Tag Archives: analog

looking back at my 20’s in polaroids part 2

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| currently listening to: Black History Month, Death From Above 1979, You’re a Woman I’m a Machine, 2004 | LINK

the photography:
so polaroid is making a come back huh? awesome. as some of you may know, i collect antique cameras and i own a 4×5 portrait camera. maybe it’s time to spend some more money and make some new memories for my 30’s so teddy can see what kind of household he was born into. my guess is that he’s gonna be pretty non-plussed about how chill we have become. let’s replace the keg tossing contests and bad shiny green short sleeved shirt for a hoodie and a glass of bourbon on the back porch all while sporting a baby bjorn cuddling mister you-know-who. life moves pretty quick sometimes…

more polaroids, more memories. as i look through these it’s hard to not be overcome with my own emotions. jon gilmour, my old roommate, is pictured in many of these. jon (or J-Boy as his father called him or Gilly Gally as some of us were known to utter) passed away 4 years ago. you should check out jongilmour.org if you get a chance. jon was one of those one-in-a-million personalities. and i don’t use that phrase lightly. it still stings to know that i will never run into him at my college reunion or see him at some random zoo with Teddy. i will never be able to say, “hey Tedkins, you see that man over there? the one with the gibbon wrapped around his body? that’s my friend john. we’ve been friends for ages. he’s in a video game, how cool is that”. that sorta shit hits hard.

but that’s the thing about memories and (what i will now mis-name) historical images; you will always have you positive and negative. holy crap, is that some cat’s ass? how did that get in here?

again, the images above are full of people i know, people i knew, and silly things. including one cat’s ass. sorry about that. i hope i burned that green lamé shirt… enjoy.

the music:
death from above 1979 came and went. like a ship in the night, if you blinked, you missed them. if you ever saw them live, you never forgot. is that drummer not wearing a shirt? is it only two of them? is that dude gonna play bass AND keyboards? that drummer is singing? there’s only TWO OF THEM? where is all that sound coming from?

one of my favorite live music photographs happened when i was watching DFA 1979, it is on my website located here. click on the third thumbnail from the left, second one down. that’s right, i’m gonna make you work for it.

drums and bass and amplifiers. dirty distortion. love it.

i turned my camera on itself

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| currently listening to: The Sword in the Stone, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead , 2003, | LINK

the photography:
every 10 months or so, i take a break from photographing whatever it is that i’m currently enamored with (these days it’s mostly people, traveling, and quick road trips outside the house) and bring myself back to photographing old cameras in the macro. i know i know, it sounds weird but i really enjoy taking photographs of cameras. i think my love of the of mid 20th century camera construction (specifically craftsmanship and materials) draws me back to my antique camera collection. it’s a little fetish-y but hey! i’m not hurting anyone. plus it gives me a reason to take the older cameras off the shelf and give them a good dusting.

i created a little seamless studio floor and backdrop with some white printer paper and a manilla folder (for some structural balance) while natural light poured in through the tv room window. it’s amazing how easy and inexpensive it is to create professional studio environment when you don’t feel like going to the studio! the camera i chose to photograph is an old minolta 16mm stainless steel contraption. it’s tiny and i have a couple of them (this one is the larger of the two as i have an 8mm slightly smaller version). i like to think that if i was a spy, i would carry one of these everywhere. this particular camera was purchased at a farmers market/swap meet/flea market in the town square in healdsburg, ca in the spring of 2005. pretty awesome. it’s classy yet fashionable, small but heavy.

to make things even more exciting (i.e. to work on my photo chops), i used a Canon 12 extension tube with my 24mm-70mm to achieve some serious depth of field, some seriously close focusing, and some serious camera shake! when you are this up-close with this tiny amount of depth of field, any little camera movement will cause severe blur. it takes patience. i rarely have any. but when the mood grips me, i like screwing around with my gear. you all should try it. i also set up a funky little tripod made out of a tabletop microphone stand and a foldable strobe/umbrella head. i own a couple of tripods but none that is only 7″ tall. and man, stainless steel looks really good in black and white.

the music:
ted leo. every time i hear this song, i think back to 2003 when i sat on the side of the stage at a Middle East Downstairs (in glorious Cambridge, MASS!!!) ted leo show next to my friend the hahn. after playing this song solo (you better walk around, ’cause no one’s gonna drive you…), ted busted into a solo version of the pogues classic, dirty old town. hahn and i looked at each other and went (simultaneously) “POGUES!”. it was a great show indeed. i love me some ted leo.

four by five

| currently listening to: Move On Up, Curtis Mayfield, Curtis, 1970 | LINK

the photography:
lugging around a 10 pound camera can really add some wear and tear to your joints. i have no idea how the founding fathers of modern photography pushed and pulled their gear up steep mountains and though raging rivers. i just know that every now and again, i bust out the old standard sinar 4×5 and the tripod that i bought to hold it. it’s a great camera and with a little bit of patience and love, comes great photographs from it. here are some test shots i took with a polaroid back attached to it. even without the bonus of taut film, the polaroids come in nice and crisp when scanned. i love the chemical stains and the untrimmed edges. and nothing beats a nice clean large negative. nothing.

if this camera were a little lighter and film and processing costs were a little cheaper, this camera would get used every day.

the music:
there is nothing better in the world than curtis mayfield. one of the great guitarists of all time. unbeknownst to many, curtis honed the modern sound of funk guitar. he was a legend on many fronts. i love his music.

rainy day, post one more

| currently listening to: You’re lucky to be alive, Braid, Movie Music, Vol. 1, 2000 | LINK

since it’s raining out (incredible downpour is a better description) and i am sitting around the house, i figure another post is probably in order. next week i promise to get into photos involving human subjects but until then, here are some photos from a series that i’ve worked on through the years involving the use of analog viewfinder cameras as seen through digital devices. the photos were taken at my old art space in cicero where we held concerts for friends and made art. unfortunately, both the minolta camera and the fort no longer exist. no superimposing was done to these images. it’s just the viewfinder.