Musings of a Weary Traveller

I took a Fuji Instax Wide camera with me to London with two projects in mind: the project with the photos within photos (which I’m still editing- I seriously have like 20 left,) and the one I’m about to show you.

I found this travel photo diary at a thrift store, and the gears clicked into place. Before this discovery, I was anticipating just using the instant photos for the above mentioned project and then put them in a box somewhere. But, the album inspired this series instead.

I was initially going to say that the dialogue comes from an anonymous character I made up, but really I just sat around, brooding over something deep to say. Some of these things I thought while I was experiencing the scene. Others, I just tried to remember what it was like and what kinds of thoughts could be spurred from it. Each image and phrase across from it is connected- in some, the parallel is apparent, while in others… not so much.

I still have a ridiculous amount handful of photos to edit from the trip, and I still have to mail some film off, so I’m not done yet! The semester has officially started, I have my first photography project, and I’m in the process of applying for grad schools and jobs. Here’s to a good rest of the year! It’s bound to be productive.

and, of course, Happy Shooting.

Photos of Taking Photos

My friends are fantastic people and have been sneaking shots of me taking pictures. And I noticed a few things about my photo-taking habits.

Like how I scrunch my shoulders up.

And how my mouth is hanging open 80% of the time.

And I carry too much gear sometimes.

Also I’m pretty oblivious to everything but my subject- I don’t think I was aware any of these were being taken. My friends are sneaky.

I couldn’t resist. This is the story of my life.

Happy Shooting!

Every Photographer Needs Patient Friends

Gotta love that post-travel blues. Here are some more photos, this roll was shot at Versailles- the main reason why I brought my Natura on this trip with me. The rooms aren’t lit the best, so I figured a super light sensitive camera would do the trick. And I was right.

I also got some nice shots at the Musée d’Orsay and a few random places around Paris. And I think that statue with the “Hey! Look at this guy!” vibe goin’ on is from the Louvre. But I can’t remember but hey, lookin’ good dude!

Let me tell you how I have some really great friends right quick.

So we’re in Versailles, right? This is my second time there, and a couple of my friends are a little behind us, so we decide to set up a place to meet (the exit) in case we separated. I was anticipating being one of the first people done wandering, since I’ve been there before, so I kind of set up this plan thinking I was the responsible adult type and I would wait for the kids at the end should they get distracted by the pretty gilded ceilings and floral tapestries.

Ha.

They were waiting for me for a good 20 minutes at the end. That’s right- me. So, shout out to my friends who sat patiently while I stood in the Hall of Mirrors for fifteen minutes. Every photographer needs friends like these.

Happy Shooting!

Nostalgia in Print Form

More film has been developed, like a roll from the middle of the trip I never got around to dropping off. Oops. So, if I weren’t nostalgic already, I sure am now.

So, basically, a lot of these are from the morning my classmates and I went to Hampstead to visit John Keats’ old house. Then when we went to the Wallace Collection. And a lovely morning in Green Park followed by the Glastonbury Abbey and a pretty little thingy in a garden in Hyde Park.

These were all shot on my Fuji Natura Classica using the 1600ISO Natura film. Holla. Best point and shoot film camera ever.

Happy Shooting!

Regent’s Flower

I may be back in the United States, but my film keeps on coming in.

Thursday, my second to last day in the wonderful city of London, started out bright and early with my friend Sarah. We did a photo shoot in Regent’s Park, mostly in Queen Mary’s Rose Garden. I used Lomochrome Purple XR film in my Twin Holga camera, then re-shot it in my Minolta after rolling it back up. The results are stunning.

The middle photo in the bottom row was printed wrong in the lab, but it still looks cool so whatever.

I’ve been curious to see what happens when you double expose Lomochrome Purple film, and hey, I am not disappointed in the least. I look forward to shooting more doubles on this film.

If you’re planning on shooting Lomochrome Purple- totally get some vegetation in your shots. It’s work it, I promise.

Side note: I got an email from my professor regarding my photography class this fall- it’s all analog and other processes, and holy cow it’s less than two weeks away and I am so excited!

Happy Shooting!

P.S.- Is anyone going to London? Can I sneak a ride in your suitcase?

Une journée à Versailles

Today is a good day. I got my prints and negatives from the shoot I did in the gardens at Versailles:

The first image was an accident. Whoops. The other two, not so much. My Voigtlander Brillant v6 did exactly what I wanted it to do, which was create a foggy, dreamlike effect. I think I found a good use for this camera.

Some unfortunate things did happen. I had two potentially AWESOME photographs, but… I somehow accidentally double exposed them? I have NO IDEA how I accomplished this on my ancient camera, but whatever. That’s why I shot in digital, too.

I tried emulating the dream-like effect that my medium format camera wielded, but I didn’t get close at all. I do like what I ended up with though- the feeling I wanted is still there.

Originally, this shoot was going to have at least six or seven girls in it, but plans got all mixed up and our group all didn’t end up going to Versailles on the same day. It was for the best though, because it was difficult enough arranging three girls in an unknown place- I can’t imagine trying to do that with six or seven girls! Though, hopefully one day I can get a chance.

So, yeah, another international shoot under my belt. I have one more set of photos I’m waiting on that features a model, so keep an eye out. Until then, you know what to do: Happy Shooting!

 

Angst and Art and Photography and Dangit

You know when you have an idea that has a lot of potential but it just doesn’t work out as perfectly as you hoped? Well, it sucks. But whatever, I got four images out of it and four is my lucky number so take that universe.

