Teamwork is for people who like to sit down, drink tea and come up with creative ideas that each can write with their favorite ballpoint pen. Teamwork is meant to be fun and useful. But at least half of the times, teamwork is a bunch of incompetents relying on people who are less incompetent then they are to deal with their shit and get the credit for it. For those of you in the second category, i wish you a Saw-series death. Pick your choice and i'll be more than happy to help along with logistics. Idiots.
Someone once said: "One can choose to study fish or the environment they swim in". One should think at this point that this is precisely what social photography does. Capturing people and their behavior on a certain media, whether it's a digital sensor, a film negative or audio tape, tends to be just the tip of the iceberg, as far as human analysis and documentation is concerned.
In this twenty first century in which photography is available to absolutely anyone, the actions of taking pictures has become much better differentiated from the one of creating photographs. But how is it that one can take images that no one has taken yet, in this context where an images is merely a button away? I might say that observing the "water" in which humans "swim" becomes crucial to photographers and to me in particular. it is not my intention to criticize the action of man, but merely to observe it, and it's effects.
As mass manufacturing has grown to outstanding sizes, the casualness with which we discard of functioning objects for new, better or just different ones has been an constant fascination of mine. An explosion of consumption choices threatens, without a doubt current identity of the individual, forcing him to confine to a standard or perhaps an imaginary much desired social status.
The objects appearing in my still photographs are all, without exception, gathered from the street, undesired discarded items that may still serve their purpose for years to come. In a century of contrasts, where poverty so finely combines with opulence and luxury, the concept of recycling and reusing objects that still function has decreased dramatically to the level of a part-time subject of discussion. Constant fetishism surrounding products and trends offer an illusive sensation of well - being for the ones who can afford it, and nothing for the ones who struggle for a living. In my image i cannot but underline this action which, like in physics, will have an equal and opposite reaction.
Someone i used to know asked me today: "Is it better to get used to someone and live with them just because you got used to them or accept something new and exciting?"
I can't say it took me by surprise. I have asked myself that so many times. But all in all, the person you get used to and you care about will most likely be there for you unconditionally while someone new and exciting perhaps might think of you the same thing. New and exciting. When the excitement fades away, it will all crumble like a building made of cards. I suppose i can't give advice about anything since i can't even advise myself on almost anything. What do you think i should do? Can you give me a piece of advice? Please help me, i don't know what to do.
It seems that we hit against these kind of decisions everyday. Escaping ghosts, remembering summer days. What happened to those crazy summer days? Don't cry for yesterday and learn to survive in the big world. It's the advice i can give but i can't apply for myself... Have a good day my reader.
Now then, it seems the world has been quite made redundant by the on-going recession. It's been affecting the economy long enough to fuck things and to make me interested enough to write about it.
It's a normal and logical follow-up to the 9.11 event which carefully led the greatest nation of cunts in the world (commonly known as Americanus Imbecilis) into a spiraling paranoia regarding terrorism. Why would America have 12-13 trilion dollars in debt? It's a simple answer to this simple question... Let's try to do simple maths:
1 tank driven for 1 mile ... in Afghanistan ... costs USD 1000. few hundred thousand tanks driven for few hundred thousand miles ... same location cost... few thousand of thousands of dollars few hundred thousand soldiers for one day ... same location ... ammunition ... costs the rest of the money.
Furthermore, it seems that the country's shit idea of spending and spending and buying new phones and new everything, faster cars, bigger engines, more luxury, has managed the wonderful act of putting them in debt up to their neck, and even deeper in shit.
Unfortunately, all countries who thought America isn't such a bad country are floating around in the same shit, holding hands ans singing "Kumbaya". England, France, Germany, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania...etc. We all supported the country that spawned Metallica, cocaine and and slavery, but with this last action they fucked up. After ranting quite alot i will now leave you with this question:
"Why do you think Russia, China, Japan or India are not affected by the recession?"
Went to the docks today, with the H1D to fool around, and caught some good images as well. Just so we are all clear, the camera is near impossible to shoot without tripod, mirror movement destroying every possible aspect of sharpness there is. I presume that it is not meant for press, just like the Horseman. No problem there. I can convince it to work for street photography if i have to.
