Friday, September 11, 2009

Film is not a dirty word....

Fuck. Thats a "dirty word" but film? Come on people - whats not to love... and whats so great about digital anyway? I know I want to make some point right now about how we are afraid of choice and in a effort to make life simpler, more streamline, we have progressed (or regressed) to all things digital but I'm struggling to align my thoughts at this current juncture... my concentration is torn between writing this blog, watching high fidelity, wondering if the washing is done and what kind of tea i should have before bed tonight (sleepy time or tension tamer?)

See I've got too much going on. We've all got too much going on these days... so i can see why someone would take one look at 13 different types of film with various ISO's or speeds and run for the hills and right into the open arms of the digital revolution!

I'm a fan of digital myself...I've run down that hill and into those megapixeled open arms, but then I'll go and stumble across a blog post like this, that gives me 10 reasons to love film and I want to tattoo it to my forehead just to get the message across to every soul I can!

You know who's got the message? Jen Gotch, Thats her pretty picture above and you can check out more of her handy work here, here and here.

A great online guide to Polaroid Transfers

Dont let the white gloves scare you, this is a great online guide to Polaroid transfers. Click here to learn how to perform such creative feats such as the one above.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bob Dylan said it best

Done laid around, done stayed around
This old town too long
And it seems like I've got to travel on
And it seems like I've got to travel on
This seems like a appropriate song seeing as Iam typing this at the Sydney International airport on my way to spend 1 glorious month in asia, first stop singapore then vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.... Ive packed light.... 2 t shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of swimmers and 4cameras! a Polaoird, lomo, 35mm pentax and my canon g9 digital! Apologies if i dont post much these next few months! Ill be busy taking photos and exploring a small part of the world! Yay!

Found Magazine.

Into all things quirky and collectible? Consider yourself somewhat of a curious being? Or maybe your just a nosey pain in the arse? Which ever way you look at it - Found Magazine is for you. Just when you start to think there isn't a original thought out there in the world you stumble across a magazine/website/book combination such as the Found collection and life seems a bit OK again....

You see what happened was one stormy night in Chicago, Found creator Davey went out to his car only to find a note attached to his windscreen... a note meant for somebody else, some dude called Mario, and the note went a little something like this

"Mario, I fucking hate you. You said you had to work then whys your car HERE at HER place?? You are a fucking LIAR. I hate you. I fucking hate you. 
Amber. PS: Page me later."

Actually it went exactly like that... Davey loved this note. Everyone he showed it to loved this note, Hell! I love this note! It made me giggle... and who doesn't love a good giggle? So why not create a space to display this note, and how about we let other people display funny notes or cool photos they've found too? From there grew the Found website... which eventually turned into a quarterly magazine and has no evolved into a series of books, the raddest in my opinion being "FOUND: Polaroids"

If you've got some time to kill and would like to check out something truly unique click here to be taken to the website... you can also upload your own finds, subscribe to the awesome mag or buy their freak'n fantastic range of books. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Pin Hole Camera {thats the size of a god damn truck!}

That's right, you heard me, well for the sake of accuracy I should first point out its not "the size" of a track it IS a truck, some crazy cat by the name of Shaun Irving must of been smoking something conducive to creative activity during his college years where he had the wild idea... "What if i made a camera the size of a truck"... so using military lenses from things like submarines and a cardboard shutter and a hollowed out delivery truck, he did just that.

He is currently travelling the globe taking bloody amazing (not to mention rather large) photographs as we speak... and when I say large I mean 3000 times bigger than your average 35mm shot! Clearly this is not your average camera, so it comes as no surprise a simple click of a conveniently located button next to, lets just say, the driver seat, would allow you to capture such a large image.

Irving states "To take a photo I stand inside the truck fumbling around in the dark, the process is long it takes me about half a hour to set up a shot, take some test prints and make my final exposure - It gives me time to come intimately familiar with my subject matter... picking up details i would otherwise miss - even then a few surprises always pop up in the finished print"

You've got to admire a dude who's dark room and developing rig consists of "two large buckets, a sponge and a gardening hose"

Now that's thinking big. Click here to see more of these amazing shots.

