Monday, November 30, 2009

Falling behind!

I have so much to do, so many people to reply to...

Less is more.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Much love from Minnesota!


Stephen Haynes.

Monday, November 23, 2009

state of being

Click to see full size.


Lubitel 166 Universal
Tmax 100

1) f18 ~35 sec
2) f4.5 ~1 sec


This was an accidental double exposure - but I love it.

The garden outside of his hospital.

Taken yesterday, developed yesterday.

It may not be instant, but its fast enough for me.


Camera: Lubitel 166 Universal
Film: TMax 100
Developer: Tmax

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Developing! Part II

So...the scanner works... sort of.

I spent over 3 hours figuring out all the bullshit (pardon my french... but, well, I am french. Anyway, I digress) including finding the semi-secret covering over the top light source (hopefully you know what I'm talking about. It's he light source that allows for transparent negatives to be scanned correctly, instead of the light source from the bottom that scans reflective surfaces).

So I get that figured out, but now I need to find the film holder that comes with the scanner. Okay... so I spend 10 minutes looking for that - found it - and guess what? The two squares reserved for, what I can only imagine to be, 120 film is about 2 cm short on all sides. And of course, this is a huge deal - I dont want a third of my film not recorded... not funny. So I end up having to place in manually... not a big deal... except for when I scan it, the width in which it scans is also 2 cm short and, for the life of me, I cannot figure out how to change the settings so that it will scan more area.

So I improvise. But the only solution I can come up with is very time consuming. Oh well, it's a little more invested effort. Not a biggie. It just requires scanning each negative twice and then combining the two in photoshop to include both ends.

There are three computers in this house that I use. The main one is this laptop on which I'm writing. It is a great companion, even after 5 years with a bum fan. Then there's my grandma's desktop that's mind-numbingly slow, but the only computer that has the drivers and software installed for the scanner. And then there's my desktop Mac in my room where I have a copy of photoshop, but no access to internet.

It's been a bit of a run-around today, but man... I'm only slightly (very, very slightly) annoyed compared to the joy of being able to see my film bigger than 6X6 cm and, of course, in negative form.

There will maybe be a couple more to come in the next couple of days.

15 seconds at f4.5

And one of my double exposure experiments:


Camera: Lubitel 166 Universal
Film: TMax 100.
Developer: TMax

TMax was my choice of developer this first go-around because it was in a convenient size, inexpensive, and frankly the NatCam store I went to didn't have many other options that were in my price range (at the moment).


I did it!

Yes indeedy. Last night I developed my first two rolls ever! I also made up my working stop bath and fixer. It went off without a hitch!

I have to say, the satisfaction of developing my own film and then looking at the negatives is remarkable.

I'm in the process of scanning my negatives right now. We'll see if my ancient scanner is up to the task. It says it can do B&W negatives, so there's a very high probability that it will.... but I'm not holding my breath.

I'll post again soon if it works. I know y'all wanna see what I shot. ;)


Billy Monday

Somewhere in Pennsylvania.

It should be noted that there is nothing under me while I was hanging off the hook... except junked machines and lots of jagged, rusted metal scraps about 25 feet below. I think I made Bill, Scott and Lela very, very nervous. But once I get an idea in my head, well... suffice it to say that I'm very stubborn.

Friday, November 20, 2009


So, I never know what to do in these situations... luckily it hasn't happened often. But I always try to do right by the photographer. But... am I taking it too seriously? Or not?

I've been told, or I've heard somewhere, or maybe I've just assumed, that if a photo is posted (a.k.a. used) somewhere without the photographers permission (excluding the model posting it for promotional usage) that it is a violation of copyright infringement.

When I find or am alerted of (via google web alerts) photos of myself posted somewhere I always notify the photographer, and then I try to communicate to the "poster" that they are violating copyright infringement and should always ask permission from the photographer first before using an image in any way.

Now, be aware that I'm playing the devil's advocate here....but am I making too big a fuss about this? Should I confront these "posters" or should I just notify the photographer and leave it up to them to do it? Should I (and/or the photographer) be happy for the "exposure?" Are the posters really doing anything wrong?


Eric Hiss

And lots of graphite.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I've been in buzzing mode for the past week or so. No, I'm not actually buzzing or buzzed. No ingested chemicals have caused this state of mind. So, the word seems a bit arbitrary, but to me it most accurately describes what I'm feeling right now.

