Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I steal souls!

There exists that story where primitive tribes in the vast Amazonian jungles feared cameras because they could steal your soul.

Funny thing is, if you think about it, they kind of do. A photograph of you, right this very instant, will never exist again. The same moment, your age down to the second will change a blink later. Nothing will ever be that moment again.

Each day we are on this spinning rock is another moment in which we live in a world that is all our own. I won't get super existential-ly about it, but my soul, in this moment is in a perpetual state of change. I will be a different me in a few minutes or even seconds from now. Time does not stop nor will my personal growth or aging.

A photograph of a person will forever record or steal that moment from the wastes of our inability to remember everything, ever. A photograph is a stolen moment of time of our soul in a specific state.

I try to capture as many moments as possible. My kids, friends, family, loved ones, and strangers all grace my library of film negatives and digital files. I've stolen many moments and they will always be mine.

I was thinking of music today and singing in my car when I remembered an old friend who had since passed on. My soul is nothing like it was back in those days and I realized I captured a moment in a somewhat tortured man's life where he was happy. Surrounded by music he created in a moment that will never exist again. A moment I can never share with him again. I played one song with him and another friend during a performance only once. It did not seem like a pivotal moment in time, but looking back, it was a huge moment for us all to play together.

I will never forget that music and the few images I have of him will never forget his soul.

R.I.P. Rant

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finding paths again.

Hey all.

Yeah, it's been a fairly epic amount of time since I last logged in here and posted something. I've been neglecting my desktop computer for the convenience of my laptop / iPhone (devil machine) and found my internet bookmarks leading me here again.

I've still been taking photographs, but more of my kids and family outings. There is little time for creative photography when you have two little babies at home. More or less, I've been bogged down with work and trying to maintain a home. Both of which have proven to be quite a challenge all in their own. My cameras are crying quietly to themselves in their bags, I just know it.

The kids are growing and I took the last semester off to see Bennett in his first months after birth. Education time frame or not, I'm not going to be absent for that. River has become quite a character and much more than I ever knew I could appreciate or love. Being a dad has given me so much perspective on life that I would surely never trade it for anything.

My career goals have shifted dramatically from premed down to nursing. It is a much more manageable career choice and if I want to change specialties, I don't need to do another residency. I'd much rather be the doer than the decider given my love of getting my hands dirty in emergency medicine. Luckily, I've found a career choice I enjoy and love working's only a matter of buckling down and finding my place.

I've also expanded my skill set to include basic survival training and firearms. I wouldn't call it an obsession, but more of a supplement to my daily living and awareness.

I would be negligent not to post anything here, so let me see what I have lurking on my hard drive...(these are all 35mm film scans, no post-processing, so beware the RAW IMAGES! har har)

The walkway at Seal Beach or Children's something-or-other in La Jolla, CA. I couldn't even begin to remember the date. Mid 2000 something-ish.

Up near Julian, CA there is the Warlock's all burned and collapsed from recent (then) fires, but there are some standing structures.

A light fixture from Balboa Park in San Diego, CA. I liked how the texture of the wall is visible in the negative.

My first day street shooting in downtown San Diego, CA some years ago. I wish I had remembered his story and why he was so eager to have his picture taken, but it all escapes me now.

The remnants of a house from the San Diego County fires back in 2005 I want to say. The ironic part is that the developing can busted and a light leak burned the film negative as well.

Messing around with some expired Fuji Velvia 50 film on the beach.

My old friend Charlotte at the Conservatory in Balboa Park.

The pool in Balboa Park. There was a guy playing the saxophone to the left in the shaded area outside of the frame.

This is Suzanne and her old quartet before life happened. If you know anything about photography, let me explain why I'm proud of the image (besides the obvious conent). It is Kodak TMax 3200 film that was pushed to 6400 in VERY LOW light conditions. The lens was an old Canon FD 50mm f1.4 that was wide open. The exposure was somewhere in the second to 1/2 second area and it was taken hand-held. The fact that I even got an image is a miracle unto itself...the only arena I failed in was getting it in focus, but manual focus in almost no light would be asking for two miracles.

