Photography: Random film prints


I love finding a random roll of film that I forgot to get developed in the bottom of my bag, not remembering when I finished the roll and what on earth is actually on it. I finally got round to getting this roll developed today, all photos taken with my Holga over the past year, most of which I had totally forgotten that I had taken. I love the striking colours the Holga tends to produce in bright sunlight, as well as the softness, or slight blur, that appears in most prints. My favourites are definitely the ones taken by the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco last year, mainly because the blues are so dense and pretty, and also because it is one of my favourite places to be in the world. I must make it one of my goals to use my Holga and Canon AE-1 more often this year - and then wait a while to develop the films so that I get more nice surprises.
Link to the full set below.


San Francisco BayWalking the Golden Gate BridgeView from my sideTime n PlaceSunset in JamaicaSnowed in
San Francisco skylineRosie at the beachOleanderGuinness IciclesGolden Gate BridgeFort Tilden
Clearing Orchard StCaribbean SeaCalifornia flowerBridge in the distanceBoats on the water200 Reflections
Film 2013, a set on Flickr.

Photography and Nostalgia: Scanned Pictures - 1993 to 2004

Me, Grenoble 1998Auntie Dot in Melton 1994Zoe in Manton 1994Dylan in Loughborough 1994Koss and me, Oakham 1994Koss and Zoe, Oakham 1994
Zoe, Simon and Koss, Manton 1994My room, Sassenage 1994School courtyard, Grenoble 1994Rebecca, Champollion 1994Alice and me, Sassenage 1994Me and Karli, Sassenage 1994
Me, Grenoble 1995Worshipping the Docs, Grenoble 1995Rebecca, Grenoble 1995Cannibal, Pascal, me Grenoble 1995Andrew, Grenoble 1995Goth Jade, Grenoble 1995
Pascal, Grenoble 1995Shannon, Grenoble 1995Cannibal Corpse back patch, Grenoble 1995Spontaneous mosh pit, Grenoble 1995Karli in my Sepultura t-shirt, Grenoble 1995South of France, 1994
Scanned Pictures - 1993 to 2005, a set on Flickr.

A few months ago I purchased an amazing little tool called the Wolverine Photo Scanner (see link below for more details if you are interested). The tool scans negatives and slides into .jpg format photos that you can then load onto your computer and post online. So for the past few months I have been scanning all of the negatives I have managed to save over the years and over the multiple moves from country to country and apartment to apartment. I finally finished uploading and labeling them all this week as I had a bit more downtime than usual, with it being Christmas and all.

The photos are a mix of moments in time, taken between 1993 and 2004, mainly of people and places in my life at the time. The amount of nostalgia felt while labeling all of the photos was intense, as there are moments that I had forgotten about, and moments that I will never forget as long as I live. Some people come and go over time, others remain around, however far away you may live from each other and however many months pass between conversations. The photos are all mixed up, as I didn’t have the heart to sort them by year, so you may find an image from 1994 in our old house in Sassenage, France right next to one of me and my volunteer friends in Kibbutz Evron in Israel in 2003. I feel as if this entire set is a snapshot of a decade and of the changes and non-changes that may have happened over those years. I thought about making a playlist to accompany the set, but it would have taken many hours and would have been too long to accomplish before the end of the year. Maybe a project for 2013?

Before I post an obligatory piece about 2012, I felt a real, old-school nostalgia piece was needed, not only because I feel that it helps me to collect all these images in one place, but also because a lot of my friends are probably going to appreciate seeing these, especially as at the time none of us had cell phones and cell phone cameras, and I was usually the only one who would take photos during our random nights and days out…

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them. Bob Dylan

From our house in Sassenage, through the apartment in Ile Verte, Grenoble right through to my first apartment alone with my best friend and roommate Maud, my home was always the main meet-up place and place to hang out for me and my friends over the years. Cooking up pots of pasta and sauce and smoking hash in the Ile Verte, listening to metal into the early hours before going out to explore the huge graveyard down the street; making mulled wine and listening to The Cure on vinyl at our place on the 5th floor at 5 Rue Crépu in Grenoble; standing on the balcony and belting out parts of Mozart’s Don Giovanni to our neighbours at 4am; playing tarot around the table talking about the world and how we could change it…