Monday, September 7, 2009

5 minutes with... Irene Suchocki

Don't you just love nice people. I don't mean to sound crass, but there are some real assholes in the world, Like George W Bush for instance and people that drive slow in the right hand lane or that city ranger who couldn't give a rats about the 11 baby duckling's that fell into oncoming traffic on the corner of Kent and Market Street in the Sydney CBD the other day (but that's another story) This story, in contrast is about a non asshole. A perfectly lovely stranger and, if you ask me, a very talented photographer.

Irene Suchocki is her name and taking photos is her game, Never having met Irene before I dropped her a line recently asking if I could have 5 minutes of her time to chat about the fine art of pointing and shooting, sure enough a few short days later a email appeared in my inbox saying she'd be delighted to appear on my blog... so with out further ado see below for...

  1. The first camera I ever owned was... My first camera was a cheap Vivitar and I must have been about 14 years old.
  2. Now that I'm older and wiser, my gun of choice is... I shoot almost 100% digitally now. My camera of choice is the Canon 5D*
  3. The best piece of advice i can give you is... Experiment, experiment, experiment. Try different layers, try playing with the blending mode and opacity. Also, don't just layer two images, trying layering more, even if some are there only in a subtle way. I find you get more complex and interesting results that way.
  4. My favorite photographer right now is... So many to choose from, but I would have to say Robert and Shana Parkeharrison.
  5. The song/album/soundtrack that best describes my style of photography is... Interesting question! I think that I would have to say the album Seventh Tree by Goldfrapp, which I find to be beautiful, whimsical, and dreamy all at once. Well, at least I hope that my photographs can live up to that description.
Wondering why Irene digs Robert and Shana Parkeharrison's work click here to see for yourself, I'd up a load some imagery bu that would just ruin the surprise and where's the fun in that now?

* I know I know.... this site is meant to be about all things film, but the way i see it, its just amazing that people like Irene are around to remind us that digital is not the death of creativity in photography. Kudos to you Irene

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Polaroid according to TIME

I just read a interesting article on the demise of Polaroid film here in TIME magazine.... thought you might enjoy a spot of Sunday reading.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Anyone up for a bit of Solography?

OK first things first! WTF is Solography? The short version to a long and somewhat scientific story is its a photographic method for recording the paths of the Sun.... Its part pinhole photography and a part space Art too!

Solographs are essentially pinhole photographs taken with a lensless pinhole camera with a long exposure.... and when i say long i mean months and months! By creating these unobstructed long exposures the invisible movements of the Sun can be made visible in landscape photographs...

You see he weather during half a year is seen in the image above. The Sun's slow path across the sky is beautifully captured by this unique image. The Sun´s altitude (it's peak) is reached in midsummer on June 21st in the northern hemisphere. Every day the Sun leaves one line after the other. The tracks of the moving Sun are visible and increase progressively from December to June. The missing traces are due to the Sun being obscured on overcast days.... Its a little confusing i know but have a good read through the website here and you'll pick up the general gist pretty quick!

Some crazy cat that goes by the name of Tarja Trygg is attempting to plot a solographic world map by inviting anyone to take part and fill in gaps on the map of solargraphs.... you can find out more, including how to make your own pinhole camera here... Pretty darn nifty little project if you ask me!

The Impossible Project - Sucess!

What you are looking at above is some of the first exposures to come out of the Polaroid Factory that was taken over by Florian Kaps late last year in a desperate bid to keep Polaroid film alive!

Due to some incredible support from Polaroid fanatics the world over, especially regarding the 5th of their 7 big challenges (the latex timing layer), the team could produce the very first complete and stable instant picture a few weeks ago - "wooppppee" is the appropriate sentiment for such news I do believe!

Word on the mean streets is the development is making really good progress, so much so they are ahead of the original production timeline and have not found any unsolvable roadblocks yet.

So keep supporting The Impossible Project by (buying) and wearing their beautiful Impossible T-Shirts and of course never stop keeping your fingers crossed that they will soon announce The Impossible Project to be a... well... possible one.

