Brendon Kearns

photoweblog

Tag: Leica M6 (page 1 of 2)

Sydney Winter: Part II

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

Sydney Winter: Part I

London England

Between work meetings and jetlag I didn’t get in as much of the UK as I had on my previous trip over and remained largely in the central London area dropping odd shots here and there.

I’ve started to amass a decent collection of black and white photography books- in just the past two months I received a copy of Koudelka’s Gypsies and Dream Street: W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project as birthday gifts along with purchasing a copy of Tod Papageorge’s Passing Through Eden.

Gypsies was about what I had expected and by far lived up to the legendary status bestowed on it, although I was surprised it didn’t include one of his more popular images that I had assumed was part of the series.

I had only read about W. Eugene Smith’s drawn out Pittsburgh Project in the Geoff Dyer book I finished a few months ago; the actual photos selected in Dream Street covered a large span- everything from urban landscape, kids, the elderly, politicians, workers, artists, to more abstract photos of street signs, city lights, steam and melted steel.

Passing Through Eden I found at a local used book shop and (aside from the great images of Central Park) includes a great ending bit on his evolution as a photographer inspired by his ineptitude at poetry and a run in with Winogrand, excerpt as follows:

“…A simple question that knocked me for a loop: until then, I’d commonly measured the world photographically with a “normal” 50mm lens from about 12-15′ away (often making vertical pictures at the closer distance to fit a figure head-to-toe in the viewfinder); now, with a new 35mm lens on my Leica (my response to Winogrand’s question), to even loosely fill the picture frame I was forced to move physically up on what I photographed with my now always-horizontal camera (using this lens vertically caused unmanageable distortion). Even more, the soft, sculptural quality that the 50mm lens tended to give things was swapped for a front-to-back blanket of sharpness that etched every part of my photographs- people, walls, paving stones- with a dumb, deadpan literalness. In those first months, poetry seemed to me the last things this lens might lead to; I only slow came to understand that, to use it effectively, I was going to have to learn to communicate photographically in a more dispassionate language than I knew how to speak…”

You can read more from Tod Papageorge about the book in his Alec Soth interview from around the time of publication.

Reykjavik Iceland


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.

Fall Katoomba Trip

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.

Sydney Mardi Gras: Part II

I took a lot looser approach with the camera then I normally would- it yielded a few blurred shots in combination with the overcast weather but I got some decent shots on the lead up to the parade kicking off when compared to last year’s Mardi Gras haul from the same time.

All shots were HP5+ pushed to 1600 and developed in a stock Xtol solution for about 9:28-9:35 at 23C-23.3C depending on the tank.

February Mix of Shots

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.

Mix of the Past Couple Months

Shots off some recently developed rolls from the past couple months

Unfortunately I never seem to shoot the same film stock consistently with the same camera so I never end up developing everything on a regular basis- I’d like to start ensuring I have everything I shoot in a given month developed by the time that month ends but we’ll see how it goes

October & November

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


Glebe Markets

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.

Newtown Graveyard

Few shots from the Newtown Cemetery

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be in London next week for work so I’m hoping to catch a little bit of the London Street Photography Festival and find some time to burn through a few rolls myself- should have something to show in a few weeks time

Older posts

© 2017 Brendon Kearns

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