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!

Paris in a Single Post

I’m back in London now, and I’m pretty sure I left my feet in Paris.

Saturday was quite the memorable day. We went to the Musée d’Orsay, where I gave a kind of crash-course in art history to my friends. They probably knew a lot of what I was rambling about, but hey, that’s what friends are for, right? Last time I was in Paris I missed out on going to this wonderful museum, and I’m ecstatic I was able to go this time- I saw so many works of art that I had only read about or see in textbooks. I saw Van Gogh, Degas, Seurat, Monet, Manet, Gauguin… I actually teared up when I was staring at Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone.

This may be a photography blog, but hey, I’m still an art student.

After we finished being completely overwhelmed at the Musée d’Orsay, we went to Musée Rodin to see Le Penseur. We frolicked in the gardens for about twenty minutes before embarking on our next journey to the Champs-Élysées. I forgot how deceptively long of a street that was.

So, if you’re wondering why I haven’t broken this post up with a ton of pictures yet… See, here’s the thing: I kind of forgot I had a digital camera. Yes, that’s right- forgot. Instead I took a lot of pictures with my Minolta and other various cameras… So, I mean, there will be pictures of these adventures, just not yet.

ANYWAY. We saw the Arc de Triomphe up close and personal, and then off to the Eiffel Tower we went. Which was also a deceptively long walk.

Our feet were hurting pretty badly, probably due to the massive amount of walking we did the day before at Versailles and how we literally traversed the city that day. We learned that things on the map aren’t as close as they seem- which is the opposite case in London.

So, that day ended when my friend’s feet started bleeding through her socks. We all figured our feet had had enough and went back to the hostel for the night. And, we saw a rat on the way- awesome!

The next day we took it slow and easy. We went to the Eiffel Tower in the morning and then went to church at the American Church in the afternoon, which was nice because everything was in English. The church was beautiful and the people friendly and the worship great. It was a nice vacation from Paris- we were kind of mad at it, honestly, after the pain we went through the day before.

We went back to the Louvre so we could go see the Mona Lisa, and I gave a rushed art history tour for my friend, since the museum was closing in like 45 minutes. We went through the Italian Renaissance Galleries, the Greek and Roman Galleries, and the Ancient Egypt Galleries. I had a field day.

The evening was the most memorable one of my trip so far. My friends and I sat under the Eiffel Tower and shared a small bottle of wine. I ate a beignet chocolat (I could live off of those things,) and enjoyed the Paris night. That was why it was so great- I really felt that I was in Paris. The evening ended with a crêpe au fromage and a hike back to our hostel- I saw two rats that time- double awesome!

Dat slow shutter speed- if you’re tired of taking ordinary pictures of landmarks, I highly suggest you give this a shot (hahaha pun.) You can also try zooming in and out with your lens for other effects!

This post is getting pretty long, but I must continue with what happened today. We went to the Sacre-Coeur, Montmartre, and the Moulin Rouge. After eating lunch at the cafe that was in the film Amélie, we went to Notre Dame- my absolute favorite place in this entire world. We hiked to the top and enjoyed the best view in Paris, then went inside.

I love Notre Dame. There isn’t a place in this world that fills me with so much joy and solace and contemplation all at once.

So, yeah, that was my weekend in Paris. If you read all of that- great! Awesome! You’re the best!

Here, have a planet:

Happy Shooting!

Voyage à Paris

Well, I’m here again! It’s nice to be back in Paris- even if today was a bit of a successful cluster of a day.

We started out this morning at 6AM. We hopped on our train to France, where I fell asleep with my mouth hanging open and I drooled a little bit but hey I shouldn’t see any of those people on the train ever again. I really hope I never run into the conductor, because I tripped her on accident and if looks could kill I would not be typing this right now.

When we got into Paris we bought Metro passes and fought our way to our hostel. I mean, no punches were thrown but if the Metro system was a person, I don’t think I would hold back. I’m just spoiled by the tube, I guess, so even though the Metro is relatively easy to use, getting down to the trains is a nightmare. But yeah, we made it, the hostel is lovely, and we went to Versailles.

I was well prepared for Versailles this time. I brought my Natura Classica with me to help me out in the dimly lit apartments. I obviously don’t have those images quite yet (if only I had a pop-up developing tent like in the good ol’ days,) so the suspense that must be killing you right now will have to be endured. Also, my friends are great because they ended up waiting for me for about 20 minutes at the exit while I took my dandy little photography-driven time through the place. That’s love.

BUT THE BEST PART ABOUT TODay was the gardens.

Now, remember the last time I was in Paris, it was cold and it was the first week of April. There were no flowers. No fountains. It was pretty and all, but it wasn’t screaming HELLO YES WE ARE THE FAMOUS GARDENS OF VERSAILLES YOO HOO LOOK AT HOW PRETTY AND FLAMBOYANT WE ARE HOW ABOUT YOU GO FOR A STROLL AND MAYBE START A REVOLUTION OR SOMETHING?

All of that happened this time. Except the revolution.

My friends and I did a photo shoot in the gardens on my Voigtlander Brillant v6. So, once again, I have nothing to show you because I have to get those developed before I can show you. I’m pretty excited about them though, and if they turn out anything like my last batch from that camera, it’ll be revolutionary (see what I did there? do you see it?)

After toiling through the gardens for a few hours (my camera bag was back-breaking and it was hot and man those gardens don’t look so big from the Palace but when you’re suddenly at the end of the Grand Canal you may have some regrets I’m jussayin’,) we went back into Paris and decided to try getting to the Louvre before it closed. Well, that was a fail on 4 of 5 of our parts (kudos to Sarah for practically running across Central Paris in the name of art!) so instead we strolled along until we got to the Pyramids and soaked our feet in the fountains.

It was a lovely, busy day, and I’m looking forward to more adventures tomorrow. It’s wonderful to be back in the City of Light- let’s see what being around all this artistic inspiration does for my work!

À bientôt, and Happy Shooting!