Saturday, 28 October 2006

The Double

In the early stages of developing my world-beating device that allows you to shoot 35mm film on any medium format camera, I played around with various methods of film carrier. The first was an extremely complex and fiddly device and not at all user friendly in any way. Imagine the fiddliness involved in loading a 4x5 film holder - then times it by a thousand. (Okay so loading a 4x5 film holder isn't fiddly at all once you've got the hang of it, but hopefully you get the idea.)

Anyway, this prototype device did in fact allow me to load two strips of 35mm film side by side. I only did it the once. Imagine the fiddliness involved in loading one strip of 35mm film in the device - then times it by a thousand. That film sat around in a plastic bag for a good couple of years, moving from house to house, fridge to bedroom to car to bedroom to fridge (in no particular order), before I decided it was time to shoot that muhth-er-fuhk-er (correct phonetic spelling).

As with any experimentation there were some unexpected results. In the way the films married together. In the apparent lack of flatness of the film. In the quality of the film after being so mistreated for so long.

Clearly some shots were better than others. Overall I did get the what I was hoping for (see last image especially), but buggered if I'm going to try it again in a hurry.

At least not the way I did it. I do have new ideas on how to do it better - though where there may be time savings on one step, time may well be added for another.

In other exciting news, thanks to my mate Tim here's a link to Mark Amery's DomPost column from Friday 20 October about ME (oh and some other, less exciting people too). This is the version Mark submitted before the DomPost butchers I mean sub-editors got their hands on it.

And in other exciting news, my mate Simon has started a blog too - the mightily titled Swim Star Challenge 2007 (this guy should go into reality TV). It's not a photo-blog (if the title's not a give away) but it's worth a laugh - especially to those in the know (you'll know who you are when you see it).

Thursday, 26 October 2006

The Self

Oh how I wish I had a full time assistant with me so that when I decide to do stupid treks like this - four hour return wander along the coast - I could have someone else helping lug the gear around. And it'll be good if they knew how to work the gear too - so I could take stupid photos like this one. Even if it was just a girlfriend I could cajoule into coming along.

Hell, screw the camera help, I just wish I had a girlfriend.

But as much as I like to moan about my pitiful life, what I really like about this shot is that is a true self-portrait. I guessed the focus and then stood in the wrong place. That softness is quietly flattering, covering up all my ancient wrinkles. The side lighting's quite nice too. That sun of ours is a pretty good light source really.

At the moment I'm in the process of sorting out all my negatives and trannies - again. Well the 4x5 ones really (cos the others are pretty well organised), pulling out bodies of work so that they are all together and not randomly scattered. That kind of thing.

In going through the folders, I've come across a few nice shots which will be appearing here in time. This is one of them. It's what happens when you get a bored me, a night time, an awol flatmate, and a 60watt bulb hung from the ceiling. Again I guessed the focus I think, then stood remarkably still for one second even while releasing the shutter. Christ I'm just so talented.

Again that assistant and/or girlfriend could have helped, but then the result wouldn't have been quite the same, and not so ME.

So maybe on second thoughts, screw the assistant, and screw the girlfriend. They're both just too much trouble. Give me lonely and bitter anyday.

Monday, 23 October 2006

The Bambina

Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free. Funny how word association can cause you to be reminded of long lost lyrics.

Anyway, what I was trying to say was. Believe it or not, this is one of my favourite ever shots. Just a snap, taking while out wandering one weekend. I'd never before seen this garage open. I would never for a moment have thought it was so cool inside. But there you have it.

Saturday, 21 October 2006

The Dickhead

I can lay no claim to taking these photos. I can barely lay claim to giving permission for them to be taken. What I can lay claim to is not getting the permission of the person who did take them to 'publish' them on this here blog type thing. Copyright, schmopyright!! Complain as much as you like lady, I don't care!!

Man on the left, random stranger, co-creator of the contraption, was supposed to be the model. Man on the right, dickhead, sucker, and occasional camera hog/hag.

And it wasn't even wearable arts weekend, it was Dukes of Leisure, and they ROCK.

And by way of a seamless segue, somehow linking these 'borrowed' images to some shots I posted a while ago to this picture, I give my thanks to The David.

