photography

DOUBLE X

Here's an example of the photo series I'm dabbling with at the moment. I'm calling it DOUBLE X since it's all gonna be double exposures. The exposures are made rapidly so hopefully only a fraction of a second or separates the two images. 

I'm hoping to catch the so called "decisive moment" (NO, I'm not comparing myself to Henri Cartier Bresson), but obviously the moment I think is right, followed by the instant after. The combination gives a odd effect with a good subject. The feeling of a good moment being captured is there, but the ghosting from the second image makes you realize something isn't right. I like the idea of things never really being still, things always being in flux. 

The above shot is an ok representation of what I'm talking about. I just started fucking around with it a few days ago so I'll see if it proves worth pursuing. The weather is warming up so I'll be outside a lot more in the coming months. Maybe something else will grab my interest by then but either way, I'm done taking pictures of textures and shapes for a while. Completely burnt out on that for now.

FV

 

SATAN MAKES A MOVE

Who doesn't miss Satan when he's gone? He's a fun guy. There are times though when he gets a bit cruel and dumps a heap of shit on us. That's been my week but not in a negative sense. Just busy with my responsibilities to others and had no time to do any lino printing this week.

Got a bit of sketching done, and tentatively started on a new thing with my photographs as I've hit the wall with the stuff I've been concentrating on (more on that another day). I definitely enjoy keeping occupied with more than one thing at a time, but when you get in a groove on something and other factors keep you from it, it's frustrating.

Anyway, Japan being the land of a thousand holidays, I should have some free time coming up soon as the country takes it's annual week off called "Golden Week". Ain't no gold for me during that week but I suppose time off is a treasure of sorts.

FV

 

ANALOG DAYS

It's kind of cool to see the young cats getting into film photography these past couple of years. Brings back good memories for me from back in the day when there was no choice,

I'd use Kodak Plus-X and Tri-X for most of my stuff. I did all my own developing, 20 or 30 rolls most weeks with D-76 and print maybe 10 worthwhile images from that. Actually, that'd be a good week if I got that much really worth printing.

I mostly used Oriental paper, grade 2 or 3 usually did the trick. Can't really remember what chemistry I used for printing. Most likely Dektol. I used all Kodak shit. It was all good fun and I learned a lot over many years. I also spent a lot of money on that habit. Who knows how much for film, paper and chemistry. Luckily, I used to hustle around helping people out and always had access to good darkrooms for free.

Back then, it was a way of life. I'd hardly ever talk about films and chemistry with people. Pretty boring stuff if you ask me. I would talk printing techniques now and then cuz the print was ultimately all that mattered. I'd hit the streets and shoot or whatever, then hung with a few photographers to talk some photo stuff now and again. But you'd more likely find me in a bar talking about almost anything else with the characters that inhabited San Francisco then who'd tell stories upon stories. 

Well, like I said it's kind of cool that I see a lot film being shot. Not sure how many do their own developing or printing. Seems like a lot of people scan the negs and print from there on a printer or just post to Instagram. It's cool by me whatever way you go. As for me, I can't afford to shoot film these days and digital is obviously so good I'm not gonna go back anytime soon.

The only advantages of film to me is that you're not looking at every shot you take and you have a finite amount of shots. You develop a sense of what's good, whether it be the subject, the light or the vibe. It's like a sixth sense. You learn to trust yourself, to accept loss and appreciate when you've got something great that you may not have realized.

The shot above was during my Diane Arbus phase, shooting a lot with a hard flash at night on the streets of San Francisco. This was maybe the night before the Gay Pride parade, I'd say in 1994 or 95. It was a different world man. No Instagram or any of that stuff. Just drinking, shooting and showing my freaky friends my prints. All for the love of photography. Not to be liked, or share what I did with 100's of thousands of people. It was something that kept me alive and excited. I was lost in my own world and didn't give a shit what anyone thought about me and my cameras or what I did with them.

FV

 

LINO PRINTS

Along with a lot of things these days, I find I'm not having any real luck expressing myself through photography lately. I like the stuff I do and still enjoy photography a hell of a lot. But, I'm full of rage and disgust at so many things in the world that, for whatever reason, I can't seem to get it out of my system with photography.

I've never been a conceptual photographer in the sense of setting up props or using models to create a narrative. Maybe it's a failure on my part not to try and use the medium I'm most familiar with to start doing that. It just seems complicated and uninteresting to do. I enjoy photographers who do it well and, the likelihood of me ripping them off seems too easy. In any case, I'm not into it at this point and time.

Instead, I decided to try something new: lino prints. It's a form of printmaking similar to a woodcut where you carve out an image on linoleum (or some similar material), ink it and print it on paper. My wife being a printmaker has given me a lot of chances to see some great work from her friends who use the method and I'm a huge fan of the look of a final print.

Another thing that's got me all jazzed up about it is the process. Printmaking is old and has a rich history. It's visceral. You use knives and touch things. I've seen powerful work that is not very intricate and amazingly fucking mind-blowing work that is insanely intricate. So, I think I can get something satisfying to myself out of the process without much skill.

I have all the stuff I need to get go going, as seen above. I'm itching to make blunt, unambiguous work right away. But for the next little while, taking a piss on things is gonna have to wait till I can use these tools without cutting my fingers off. Starting after I write this I'll be making some basic shapes and seeing what's what.

FV