These are from the North Shore of O’ahu the day after the 2009 Eddie Aikau, an irregularly held surfing competition only held when the wave swells at Waimea Bay are over 20 ft. Greg Long rode a 40 ft wave to a perfect score, passing Kelly Slater to win. The following day, waves were easily still 20-30 feet high.
Tasked with now entirely too much time on the North Shore, we tried to make the most of it. We drove the stretch from Waimea Bay to Turtle Bay and back, stopping at random beaches and whatever else struck our fancy for several hours; each time praying the police had finally reopened the road to Haleiwa and its delicious, delicious shave ice.
Long story, short: Matsumoto’s is worth the wait, the North Shore is both amazing & terrifying, and we never made it to the western-side of the island.
Gallery: fBHF – O’ahu 2009
So my delayed/back-ordered Christmas present finally arrived from Best Buy this afternoon! My wife decided I needed a Canon Powershot S95, as I often told her that I would like one.
I haven’t quite had the chance to put it through any paces yet, but I anticipate it becoming a constant companion, joining the ranks with my cellphone, Moleskine & spacepen in my pants pockets.
Therein lies its charm. Too often I find myself without a camera when I suddenly want/need a camera; or conversely, lugging my Canon 40D and backpack full of lenses around without taking a single frame.
For awhile there, my beloved fBHF filled the niche of a constant “on hand” camera, both literally & figuratively; but its bulk, lack of versatility, and the need to carry spare spools, not to mention the cost of film, lead to its retirement from daily use. (I also took a chunk out of her film advance knob this summer, when I accidentally clipped a cement fence post outside of Fordham. So I had been carrying her with a tad more careful trepidation than I had in the past, lest I cause any further irreparable damage).
A digicam that fits comfortably in my pocket, shoots both RAW & 720p video and has an added ADH warranty to boot sounds pretty good to me.
Maybe this will help snap me out of my creative funk; maybe it won’t; it can’t hurt.
I originally posted this over at the new toycamera.com forums, but then thought to cross-post it here for possible wider exposure.
My wife & I are planning a week long sojourn to Portland, OR later this fall as a kind of interview with the Rose City to see if it’ll fit as a possible relocation locale (the long heavy winters of upstate NY are getting to be a bit too much).
As such, we want to be as thorough as a week allows. Instead of hitting up touristy stuff, we want to try to see the city as a local would.
So any advice from native Portlanders or transplants (or anyone else familiar with the town, for that matter) on what to do, what to see, where to eat, et cetera?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I’m happy to report that a project that I’ve been proud to be a part of has finally come to fruition: TOYCAM is finally available on Blurb.
I haven’t had the chance to physically flip through the book yet myself, but having been a part of the process, I know the product is top notch.
You can purchase the hardcover here.
Or the soft cover here.
Thank you to all the photographers who submitted their photographs and to those who agreed to be interviewed: you made our jobs tougher & all the more enjoyable by giving us some outstanding source material to work with.
UPDATE: www.toycamerabook.com has a flash-based preview of the book available for your perusal.
FYI: This is post is decidedly unrelated to photography.
I’ve been feeling introspective lately. It’s funny how the passing of a loved one can do that to you. As my wife & I sorted through my father’s personal affects this past weekend in preparation of this weekend’s estate sale, it struck me just how much of my father’s life boiled down to stuff. He had a lot of stuff.
Yet, I hardly knew what his hopes & dreams were (he had to have had them, right?) and it’s now seemingly impossible to infer what they could’ve been from just his possessions.
One dream of his I know, as he constantly asked repeatedly, is also one that hits me the hardest, is that my Dad wanted grandchildren. He possessed a large collection of Disney DVDs in eager anticipation of the day some rug-rat would enamoredly watch cute cartoons with him, much as my grandmother did with us.
The funny thing is that was a hope & dream of mine as well. Christine & I, a couple years back, each made a list of 101 life goals, as an exercise in… well… I’m not sure. But it still felt like a worthy endeavor. Number 43 on my list was “for my father to watch cartoons with his grandchildren.”
Heart-wrenchingly, I just removed that one from the list.
