Blog Archive

Feb 25, 2015

In Case You Didn't Know

It has been many months since I last wrote. In those many months, many changes happend. Many of those many changes were mainly not good...many mainly.

But there were a few good things and those are the things I'm holding close. Silver linings reveal a clearing sky.

I decided the many months of mainly shitty things were mostly necessary for my long-term good. Maybe.

During these months I didn't shoot nearly as much as I normally do, or wanted, but I did try new things in terms of subject and format, and I think my photography improved some because of it.

Here are some of them.
Walled Compounds
are still little boxes...
Camera: Mamiya 645 ProTL (this camera was stolen recently)
Lens: Mamiya Sekor C 70 mm F 2.8 C Lens (yep, they got the lens as well)
Film: Ilford Pan F+
Elle 02
My first-ever 8x10 photo
Model: Elle Long (
Homemade 8x10 pinhole camera (f/320)
Impossible Project PQ 8x10 film
Exposure ~6 seconds
That Time I Visited Van Gogh at the Asylum
Camera: Rolleicord III (this camera was stolen, too)
Film: Kodak Portra 160 cross processed in D76 B&W chemicals
Model: Erica Jay (
Camera: Rodenstock 127mm lens from a Polaroid Pathfinder 110a that I put onto a Polaroid 360 (yep, another one stolen)
Film: Polaroid Polapan expired in 2002
Lake in the Sand
Camera: RealitySoSubtle 141
Film: Ilford PanF+
How many souls perish in its tumult
"The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation. The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace." -- Kate Chopin
Camera: Holga 120N (yes, they even grabbed the Holga!)
Film: Ilford HP5+
My First Wetplate
Two minute exposure on a small plate in a Holga
Lost, But Only For a Moment
Camera: Holga 120N (stolen)
Film: Ilford HP5+
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Impossible Project beta BW
Light Pollution
Camera: Polaroid 680 (Stolen, too)
Film: Impossible Project Color Film for 600
Camera: Mamiya 645 ProTL (stolen)
Lens: Mamiya Sekor C 70 mm F 2.8 C Lens (stolen)
Film: Kodak T-Max 100, +2 push

Sep 19, 2014

Olympus 35RC: Shooting With a Problem Child

I have this great little camera that has some greatly annoying little problems, but I can work around the little problems because it's a great little camera.

The Olympus 35RC is super compact for a 40+ year old 35mm. It's about the same width and height of my phone. Granted, the lens makes it thicker than my phone but not by much. It has an auto function that adjusts the aperture based on chosen shutter speed and iso setting. It's super easy to slide into my pocket for photo walks. The images are pretty sharp and have a nice feel to them.

But the camera has three problems. One I have figured out a workaround. Another, I'll eventually figure it out. The last may not be fixable.

Problem 1: the metering is off so photos turn out dark. I've figured out how to "fix" this problem. I use 400 speed film but set the camera iso to 100. It works perfectly. While I don't typically set the camera to auto it is nice for when I want to shoot quickly. The camera  does a great job balancing in difficult situations, like bright light/deep shadows (the goose image is a good example).

Problem 2: there is a light leak somewhere but I can't figure out where. I taped the entire back for this roll, every place there was a seam, but the light leak still showed (best seen in the boat image). I really can't figure out where it's coming from, unless it's leaking in around the lens. Next roll I will tape every damn surface that doesn't need to move. I will solve this problem.

Problem 3: the film slips sometimes. It appears the film loses contact with the sprockets causing the film advance window to show I'm on the next frame even though I'm not. You can see it in the double exposure of the bus and fire truck. It's not consistent and I'm really not sure how to fix the problem (or if I can). 

If you find an Olympus 35RC on your next flea market run, buy it. Despite the problems I'm having it's a fun, handy little camera to have around. 

Sep 9, 2014

10 Book Challenge

From Facebook, these are 10(ish) books that influenced my life. I realize, there isn't a single photo book on the list. I'm thinking I should probably have a think about that and create a "10 Photo Book Challenge."