Another downside of it is the ISO. ISO 100 is about as much as you can go, noise wise. ISO 200 is quite noisy and ISO 400 is a complete and utter disaster. I will post pictures of ISO 200 and 400 tests done with it but don't hope for much. Just as the H2D i tried last week, noise is a huge huge problem.
Another one that keeps bugging me is the display at the back. I saw the adverts before using it and showed a display that would make my 1Ds Mark 2 blush. Sadly enough, in real life, the quality of the display at the back of the 20000 quid camera is roughly the same as the one on my 20 quid Nokia 6170. And that is being nice. Still, if used in it's own environment it performs marvelous, being without doubt one of the best digital cameras there are. Studio work exclusively!
Well, i remembered, in a previous post i told you people something abut a sixty year-old stripper. Well, as promised, here is the shot of the happy birthday boy with one of the four riders of the Apocalypse (surely not Famine) behind him. Enjoy
Actually, it was just two horsemen. Today i discovered the secrets of Daguerre, Talbot and Eastman images. Today we rented a couple of Horseman 4"x5" cameras, with 180 (equiv 50 on 35 mm) and 240 (equiv. 90 on 35 mm) and just horsed around with them in the studio. An expensive horsing around if i might add, having in view that for a pack of 25 slides one would pay an average of 20 quid.
Now then, it would be only fair to assume that i had no idea how to use the camera, so a pack almost was lost in tries and miserable failures, as in the case of the camera obscura. Still.. Practice makes perfect, or really dumb.
After spending a good deal of hours processing and scanning, the images that we were looking at defied all reasonable quality. We got to the point were we weren't sure if the little specs of dust were on the negative or on the actual clothes. At 100%, the image scanned, the size of a movie, was easily printed on an A1 paper, without any other modifications regarding quality. When we did a crop of a tenth part of the image and again tried to print it A1, a little quality damage showed, but only if you were in the position of knowing images and printing processes all too well so that you could notice the problem. Otherwise, breath-taking quality. Since sometimes goddamn Macs don't go together with some sites or with the ISP, i cannot upload an image to show, but soon will.
Being a first experiment, we only got FP4 films but, color and perhaps E6 processed film might follow when we have the funds. Presently, for my own personal project, i have purchased a Canon 1Ds Mark 2, which is due to arrive in a short while and which will pretty much complete my collection.
For now, the up and coming pieces of work i might do will surely be medium format, either the H1 or the Mamiya 7 II, or down the path of the H2D. Not sure yet... But recent massive purchase of medium or large format films that i did (and by massive i mean.. massive) put me in the position of not really having funds for anything else but photography these days.
Perhaps the stubbornness regarding switching to digital for good might have something to do with my fund issues...
As far as addictions go, for some of us photography just seems to top everything. Last few days have been very very dull. No parties, no drinking session, no girlfriends, no uni classes. Therefore it has come to my attention, as i was lying in bed like a vegetable that i am, that i still am in the possession of a fairly big amount of black cardboard and duck tape. Several hours later, the once peaceful and boring backyard view has been covered up with cardboard and tape, leaving only a small hole, the exact size of a 5p coin. The effect was spectacular (at least for me). I ave never actually thought that I'd finally build one. The fun followed shortly. My ideas to photograph the room with the projection turned into an organizing hell when i noticed it's getting dark. After some thinking i decided: "Long exposures should do the trick!!!" Like any other brilliant plan it failed miserably. But in a special kind of way that makes you wish you were stupid so at least had an excuse. I have decided: "we'll do this properly!" I set the alarm on my phone one hour ahead, closed all doors and windows and sat on a chair next to the Canon 5D set on ISO 400, F4.0 on 24 mm. Result? a Completely obliterated image, mutilated by the huge noise you get in this kind of exposure. Furthermore, staying into a room in pitch black is not any one's cup of tea but i seemed to have rather enjoyed it. It made my room look bigger and confused all my senses. Like drugs. Only it's free :)). Step two: (also known as the stubborn jackass phase): i knew very well that the image was crap but still, i loaded a 400 colour Fuji in the Hasselblad, put the 35 mm on and shot away one frame at an average time of two hours and 20 minutes. Results are due in a few days. As far as reason goes, my room is alot more interesting now, I'll give you that much. The sun rises directly from my desk and sets somewhere in the trash bin (the trash bin was carefully positioned :)) ). Will expand the camera obscura and will write about it more. until then, this is my room.