But that got me pondering the rest of my list. How many things out of the original 101 had I actually checked off in the intervening years? Five. I bought a new car; I finished my degree; I cooked a lobster; I won a prize playing skee ball; and I did something with expiredfilm.com.
While, yes, many on my list were meant as perpetual behaviors, as compared to quantifiable achievements, it still seems as though I should be doing more. Life is short. So as a semi-public means of accountability, here’s my newly revised list.
101 Life Goals in no particular order (other than #1)
1. try to make Christine smile everyday
2. leave Upstate NY for parts unknown
3. preferably to live in Hawaii
4. find something to do that I enjoy that will afford us a reasonable income
5. lose the spare tire
6. not lose all my hair
7. let Christine know that I love her, as much as possible
9. think of something especially clever for #8
10. find something unique to share with the world
11. raise a loving family with Christine
12. to get a dog
13. preferably a Bloodhound
14. for my student loans to be nothing more than a bad memory
15. to go on adventures with Christine as often as feasibly possible
16. to still go on adventures with Christine even when it’s not feasible
17. never eat broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts ever again
18. to always be able to make Christine laugh
19. to be a better correspondent
20. to be a better friend
21. to be a better husband
22. to eat a grilled cheese sandwich everyday for a month
23. to make a scathing documentary of the grilled cheese industry
24. to snuggle with Christine as much as possible
25. to become a better photographer
26. to always greet Christine with a hug and a kiss
27. to find something worthwhile to say and to say it well
28. to buy Christine roses when she least expects it
29. to make sure I actually buy roses for her when she does expect it
30. to always win when playing “not it”
31. to have a hot dog whenever at Yankee Stadium
32. to have Christine take a bite of said Yankee Stadium hot dog
33. to own a house that Christine and I can make into a home
34. to have a vacation every year where Christine wears a bikini
35. to find new things that interest me
36. not to be this old this young
37. to celebrate holidays without feeling guilt
38. to never eat cottage cheese just because “it’s healthy”
39. to have the confidence to know whether I’m good at something or not
40. to watch a sunset and sunrise in the same night with Christine
41. to own art I appreciate
42. to see Mariano Rivera go into the Hall of Fame
44. always be able to find time to read a good book
45. remember to use deodorant most days
46. to be less slovenly around the house
47. to pick up my boxers whenever we are expecting guests
48. to dance with Christine whenever the opportunity presents itself
49. to not look utterly ridiculous doing so; unless on purpose
50. to be the most ‘whoamantic’ person I know
51. to never catch Ebola
52. or smallpox or The Plague or other bad bug
53. to let Christine squish a slug with her hands
54. but to be the voice of moral restraint when she endeavors to kick a pigeon
55. to improve my handwriting
56. to always be Christine’s best friend
57. never eat yellow snow
58. to accomplish something I can feel proud of
59. learn a cool yo-yo trick
60. to not break anything in the process
61. to spend Thanksgiving with our family at our house
62. to dress more “snazzily”
63. to carve a pumpkin for Halloween each year
64. to not schedule my life around television
65. to learn how to smile in front of a camera
66. especially when Christine is holding the camera
67. to win a whole boat-load of money in the lottery
68. to learn a cool new origami thing
69. to create a meal using veggies from our garden
70. to have a garden
71. to have a backyard barbecue with our friends
72. to have a backyard to barbecue in
73. to have a grill to barbecue on
74. to know how to make good mixed drinks
75. to eventually figure out Christine’s system of hiding my stuff
76. to eventually not need Christine to hide things on me in the first place
77. to never wear pink socks to a wedding
78. or pretty much never wear pink socks
79. to grow a thriving Chia pet
80. to always find things to shake a stick at
81. to never dress a pet in a holiday festive sweater
82. unless it’s really funny
83. I mean really funny, not just a self-deluded funny
84. to never fall victim of a pirate attack
85. to drink more water
86. to eat less pizza
87. but still eat pizza
88. to actually traverse the Oregon Trail
89. without dying of dysentery
90. take a train across the country
91. to spit into an active volcano
92. to learn how to surf
93. to complete my run of DC Sandman comics
94. to own a vintage Optimus Prime
95. to visit all 50 states
96. to drink a pint of Guinness in Ireland
97. learn to play the ukelele
98. to never be compelled to smell/taste sour milk against my wishes
99. to snorkel in Bora Bora
100. to finish reading
Moby Dick(done), War & Peace, Walden, Paradise Lost, and Ulysses
101. to find the means to overcome the resting inertia in my life
102. to be happy
So there it is. I’m impressed if you actually read through the entire thing. Just to be clear, it’s not a “bucket list.” It’s just a list. It may change, it may grow, it may shrink, but hopefully along the way I’ll be able to check some things off.
