On the Banks of Shoreditch

Yeah, there’s no banks of Shoreditch. Just Shoreditch.

Today my classmates and I went on a walking tour of- you guessed it- Shoreditch. Our tour guide, Henri, was a formerly homeless man who knew the area well. I really appreciated Henri, for many reasons: one, he was unapologetic in the way he would talk about the mistreatment of the homeless and how the screwed-up system takes advantage of them. Second, Henri studied art- interior design, actually. So there’s that awesome common knowledge of art things that we shared.

Shoreditch has a lot of graffiti, a lot of galleries, and a lot of artists. It’s a pretty cool neighborhood, despite it’s sketchy past. Damein Hirst- one of my favorite artists ever- lived in Shoreditch before he became famous, squatting in buildings and whatnot. I actually got to see where he lived (totes took a photo like a tourist, don’t judge me,) and I also saw Cock and Bull through a window. Talk about a pleasant surprise.

When I learned that we were going to Shoreditch, I took to Google and found what was there, which was tons of graffiti. Alright, cool. I have a lot of rolls of films left, including my Revolog Kolor films, and I thought, eh, why not do a shoot down there with my beautiful friend Christina? So, we did.

I’ve only used Revolog Kolor film once before (I think? I shoot so much I can’t keep track anymore,) and that was during my last trip to Europe, and that roll got fogged. This time around my film is not fogged (just the typical light leaks from my Minolta… I should do something about those,) and I like the color cast presented by the film. It looks great with the graffiti.

My favorite is the “Curious” picture.

I didn’t fill up the 36 exp. roll while at Shoreditch, but I did manage to fill it in the Underground.

Welp, I’m off to Paris this weekend, so wish me luck! I get to spend four days paranoid about my camera bag. Gotta watch out for those pick-pockets.

Happy shooting!

The Story of the Girl from Bath

When I was in Bath, I did a shoot with my friend, Caroline. It was done on my Minolta Weathermatic A with expired 110 Pocket Film from Fukkatsu. I dressed her up in my classical-looking dress and dragged her around in public all day. Here are the results:

This is the story of a girl who is lost in a different time. When I initially thought of doing this shoot, I was thinking I was going to have a classical shoot, as in I would just stick Caroline in front of old buildings and such. However, when we were driving through the city, I saw a motor bike parked up against a Georgian-style building. Do you see where this is going? Well, you should because you can literally see the photo shoot above.

So, she is a girl in a classical dress that looks eerily similar to the gauze-like fabric that is portrayed on Roman statues, and has a lace collar and cuffs, reminiscent of the 19th century. She is in a city that is just like her- only she doesn’t have the trimmings of the modern-day world. Juxtaposition, my friends. Juxtaposition.

As for the quality of the photos: I love the grain, I love how she seems to glow in some pictures, and I love the faded saturation. These elements fit the narrative I was going for extremely well. Hooray for adding to content!

It is always such a thrill to shoot in different formats. I’m looking forward to trying even more things during my stay here! I really wish that there was a LomoLab near where I live in the States, because it is super convenient to drop off my fancy/weird/rare film and be able to pick it up within a week, instead of mailing it off, praying it gets to NYC, and waiting over a month to get the scans. I’m going to miss this luxury.

Yesterday I went to the White Cliffs of Dover and did another photo shoot with a friend. Now, to wait for the slides. I shot it with tungsten film, so here’s to hoping I get the effect I desire. Even though trying new things is cool, it’s still risky and anxiety inducing. Mais, c’est la vie.

Happy Shooting!

The White Cliffs of Dover

What an extraordinary day! Today my friends and I went to the White Cliffs of Dover. I woke up super early (5:46AM, to be exact,) in order to catch a bus from Victoria Station to Dover with my friends Lindsay and Andrew. All was well, we got dropped off in the town center and- didn’t know where to find the Cliffs. So our trek to the tourist center happened, we were pointed in the right direction, and one hour of walking later we were at the start of the trail that would take us along the Cliff edge, France off into the distance.

While on this adventure, I was doing another photo shoot. I shot my friend Lindsay with expired tungsten film, so when those get developed they will be available for your viewing pleasure.

It was truly wonderful. I’m all about the scenery (remember my Ireland photos?) and when I would look behind me, there was the harbor, and when I looked in front of me, just this blue expanse. The weather was wonderful on our hike to the lighthouse, and we had tea there. It was a cute little tea place, so naturally I took out the camera.

After our tea time, we started our hike back down to town. The weather was starting to look suspicious, and sure enough by the time we got back into town it was pouring. But I still had half a roll of film to shoot! Thankfully my friend Andrew is a champion and was my lovely assistant by holding an umbrella over me while I took photos of my now-soaking-wet-friend.

We were wet.

We were cold.

We were exhausted.

But man, it was an awesome day.

Happy Shooting!

London at Sunset and Planet Parliament

Tonight I went on the London Eye. It was sundown. There is not much else to be said, as the pictures speak for themselves.

It was really spectacular. If you ever go to London in the summer months, go on the eye at about 9PM. It’s so worth your time to watch the sun go to sleep and see the city lights wake.

