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!

“I Will Not Be Your Toy.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about women. I’ve been thinking about how they are smart, strong, determined, and beautiful. But there is something going on with women today that is on the forefront of everyone’s minds: how they are portrayed by the media.

We get it. There’s the Dove campaign, YouTube videos of models being Photoshopped, clothing companies suddenly using “average” sized models for their clothing. Awesome. Great. I really am happy about this.

But what I am unhappy about is the brutality women are still facing at the hands of their perception of their physical appearance, despite these campaigns. There are still girls starving themselves to be thin. There are still girls hurting themselves because they can’t be perfect. Girls are tearing each other apart on Facebook, Twitter, through text messages, and through whispers because they have been taught to hate one another. When women hate themselves, it’s only natural for them to hate others.

So, I did a shoot.

Tear apart the vision, not the victim.

For this shoot, I used Revolog‘s Streak film. I had never used it before, but I’m so glad I did. The texture really adds another element to the series, and to be blunt, it reminds me of self-harm scars.

So, about those barbies… I got them at the thrift shop for 67 cents each. I was getting a lot of sideways glances while I was standing in check out, but hey, I have done weirder things for the sake of photography.

That’s all for now- happy shooting.

Minolta X-700 and Revolog

I received a Minolta X-700 for Christmas, and have been procrastinating learning how to use it for the past six months. It was daunting to me; I had never used a fully analog camera, and all the nobs and numbers and dials were intimidating. Honestly, I was afraid I’d screw it up. However, I finally bit the bullet yesterday and read the manual and went to work.

For those newbies like me who have done nothing but hold a DSLR, the Minolta X-700 is a manual focus SLR from the early 80s. It has a program mode and an aperture-priority mode, so there are options on it that aren’t fully manual, but I was feeling tenacious and figured I had enough schooling to go all-out on manual mode.

The oldies reading this are probably smiling or shaking their heads at me and my excitement over using an analog camera. But I was practically dancing while taking pictures yesterday because I knew what I was doing. I started laughing with joy yesterday when I was trying to take a picture with my aperture stopped down to f/11, and I was still over-exposed with my shutter speed on the fastest shutter available for the camera. Then, I had an epiphany- I COULD STOP DOWN FURTHER. HOLY COW WHAT A CONCEPT. And then MAYBE- JUST MAYBE- I could find an equivalent exposure so my shutter speed wouldn’t have to be ridiculously high.

I think I take too much advantage of my DSLR. I let it think for me. When I see my light meter, when I see that little white triangle veering towards the -2 or the +2, I absent mindedly adjust my camera settings, not really paying attention to what I’m doing. My camera may be set to manual, but my mind is on automatic. Using my Minolta yesterday made me completely aware of every shot, the light, the exposure. I had to think about what I was doing; was that shutter speed really necessary, or was there an equivalent exposure I should use? Should I over-expose here to get the shadows lighter, or do I leave it? What aperture should I use to get the most out of the clouds during that sunset?

Seeing my developed photos, I see I have a lot of learning to do still. That makes me even more excited. I think working with my Minolta X-700 will make me into an even better photographer: one that is more aware of her camera.

For these pictures I used Revolog brand film, specifically their 600nm. Revolog is an Austria-based film company that makes films that have different color and texture effects. I’ve used their Kolor film (you can find the results of that one under my Travels<Film page) and the 600nm (on the Film Work page, more carnival photos like the one above.) They’re really awesome and fun to work with. They can be developed at home or wherever you can develop film, since all their films are C-41 process. You can check their store out here. Shipping is a bit pricey, so get with a friend and order film together to split the shipping cost!

London and Paris and East Lansing

I had an excellent trip abroad. I wish it were a little longer, but c’est la vie.

We spent three days in London and three days in Paris, and now I’m spending the next four weeks in East Lansing. Yay?

I took some awesome pictures using film by Revolog.

They have some really great films with cool effects, and each roll is unique- so no two pictures have the same effect! I used their kolor film to make my pictures of landmarks a little more interesting. I get really bored when I don’t have people in my shots, so the kolor film made me a bit more excited about my work.

Here are just a few notable examples of the kolor film:

So, great trip abroad! Be sure to check out my travel section to see more photos like these!