It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I know, I know, I’m a bad friend leaving you hanging like that. Not a word or a peep or even just a heads up.
Suddenly, it’s June. I know May existed by the subtle carnage it left behind, but as to where it went, only future archaeologists may know….
So yeah. How are things?
Good, good (unless, of course, they aren’t; then you have my sympathies or other appropriate response).
Things have been hectic here. But you know how it is and how it goes and what-not.
Well it’s been nice chatting with you.
Hey! Let’s try to keep in touch.
Just a friendly neighborhood reminder that this Sunday! Sunday!! Sunday!!! is World Pinhole Photography Day.
In previous years, I’ve been well-intentioned, but still never quite actually participated.
This year however, I’ve built a custom pinhole camera from an Altoids tin (would that make it a ‘mint-hole’ camera, a ‘pintoid,’ ‘curiously lensless’???) from scratch. There are still some kinks (light leak, frame spacing/film winding) but, knock on wood, I should hopefully have them ironed out by Sunday (Sunday!! Sunday!!!).
For more info:
As I twittered (tweeted, twooted, twinkled, twunctated or twhat-have-you) yesterday, I’ve finally finished scanning all the 120 rolls from my December trip to O’ahu; now I face the Herculean task of processing the rough scans into pretty pictures. At first glance, there are several frames that have caught my eye that I can’t wait to return to later.
The fact I at least finished scanning two consecutive projects (HolgaHike & O’ahu 2009) is progress, in more than the immediate literal sense. I should try to explain.
I’ve been loosely following The Art of Waiting project. The concept, as best I understand it, is that several photographers go out & contemplate ‘waiting’ in their work; then, they themselves (and the audience), have to wait until next year to see the fruit of their labors. I said “loosely” following, mostly because their concept hit a little too close to home: part of what they’re doing as art, I’ve been doing for years out of sheer procrastination.
I have a backlog of twenty-some-odd rolls of 120, some dating back to 2007 and most before I started labeling my rolls with location/camera/date information. So I have a shoe-box’s worth of my mysterious past awaiting to be discovered. Perhaps, instead of feeling traces of guilt about neglecting the past, I should mentally justify my procrastination as ‘art.’
If my negligence was on purpose, then what I’m really doing is just ‘aging’ those rolls, like one would with a fine wine or cheese, to be appreciated at some later date with pinkies out.
So the fact that I’m close to completing a project or two, means I can start another with a clearer conscience, which is progress.
Anywho, here is some more recent Hawaiian ‘wine,’ fresh from the box (camera).
The wife & I were strolling along Waikiki beach (as one is wont to do in Waikiki) in the morning on the way back to the hotel from a sunrise breakfast at Duke’s (great view, good coffee, terrible eggs Benedict). The beach itself was still mostly abandoned due to the early hour, so it felt like we had the entire shore to ourselves, which, in & of itself, is a somewhat rare thing in Waikiki.
It was serene.
An amusing aside about Duke’s: our relatively youthful waiter noticed my BHF sitting on the table as he took our drink order; first he asked what it was and then inquired how many mega-pixels it had….
Gallery: fBHF – O’ahu 2009
Alas & alack, it just wasn’t meant to be…
C’est la vie.
The good news is Randy from HolgaMods assures me that he’ll be running another Holga Hike in the Fall. So hopefully I’ll have better luck with that one.
At the very least, I was able take my wife on a lovely nature walk around Beaver Lake, while enjoying the beautiful first day of Spring; that was more than enough of a reward in & of itself.
Oh, and I also ended up taking a couple of photographs as well (all images taken with a Holga on Ilford HP5+, developed in Diafine):
Diamond Head, the iconic Hawaiian volcano, is probably one of the most photographed mountains in the world and, as a good tourist on O’ahu, I tried my best to do my part.