The One Last Shot Project

I just stumbled across this Polaroid above of Jennifer Aniston whilst roaming the Internet looking for inspiration for tonight's post... with a bit of research I found out it was taken by American photographer Henny Garfunkel for a project called "The One Last Shot Project"

In 2000, (celebrity) photographer Henny began taking Polaroids of her famous subjects at film festivals around the world. Since then, Garfunkel has collected signed snaps of some of Hollywood's biggest stars including some pretty random shots of Johnny Depp!

"I shot Jennifer and Catherine at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, where they were promoting Friends With Money," says Garfunkel. "Since photo shoots are usually very controlled, I started taking these Polaroids as a way for my subjects to have a little fun."

Now I work in magazines, and Art directing photo shoots is a large part of my job, as is buying in shoots of celebrity after celebrity with perfect hair and make up who are retouched to to with in a inch of their lives... so it's just so nice to see photos that are so far removed from this preconceived image of perfection... They are raw and cool and in the moment and I just thought I'd share them with you all this evening!

You can check out more here. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The faces of climate change

Jon Lewis is a documentary photography who is taking portraiture to a whole new level with his upcoming exhibition "Portraits from the Edge - A Face to Climate Change" the exhibition will be held at the UTS tower building (in Sydney) on Wednesday 16th Sept at - 6.30pm ((Level 4 Exhibition Space)

But whats this all about you ask? Essentially its about a little collection of 33 atolls called Kiribati situated in the Equatorial Pacific... which sadly, is slowly and surely disappearing before our very eyes.

Storm surges, freakish waves, salination of fresh water wells and lands, un-predictable weather and tidal increases, are all contributing to the country’s physical demise... Hell word on the mean streets is in 30-40 years they'll all be gone

As yet there is no policy from industrial countries, or the UN, as to our collective responsibilities to people such as the Kiribati.

Where will these environmentally displaced people migrate to, and how many?

Who will be their host countries?

The Kiribati remain, literally on the very edge as the most vulnerable of peoples living with climate change. Come on parliment? Where are the alarm bells? I mean what we are looking at here is the eventual extinction of a distinct race of people, through loss of their home- lands, and with it their vibrant social system and culture.... Sure;y thats got to raise a eyebrow or two!

Thank god for people like Jon Lewis, who is not only preserving these moments in time before they are lost forever, but through events like his exhibition, is also drawing publicity and the nations attention to the cause! Check out some of his beautiful black and whites above and see more here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Canon Photo5 Competition

OK OK this site is all about lo fi photography, the fine art of lomography, random acts of Polaroid etc etc etc but I do have a bit of a soft spot for my canon G9, and when it comes to photographic equipment, the Canon brand is pretty much it for me... So when I stumbled across the photo5 comp i was naturally intrigued.

What is the Eos Photo5 i hear you ask? Its a annual creative photography competition which all begins with the brown paper box (pictured above) Inside there will be items which represent 5 separate photographic briefs to challenge photographers.

Interested? I sure am... Find out more here... You could win a EOS 5D Mark II, Max Wagner raves about them here, and while its no Polaroid, and certainly isn't lo-fi its also nothing to turn your nose up at!

National Photographic Portrait Prize

So I was at work the other day just doing my thing and a letter arrived for me on my desk, something from a photo agency perhaps? a invoice? no no... It was a little from my mum... Well a vintage postcard to be more accurate (what can i say she likes to send me random things)

My mum hasn't quite mastered the art of cutting and pasting links and getting the Internet work for you, so when she saw a ad in a Melbourne newspaper calling for entries into the National Photographic Portrait Prize instead of doing what most people would do (go to the website and fwd on the link) my mum cut out the aforementioned ad, folded it carefully, carried it around in her purse for a week until she stumbled across a photocopier, made a copy and posted it in my merry direction with a note that said something along the lines of "check this out cupcake" yes yes... my mum calls me cupcake... but that's not the point, the is that the National Photographic Portrait Prize looks a bit of alright, its accessible to all and entering is easy!

Find out more about it here! Applications don't close until November and both digital and film submissions are welcome!