I wanted to double exposure all of the landmarks in Paris with famous works of art housed in Paris museums. But, the sky was overcast all weekend, which is NOT good for trying to make a double exposure. I should have stopped down more.

Well, I know for next time. C’est la vie.

I’m totally getting a kick out of the Mona Lisa/Liberty Leading the People one. Liberty is trying to lead all the tourists away so I can have a private viewing! I really lucked out with the Eiffel Tower at night with Starry Night Over the Rhone– it doesn’t get any better than that, my friends.

Well, that’s it. Pretty odd, having these shorter posts after having weeks of long rants. I feel like I need to write more and fill up space- is it working? Am I doing this right? Have I taken up enough space now for this to look like an acceptable post?

Happy Shooting.

 

I Don’t Want To Go

I don’t want to go.

London has given me so much these past six weeks. It has given me a reason to wake up before noon. It has given me inspiration behind the camera. It has reawakened my passion for writing. And now I have to leave.

It’s proved to me that I can do anything I set my mind to. I want to do a photo shoot at the Cliffs of Dover? Sure, why not? Done. I wonder if I can pull off a series surrounding the colors one finds in London? Check. I have this pretty dress I packed- could I do something with it? Why not do something with it in Bath? Boom. Oh, your camera bag weighs 30lbs and you need to hike up that cliff side? Bring it on, endurance.

I learned that my passion for photography is not annoying, and I shouldn’t hold back. So many times this trip I started rambling about something photography related, realized that I had been going on about it for quite a while, and would stop and apologize to the person I was rambling to. And this is another thing London has given me: an understanding of who a friend is. These people who I would apologize to would smile and say, “No, it’s okay- I love seeing someone so passionate about something they love.”

So, I won’t apologize anymore. I have friends who listen to me ramble, and I’m going to keep them. Why shouldn’t we be excited for the things our friends love? Why not encourage them instead of making them feel like their passion is silly or stupid or uninteresting? Hey, you love watching slugs? Go for broke, man, and let me know if I can get you a lemonade or something while you tell me about the different species.

London has given me this.

And I don’t want to go.

I learned that I can take a stranger’s picture and not spontaneously combust. I learned that I can stand in the middle of a crowded sidewalk and take a picture of a picture of Big Ben and somehow survive. I learned that the world is not that scary of a place and that I shouldn’t let a fear of judgement prevent me from getting the shot I desire. I’ll still have my moments when my finger will stutter over the shutter button, but I have the evidence that I can do anything as incentive to go ahead and take the picture.

Relationships. Navigating. Problem solving. Team work. Delegation. Compromising. Surviving Belfast on July 12th. These are all things that London has either given me or reminded me that these are things I knew how to do all along.

I don’t want to go.

But I must go. I have to return to the United States because that’s just the way things are. Little pieces of my heart will be stuck in crevices and cracks in the sidewalk of this beautiful (albeit polluted and overcrowded,) city. And I don’t mind one bit.

London has taught me that I can do anything. And I can’t wait to bring this knowledge back to the USA and show the photography world what I’m made of.

Until next time, London.

Upon the Edge of the Cliffs of Dover

Before I left on my trip abroad, I practiced shooting Tungsten film with a gelled hot-shoe flash. The results came out better than I could have hoped, so I packed a roll in hopes of doing a shoot at the Cliffs of Dover. I thought it would be appropriate, since Tungsten film has a blue cast to it, and Dover is on the sea. Y’know, blue and blue? If you’re not following me, the ocean is blue and so is the film.

The shoot itself was super fun. The day started out promising but windy, and by noon the sun was shining and the shutter was snapping. But, by mid-afternoon, clouds rolled in and it started pouring. My friend and model, Lindsay, was a champ about it though and stuck it out until the very cold, wet, bitter end.

So, without further ado, here is what it is like Upon the Edge of the Cliffs of Dover:

This is a series about love and loss, holding on and letting go, being chained and being freed.

A few funny things happened with this film- it has a purplish tint to it, which is odd, and my metering was extremely off. I had a few shots that were super duper over-exposed and had to adjust in Photoshop (they are the super grainy ones, if you couldn’t tell,) but, hey, what can ya do? Stuff happens.

I’m going back to the United States this weekend. Can’t I just stay in Europe forever and take pictures and do cool photo shoots in cool places and just be cool in general?

Nah, I’d be broke.

Happy Shooting!

Perfektion

I’m pretty excited. And here’s why:

Check those babies out! I brought my Horizon Perfekt camera with me on this trip and loaded it with Lomochrome Purple XR. And it did not disappoint. Since I had to do my own metering I ended up with a lot of different colors than I usually do when using this film, since I didn’t have a light meter metering for a set ISO.

Here are the places, in order from top to bottom: Shakespeare’s House, Garden at Shakespeare’s House, Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Glastonbury Abbey, View from the Tor, Avebury, Stonehenge.

I really love the one of Trinity Church. It was really sunny that day, so I remember thinking to myself, “better over-expose a stop or too- this thing is in too much shadow.” And now it is glowing all heavenly-like. How holy.

I shot another roll on my Horizon of my trip to Paris and whatnot, but unfortunately those won’t be seen for another month or two, since I’m returning to the land of no LomoLabs and I have to mail the roll off to NYC and wait for an eternity. So, look forward to those, because I (hopefully) have some gems in that bunch.

Until then, happy shooting!