Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

On Perspective

We learned to recognize photography as images that somewhat resembles what we see with our eyes. 'Pictures don't lie', they say.  True, that it captures light bouncing off from the subject and replicates it onto a sensor/film using complex optical science... so there is no lie going on, just physics. If that is the case where is the 'art' in photography? Where is the part that makes the picture "unique"? Isn't one of the criteria of "art", is that it is unique? Something that belongs to a psyche of just one person? This is a curtain hanging from its rod in front of a closed shade.  Why does it look like a thick muddy dreadlock of a space creature? Or high resolution scan of a strange hair strand? Its because I omitted to show the elements that are distinguishable. And the viewer's brain starts to interpret the images using their own knowledge base.  So when the images seems to get more father away from reality,  we rely on our own perce

A Smile is Just a Smile

Canon 5d mk2  24mm 3.5L II There aren't many shots that I would say that I am really proud of, but this shot I am.  First of all, these three ladies are very nice people, so any comments that will be made below only reflects the view of the social consciousness of the general public as I would see it. Basically its "art"... to make it easier to explain. The backdrop is pure excess, gorgeous things that normal people will never lay their hands on.  The women in their designer dresses, slender legs and brand name dogs. The American Dream. But look at that expression! She is 13 all over again. There isn't an ounce of pretensiousness on showing how happy she is when her dog licks her.  The happiness crosses all social/cultural boundaries.  Its never misunderstood. The general public are jealous of them, be envious of them or even hate them, but that smile transcends that hate and dissipates it.  It makes me think and ask myself, why we believe in the things that we

Into the Darkness to the World of... Chemistry

These are night series that I've done with medium format film.  Night shooting on BW film can be very technical in terms of film development.  I choose to shoot film at night because it does a better job of keeping the highlights and shadows. For you older film shooters out there, you might know what I'm talking about when I say, "expose for the shadows and develop for the highlights".  Does anybody remember that mantra?... Anybody? Hasselblad 500cm 80 2.8 CF TMX 100. Pull process. The detail in the moon lit sky still has texture.  What that means in this case is, when you shoot, overexpose the film so you can get some density on the shadowy areas, and when you develop the film, do it in a way to keep the highlight from being too bright. Hasselblad 500cm 80 2.8 CF TMX 100. Pull process. I was surprised to see the trees to the mid right. Pull processing allows that.  When it comes to exposing, how do you meter at night?  You have to use the most un/reliable l

Fallen Trees

I was looking back at some images that I've done in the past, both in large format and smaller formats and I did notice that I enjoy photographing dead trees.  Maybe its the fact that they're horizontal while the alive ones are vertical?  Or they're symbols of cyclic nature of life? Anyway, I see quiet beauty in the decaying trunks and branches. Fuji x-100 I used my Fuji x-100.  It's a great camera that is small with great optics and sensor.  I opted for this because I'm getting old and carrying around a large format 4x5 camera does not look too appetizing anymore.  But If I get enough motivation to pursue this project further, I may have to do it.  Fuji x-100 I have sympathy for these trees that get hung up as they're falling. They can't rest laying down.  Here is another one.  Fuji x-100 Fuji x-100 Fuji x-100 Did some coloring in Light Room. I could've went to cooler tones to get the mood of 'death' but instead I went warm with more s

Author Series: Tony Horwitz and Geraldine Brooks

I've been shooting the "Author Series" for the Hay Adams Hotel in DC Since spring of 2011.  They invite well known authors like Toni Morrison and David McCullough to a lunch at the hotel where they would have a book signing and a presentation about their book they've released.  It is usually followed by a Q&A session where attendees can ask questions directly to the authors. Canon 50mm 1.2L, Canon 5D MKII. The meals are specifically prepared by Chef Peter Schaffrath with full intention of incorporating the elements of the theme of the day which would be the theme of the book. For instance, for this series the book "Caleb's Crossing"was set in the 1600's in Martha's Vinards. So the chef did some research to come up with a modern version of something that would've been prepared around that geographical location and during that time period.  Pretty cool. The Hay Adams Hotel take pride in their literary heritage. This hotel is built on

Shooting Film More

Now and then I like to take my film cameras out for a spin.  These mechanical cameras have to be 'exercised' or they can crap out on you.  Its like that with Stradivarius violins. You have to play them or they feel that they have no purpose and crap out.  I'm serious. When I had a mediocre scanner awhile back, I wasn't too happy with the image quality so I shot very little film.  But couple of years ago, I got the Epson V750 with the wet mount tray, and boy am I happy with the results. But I don't use the messy wet stuff. I just use a high-grade plate of glass to sandwich the film so it remains completely flat. I've done some tests and anything bigger than 35mm you'll have problems with getting unsharp scans due to film curvature. Even with the dedicated film holder, the film does not completely flatten.  Sure, you get more contrast and dynamic range if you do the true wet mount, but wetting and drying negatives each time you scan doesn't jive with m