Since acquiring the mju II a couple of months back, I’ve been exploring color a little more than normal with some accumulated portra stock from my fridge- I find its handling better than my GRD III for speed out of pocket. If I use my three middle fingers when reaching for it, I can be opening the clam shell casing and have it ready to fire by the time I can get the viewfinder to my eye.
When it comes to analog AF’s, I hit the jackpot this weekend when I found a Ricoh FF3 Super and a series one Olympus mju for $6 each in the second hand goods store for the Cat Protection Society of New South Wales. Normally I assume every Salvos and St. Vincent’s across the greater Sydney area has been cleaned out of classic camera gear by the type of old men that rule the Ultimo Camera Fair thrice a year but I guess no one thinks to wander into a place like the Cat Protection- I only ended up there while trying to find a half-gallon canning jar to mix up Philly Fish House Punch in for the coming summer- not an easy find out in Oz.
Das Racist with Lakutis performing at the Oxford Art Factory
I’ve taken a little hiatus from shooting around town but I’ll be back in action this Friday at Oxford Art Factory to cover the ‘Big Things Tour’– in preparation I’ve purchased a speedlite 430 and charged up ye olde digital Rebel XSi
I recently acquired an Olympus mju II and have been enjoying the new found freedom from manual focus, allowing a return to a more reactive and looser style akin to when I bought my first DSLR.
In celebration, I thought it would be good to drop the M6 for awhile, put aside the black and white film stock, and try to get outside my normal ways and means of capturing photographs to make this small Paul Graham inspired series that I’ve dubbed “Dolmades in Glebe”.
Despite the camera’s outward appearance (which looks a lot like a cell phone from days gone before smart phones) it handles surprisingly well and I’m generally pleased with the quality of shots I’ve got back on the initial test roll. If you look close you’ll notice it even has the option of imprinting the date onto the shots via its quartz date functionality- I’m assuming my model is from ’96 as this is the default year it loads when the batteries are replaced.
I’ve dubbed this set of negatives I’ve purchased ‘The Lecturer Collection’ as the only information I had on their origin in that they once belonged to a former University of Sydney lecturer.
The photos are primarily of Germany, with a few in the set marked as American. The sum total must be somewhere between 600-800 black and white negatives of various formats. The ones shown here are only 120 or 135 as these were the only two for which I had preset holders for scanning.
Most seem to center around one older couple and what is either their child or grandchild as they vacation through Germany while the rest are an odd assortment of blurred war photos, portraits, family snapshots, occasional scenery and the insides of churches.
I’ll have more up soon as time allows.
My photo scanning is back in action after I recently fixed the grinding noise coming from the right side fan within my MacBook by using a T6 Torx screw driver, some WD-40, and the handy guide from ifixit.com
I shot these photos during a two night layover in Reykjavik on my way from London to Boston. While exploring around I stumbled across a shop owned by Icelandic photographer Ari Sigvaldason selling his book ‘Shot in Reykjavik’ but it was closed on the Sunday morning that wrapped up my time on the island.
In other news, I acquired a major stock pile of photographic negatives from Germany and Australia circa 1930-1960 that I’ll hopefully get to scanning in the coming weeks along with the rest of a co-worker’s long overdue family slides, shots from London/U.S. leg of the trip, and the dozen odd exposed rolls kicking around my flat that I’ve yet to develop.
I ended up at the Friend in Hand for a few beers a couple weekends ago- this is the Cockatoo “George” that lives at the bar
This last photo was of a guy named Nigel who came up to me outside the Clarendon to inquire about my camera- he had just order himself a Spotmatic off eBay from Canada for $60.
I found some more old negative packets at a second hand shop and a tag sale up in Katoomba; I’ve been slowly accumulating more and need to find the time to get them all scanned, culled and posted.
I played around with the film this time a little more than normal- the meter in my M6 is about one stop over so I loaded it with Neopan 400, set it to 800 (effectively 1600), then shot most of the shots about one stop over and ultimately developed it in Xtol at a little over the recommended time for 800 with temperature around 24C yielding the more contrasty shots. Along with this I tried out a roll of Neopan Acros pushed one stop and developed in T-Max instead of my usual Xtol, while the rest were part of my first step toward shooting through the fridge load of HP5+ buy-2-get-1-free packs ordered from the states a few months ago.
Quick update with a few shots of my own from the past couple months:
I snapped this first shot of Katie only to realize there was a way more interesting dude behind her
99%’ers camping out in Martin Place
Man who had just proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of Occupy Sydney
Enmore was over ran with teenagers expressing their identity crisis
Newtown’s ‘Reclaim the Lanes’ festival
I tried taking the same style shot multiple times, pocketing the subject in the bottom left or right corner while trying to give it as much context as possible
I’ve been working on doing my own film development and I feel like its giving me better results than anything I had got back from a lab in the past year- I’ve coupled this with using a Phaidon discount I get to buy up some photography books.
While reading through Danny Lyon‘s Memories of Myself he transcribes Hugh Edwards telling him how the best photographs imply movement. It seems an obvious statement in hindsight but I had never been able to put my finger on what the ‘poetic quality’ was that made some images stand out while others look stale and I think its that exactly- when it feels like the image is just after something started but before its finished.
After the Newtown Festival a couple weeks ago I was on my to Doughboy for a pizza when I dropped into Gould’s to dig through the mountain of books. I found a copy of Nikos Economopoulos’ In the Balkans which was the first time I had seen any of his work or even heard of him- its was 30 bucks (comparatively high for Gould’s) so I left it. By the time this Friday rolled around I had been thinking about the images so much that I sat through a jammed up CBD for an hour and a half on the M30 after work to go back and see if it was still there.
I consider it now the best photography book I own- in my mind its up there with Koudelka. Since leafing through it and studying the images, I feel like I’m reevaluating every shot I’m about to take. I dont know if its the cuts and crops he’s making after the fact or if he is actually getting that in there to frame while shooting but I’m amazed at each stray arm, foot, branch, bottle or cigarette in his shots.
A few shots from the Ban Live Meat Export Rally held a couple weeks ago
The night eventually ended with a caipirinha down at the green room