Man, it’s been a craaaaazy week spent getting my brain back together.
I’d been so busy, doing so much stuff, for the past month that when things
finally sorta slooooowed down, the usual happened.
I stopped but all the crap and stress and worries and niggley little bits and
pieces that I’d been running so fast to keep in front of, well, they just kept
moving forward. Before I knew it they’d swamped me. Took just about two
whole days to scrap all that shit off me.
But, I’m happy to say, things are now back to “normal”. Though the pundits
and economists are telling us, after the big market meltdown, that we’d better
get used to a “new normal”.
Who knows what that’ll mean for the foto-industry.
I’m a big believer in survival of the fittest and competition. I think it keeps folks
on their toes and striving. Seems to me that there’s been a huge increase of photo-
graphers in the past 5 or 6 years, coinciding with the advent of half-decent digital
cameras that were pretty affordable. It’ll be interesting to see what the survival rate
is for these new shooters, and the established ones too, in this (presumably) tough
new economic climate.
I don’t wish anyone ill. It just seems only natural that every so often the tree gets a
good shake and we see who can hang on. After all…..this is a tough planet.
My advice: Keep shooting, and shooting what you love. You’ll get more respect (which
can translate to jobs which equals the fabulous moolah) by exhibiting passion rather
than lowest common denominator, sliced white bread images.
Go get ’em.
In the meantime……
Here’s a shot I took of my friend China Doll for a magazine.
The reason it’s framed sorta funny (all that space on the right hand side) is because
the art director told me she needed to run a column of copy over the shot.
LAST PIECE OF FILM IN CANADA
I think I shot the last piece of Kodak Portra 4×5 film in Canada. That would have
been a couple of weeks ago. I phoned all the usual stores, looking to get some more.
That’d be Vistek, Henrys and so on. None of them had any Portra 4×5 anywhere in
their systems. So I called B+H in N.Y.C. Asked the dude on the line if they had any.
He said: Yeah, we got some”. Being once-bitten by the lack of film here in Canada,
I asked him: “How much you got?” He said: “337 boxes”.
I ordered me up some. Back in business.
I wanna know why the pissant camera stores up here can’t keep some film on hand
for those of us that like to shoot it.
And, below, is one of the reasons I like to shoot film. Here’s a snapshot of me
standing in front of a 42 inch tall print from a 4×5 negative, and a detail…..
I think you can see why I love the 4×5 so much. If you’re only shooting for the
web I suppose digi will do. I must say, though, that the actual shooting process
a 4×5 requires really seems to change the juju of a shoot. Plus, if you’re shooting
with prints in mind…..well, no contest. I was studying some prints from digi files
at Festival X. Sure they hold up, if you don’t make ’em too big, but they just look
kinda plastic, synthetic. Prints from film have a certain organic feel to them that
seems to really do justice to skin and textures and so on. I’m a big fan of content
so I’m not gonna go crazy here, on this film vs digital thing (I know it drives some
people mad) because content doesn’t really care what you use to shoot. All content
requires is any camera, some brains and sensitivity plus effort. But I also like craft
and being seduced by the surface of things. Film’s where it’s at for that, if you ask me.
I believe that by not exploring what different cameras and formats can bring to the table,
a lot of photographers are short changing themselves. Of course shooting film is more
expensive and, if you were raised on digi-only shooting, probably more difficult.
Those who know me know I’m a fan of difficult. That’s where you grow, in the sea of
difficulty. I recently read a kool Chuck Close quote. He said: “Far more interesting than
problem solving is problem creation”.
So I say……every once in a while, ditch the digi, shoot some film, live a little, take a walk
on the wild side.
And, speaking of film and trying stuff and just plain working….. props to:
The SPAO grad who just keeps shooting and shooting. That’s the way you move
forward. It’s called: work.
Michelle recently exhibited her Holy F**k portraits at Gallery La Petite Mort. Word
on the street is she’s gearing up to shoot the Big Halloween Party that Guy throws
down at his gallery every year. So get yer ass down there for the party and get shot
by a rising star.
Now if only she’d get her web site whipped into shape you all could see what she’s