I also did a weird little editing thing. I made a planet. What? I made a planet? Whatever could I mean by that?

My friend Kaiden told me about this cool little trick. You should really see his planets on his Flickr page, as they are a lot more eloquent than mine.

I found a useful tutorial on how to make these things, which can be found here. This is something I want to experiment with some more, especially since I’m here in Europe and I have some cool scenery at my disposal. But, these are hard to make well, so I’m going to have to have a lot of trial and error before I’m happy with the results. C’est la vie, practice makes perfect, never give up and never surrender and all that jazz.

And with that, happy shooting and happy planet-making!

planetstonehenge

 

Brill[i]ant, Simply Brill[i]ant!

I mentioned in my post about my trip to Stratford-upon-Avon that I bought a Twin Lens Reflex camera. It’s a Voigtlander Brillant v6, and it took me two hours and a migraine to figure out how to use it. I bought film for it, I filled the film, I got the roll developed, and now I have the scans!

The fact that photographs actually turned out of this thing is a thrill for me. One, it’s a hella old camera so I was worried photos wouldn’t even turn out at all. Two, it’s the most complicated camera I have ever used, so there was that. I’m really diggin’ the hazy quality of the images, and the light leaks in the last two pictures are awesome. I love those.

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to take it out for night photography, and I surprisingly got a few good images from that spontaneous and not-well-thought-out event. I guess learning how to meter without a light meter is really paying off, since I’m getting good enough to guess exposures at night time with an ancient camera. Kudos to my professors and friends and Google who taught me all the things.

I’m taking it out for a spin when I go to Paris next weekend. I’m doing a photo shoot at Versailles with a few girls from my program, so that should be fun. The softness and the colors I have my models wearing and the location will all fit together nicely.

But, that’s pretty much it for now. If you shoot medium format film, leave a link in the comments to your work- I want to see!

Happy shooting!

Somethings Can’t Be Bought

Yesterday and today I went on an adventure to a place I’ve never heard of: Portobello Road. There is a large market there of antiques, clothes, pottery, food… anything you find in a market. IT’S HUGE.

Yesterday when I went it was rainy and not many stalls were open. But something really awesome happened. I was walking by some antique stalls when I saw a camera one, so of course I stopped, because this is a photography blog you are reading so duh. On the table, I noticed an old looking photograph in a nice album-like frame. It looked like a Daguerreotype. So I was excited, because, hello, it’s one of the oldest types of print in photography. So I asked the old gentleman who was sitting at the stall, “Excuse me, but is this a Daguerreotype?” and to mine and his surprise, he said, “Yes- how do you know that?”

So, we got to talking about how I’m studying photography, and I asked him about more of the photos on the table. After asking about a hand-colored tin-type, he told me something I’ve never heard about.

Apparently, when he was an apprentice in the late 40s, he would hand-correct negatives of portraits. He would go in with graphite and alter the soft-focused images to get rid of blemishes, make noses bigger, make noses smaller, lips fuller… He said that after they were done the photographs didn’t resemble the people anymore, but they were happy.

How cool is that? I thanked him for that knowledge, and hopefully I can pass it on to photography students some day. It was a really nice conversation, and I was so sad to leave. I’ve been longing for someone to talk photography with, and I found that someone in the form of an old Italian man in a white fedora. You can’t replicate moments like that.

I returned to the market today to see how it was without the rain, and today (Saturday) is the serious antique day. You couldn’t move it was so densely populated by tourists who loved to stop in the middle of the road or sidewalk or whatever who had no sense of space and were completely unaware of their surroundings in order to take a picture or point at something and wow it was frustrating. I spent four hours there, just walking around and browsing antique shops. I saw one lady drop 600 pounds (or quid, as they call it on that side of London,) on a brooch. Like dang son, I wonder why that brooch was as much as it was- did it belong to some marchioness or something? So that was bizarre for me, anyway.

After my adventure at the market I went to Hyde Park and finally saw the Serpentine. It was soo beautiful. I also had my camera loaded with color infrared film with me, so I took some shots and hopefully they come out.

Well, that’s all for now. Happy shooting!

In Case of No Tripod in London, YOLO

Let’s talk about cheap tripods.

Don’t do it.

So, tonight a group of friends and I went to central London for some night photography. I was going to get some great shots, because, y’know, I had my tripod and motivation. I go to attach my camera to the tripod- it’s broken. It won’t attach. My life flashed before my very eyes. It was a good life that ended with no tripod.

We were already there, there were a bunch of us, and I was tripod-less. But, never fear, I made-do, got creative, and this is what happened:

I’m thinking about getting a new tripod, but that costs money and I’m poor. We’ll see. For now, steady surfaces like cement walls and bridges will do.

I enjoyed walking around and seeing other photographers trying to get good shots of the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, and the Thames in general. Everyone was so focused with their tripods and crouching and such. It made my night.

That’s all for now though. Happy shooting!

P.S.- I mean YOLO in the most facetious way possible.

Bathing in Photo Ops

This weekend was another busy weekend. I didn’t leave the country this time, but I did see a lot of it. My classmates and I went to Bath, Glastonbury, Yeovil, Old Sarum, Avebury, and Stonehenge.

