Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Several months ago i decided to start shooting film again, my goal was to go out very often and finish it and continue my growth as a photographer. Alas it has taken me a lot longer to finish that roll of slide film and have been trying to finish since January of this year. One of the reasons why it took so long is that with film if you really seek to understand how it reacts to light and how to expose it detailed notes must be kept so that you can compare the images to your notes after the film is developed. To many this is a very tedious and frustrating process, but for me i see it as a way to discipline yourself. It slows you down, you have to study light how it falls on your subject how it hugs its contours and changes in color, you have to think about composition. You have to think about what goes into your photos. Many have said in the past and even now that film is obsolete, that its dead but film is thriving within a community that is alive and vibrant. Unfortunately many of the people who shoot film now do so because it is trendy and gives you that vintage look, it is my hope that these shooters take the time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of this wonderful medium. You might ask what the big difference is between film and digital, some say there is none but in reality there is a big difference. Digital for its many advances and incredible amount of details that it can capture still looks sterile, it lacks depth and for a lack of a better term it lacks feeling and heart. Don't believe me? look at a print one printed from a digital file and one printed from film. Digital looks clean, sharp with lots of detail, while these are good things our brains can only take in so much. Film is an analog medium, its soft, grainy, smooth with a very natural warmth, thats the incredible beauty with film our brains romanticize the look of it. Sort of like the way that one language will sound harsh and another will sound smooth and warm (thats why there area called the romantic languages) we are naturally attracted to one over the other. Consequently it is interesting to to think about how many digital photographers edit their photos beyond belief in order tho add grain and that vintage look, the very things that digital has sought to get rid of we are trying to put back in. Does this mean that one format is better than the other? Not necessarily, they both have strengths and weaknesses but i do believe that we are naturally attracted to one over the other. One thing that i will say is that digital with its infant gratification has bred a shooter that is undisciplined, doesn't understand light and doesn't take the time to learn to strengths and weaknesses of their medium. This is a detriment not just to themselves but ultimately to photography in the long run, Photography is not just art but a fair amount of science, a science that is only understood with effort and discipline. So after all this. What about my roll? 2 things. 1) After 10 or so years of not using it I'm out of practice, so i was a little disappointed. Ultimately i don't take it as a defeat but as a a chance to learn and a stepping stone to greater discipline. 2) i really need to get my incident meter calibrated, many of the shots i took with settings from my incident meter were underexposed. I look forward to shooting more, heres a few highlights for you. Enjoy!

Monday, August 29, 2011


It had been several months since i had been able to go out and shoot any landscape photos, in the last couple weeks i began to notice a shift in my attitude towards everything. I was easily irritated, felt stressed about even the smallest things, and was just on edge. It was not at all pleasant and what was even more frustrating is that i could not put my finger on it at all, after some thinking i came to the conclusion that the source of the problem was that i had not gone out to do what i wanted to do. Im working at a photo lab in carlsbad at night now, i get there shortly before the sun sets. Most of the time the marine layer obstructs the sunset, but the times that its clear or there some clouds in the sky makes it difficult for me. Knowing that there is something out there in beautiful light that i could be photographing but am not able to is the worst kind of torture. Im lucky to have a wife that understands this and a boss at the lab that also understands this. When i got the go ahead from jen to go out and shoot on friday after i got off at work i asked my boss if i could leave early, with how busy we have been at the lab i really thought that the answer was no. I was pleasantly surprised when i got the ok to leave early, i decided to head to swamis to shoot. I have lived in north county for over 20 years and had never been there, once i got there i looked for a location to shoot from and planted myself there and waited and watched the light. As soon as i got set up there was a feeling of........i don't know how to describe it but everything that had been getting to me just faded away and i got into the moment. Even the fact that i had forgotten my tripod and limited the pictures that i could shoot didn't get to me. While i waited i found this bush of really weird looking but colorful plants, i shot some pictures of those for a little while and then shot some surfers and watched the light. As the sun went down the light became progressively more golden and red. The clouds over the beach reflected all this beautiful light giving everything this ethereal look to it. All the light just spread all over the place, exposures were easy and so much fun to do, on top of that i also finished my 1st roll of slide film. All in all i had a blast, thank you to my wife and to bonnie for seeing how much i need to do this not just for work purposes but to keep my sanity. I look forward to doing it again soon. Enjoy.

Ill post more pictures later, the 2 horizontal photos look pretty much the same but one is shot earlier in the afternoon and the other is shot towards the end. I wanted to show the change in the lights intensity and color as the sun gets lower and lower, the transformation is really quite beautiful to experience :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

An untold adventure......

A while back i had a little grand adventure with some close friends out in the desert, we hung out all into the wee hours of the night taking pictures and shot many guns the next morning. For reasons that i cannot go into i was unable to share this grand adventure with you all, but it is nonetheless worthy of blogging. One of my favorite things to do while I'm out in the desert and at night time is to tinker with lights and take cool unique photos. Night time adds an air of mystery and a certain degree of unpredictability to everything and the deserts desolate landscape completes the package. Thrown in some fireworks and you've got yourself a winning combination! I love having friends that appreciate my obsession for a good photo and will not only indulge me with being in the photos but have incredible patience as i tweak things around to get the shot that i want. Often many wonder if i have any fun at all on these trips since I'm usually documenting things and not shooting guns or heavily participating in the activities. To be completely honest i have a total blast, i love to have the ability to document all our adventures and have good photos to look back on and relive those times. Plus my tinkering nature goes into overdrive and i love to experiment while I'm out there. I hope to have many more trips out there with good friends in the very near future.......but we will wait for when the sun isn't so stinking hot! Enjoy!