From sea to summit, Diamond Head rises 762 feet; fortunately, the hiking trail inside the crater already spots you two-hundred feet of elevation for a modest 560 foot climb over a 3/4 mile to the top. I say ‘fortunately,’ because after the roughly 160 steps to the top and an odd little ladder scramble to the summit, my knees felt like they were made of molten iron, and not in a good ‘molten iron’ kind of way.
But the views from on top were worth it.
Today’s the day!!!
Both Spring & the Holga Hike are here. Shake off those Winter blues by getting outdoors with your Holga and capturing the pleasant pastels of Spring (or lovely black & whites, if you’re so inclined…).
Just remember to submit your image by April 5th.
I was already out & about with my trusty Holga during the first training run of the Mountain Goat Run at The Armory in downtown Syracuse (my wife was running, I just puttered around while waiting; I had a pretty good cup of coffee though).
I’m not sure if I’m completely happy with what I’ve shot already, so weather permitting, I’ll probably go out again later this afternoon to try to take some photographs that are a tad less urban and a bit more rustic.
Maybe Beaver Lake would be an idyllic destination.
Holga Hike logo © HolgaMods; used with permission.
Somewhere along the way, my vintage Diana F developed a dastardly light leak in the upper left-hand side of the frame (lower-right image).
As opposed to a beneficial or relatively benign light leak, I’d say this one ruined several rolls of film from Hawaii, except ‘ruined’ is such an ugly word.
How about I just say it ‘challenged’ the composition of several of my shots?
When dealing with crappy cameras, you learn to expect the unexpected. Sometimes the magic gives you unicorns riding motorcycles; other times it gives you toads.
Mind you, they’re still magical toads, so with some effort you still might be able to finagle it into a Princess; but then again, sometimes all you end up with are warts.
The above image is my attempt at saving a princess from an eternity of toad-dom. It’s definitely not the image I had conceived when I shot it, but I think it works. The mirrored symmetry of the new composition balances out the unevenness of the original.
So the good news is that it only took me the better part of fifteen minutes today to diagnose the leak in the Diana F (around where the viewfinder & the flash contacts meet) & plug it with ‘fun-tack’ (you know, that ubiquitous sticky putty adhering beer posters to walls in dorm rooms all across our nation’s colleges & universities).
The bad news is I still have a whole bunch of amphibians waiting for their turn to be kissed.
So apparently I’m not above a little bit of open pandering for free film.
UPDATE 03.16.10: I didn’t win the free film. Oh well.
Who is my favorite photographer? I’m not necessarily sure I’ve ever truly pondered that question before.
Of course, my mind goes to such luminaries as Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Andreas Feininger & Walker Evans, but have they visibly influenced my work, other than inspiring me to pick up a camera?
Then, what of my low-fidelity brethren, if I may aspire to call them as much? The toycamera.com community has consistently challenged me to become a better photographer through their wit, comradery, advice and jaw-dropping talent. Yet, dare I single out one particular photographer from the whole?
I guess, push come to shove, I’d have to say my favorite photographer is me. Not out of hubris or any sense of vanity, but rather out of necessity. I need to believe in myself as a photographer, not just as a man with a camera. My wife has already sacrificed so much to allow me to pursue my passions, I owe it to her, if not myself, to follow through with my dreams. It’s been a gradual process; a bit slower than either one of us originally imagined. The current economy hasn’t helped. But I’m getting there.
What would I do with the film?
I’d use it.
To capture images, to build a stronger portfolio, to find my own distinctive visual voice. One-hundred rolls of film roughly equals 1200 shots in a Holga or BHF; 1600 in a Diana; or 900 shots in a Kodak Jiffy. That’s a lot of man-hours of work, in shooting, processing, scanning and editing, so I don’t enter this contest lightly. It’s a hard-sworn promise to rededicate & immerse myself into my craft.
Why am I my favorite photographer?
Because I’m always eager to see what I’m going to do next.