Bath was super exciting for me, mostly because I’m writing a novel that takes place in the time of Julius Caesar. So, anything Roman is instant interest for me. I’ve been wanting to see the Roman Baths since I was a little girl, so I was so stoked.

And I was not disappointed.

This weekend also marked my first ever international photo shoot. I dressed my friend Caroline in a classical looking dress and dragged her around Bath. I took the photos with my pocket film camera, so when they are developed (hopefully soon,) I will share them all and share the story.

Glastonbury was another place that was awesome. I had never heard of it, honestly didn’t care, I just wanted to find a Starbucks. I didn’t know what we were doing there, but apparently we were visiting an abbey. I was like, okay, whatever, it’s a church, that’ll be cool. Butttttttt then I found out it wasn’t just any ordinary abbey.

When you get out of the visitor center/museum space, it’s a totally different world. There were acres of green grass, and to my surprise, extremely old ruins. According to legend, this abbey was started by Jesus’ uncle, and King Arthur was once buried there. It was beautiful, it was humbling, and I was singing little hymns as I walked along taking pictures. I couldn’t help myself.

After the wonder that was the Glastonbury Abbey, we took a hike to a place called the Tor. I also had no idea what this Tor thing was, and my feelings towards it were kinda apprehensive- and even more so when I found out there was a giant hill standing in my way. So, a hike later up a tragically tall hill, I got to the Tor, and photos ensued.

It was really gorgeous. A few people in my group say it was the best view they’ve ever seen, and I kind of disagree and agree with them- but hear me out. I disagree because I’ve seen some pretty amazing landscapes. I agree because I’ve never seen this landscape, and dang, it was beautiful. You feel me?

So, after spending a night in Yeovil, we went to Old Sarum for a few minutes (like, really, we were there maybe half an hour,) then to Avebury for basically lunch and a good look at the stones (oh, hey, giant stones, we gotta get back to the bus holy crap,) then FINALLY AFTER ALL WEEKEND we made it to Stonehenge.

It was crowded.

We had to take a tram.

And it was great.

It was everything I expected it to be, except the construction work off in the distance (I wasn’t too thrilled about that.) It’s weird, seeing something that you’ve spent your entire life seeing in textbooks, on postcards, in documentaries. It was right there. Too bad you can no longer go near it and touch the stones or anything, but I can’t imagine how crazy that would be with the hoards of people that were there.

I got my hands on some color infrared film and took some pictures of Stonehenge with it, so I’m hoping for some cool effects from that.

Also editing photos is getting meticulous so here have a thing that wasn’t.

Happy shooting!

Natura[l] Ireland

The results are in! My roll of Fuji Natura Classica film came back un-fogged, which I was extremely worried about since TSA staff in both London and Dublin denied me a hand-check on my film. Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! Yay! I was so livid each and my friends had to hear me complain about it for a good ten minutes each time, but all is well and they are troopers for hearing me rant about it. Thanks guys, thanks.

These are pictures from my various adventures across the Irish island, including my escapades in the city of Dublin both day and night, my Northern Ireland adventures in the Dark Hedges, Giant’s Causeway, and the lovely little Irish town on the cliff side, and our hostel hallway and dormitory. Good times, good times.

A few weeks ago I posted about being nervous while taking photographs, and though I’ve moved past it quite a bit, I had a moment when I went to get these developed. I needed a friend to come with me to drop them off and pick them up, so I delayed getting these developed by two days. Whoops. I’m just gonna say that I had a good couple of weeks of totally creepin’ on people and snapping away anxiously but with reckless abandon, so it was bound to catch up with me anyways. And there was that photo specialist who looks like a mob boss who kinda sorta maybe intimidated me last time geez Al Pacino go back to America. But, c’est la vie! Gotta keep on keepin’ on!

I’m off to Bath, Glastonbury, Avebury, and Stonehenge this weekend, so expect, as usual, some shots.

blahblahblahhappyshootingandallthatblah!

Once upon a Roll of Pocket Film…

Yet another detour from my London adventures, this time to talk about the joys of 110 Pocket Film.

Once upon last October I did a project called Post Apocalyptic Capitalism and while shooting the film I also took photos on my Minolta Weathermatic A, didn’t fill up the roll, and had it lying around my dormitory for the remainder of the school year except for one snowy day I randomly took it out, until Memorial Day, when I broke it back out to take photos at the beach, didn’t take photos at the beach and instead took photos in a nature park, shipped the film off to the LomoLab in NYC, and just recently got the scans via email and now here we are, an egregiously long sentence later, with the photos from above mentioned escapades.

This is my second roll of 110 Pocket Film, and I still love it. I love the grain. I love the softness. I love how some images are high contrast and others are low. I’m planning on shooting a roll this upcoming weekend when I go to Wessex, so seeing these made me more excited. This roll was Lomography B&W Orca 100 ISO 110 film, available at Lomography stores and the Lomography website, if you’re interested in giving it a go. If you’re in need of a pocket film camera, they sell for cheap on eBay and you can sometimes find them at thrift shops for like 99 cents.

Also dem lens flares and glares. Mmm. Quality.

Happy Shooting!