Family Gathering 2016

The main event.  A much more joyous occasion than two years ago, we met in Manassas, VA for my cousin’s wedding.  He’s the last cousin to get married, which probably means my brother’s and my days are numbered…

At least we’ll be able to put them through a long plane flight like the ones I’ve had to endure the last few years!

The trial and error continues.  Since last spring I’ve made it a point to shoot and get the hang of Ektar 100…it still hasn’t happened yet.  Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight that skews the color temperature, or the fact that with a manual camera I’m not getting a proper exposure, or that I didn’t perform a whole lot of color correction in post.  Whatever the reason, the unsatisfying results are just one more reason that I’ll shoot keep shooting the consumer-variety films.

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On the festival circuit

First, an updated banner.  As is evident, Overwhelming Majority is having a pretty favorable response so far.

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This sort of continues my Advanced Photo project.  Now the show’s on the road.  Here are a few pictures from Blissfest333 in August and the Southern Colorado Film Festival in October.

I’ve met some pretty cool people, had some good discussions, and seen some interesting films.  Can’t wait to see what’s next.

Washington by moonlight

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned my new job but I drive jeep tours in Colorado Springs.  While we were in Manassas, VA for a wedding, I and a few relatives took the opportunity to go into Washington, DC and get a bus tour of the nation’s capital, by moonlight.  As I was halfway through a roll of T-Max 400 (and not pushing it), I didn’t have too high hopes for these pictures shooting 1/2 and 1 second exposures.  Still, I quite like the ghostly quality of the results…

Just a reminder: don’t be asshole cheapskates like my relatives, tip your tour guides well!

Trash

This one goes back to Fall of last year, I forgot I had it (the roll of film predates this post).  Strangely enough I had a dream last night having to do with industrial waste, parking lots, and photography.  And Kodak.

An assignment for my Intro to Archaeology class, my friend and I studied a small parking lot to determine what information we could glean from what people leave behind them (in the form of trash, mostly), just as archaeologists can only learn about ancient peoples by what is left of them after being buried for millennia.  And I took pictures.

It was a good chance for me to try out a new lens (the Mamiya/Sekor 55mm 1.8), as I had just purchased a Mamiya 1000TL the week before at a thrift store.  I’ll try out the camera itself at a later time, but the lens is wonderfully sharp and I had no problem using it on my Spotmatic body.  I tried for a bit of a minimalist aesthetic, and still life subjects aren’t something with which I have a whole lot of experience.  The Mamiya/Sekor lens could focus quite close to my subjects, which was definitely useful for me.

Among the litter we surveyed, there were 7 straws, 2 cups, 4 pop cans, and 13 scraps of paper, but the most plentiful find was a total of 251 cigarette butts, which leads me to the conclusion that smokers are just assholes.

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Final project – Intermediate Photography

The pursuit of technical perfection can be an ideal to live up to, or an annoyance to avoid. I embraced William Klein’s ethos in my own work, caring not at all about trivialities such as focus, exposure, lighting, sharpness, or grain. Much of the process was simply the act of using a camera that performed the way I needed it to, and for this I chose a cheap consumer travel model that has only two shutter speeds, one of which is a slow 1/40sec, and zone focusing. I shot primarily expired film. There is a great difference in how people in Colorado Springs interact to each other as compared to large cities that William Klein shot in, such as Rome, Tokyo, and New York. I endeavored to find events where people would respect personal space just a bit less than normal, be rowdier, exist more intimately in the space and their interactions with others.

Now on to different projects.  I’m scheduled to take Advanced Photography next semester, and in the interim I’m preparing to make another film.

In memory of the fallen

It’s been hard to write this, I get choked up a lot.  I didn’t actually know Officer Garrett Swasey, but as a member of the UCCS campus community his loss has affected me.  On Black Friday, I was out getting shots at the mall for my final project, and there turned out to be a lot less people there than I would have expected; I have no idea why.  I didn’t find out about the shooting at Planned Parenthood until 4:30 or so that night when I got home.  My roommate works at Panera and drove over to the blockade to serve hot chocolate to the police.  The next day I attended the press conference in Gallogly and the candlelight vigil outside the University Center.  In keeping with my ongoing projects, these pictures are inspired by William Klein.

I didn’t attend the actual funeral last Friday, but was on campus for the motorcade’s drive-by on Austin Bluffs Pkwy, just me, a few friends, and half the university.  In typical Colorado fashion, the motorcade was behind schedule by about an hour and a half, but we stuck around.  Many cars passing by honked in support and I am grateful to them.  The sun had already gone behind the mountains when the time finally came, and we surged across the road to the center island forming two long lines, silent, solemn, and dignified.  The procession itself lasted about an hour, so many police vehicles participated, and from all around the country, I’m told; many were sheriffs’ offices from counties I didn’t recognize.  There was a great showing from the police forces of Denver and its suburbs, and I did notice vehicles from: police departments of Laramie, WY, Albuquerque, NM, and the University of Wisconsin, as well as: the CO State Highway Patrol, US Mint, Homeland Security, and BATF.

Probably the most moving thing I’ve seen is pictures and video taken from inside the police cars showing just how many people came out to show their support.  I was a participant, I didn’t move much, and my pictures don’t do justice to the scale, but I’m honored to have been there, to give an insider’s perspective on national headlines.  A heartfelt thanks to all who serve and protect.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (KJV)

#uccsstrong