Ah… the signs of Spring’s imminent arrival keep popping up around me: Temperatures are rising and the snow is beginning to melt, robins are roosting and geese are returning from their southernly sojourn, and probably most tell-tale, I finally wore my Chucks outside for the first time this year; although on March 20th, the first official day of Spring, I may temporarily trade my Chucks in for a pair of hiking boots.
“If hiking is good for you, then hiking with a Holga is even better, right?”
No arguments here.
Holga Hike logo © HolgaMods; used with permission.
The article is a general survey of toy cameras for the uninitiated (generally sticking to the Lomography retail line-up) and includes several digital means to reproduce the toy camera and Polaroid aesthetics.
While the semanticist in me disagrees with the inclusion of the Lomo LC-A, which to me would be better classified as a low fidelity (lo-fi) camera, as it has more bells & whistles than a typical “toy” camera and what’s left of the analog purist in me partially disagrees with digital imitation on a core level, I do have to say I am flattered that the author saw fit to include my image as representative of what can be achieved with a Holga.
This specific image, in particular, I have always felt unsure about. According to Flickr, it’s one of my most popular images, except I could never ascertain if that was because it was a good photograph or if it had something to do with a prurient phenomena of bikinis on the internet.
Maybe it’s a little of both and maybe “prurient” is too strong of a word. The image has more going on than just the foreground subjects and an easy rule in photography:
Pretty girls often make for a pretty picture.
I’m starting to process some of the multitudes of images I captured on O’ahu this past December. The above photograph was taken at a tourist pull-off on the Pali Highway, a scenic route that takes you over (and through) the mountains from Honolulu to Kailua on the windward coast.
By its nature, it’s a shot that probably untold millions of tourists had taken before me and a shot that millions of untold tourists will continue to take in the future; in my imagination however, I’d like to think I was the first to use a vintage Diana F with Kodak Ektar 100 to make a multiple-exposure panoramic.
I’ll continue to process these images for now, as my wife is itching to scrapbook/album our entire vacation and wants to see what I have to contribute. So, I’ll post anything of interest here and then bulk load the rest up to flickr.
In blog news:
- – I’m learning enough CSS to finally tweak most of the little things that I disliked about the blog layout. I’m still not 100% satisfied, as I still don’t truly understand why certain aspects refuse to change, despite my better efforts; but I’ll continue to work on it.
- – If anyone out there is knowledgeable in WordPress, how do I get to fool around with the ‘dynamic_sidebar’? I want to have widget-specific CSS, but the sidebar doesn’t separate label widgets independently. Am I even making any sense?
I’ve been feeling inspirationally frustrated. I’m overwhelmed the sheer backlog of work just waiting to be processed, but at the same time I feel emotionally stymied that I haven’t shot anything new since the beginning of December.
I lack coherence. I’m no longer sure if I’m progressing or regressing.
I need anti-newton glass, an air filter, and a computer more capable than a netbook. I need more Diafine & film. I need to stop finding excuses & start finding answers. I need to break out of this rut.
I need to figure out just what it is I’m actually try to say.
For the past year or so, I’ve had the privilege to be part of a project within the Toycamera.com community to create a new book that explores toy camera photographers & the lo-fi images they create.
The brainchild of Andrew, of Green St Photography fame, he gathered a crack-team of toy camera enthusiasts as interviewers, editors, and designers to help put this project together. We’ve held several calls for entries in different themes, received hundreds of mind-blowing images from photographers across the globe and despite our best efforts, the book is actually beginning to take form and is slated for a release later in 2010.
So why am I writing about it now?
Because, my dear friends, there is still time to contribute to a tome that will come to define an entire generation of low fidelity photographers.
Hyperbole aside, if you have a crappy camera with a plastic lens that you’re passionate about making images with, send us your pics. We’d love to consider them. Really.
The current calls are for the themes of “Travel” & “Flora/Fauna,” but we may be adding more shortly.
Show us what you got and you just might get published.
As you may or may not have noticed the redesign of www.expiredfilm.com has finally gone live.
I’ll still be tweaking it here and there, but for the most part I think I finally have a design I’m relatively happy with.
Now, this blog, on the other hand, still needs some work. I’m still trying to sort out how best incorporate some of the design elements of the main site into WordPress.
But I’ll do my best to be diligent about updating more than twice a year.