Anyways, that's all for now. I have another year of digital images to sort through along with almost 750 negatives to page through. Flickr had a very SMALL update recently, so head on over there. I'll try to be make this a weekly thing. Try.

Shut up, Yoda.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Coffee did this...

Sorry, I'll do a double post tonight just to clear out some of the photographs I've been wanting to share with ya'll.

I inherited my Dad's Canon T70 35mm camera many years ago and decided to take it with me on a visit to Lake Mead with my Mom when I visited a few years ago. I took the following shot on black and white film having NO IDEA the shot would turn out like it did.

When I reviewed the negatives, I felt this image had an ethereal quality about it. As if the fish were just hanging in full suspension, waiting to tell you which way the rabbit with the pocket watch went. It was images like this that made me go nuts about photography. The awesome part about burning film was the absolute surprise when seeing something like this.

This was taken a little while back as well. The cat, recently passed, was named Faith by my old friend and lesbotronic associate Cameo. Faith was an adorable kitten and grew up into a well adjusted cat, surprisingly. Like any photographer at home, pictures of pets and children fill the drives and I am not immune...especially having a daughter gallivanting throughout the home.

It took a lot of patience to shoot film. Since I switched to a digital format a few years ago, I find my patience has been dwindling and my desire to shoot film falling down that same path. I wish time allowed me to continue, but all I can hope is to keep my skills fresh until retirement and then I can finally build that stellar dark room and get to printing. I enjoy working with my hands to the point where I could throw Photoshop into a trashcan and get to cracking on an enlarger without feeling bad about spending a CRAP TON on software. Lucky for me, I don't know how to use Photoshop, so it makes my eye a little more discerning when I decide to shoot.

I feel I'm tooting again, time to stop for tonight. More later.


It's been a year and then some!

Hey all.

I know I've taken quite a break from all of this, but I figured I should step back under the hood and make something of this.

A while back, Suzanne, River and I traveled to Bonnie Springs where they had a petting zoo chock full of all kinds of animals. One of my favorite shots from the trip was this:

This picture may seem like no extraordinary feat but let me explain how it was captured.

I was using my new Olympus E-P1 which had a Canon FD 50mm F1.4 manual focus lens mounted via an adapter. There is no viewfinder, just a large LCD screen. I hate to toot my own horn (especially being a former trumpet player) but damn this was a tough shot to pull off. Not only was the peacock moving towards me, I was manually trying to get a solid focus on that eye. I managed to make a decisive click and captured the above image.

I was impressed with the image, and I generally break my work down into major criticisms of myself, but none came with this one. I did not fire off a ton of shots either, it was more or less steady aim and a solid shot. Keep in mind, the aperture was wide open which only gave me about six inches or less of depth of field to work with.

One of the things I pride the most with my years as a film burner was the quick hand I developed while focusing a lens. The quick hands also translated well into my medical work. It's one of those things were you're working on an acute patient and your hands just "do". Some of you may know what I mean.

Anyways, TOOT TOOT TOOT. That's all I have to say for this. More to come later.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Problem with Skill...

Over the years I've shot mostly on film. Lots and lots and lots of rolls of film. I loved the art and the skill of being able to take a metal clunker from the 60s or 50s and make a well composed negative. I loved being able to take that film, go into a completely dark room and chemically transform those dreamed images into something tangible. Now, the digital age has come and reduced the art of film photography to nothing more than an antiquated technique for the "less advanced". It seems the film photographers who were the norm a decade and a half ago have now become a severe minority. History seems to repeat itself...

Way back, during the birth of Photography, skilled artists used glass plates and silver to burn an image. It was considered a unique and coveted skill. Then the advancement of mass-produced consumer cameras arrived and everyone was able to take photos, thus making the Photographer a mere option rather than a necessity. Now anyone with a digital point & shoot and basic Photoshop skills can create an image comparable to a skilled photographer. It's more or less insulting to someone who has poured so much into every press of that shutter and every drop of that developer.