Thursday, 19 October 2006

The Overbridge

Here are some shots from yet another incomplete, half-arsed body of work. One of the hardest bodies I've attempted. Wellington has a lack of cool overbridges (or at least a lack of inter-tangling interchange things), and admittedly there are still a few overbridges I haven't shot from. And I should probably do some shots in Auckland, but Auckland sucks and I don't want to go up there no more.

And the weather is just completely wrong. It would be so easy in the UK or Europe with their big expansive grey skies producing flat light, a lack of heavy shadows, and consistent sky density - none of these horrible harsh shadows and fluffy clouds.

Whinge whinge mumble grumble.

They're pretty cool pics though eh?

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

The Bloodening

Okay Jodi maybe you were right, maybe I should probably bike less. Not to stop, as you say, those terrible lies entering my head. Just to stop me bleeding quite so much.

Nice eh?! I've done worse though, in my time. Still got remnants of a bruise from a month ago. And scars from too many roads from years ago.

And seeing as I've finished working, and it's such a lovely day, I'm going to jump on that bike again and see what other damage I can do.

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

The Cross

Okay so I've already resorted to repeating titles. But it was either that or "The David" which um ... I used right at the beginning of this time waster.

Anyway, amongst other things, David likes finding/creating biblical references in his photography. Not in an obvious way, but pleasantly abstract. I'm not sure if I was thinking bibles when I took this, or if I just liked the image.

Well whatever, I still like it. For lots of reasons.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

The Genesis

I'm in the process of patenting a device that allows you to shoot 35mm film on any medium format camera. That's the exciting bit ANY medium format camera - it's not one of those massively over-priced propriety adapters that will only fit your model of camera, this fits any medium format camera.

Of course that'll mean absolutely nothing to most of you, but that's your problem not mine.

Here are some shots I took on my old Agfa Clack (well it's hardly going to be new now is it?!)

Hmmmm. Nice. Random light leak, soft focus, no exposure control. Fantastic.

Friday, 13 October 2006

The Pop

Thursday, 12 October 2006

The Sea

Sunday, 8 October 2006

The Garden

One of the nicest pieces of public art I've ever seen. Sadly no longer with us.

Friday, 6 October 2006

The Desert

Here's a little shot I took a wee while back. It's actually 3 Hasselblad frames that I comped together really quickly. Ya just gotta love that PhotoShop thing eh?!

Thursday, 5 October 2006

The Damned

I don't think I'd been to Karapiro town prior to a couple of months back. Didn't pay it much attention mind. But look at the dam. And the lake. (I quite like the donuts myself.)

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

The Rooms

Continuing my work on the rooms I've stayed in. These are from a couple of months back. Auckland. Palmerston North. Auckland. Turangi.

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

The Rant

Yeah so yesterday I was doing a walk around town and I popped into a secondhand bookshop, found their photography section and was tossing up what if anything to buy when I peeked around the back of the stack and saw a spine with the word "Minamata". I knew I was going to buy it before I'd even looked through or checked the price.

Why? Because it is both a classic photojournalist book and a classic environmentalist book. Published in 1975 (mine's a first edition) it featured the work of renowned photographer and control freak W. Eugene Smith and his wife Aileen Smith.

It tells the story of Minamata. I've only read the first few pages, and I knew the basic story, and it's harrowing. See wikipedia for the details.

In the prologue, and remember this is 1970, Smith writes "Obviously there is no doubt in our minds that the world has got itself into terrible trouble through pollution. Let me amend that; "the world" sounds too remote, too abstract. Persons like us and our neighbors are right now being poisoned through the air, the water, the food we must have. ... whether the poison is mercury, or asbestos, or food additives, or radiation, or something else [it] is closing more tightly upon us each day. Pollution growth is still running far ahead of any anti-pollution conscience."

This was 30 years ago, 10 years after Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring' kick started an environmentalist movement, and things haven't changed a great deal. Maybe I'm just saddened about this mess of ours after seeing Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth' but it does make me think.

Oh and by the way, the photos are beautiful, the text superbly written, and the printing the best I have seen in a photography book from the 1970's. I may let people look at it if they come round to my place, and bring their own cotton gloves.