Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Photo-Opportunities ~ early 2015

If you're in or around Paris in early 2015 and are looking for things to photograph, here's a rather short list of potentially fun things to do.

4-8 February ~ Retromobile where old cars, parts, manuals can be found and that fabulous Baillon Garage Find will go up for auction
15 February ~ 18ème cortège du Carnaval de Paris de la place Gambetta à la place de la République en passant par l'avenue Gambetta, les boulevards de Ménilmontant et Belleville et la rue du Faubourg-du-Temple (text borrowed from Basil's email)

15 March ~  7ème cortège du Carnaval des Femmes, Fête des Reines des Blanchisseuses de la Mi-Carême - les femmes sont invitées à se costumer en Reines et les hommes en femmes, s'ils osent! (text borrowed from Basil's email)

23-24 May ~ Geekopolis at la Porte de Versailles

~ Completed ~ 

Charlie Hebdo murders ~ my images from the memorials can be found here -

11 January ~ La Traversee de Paris with 600+ ancient vehicles storming the streets - my images can be found here -

Passy ~ Paris ~ France

Monday, December 15, 2014

Spanning Iron Spaces ~ Image Portfolio ~ Electronic Distribution

This is to announce that I am releasing Spanning Iron Spaces.

The city my wife and I live in is filled with wonderful old iron structures.  I wanted to celebrate a very simple means of support found around the city.  I use the word support in both it's literal and figurative sense.  I wanted to look at how man has artistically used the base metal.  I wanted to create a series of images of iron, rivets, and the space around them.  I wanted to capture what some might see as the ordinary and reveal it's underlying beauty.

Spanning Iron Spaces, as with the previously released Hauntings of Gothic Ghosts, is offered in short form for free.  The full electronic PDF distribution is offered at 10USD.

Note: The difference in price between this release and the earlier portfolio reflects the fact the new work is yet to be published.  Should a publisher share portions of this work in a journal or book I will adjust the price upward to 25USD.

Scenes from a Walk

Friday, December 12, 2014

Re-learning old tricks...

Since moving to digital for all my serious work I've shot with heavy DSLRs and big zoom lenses.

This has recently changed.  Completely.

Passy ~ Paris ~ France

A Sony A6000 has climbed into my camera bag.  It's taken it's place alongside three Sigma fixed focal length DN lenses.  Everyone looks to be here for a long stay.

Many years ago I used a Leica and three lenses.  This was back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and my cameras were loaded with Kodak Tri-X or Ilford FP4 or Ilford HP5 and fixed focal length optics were the only reliably sharp option.  Hollywood was where I lived at the time and New Wave and Punk were the music styles in vogue around the LA basin.  My Fiat 124 Sport Coupe was a blast to drive Hwy 1 and 101.

Passy ~ Paris ~ France

My three lens photography kit consisted of a 35mm, 50mm, and 85 or 90mm lens.  The Leica wasn't the only kit I built like that.  I also owned Canon F1(original) and Nikon FM systems.  Each built on the basic three lens kit.  With the SLRs I added a 200mm or 300mm lens for wildlife and motorsports work.  This was the way I learned to "see".

When I moved into large and very large format film I built the kits, once again, on the three lens step of equivalent focal lengths to my old 35mm gear.  90/150/210mm in 4x5inch and 210/300/450mm in 8x10inch film.  Continuing to work this way was an extension of how I had learned to "see."

With the move to digital I learned to love the "flexibility" of high quality zoom lenses.  My kit contained zooms from ultra-wide all the way up to ultra-long.  The lenses that got the most use were the 24-105mm and 100-400mm.  The ultra-wide and medium-long zooms sat largely unused.

Passy ~ Paris ~ France

What I noticed is that my "seeing" became, for the lack of a better word, "lazy."  All I had to do was twist the zoom ring and re-frame the scene.  It was all very simple.  Though now that I look at things it seems like a lot of my work had taken on a "bland" appearance.  Not only had my "seeing" become "lazy", the "look" of my images were bordering on looking "lazy" too.

Moving into mirrorless for all my serious work has been like "backing the horse into the barn."  I've taken small steps.  Four years ago I bought two mirrorless cameras that I used for around-town and travel photography.  A month ago I bought a couple Sigma DN Art lenses and tried them out on my aging around-town/travel NEX5.  I liked how crisp and clear the images were on the small sensor.  A week later I bought a camera with more pixels than the Old Beast.

Wandering around the city and working in the studio has shown me what is possible.  Image quality is very important to me.  I did not want to take a step down in quality by moving to a smaller system.  As a measure of how happy I am with the results I now have all three Sigma DN Art lenses.

Passy ~ Paris ~ France

Which leaves me to wonder about the need for a high quality zoom.  The mirrorless kit lens is OK on smaller sensor cameras, but has obvious short-comings when mounted on the big-mpixel camera.  Zeiss offers a nice zoom, but would I use it?

A recent visit to Passy leaves me wondering if I really _need_ to spend Zeiss kinds of $$$'s.  I'm amazed at how quickly I've slipped back into the three lens kit way of "seeing."  In fact, I remember how to frame an image and select the correct focal length lens without thinking about things.  It's a natural movement.  Just like when I lived and photographed around Southern California.

Can Old Dawgs really ever _un-learn_ Old Tricks?  In my case it seems not.
Passy ~ Paris ~ France