Walking through the streets of Grenoble with bottles of wine in our hands; sitting on the steps of the FNAC and the church waiting for something to happen. Trips up to the Bastille and nights spent drinking in bars until we were drunk enough to go dance in a club up in the mountains; Paris with Maud and dancing to Bauhaus in a basement bar; electro-goth nights in Grenoble and Lyon; Nick Cave in Lyon in 2001 and standing speechless in front of him, because what on earth can you say to someone you adore without sounding like an idiot? Months and months spent on a kibbutz in Israel, making new lifelong friends and drinking cheap Russian vodka, dancing on tables until 5am and getting up at 6am to go to work in the kitchen. Walks and naps on the beach in Nahariya; talks around bonfires and an 8 day trip around Egypt with $150 in my pocket. Visits to my family in Sacramento, California, meeting up with old high school friends and realizing that some things never change. Little Luna cat as a tiny kitten, still the same little Luna as she is today, 12 years older. Working in the pub in Empingham, England; hanging out in the graveyard and talking for hours; walking around Rutland Water and waiting for the next big thing to happen…

There are so many moments I could write about, so many moments I have already written about and made into chapters of a book that I may or may not finish one day, and I love having a visual reference to these moments in time and to the people I shared these moments with. There are about 400 photos in the set, and there are some people and photos missing because I somehow lost the negatives along the way, but the ones I chose and/or found really portray a great view of our lives at the time.

“Memories are what warm you up from the inside. But they're also what tear you apart.” - Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

 

Photography: Back To Film

WaitingYellow LilyWalking down the hillWaiting to be fedTwo Pink LiliesStark Morning
Split beach & waterSmiling FlowersSan Francisco houseSailing BoatRock and BayRed gladioli
Purple HeadPink RosePink LilyPensiveOpen your armsMum
Look outLanternsLagunaJapantown SFGolden Gate under fogFoxgloves
Back To Film, a set on Flickr.

It had been a while since I picked up the old Canon AE-1 and took it out for a stroll, mainly due to the fact that I can't always afford to develop film nowadays, and I probably won't again for a while after this... This is a collection of photos taken last year and over the last few days, taken from three rolls of film.

Grainy, overexposed, direct sunlight, colourful, portraits, candid shots, water, flowers, people, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe... For some reason I ended up with a few images that are split, containing half of the first frame and half of the second. Although not purposely, I know exactly what I did to make this happen, and they actually ended up looking pretty cool, so I may try it again sometime.  The best surprise was the picture of Charlie and Deej, taken last year when Thought Forms were on tour with Portishead - I had totally forgotten I had taken it!


Real winter in orange and yellow

IcicleBay shotDirt roadShirley BeachShirley BeachShirley Beach
Shirley BeachShirley BeachShirley BeachShirley BeachShirley BeachShirley Beach
Shirley BeachShirley BeachFlags & Gas StationGrocery store, Mastic BeachThe abandoned house I see every dayEarly morning walk round the bay
GeeseThe sky matches the waterReedsTracksSnow moundsMarina

Film - Orange/Yellow, a set on Flickr.

I've been working so hard on my novel and working hard at my jobs, so I haven't really had too much time to post on my blog this week. I was perusing some old photo albums on my Flickr and found this one from January 2011... We've had such a mild winter this year that looking back at these makes me realise how lucky we have been!

These were all taken with my Canon AE-1, using a 35mm ISO 100 Lomo negative film without flash. Most in Mastic Beach on Long Island before my mum moved back to California, but some in NYC. I miss using my AE-1 and playing with the settings to get interesting photos, but I can't really afford to spend too much on film and developing film right now.

I kind of also miss the beauty of winter right now too... Maybe we will get one blizzard this year, but it's already the end of February and it doesn't really look like it...

Photography: Jean Depara

I ran across Jean Depara a few months ago while reading a post about him on a blog I read every day, Africa Is A Country. Black and white, gritty prints always catch my eye, and most intriguingly for me: he documented the nightlife and the social life of nightbirds in Kinshasa in the Congo in the 50's and the 60's.


He would frequent the clubs and bars of the city and capture people on film, dancing, embracing, smoking, drinking, crying, basically he became somewhat of a storyteller in pictures of social life in Kinshasa at the time. Such a vibrant and soulful scene - no boundaries, all held together by a love for music and dancing. For some reason I feel like I can hear the music coming directly through the photos, the smiles, the faces. Wonderful captures of moments in time that I hope will never be lost in history. Maybe one day this vibrant social scene can find it's way back into the soul of the Congo. In the meantime I wish I had been able to see the retrospective of his work that was on exhibition in Paris this year.