I've completely dived into researching various medium format cameras and various kinds of 120 film. Not only because of my interest, but also for the distraction.

The problem is... all I'm coming up with are subjective opinions from others via forums and photo sites. I guess its not really a problem, per se, but when I read oodles and oodles of posts about people arguing over film; Kodak vs Fuji, Ilford vs Agfa, slide vs color neg, and all the debates of specific films (Velvia vs Agfa Ultra, Tmax vs Tri-x, Delta vs HP5+, Superia vs Reala, ___chrome vs ___chrome, the list extends on to infinity... and I haven't even touched debates over developing/developers), I've basically compiled all my research and it chalks up to: You can't really rely on any specific suggestions. Some general ones you can accept - with a grain of salt.

It boils down to that I just gotta get out there and shoot as much film as I can and discover my preferences.

Someone very, very generous is giving me a Lubitel 166+ Universal TLR. It looks so peeerty. But then again, I have an instant attraction to TLRs... for some reason. AND, this camera even has a self-timer!... but its broken and probably can't be fixed easily. But hey, that's okay!

I think I'm stocked up on MF cameras for a while. Now I just need film. And lots of it.

And when I need/want a change, I'll go back to my two lovely 35mm cameras.

I'm really excited to try multiple exposures. In fact, I really want to swap rolls with someone in another city (cough cough Erin) and see what we produce.

I don't just want to take pictures, I want to create pictures. I want each exposure to be a canvas. I want to experiment, and I want to have fun. I want to be inhibited, so before each exposure my camera will slap down a shot. I dont want to take pictures of models, or scenery, or buildings - I want to create pictures of people. Of places. Of things. Sometimes I'm going to want to create pictures of everything and nothing - at the same time. Sometimes I'll let the camera take creation into its own hands, and sometimes I'll force it to do my bidding. Sometimes I'll be aiming to create something sober, sometimes something drunk. Sometimes realistic, sometimes bizarre. Sometimes I'll ask my camera to lie, sometimes I'll insist it be truthful. Sometimes I'll be neglectful, and sometimes I'll be clingy. Sometimes the camera and I will battle and fight, and sometimes we will sing harmoniously.

We'll have great adventures, my cameras and I.


Christopher Ryan.

Friday, November 13, 2009

size DOES matter

Look at these HUGE prints!

Sylvie is hanging 4 new prints in the Fahey Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. Seems that two of them are from our two sessions together.

The prints are larger than I am! I'm larger than life!


All images Archival Pigment Prints,
43x56 inches
Editions of 10


Seeing these made me really happy today.

That, and I used another reel of 120 (Ilford HP5 400) in the Brownie on my Papa and my two cousins (8 and 5) today.

The frame I'm most excited for was an accident.

We had the pull out bed for my gorgeous and sassy 5 yr old cousin and I had her lay on it. I stood over her in order to try a different perspective and just stood for a while waiting for her to relax. She's been trained by her mother to have the "picture smile" and I hate that!

It looks exactly how it is: FORCED.

So I just started talking to her, and then started combining words that I thought she (or kids in general) would start reacting favorably to... like 'fuzzy-booger-pizza,' for example. To my happiness, she started cracking up, and I flipped the shutter, as I was continuing to egg her on. And then she had a beautiful, spontaneous, head-thrash-laugh off to the left side, and I flipped the shutter again. Immediately afterwards, of course, I thought to myself: "Aw shit. I didn't advance the film. Well..... Hopefully that double exposure turns out well!!"

Oh, and I bought a pink Holga 120GN for reeeal cheap on ebay. I might have bought a Holga GTRL (also pink!) instead, but I had not known of them or seen them before I bought the GN. Plus they were more expensive. Does the GTRL have an advantage over the GN in any way?

Oh my. A pink camera.
A cheap, plastic, bulky, toy film camera. A real eyesore.
No one is ever going to take me seriously with this in front of my head.
Why in the world did I get this thing?

Because this is going to fucking rock my socks, thats why!

Can you tell I'm excited?

It's going to be fun!!!

I've already been researching so many "hacks" for the Holgas. It's going to be fun!!!
Have I mentioned that already?

But soon I need to learn how to develop my own film. And I need to get some hardware and chemicals. And then next I need decent scanner - I'm looking at an Epson 4490. I'm sure it all would pay for itself after a few dozen rolls at NatCam's processing price ($9 developing fee, $5.25 for CD, and $1 per frame) at about $22 for an 8 exposure roll, which really isn't that unreasonable.

