Thursday, May 7, 2015

World Wide Pinhole Photography Day 2015

There's something special about the photographic community in the northwest United States, and on April 26, 2015, World Wide Pinhole Photography Day, a bunch of people from across the globe came together in Portland to share stories, ideas, inspiration, and make some interesting photos.

Boring Biographical Stuff

I got interested in photography in 2007, and connected with some amazing people in the Seattle Flickr group, generous with feedback, encouragement, equipment, but most importantly, generous with their passion for making pictures and sharing the magic so many of us find in capturing a moment in time. 

Since then, I've continued to experiment -- digital and analog; pinhole; film, instant, large-format, medium-format, 35mm, and smaller(!) -- but only because I met someone who was making amazing images in interesting ways, and who was willing to share their knowledge.

I didn't know any photographers in Portland when I moved down, but within months had connected with a community of passionate shooters, many of whom were already friends with my Seattle friends.

The fact that Portland is home to one of my favorite camera shops in the world, Blue Moon Camera and Machine (they also feature typewriters!) should have been a clue that I would find kindred spirits here in Stumptown.

WWPPD 2015

Folks responsible for The Pinhole Podcast include my friend Jana, who connected me to Nate Matos, a fellow Portlander, photographer, and all-around great guy. 

They organized a WWPPD event here in Portland, that drew in all their fellow Podcasters, as well as fans and enthusiasts. In addition to shooters from all around the region the crowd included photographers from the U.K., France, Boston, Nashville, and more.

The worldwide event organizers have a gallery where they will collect shots from this year's event, and our WWPPD GitTogether group (apparently "git" is a UK term that means "well-groomed, classy person"). Photos will be trickling in up to May 31. 
It was great to meet so many passionate photographers, and walk around my new hometown and take some pictures. 

My Photos

Here are my photos from the day (click to see the full image. All were shot on a Harman Titan pinhol camera with 4x5 sheet film (Ilford Delta 100 and Fujichrome 100):

Morning over Burnside Bridge
The Warren Crypt
The Warren Crypt, in Color

Steel Bridge, Portland

Willamette River Early Morning

Looking North from the Steel Bridge

Grave Marker with Blurry Photographers 
Mistake - Opened Film Holder in Light

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"I Trust the Look of You"

I was in 60-Minute Photo getting my first bulk-rolled 35mm canisters developed (success!), and the old gentleman ahead of me had some family pictures to be printed.

Trouble is, his negatives were an old format (126 maybe) and the lab couldn't do them.

"We COULD cut them to the same size as 35mm and print from that ..."

No. You. Can't.

So I offered to scan them on my flatbed, which is able to scan 4x5 and so should be able to do these as well.

"You CAN'T cut these negatives ... they're precious! Let me -- I'll do it for cheap -- or even free."

I don't have time for this.

I lost my job a week ago and should be hunting for a new one...

I have a storage unit to empty out before they repo my stuff ...

I have hundreds of digital shots from France, Spain, Greece, and Turkey to process myself...

I have boxes full of dark room equipment to organize so I can begin processing my own b/w film ...
"I'll do it for $25."

He looked me over.

"I understand if you don't want to entrust me with your negatives. They're priceless."

He smiled.

"I trust the look of you. Take care of them."

Here are a few. I had to resist the temptation to spend *any* time editing them ... he needed the prints the same day and I only had a couple of hours to get the negatives and CD back to the lab.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Genius of Photography, Episode 1

I'm watching the BBC series "The Genius of Photography" and am blown away by the first 35 minutes.

So far, from Episode 1:
- I want to make a Camera Obscura
- I NEED to find a way to make a Daguerreotype with my Crown Graphic 4x5
- Great quotes from Chuck Close:

"Here's the dilemma and the strength of photography: It's the easiest medium in which to be competent, but it's the hardest medium in which to have personal vision that is readily identifiable."

"There are no accidental masterpieces of painting. But there ARE accidental masterpieces of photography."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Photosynthing Istanbul

I was lucky enough to have a business trip to Istanbul last week, and was able to spend a couple of days seeing the AMAZING sights of this ancient and wonderful city.

The Sultanahment Mosque:

Hagia Sofia:

The Basilica Cistern:

Friday, December 25, 2009

A New Tradition: Christmas Coffee

I woke up without my daughters for the first Christmas in 16 years on Dec. 25, 2008. I was missing their company -- and their delight at the day and the season.

There had been (unusually) snow that week, and I was setting out on the 90-minute drive to get them from their mother's home.

Stopping at Starbucks on the way, I ordered my usual, and was told by the barista there was no charge.

A previous customer, it turned out, had bought a gift card, handed it back to the barista, and told her to buy coffee for everyone until it was used up.

I was inexplicably moved. I took my coffee and sat outside the store for a few minutes, watching light snow fall, sipping my coffee, and silently thanking the stranger who had just turned a tough Christmas morning into a tender and special one.

Before leaving, I went back inside, pulled out a much-needed $20 bill, bought a gift card, and asked the barista to use it up on the next few customers.

As I get ready to drive north for my daughters this year, I am ridiculously excited about the $20 in my wallet, set aside to buy coffee for strangers, and feel -- however briefly -- like an excited young father once more, anticipating the delight of a Christmas morning surprise.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Round 52 - Arts at Fremont Abbey

September 16, 2009 -- an amazing gathering of musicians, a poet, and couple of painters for a night of collective arts.

View static version here.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Photography Phunny: Making a Baby

A friend at work shared this with me and I LMAO! Has the feel of an old Internet joke, but what the heck:
The Smiths were unable to conceive children and decided to use a surrogate father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife goodbye and said, "Well, I'm off now. The man should be here soon."

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer happened to ring the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good morning, Ma'am", he said, "I've come to..."

"Oh, no need to explain," Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed, "I've been expecting you."

"Have you really?" said the photographer. "Well, that's good. Did you know babies are my specialty?"

"Well that's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat".

After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"

"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there."

"Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn't work out for Harry and me!"

"Well, Ma'am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results."

"My, that's a lot!", gasped Mrs. Smith.

"Ma'am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I'd love to be In and out in five minutes, but I'm sure you'd be disappointed with that."

"Don't I know it," said Mrs. Smith quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus," he said.

"Oh, my word!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.

"And these twins turned out exceptionally well - when you consider their mother was so difficult to work with."

"She was difficult?" asked Mrs. Smith.

"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good look"

"Four and five deep?" said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.

"Yes", the photographer replied. "And for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had to pack it all in."

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. "Do you mean they actually chewed on your,"

"It's true, Ma'am, yes.. Well, if you're ready, I'll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away."


"Oh yes, Ma'am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big to be held in the hand very long."

Mrs. Smith fainted.