like one in three people was armed with a DSLR and a huge lens, being out there with my Bessa made me feel different from the pack. In fact, only one person even recognized my camera as a rangefinder, and could even name what kind it was. She works in one of the fruits and veggies booths, and knows her stuff on film cameras.

Camera Girl. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

Camera Girl. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

She’s the one on the left in the above image, and saw me moments after I took this photo of her and her coworker. She asked me how I liked the Bessa and the lens I was using. From there we started talking rangefinders a bit, she told me about how her boyfriend is a Leica fiend, hunts for all the best deals on Leica gear. Another woman then joined in on our conversation.

Camera Talk. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

Camera Talk. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

She had a light leak problem and wanted to know what she could do about it. The woman at the booth suggested that she bring it in and she could have a look at it and fix it for her, I thought that was nice of her to do. Two complete strangers, and they’re completely trustworthy of each other. Forget Minnesota Nice, Seattle Nice dominates over that here, no doubt about it.

The other goods that the market sells are equally interesting to visit, the handmade leather booth especially. I spent some time looking at belts and whatnot, and just doing the usual looking around.

Between the Bags. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

Between the Bags. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

The bags were a nice touch, asking to be used in a photo. I didn’t hear what these two were talking about, though. Mystery conversation, mystery people. I went back to looking around at the goods at the booth. Several days later I came back with my color film and reshot the person at the booth actually working on a belt.

Belt Maker. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Belt Maker. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Other non-food booths also offered some interesting moments, just watching people picking out stuff, trying things on, etc is an interesting process. You kind of see yourself doing the same thing, so they’re like a mirror image of you.

Look at Me. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

Look at Me. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

This woman as looking at some jewelry, and my actual intent wasn’t to take a photo of her. I was framing the overall scene, but then she turned in my direction and I decided that was a better shot. I love street photography for that reason, you never know what’s gonna happen. Also, being able to see it constantly thanks to lack of finder blackout while shooting is even nicer.

Kids were present in the booths also, just doing their own thing. A lot of them were playing with the actual merchandise or just making funny faces at passersby.

Child at the market. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Child at the market. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

This one was tearing up some paper, and enjoying it. He took to that paper with a vengeance, I guess he must have gotten a cut from it. This was near the same booth as the woman above, I think just one booth down, actually.

All of the non-food items being sold are fun to see, some of those things you can’t buy in the usual places. Antique shops, maybe, but not anywhere else. There were some Asian style clothing areas to buy things like kimonos and other types of clothes as well as shoes. Antique stores dominated the lower level of the place, especially the memorabilia stores. Those are always a big hit, people like collecting old things. Says the guy with the film camera and record player.

Checking the Signs. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Checking the Signs. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Just outside one of the memorabilia shops, this one happened to be selling old signs. Signs with things like old advertisements on them, signs from old boxes that had fruit in them that had the logo of the fruit company, road signs, etc. Something somebody might put up on their wall or add to their old stuff collection. I don’t know. I can’t spend more than 20 minutes in those places before I feel like I’m looking at the same thing over and over again. Some people though, they can spend forever in those places. I just move on, like I said I can’t stay in those places for a long time.

What’s a trip to Pike’s Place without visiting the very original Starbucks? Not much lost, actually, at least in my opinion. Sure, the place looks nice but the building is ridiculously crowded, maybe I should’ve visited when people weren’t as present to appreciate it more, but in the middle of the day, man it’s not worth waiting around that place for coffee.

Deep Purple. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Deep Purple. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

The entrance looked like this almost the entire time, I wish I could says sans photographer in the way but there was always someone there, right in the doorway, with a camera. I decided to keep my distance, mostly to avoid being trampled though. This woman’s purple shirt (or whatever you would call it) stood out. A lot. In a sea of greens purple tends to do that, especially when it’s right in front of you.

The Starbucks had some musicians playing nearby, pretty common sight around Pike’s Place, they’re everywhere. They’re playing all kinds of music, from traditional to jazz, there was plenty to be heard as well as seen.

Musician. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Musician. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

This one was sitting right by the popular fish tossing booth, doing his thing. The woman in the background is completely unnecessary, I wish I would’ve known she was coming, I guess I should work on my seeing-through-pillar abilities.

Back to foodstuffs, the fruits and veggies booth looked amazing, I had to go back and reshoot them in color. It didn’t seem right to leave it at black and white, which was my reasoning for using color film in the first place for Pike’s Place.

Local Color. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Local Color. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Fujicolor Pro 400H

Immediately outside of the market there are some noteworthy places I found as well. There was a tea shop in which you could taste as many different varieties and blends as you wanted. The woman there just kept serving until you said you had enough. It’s a nice little shop, a great break from the hustle and bustle of the market.

Tea Sampling. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

Tea Sampling. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

She was in the middle of getting a blueberry and herb mix together, while telling me something about it’s subtle qualities. She really knows her tea, and knows how to sell it. I almost ended up buying a bag of leaves for myself but decided not to, I had a lot to do that day.

I found a few more places near the market where I visited, one of them even had a tiny arcade/entertainment area complete with a merry-go-round. I stood in there for a while, got bored and took this:

Self-Portrait. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

Self-Portrait. Voigtlander Bessa R3A + Nokton 40mm f/1.4 SC + Neopan 400 EI 640 + Diafine

I’m in there somewhere.

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