Jean Depara was known for following the music scene in Kinshasa at the time, he was the Zairian singer Franco's official photographer and he also documented the Miziki associations, and the music that would come out of these associations of women. Jean died in 1997, but he left hundreds of negatives that I would love to take my time scrolling through and admiring.


More information:
Jean Degara - Pigozzi artist
Retrospective at the Maison Revue Noire

Light

Between the branchesSunset over ManhattanWinter SunshineSunrise over the bayMastic Beachbay side SmithpointCity viewSunset from the roofSwirling cloudsBig setting sunWinter skies Rising MoonRising coloursMixed coloursStark lightColoursPink views Pretty skiesReeds and skiesRising over the waterSetting on the baySunset on the bayLight on water

Light, a set on Flickr.

I suppose it sounds silly if I say "I miss the sun", but in all reality, it isn't. I really mean that I miss watching the sun. Setting my alarm to wake up at 5am, and waiting for the sun to come up over the bay, wearing layers of leggings and legwarmers and sweaters and gloves to bear the freezing wind. Or rushing to find the best sunset angle over the water. Or catching the golden orange colour coming in through my living room window and rushing up to the roof to capture those last rays on camera. Even, and I am loathe to actually mention this one, watching the summer sun set over the city from my old desk on the 40th floor.
I've been focusing so much on taking black and white random portraits recently that I forgot the sun. I put the above together from photos take over the past two years with a bunch of different cameras... DSLR (Canon) and film SLRs (both Canon AE-1, one from the late 70's, one from the early 80's). I think it's time to find the sun in other places and to capture it again and again every time it inspires me. Or something along those lines.

There is one of the moon in there. Just because everything should have some sort of balance, somehow.

Faces/Portraits/Expressions

HellfireHarry & GingerFacesPolicewoman and FiremanMiriam and GeorgeMason DaveDanaRosieGinaBirthday BethLauren KarliHagitRosieMeEric & MeDavid SmilesStephan wonChrisCharlieLaughing girlsJessica

Expressions, a set on Flickr.


Taken mainly over the past couple of years (although there are a couple of older ones), this is a collection of my favourite "people" photos. Each one for a special reason. I will probably continue to add to it once I take new favourites, or find old ones amongst the folders of photos I have on this hard drive. I took all of them on different cameras, but mainly a Canon Rebel DSLR and a Canon AE-1 (film).

Enjoy :)

New Black & White Prints

A lot of overexposure on these, but I can't help loving the stark atmosphere they relay. Here are some favourites, link to the full set at the bottom of the post.

Seagulls and Pelicans on a roof along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

Miriam and George, filming Emilie's part in the first scene.

Michelle sitting outside of our Fort Tilden camp in July.

Written on a mural on Jefferson St, Bushwick.

More HERE on my Flickr.

The Holga Challenge


For the last 8 months or so I have been so focused on using my Canon AE-1 that I haven't really used any of the other equipment that have either bought or been given. That goes for the Brownie Box Karli gave me for Christmas, my Canon DSLR, my smaller Canon, the Holga Karli gave me for Christmas... Coupled with the fact that I don't feel very inspired at the moment I have decided to set myself a new challenge. I have used the Holga once, and was quite happy with the results (I like the vignetted edges, and the way blue skies appear so brightly on the prints), and have been carrying it around in my bag for the past two months, taking random photos here and there. I now have one B&W film to develop and am running through a new colour one. I don't even remember what is on the film!
Beth gave me this book last week as my belated-birthday-get-well-soon present (I had a terrible cold): Fantastic Plastic Cameras and while I was looking at it last night I decided to start a new challenge - maybe it will give me inspiration for other ideas once I am finished. Over the next month I am going to continue to take random pictures with the Holga, focusing on non-posed portraits and all of the usual images that tend to catch my eye while I am walking around. Once I have finished I will have the prints developed once in a drugstore and then I will develop the ones I like best myself (will give me the chance to use the darkroom on Troutman St).

I may be disappointed - there is no real way to know if a photo is going to come out the way you want it to with these types of cameras, but that's what intrigues me. So let's see how it goes!

Here is some information on the Holga for anyone interested: Holga

A photo taken this Spring with my Holga: