Sunday, October 30, 2005

Rangefinder Power!

Nikon D50
Nikkor f/3.5-5.6 18-55mm DX
Picture of an Agfa Karat IV.

The strangest things happen at the strangest times.
My mother died a month ago -- today, this camera surfaced. I guess she kept it in the room where my server is for seventeen years, and I never managed to notice it at all. So while I went and bought a Soviet rangefinder on eBay (it's still not here,) this thing, a German rangefinder from the 50s, was sitting right under my nose.

Funny how that works. I'll run a roll of film through it, have it processed, and show off the results.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Communism + Capitalism = New old things!

The Zorki 6 should be here soon. If it's not, I'm going to be a little agitated. I'm rather excited to see how pictures off of that thing turn out.

Until then, I found my old Canon Sure Shot. Aside from having a really, ridiculously, irritatingly LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS motor winder, it's a solid little camera. I'll get the film in it developed by some talentless kid at Superstore or something, and scan it to stick some of it up here. It should be fun, just some random, haphazard snapshots.

Needs more rangefinder.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Requests and a general battle plan

Street Photography Adventure
I'm looking for someone to go on a voyeuristic street photography adventure with. Voyeuristic, that is, in the sense that I'd be trying to capture insight into the lives of my (unwitting) subjects without them noticing. While this is perfectly fun by oneself, anything is, by nature, more fun in groups! Furthermore, it's even more awesome if you can be sneaky with more than one photography.

(Admittedly, any of you with digital compacts are at an advantage here. You look much less conspicuous. This will be much more fun when I can bust out the rangefinder.)

Likely, this will be on a Saturday, or Sunday before 5:00. Some of my favorite venues for this are in around Olympic Plaza, all along 8th Avenue (Wonderful mostly because of its combination of its vibrant life and grandiose scenery) and stalking the commercial areas and +15s around TD Square and such. Anywhere else my partner(s) in crime have in mind is perfectly welcome, too.

Consider it photojournalism without the activism. Capturing everyday life of the majority, rather than the minority. The tribulations of middle-class life don't get anywhere near enough attention -- Someone says something that's ridiculous. You repeat it to them in a blunt fashion. Suddenly, it seems as ridiculous to them as it does to you, when you put it that way. This is sort of what photography is good for.

When you're talking on a cell phone, wearing a $200 suit, walking around in a maze of highly-priced retail stores, talking about how one of your colleagues is really sharp and good at convincing necessary partners to sign deals like it's the most important thing a person could ever do, it all seems pretty normal, having been subjected to it every day of your life for fifteen years.

Take a picture of that moment, where your entire existence, all your feelings and emotions, seem to be made and broken by little plastic gizmos and numbers on paper. Suddenly, does it really seem quite so important, or does it look a little silly?

Take that picture of yourself smiling with your phone to your ear, smiling because cutting 2,000 jobs just bumped your profit margin by cutting costs and maximizing efficiency. Compare it to a picture of a girl smiling with her arms wrapped around the boy of her dreams, looking rather pleased himself. Same emotion, isn't it? Everyone's happy.

Which one seems more real?

I'm out to capture raw, human feeling and emotion bleeding through something totally artificial and meaningless. Who wants to come with me?

Other requests
Other than my crazy tendencies above, I'm looking for some models for a couple different shoots.

Firstly, someone with dark hair and a wardrobe full of contrast, for a shoot involving lots of vibrant color and texture -- in everything but the model. People with terrible complexions, pasty skin, or awful sunburns need not be deterred, because none of this color and vitality will be in the model, in the end. Part of a photomanipulation project. Female preferred, pretty boys also welcome. No overt preference for shape or size.

Secondly, almost the opposite of that. I need someone long and thin with fair features to play the light side of polar opposites. This may or may not involve shots with the other model involved -- not necessary, and I won't be crushed if scheduling or timing won't allow it, but the end result will be neat if it does happen. Male or female. (Male almost preferred, given the other model is female.)

Next, I need zombies! More accurately, people who want to be zombies for a day. Nothing too bloody or too messy -- if you've seen Night of the Living Dead, you know what I'm talking about. This will likely be shot in black and white with the rangefinder, so again, color isn't particularly important. However, if being the walking, reanimated dead (obviously as a result of radiation from a Venus probe bouncing back to earth) appeals to you, send me an e-mail!

(A second shoot for this set may involve being made up all corpse rot-like, a la Dawn of the Dead (the original) and walking around a mall. Mall zombies, anyone?)

Large groups for the last two (as well as the street photography adventure) work best.

Mail me!
Calgary and Area. TFP, most likely.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

A colorful cast of characters

Nikon D50
Nikkor f/4-5.6 70-300mm G (70mm)

This man, according to his story, will soon be the Prime Minister of Canada. He's respecting the court, but win or lose that trial, which he's been in and out of for the past months, he'll be back. You can find him in the underpass on 5th Street (That's Freedom Street, to you) after December 30th.
Fortunately for me, he posed long enough for me to take this picture.

Nikon D50
Nikkor f/4-5.6 70-300mm G (300mm)
This girl was putting up posters on 17th Avenue when I found her. My camera's battery was nearly dead, and I only had a few shots left (with the incredibly taxing motor for AF on the 70-300G) but I figured she was worth a shot. Unfortunately, she hid behind a billboard while I was getting my lenscap off, and so I had to hunt her down and take the picture from behind, about fifty feet away.
(She was putting up posters for the Beija Flor show, too. Pretty, AND tasteful!)
Needless to say, I went out and bought the Nikkor 70-300mm G today. This morning, in fact, at an ungodly hour. I was just too excited. It was a tough choice between the 70-300 and the 55-200 DX, but the extra 100mm of range won out. It's not quite as sharp as the DX, but you really have to be looking to see any difference. I'm quite satisfied with it, on the whole.
So I killed the day downtown taking pictures. From TD Square, to Banker's Hall, to Devonian Gardens, and back again, then all down 8th Avenue, then back up to 17th, where my photo adventure ended.
Some of them are even pretty angsty!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Some starting points.

October 2nd, 2005. Pagoda Light and Pond.
Nikon D50

Nikkor f3.5/f5.6 18-55mm DX

Obviously, this blog is an (incomplete) collection of my photography -- most likely anything that feels relevant (or just pretty) at the time. I'm only human.
Maybe you judged by the Blog title itself, but there's an awful lot of angst conveyed in some of my photography, as well as my writing in general. I suffer from a disease called opinionation, and it makes me unapproachable, bitter, cynical, and kind of grumpy. However, since you're reading this, on the internet, and haven't responded with 'lolol rofl ur gay,' I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you can appreciate that.

In regards to things I actually enjoy and care about, I'm going to start listing the equipment that I use on a regular basis. Since I'm in the middle of purchasing a lot of it, some of the equipment listed may actually still be in transit, but this is all the primary base of gear that my work will be done with.

Nikon D50 (Digital, SLR, 6.1mp)
Zorki 6 (Film, Rangefinder. Soviet Leica II/III copy)

Nikkor f/3.5-5.6 18-55mm DX (SLR, zoom)
Nikkor f/4-5.6 70-300mm G (SLR, no aperture ring)
Industar-50 f/3.5 50mm (Rangefinder, M39 mount. Soviet)

In retrospect...

...publishing a blog will likely be the least productive contribution to society I have ever made.

With any luck, it should be more entertaining than Network Television.

I like to set my goals reasonably.