I guess that is the social commentary for today's generations. Quick, fast results. No one wants to waste time doing something perceived as a "chore" when they can download, edit and publish something in an hour or less. The birth of fiber optic cables, lightning fast computers and the "customer is always right" mentality gives consumers the idea that everything is IMMEDIATE and THEIR WAY OR ELSE. Anyone who works in customer service knows this harsh fact.

Technology is a marvel and crutch at the same time. Remember how helpless you felt the last time the power went out? Or when the internet was down? Technology is certainly taken for granted, and like the monkeysphere most things are out-of-sight, out-of-mind.

Anyways, I've now purchased a digital camera (Olympus E-P1) that, at least, doesn't remind me of a plastic brick. It's all metal, just like my film-burning babies and it's modified to carry the lenses from 40 or so years ago. I'm excited by the new adventure, but I still have like 50 or so rolls of film I need to burn through. Maybe once I move to a city that doesn't suck as hard as Las Vegas does, I will be able to use it all up.

Until then, I guess we'll see what I can find.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This Gent!

This guy I haven't seen around lately. I took this picture well over a year ago at Balboa Park in the street on the way to the big fountain.

He was playing a classic rock tune and he wasn't just strumming all the strings with his left foot...he was actually picking stings. I'd be lucky if I can even pick up a pen off the floor with my feet.

I took a couple of shots and then looked away from the viewfinder to see everyone looking at me in some sort of expectation or something. I didn't have ANY cash on me and neither did Charlotte (who was with me, obviously). I felt like such an ass taking advantage of him for a shot and not paying the customary couple of dollars for giving me that moment.

Needless to say, I carry a bunch of singles with me when I shoot these days.

Shot with a Canon T70 and I *think* my old 70-210mm f3.5 on Kodak BW400 CN.


Like I was saying...

BW Chris0099, originally uploaded by humanparallax.

Here's a sample if you're too lazy to head over to my flickr to see those indoor shots.

The only lighting I had to work with were three lights over the kitchen island. I don't ever use flash because it don't like the effect it has on skin and other subject matter. The only thing that saved me was cranking my ISO up to 800 and shooting wide open on the 50mm f1.4 lens.

Luckily they turned out. All good photographers know that there is only one thing they can rely on during a shoot...luck.


My First Wedding!

BW Chris0049, originally uploaded by humanparallax.

I shot my first wedding a few weeks ago. It was a neat experience to say the least. I learned a lot of the challenges and hurdles a wedding photographer has to go through.

Being a "film burner" that I am, I had two cameras strapped to my chest the whole time with my camera bag at my side. It was a nice nostalgic moment to feel the rush of trying to capture all the right moments on one camera with B&W and then the other with color film.

I'm pretty sure I burned about 5 or 6 rolls that day. It felt good to do some work that wasn't just for me.

Shot with a Canon A-1 and AE-1 using a 50mm f1.4 and a 28mm f2.8 FD. The B&W are Tri-X 400 and the color (not scanned yet) was Kodak Portra (can't remember the speed or saturation rating). The indoor shots were shot on Tri-X 400 at ISO800 but accidentally developed for ISO400. Thank God for that deep latitude otherwise I would have lost a whole roll.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This shot was from my first walk out to the falls with R. The drive to get there was about 15 minutes heading southwest from Julian. From the trailhead it was about 2 miles downhill to get there.

Once you got there it was a beautiful thing to see. Although it was late spring there still was some water flowing. I guess it really gets going late winter. The pool is supposedly 20 feet deep and it is FULL of fish.

The water at this point was pretty stagnant and murky. Once you swam out to the bottom ridge of the falls, you could maneuver over to the tree and grab onto a rope swing that may or may not slam you against a rock wall. R decided not to. I was relieved. I had brought a small medkit and I could only manage one fracture with it. Forget about c-spine.

The hike out is always the harder part of the journey. It's all uphill at about a 25 degree incline for those 2 miles. An excellent workout for those of us not in stellar shape (me).

I'll probably head over there in late winter or after a heavy rainfall to reshoot it.

Shot with a Canon A-1, 28mm f2.8 FD on Kodak Porta 400