The first real snow of the season is a little magical. I woke up the other morning, looked out the window and everything looked like it was covered with sugar…Read More
My mind is moving at a thousand miles per hour typically. Once I pick up the camera, that changes a bit. It's the one time where everything is working together. There's also this cool set of dichotomies that unravel in my mind. Wandering around, going to nowhere in particular gives me direction and purpose…Read More
This was an absolutely miserable day. It was cold, rainy, windy and all around nasty. On the photography side, those kinds of days can create a nice mood for your shots, provided you don't ruin your camera, or slip and fall on your ass.
I did in fact fall on my ass once, slipping down a hill trying to get one of these shots, but luckily for me, nobody was around anyway because of the rain. Thanks Mother Nature.
These were shot on Kodak Portra 400 and my Nikon L35AF point and shoot.
This is quickly becoming my go-to for impromptu photo walks. The L35s lens produces some absolutely great visuals for it's size. It's both sharp and soft in just the right way. There's a texture to the images. Portra....well, it's Portra. Great in nearly any lighting situation, flexible in development, and it scans pretty well. What's not to like?
Enjoy this short walk along the shores of Lake Erie.
People wonder why I'd go out in the brutal elements to take photos. On one hand, the solitude is peaceful. I spend most of my work day talking to people. Just being able to wander around with my camera and nothing else makes me feel centered. At the same time, winter is a time where connecting with people is so important. It can feel isolating to go out and not see a soul.
This photo presents a duality. It's beautiful because it's serene and undisturbed. It's also lonely looking at the seats where people should be, in a place where LOTS of people would normally be if the weather wasn't so bad. The same things that bring you joy can make you a little melancholy too. I find that fascinating.
It was cold.
It was REALLY cold. Exceptionally cold. On any other day like this, I'd just sit in bed until it was time to get ready for work. Unfortunately, children don't tend to take themselves to school. At least not at this age. Single digit wind-chill or no, I needed to get up and get moving. I woke up a bit later than I usually would, so I was scatterbrained, and in a bit of a rush. I hurried to the kid ready for school, and called an Uber. Before we ran out the door, I grabbed my new Fuji X70. I'm a firm believer in the idea that the best camera is the one you have with you. I hadn't really planned on being out that long, but I figured I'd carry It along just in case.
School drop off went without a hitch, and I made my way to the post office to drop off some recently sold cameras, which seems to be a weekly ritual for me these days. It was about 8:35AM, and I figured I'd be home by 9, giving me 3 hours before I had to start work. That was three more hours to rest, play video games, watch YouTube videos about old film cameras. Anything but being out in the cold. After exiting the post office and crossing the street, I settled in at the bus stop and started to think about all the nothing I was going to do when I got home.
After a little bit, a bus rolls up, and I gladly hop on, and out of the freezing elements. Only AFTER stepping on, did I realize the bus said 39F instead of the 39 I'd usually take. That one little letter meant I'd gotten on the express bus to downtown Cleveland rather than the usual one that would drop me a block from my house. There are basically no stops in between where I'd gotten on, and the final destination, so basically I was stuck.
I was tired, achy, cold. Because of my absent minded mistake II'd probably waste a good part of my limited pre-work time just trying to get my ass back home. About halfway to Downtown, I figured there was no point in being grumpy for the rest of the day. I was going to spend 8 hours at my desk anyway, so maybe a little bit of outside time would be good for me, even with the cold. Perhaps I'd also get a few good shots while I was out. Maybe things weren't so bad after all.
A couple hours, hundreds of steps, and a series of shots later, what started out as a horrible, no good, terrible morning ended with smiles and satisfaction. An unfortunate bit of misfortune had actually forced me into a fun morning.
I've lived in Cleveland for 26 of my 34 years and it's still a thrill to find a new way to see things I've seen thousands of time. Also, the X70 was the perfect dance partner. It's tiny enough to fit in a jacket pocket, unobtrusive and the image quality is outstanding. It's absolutely perfect for a walkabout camera. I wasn't worried about what the pictures would look like. Having shot the Fuji X cameras for a while, I knew the colors, sharpness and dynamic range would be spot on. Still, I was impressed with what the little camera was able to do it's first time out of the house. I had a fantastic time putting my new toy through it's paces.
Looking at these photos brings me to this point: some of the best moments in life occur during those unexpected detours. You plot a course and you get knocked off, and it seems like everything is against you, but even when you aren't where you meant to go, you can end up exactly where you should be.
So here's the story of how I shot old dusty film cameras for the last few months, and absolutely loved it..Read More