It was cold, like middle of February cold but it's only December, and it was small, and the wind was from the south, and it was generally as unmotivating as a surf could be. We jumped in anyway, just a couple quick ones to kick off the morning before work, and it was fun, just about as fun as a morning surf could be.
I’ve always had a tendency to shoot things a bit differently; and by differently I mean probably the hard way. While I’d like to claim it as creative integrity, it’s probably more a result of hard headedness and a healthy up bringing of “do everything your told not to” punk rock. When I was first being taught to film with DSLR’s I was told to bump my ISO, aim for F22, stay pulled back. Your shots will be sharp and centered. I went ahead and grabbed my longest lens, shot wide open, and learned to pull focus while shooting tight. Now, there were plenty of missed shots and out of focus turns, but there were also moments of gold that made the gamble well worth it.
Likewise, when I was handed my first Nikonos V the other day I was told that most people shoot 400 speed film. “It lets them keep the f-stop around 16 and the focus clear”. This is definitely the way to go, take a scroll through the @Nikonos_Project feed and you’ll see amazing, gorgeous photography. However, I apparently haven’t gotten any wiser to these tips and immediately grabbed a roll of Delta 3200 (who cares that the camera only meters to 1600, its film you can shoot through it one way or another) and swam out for my first time. The results came out neat. They’re weird, their super grainy, many are flat and muddy, but they’re different.
Your whole world shrinks within the flickering limits of your fire’s light, and yet the vastness of the black sky above, perforated by a million stars, forces you to contemplate the infinity of the universe.
Under the blazing stars
The Milky Way our ceiling above
The water runs, fire sears,
Music on a silent night.
-Eastern Sierras, August 2011
One Roll /
More and more my Yashica D is becoming my go to camera. I can't get away from how enjoyable it is to shoot with, the time and focus it takes to actually compose an image, and the overall difference and quality of shooting film. There's something really neat about having one roll, 12 images, to capture what you are after. Sometimes they are mixed bags, bits and pieces from different trips or moments spanning months, sometime they are one concentrated shoot. This is one full roll–the good, the bad, the out of focus. It starts off with the Mattson 2, an amazing jazz duo play at the Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice. The venue was dark (as any speakeasy should be) and I was there to shoot video, but had to snap off a few photos for myself. The shooting conditions were tough to say the least, but there are a few moments that I'm really happy I captured. I shot about half a roll and the following day Tanner Guduaskas called me up talking about a new Polaroid he was excited about and wanted to shoot a portrait of me with, so along came the Yashica so that I could turn the camera on him and brother Dane to finish off the roll.
I love California, and I'm a big fan of small towns–and while the whole rustic Americana thing might be feeling a bit contrived and played out by now, when it's authentic its great. While spending Thanksgiving with family in the town of Santa Margarita on California's Central Coast, we took a stroll to walk off the turkey and beers. I brought along my Yashica D and a roll of Portra 400, and shot the walk from one end of town to the other (its a short walk) and what came back is a great look at a fall day in small town CA.
There's a cheesy photography saying that goes something like "the best camera is the one you have with you". It makes me cringe to write it, but it's true–and becoming more so. Apple ran an entire campaign around the iPhones camera, countless apps and entire companies are set up around your phones ability to create images, and lets face it, our pocket sized all around devices take some amazing photographs. So, here is a collection of photos taken with my camera that also makes phone calls.
It's always an amazing experience to get to photograph craftsmen and their work spaces. To see the tools, the space, the trials and errors and successes that have lead to the products they are producing, is an intimate thing. I love photographing whats around their work–the books and art that they gain inspiration from. Last year I teamed up with The Ecology Center in San Juan Capistrano to photograph the artisan craftsmen being featured in their Makers Market. In line with TEC's sustainable spirit, all of these people create amazing goods using recycled or reclaimed materials. We spent about four or five days total traveling to the various makers homes and studios, getting to know them and their process and photographing it along the way. Check out theecologycenter.com to learn more about what they do, and find some of these products.