1. The Complete Maus: A Survivor's Tale...I started reading this when I found Spiegelman's "Raw" comix mag in the late 80s. They teach it in high school, now, thankfully. It should be required reading for every kid in every country...

2. Islands in the Stream ...I read this recently and decided it was beautiful but it was also the most depressing book I've ever read. (While I'm at it, honestly, I should include A Farewell To Arms , The Old Man and The Sea , For Whom the Bell Tolls , A Moveable Feast, and many of the short stories ...oddly, though, not The Sun Also Rises )

3. The Great Gatsby ...since we're now in the lost generation. I managed to avoid reading this in HS and college...I didn’t read it until I was in my 30s, and I think I appreciated far more than I would have earlier in life.

4. Child of God was recommended by a writing teacher sophomore year of college. I fell in love with his ability to paint horrible images and horrible people so poetically. It’s a big reason why I began writing and went into journalism (because writers don’t make money), so it’s probably the most influential book of my life. It wasn't until I read The Road , though, that I realized what a master of writing and reader manipulation McCarthy is...I think he is the best writer I've read.

5. Scarface, I read it as a kid just before Miami Vice began...I felt like I had a much deeper understanding of the show since I understood the term "Columbian necktie." It’s also why I became a cocaine kingpin and ran my own cartel for six hours.

6. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich ...I read it the first time in high school. I've reread it half a dozen times. It reminds me that the American way, as unfair as it is, is still far better than the unfairness of mid-century Russia (and every other dictatorship that rules through fear).

7. Bluebeard (and everything else Vonnegut I read). I managed to read all of his novels and short story collections before I started college. I was honored to speak with Vonnegut when I interned at Playboy in the late 90s. It was a silly thing, really, but I was tasked with calling him (he had a long-standing relationship with the magazine) to ask who his favorite playmate was. He responded "Janet Pilgrim...I used her name for the main character in Slaughterhouse-Five." I'm still grateful he was so kind to me on the phone. I'm sure I sounded a mess of nerves.

8. The Jeremy Mouse Book ...this childhood gem is my most treasured book. I still read it on occasion.

9. Different Dances ...this was a collection of Shel Silverstein's adult cartoons. I stumbled across it on a shelf in Davis-Kidd when I was a teen. It was big and expensive ($25, I recall). I really wanted it but didn't have the money. I went back a few weeks later and it was gone. I figured I'd pick it up some other time but they didn't have it again. It was a one-time run. I finally got a copy many years later. It cost considerably more than $25 at Elder Books. Shortly after, there was a 25th anniversary reprint and the prices for the originals dropped dramatically. Still, I'm glad I have it.

10. Boy Scout Handbook ...I'm an Eagle, after all.

Sep 5, 2014

Trite, Perhaps

But I'm finding a new path. It's going in the same direction I've always headed, the same direction we all head, but there's different scenery and different locations along the way. Neither high, nor low, it's just a path. One of many. It's just a path, just a different one.
Zero Image 6x9, Kodak Ektar 100

Sep 3, 2014

My First "Next Best Thing" Project Submission

Camera: RealitySoSubtle 141 (created by James Geurin) Film: Kodak Portra 160
This photo, a double exposure, was shot during a recent game between minor league teams Nashville Sounds and Fresno Grizzlies at Nashville's Greer Stadium. After the game there was a fireworks show. This is the last year for the stadium, which opened in 1973. The city is building a new stadium closer to downtown.
I started the Next Best Thing Pinhole Project a couple of months ago as a way to travel the world from my own home. I managed to get pinhole photographers from around the globe to join the project and so far they have done an excellent job. Each photographer was asked to create two images each quarter, one focused on landscape where they live (urban or rural), the other on culture, a theme purposely open to interpretation. This image is my first culture image for the project. I think it does a good job of capturing the great American summer pastime.

Go check out the project website ( Updates happen frequently, so there's always more to see :)
All images posted so far are shown on this page:

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