Then, the next big thing after that is making prints. How much are those?
Whoa boy. I tend to get too ahead of myself.
I'll cross that bridge when I get there.

But until then, I have my holga oasis:

...sometimes web surfing pays off.

Film, rolls, and price

Okay... so...

National Camera has to send out the film. It takes about a week.

Its $8+change charge for developing and full-res scans on a CD. Plus $1 per frame.

That's about $20 a roll. With no prints.

Can anyone suggest better?

I'd seriously consider developing my own film... but I don't have any of the materials or the "hardware".

If anyone can convince me that setting up a darkroom is not only long-term cost effective, but can be short-term cost effective, I'll highly consider doing it.

Until then, I'm on the lookout for the best "bang for the buck" lab.

Maybe someday I can afford an H3D. hahahaha.... fat chance.


Sylvie Blum.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I guess I was wrong

because I thought you were the only person who would understand.

I hate getting out of bed... especially when the mornings start like this one did.

I hate mornings....even with coffee.

I'm so angry. But it will be temporary. Everything always is.


Chip Willis.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A lovely Brownie

I was going through a lot of old boxes this past weekend and came across a lovely surprise - one of my dad's belongings.
An old Kodak Brownie No. 2.

I have yet to photograph mine, but it looks pretty close to this, with a few slight variations.

I've spent over 2 hours cleaning it, examining it and just fawning over it. It's a beautiful, and I'm quite giddy at the potential that lies within it it.

I've already bought some 120 b&w film on ebay.

- 5 rolls of Ilford Hp5 400
- 5 rolls of Kodak Tmax 400.

Can anyone suggest a great and cheap lab?

Anyway to clean the glass myself?

Any other recommendations or suggestions?

Any way to do self-portraits with it?

I've heard that Ansel Adams' first camera was a brownie.
Just... fyi randomness.

Mmm. More film goodness.

I believe it was taken with a Mamiya, but I have no idea of the film.


Lucian Schmit.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Dimentions of Disclosure

I dont know if I had mentioned this before but, my self-portraiture work is featured in a book called "Dimensions of Disclosure." I'd figure I'd mention it since I just bought it this past week and am awaiting its arrival.

It's a nice feeling, knowing your work is in print. A ...fuzzy, warm sort of feeling.

I have no idea what the print quality is but I will report back once I receive it.

It was for this image:

Time to go hit the sack.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Random Incident that Made My Night

Last night as I got into the car and turned on the stereo to 89.3 the current (my favorite radio station) I caught the tail end of Mark Wheat saying in his lovely british accent " caller number 10 and you'll win these pair of tickets."

I debated whether or not to call, because I had not heard the name of the band that they were giving tickets to, and I know that Mark would ask that if I was caller number 10 (because I had won a pair of tickets a couple weeks prior and he had asked if I knew what band I was getting tickets to), but I decided to anyway. So I call... and it rang through on the first try! Then I heard Mark say, "Thank you, you are caller number 7." And I said, "Okay, thank you." He replied with "Cheers. Have a good night."

Then, two songs later, they played one of my ultimate feel-good songs, "Bruises" by Chairlift.

I couldn't have been happier.

What did I realize from all this happening?

Try, even if you think you might fail. You'll be surprised how far the effort alone will take you. And even if you don't succeed, something marvelous will still happen, even if its not completely clear at that time. You just need to be open, optimistic, and mindful.

Chip posted this just a little while ago. This image captivates me. I can't pinpoint what exactly about it that keeps me entranced, but I think that that fact alone makes me love it even more.


Chip Willis.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hello there...

I've missed you all!

A quick recap of the past few weeks....

...Nothing exciting has happened over on my end, but I prefer it that way...for now. I've been focusing in on personal improvements and advancements, and I'd say that its been going very well.

...I have done quite a few Life Drawing sessions lately, and I'm falling more and more in love with that creative outlet in my life.

...I joined the YMCA yesterday. I'm really looking forward to getting more active and toning up. Today I have a one-on-one fitness consultation... so we'll see how that goes!

...Papa is still in the hospital, and he's very alert and lucid. I'm grateful for every day, every hour, every minute that I can spend with him and hold his hand.

So, until next time!


Sylvie Blum.