A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY:: ELLIOT ERWITT + MORE RESOURCES

Elliot Erwitt is one of my all time favorite photographers. I was fortunate enough to catch an Erwitt exhibit at the International Center for Photography (if you are in NYC they have classes too).  If you are familiar with his work you may not have realized that a lot of his seemingly spontaneous and ‘at the right place at the right time’ shots were staged. I think for any budding photographer this offers a glimmer of hope that you might be able to create your own magic. If you are looking for the challenge of treasure hunting a magic moment don’t fret, there is a whole booming community dedicated to street film photography. Photographer Nitsa is a dedicated explorer of techniques and experimentation calling her style Non-photography, her blog is filled with information and she even created an e-book guide.  I stayed up one night way too late going through her archives. 

Tomorrow I am going to share with you what looks like the coolest film developing workshop ever and where to get film to shoot with your vintage Kodak Brownie or Argus and better yet how to load them! So for those of you that have been bummed that you don’t have Photoshop to create all those vintage photo effects that are so popular you will be able to thumb your nose at those fakers (like me) and shoot the real deal.  If you can’t wait until tomorrow perhaps you would like to visit Lomo?  Did you know you can take very inexpensive photo classes at their stores? I hope you have decided to loot your parents garage for an old film camera or are planning to do some serious garage sale-ing this weekend (I bought a near mint condition 35mm Canon film camera with three zoom lenses for $40 at one) the deals are out there but people are buying them up fast and with everything you are going to learn this week you are going to want to go out and practice.
 

A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY:: FILM PHOTOGRAPHY PROJECT

As I hustle to get more images up in my shop, I thought I would continue my dedicated week of posts. This week I wanted to dedicate it to film photography sharing some of my favorite resources and  film photographs.  I know a lot of bloggers + readers have an infinity for photography and it seems more and more are interested in the nostalgia of film and the effect that you can seemingly only achieve by shooting film.  For me, being basically the cro-magnon of bloggers, I shoot digitally as if I have an expensive roll of 24 exposures in my camera. I take my time set up the shot and shoot thoughtfully, thus my progress in getting my photographs styled, shot, edited and loaded is often an epic task–I am seriously slow. I am not going to change anytime soon no matter how many times I try to tell myself that I can take as many shots as my heart desires it’s ingrained in me to not waste any film. I’m going with it.  Good thing as I actually own quite a few film cameras.  I had never even considered myself being a collector but it seems as if I have inadvertently become one.  My Fancy gave me a 35mm vintage Nikon for a birthday, it’s an amazing camera but it’s heavy, it feels like you are carrying an iron brick around, which makes spontaneous shooting not an option. I have many, many more all with equal functional obsolescence. I recently bought myself a gorgeous refurbished Polaroid which is what brought me to the Film Photography Project.  The FPP dispels any film confusion with witty banter and easy to follow along videos. It’s a film enthusiasts mecca and best yet, they are still small enough that you can probably ask any burning questions you may have and get them answered. I think the FPP is a great place to explore this medium if you are like me and feel overwhelmed by where to get started on your film photography journey. I’ll be back tomorrow with another cool resource but let me leave you a link to Jose Villa, a phenom in the wedding photography world that shoots only in film, I hope he inspires you as much as he has inspired me.

SLEEPY

Sleepy. Last night the Fancy was snoring so loud I thought he might start levitating the bed. Usually it’s just a gentle tap and he rolls over on his side and quiet ensues. Not last night. Last night it sounded like he swallowed a broken bullhorn. I tried, tried, tried to sleep, covering my head with down pillows to muffle the cacophony.  I can’t wear earplugs they give me claustrophobia, (don’t even ask). So, I went and slept on the sofa.  I’ve never done that before, it was actually quite comfortable until Bella decided to join me. She has to follow me everywhere.  Bella also snores–loud–and passes gas (just as loudly). Between the two of them I couldn’t fall into r.e.m., it made it worse that I had to get up early for a crack of dawn meeting, so my anxiety was at an all time high with each sleepless hour that was swiftly passing by. Just when I started to drift off into slumber, mere hours before my alarm clock was to go off, I heard startled cries from the bedroom.  The Fancy decided to take this night to start having a full blown conversation in his sleep.  The conversation was obviously with a hard of hearing individual as he had his voice box set to the highest delivery one can have it without reverting to shouting.  I am sure our neighbors within a 5 mile radius appreciated it as much as I did. So here I am groggy and incoherent wishing that I could nap (I never can). We are going to Nevada for the night to bid his parent’s farewell before they make the trek cross country (they are moving to the deep South). I am sure I will be a lovely driving companion being that sleeplessness bodes well for my personality (not).
In other news, I have been loving all the soft gray, filmy black + white images that have been floating around the interwebs lately so I decided to try my hand at the processing taking a photo of my empty spot on my beloved bed.

BLUSH + GRAY PHOTOSHOP ACTION

I had a photo outing a few months ago with a guy I met on Craigslist*.  If that doesn’t sound like a missing person’s story ready to happen I don’t know what does.  How about if I told you that we went into secluded woods to shoot and it wasn’t just me but eight other guys, me being the only female shooter?  I know sounds creepier by the second right?  Fortunately, there were two models and the creep factor was non-existent.  The day was an adventure and although I thought it was going to be more of a workshop/outdoor classroom type day (it wasn’t), it was still a great experience. Prior I was taught to never shoot during high noon (especially a portrait)  but we shot in all kinds of light from dark, shady and dramatic to the brain melting hot sun. I am just now getting around to starting my edits.  I probably would have left these shots on my hard drive for eternity but I was making myself some black and white actions and thought why not a blush and warm gray?  I knew that I had a photo from this shoot that I wanted to try it out on. I think this image looks like it should be on an album cover.  I created the Blush + Gray action for download here, (It’s in a folder so click on the folder when you are in the actions palette and it will drop down to the action) it works best on lighter images with blown out highlights (that is if you want lots of creamy blush tones). Here’s a couple other photos from the shoot  here and here. Let me know if you have any questions or problems with the action, I am happy to help if I can (sometimes I may just add to your frustration instead of alleviating it).
*Please note, the guy is a professional photographer/teacher, but it sounds so much better for the story that he was just some guy.

**The action has been updated 8.31.11 and should work perfectly now.

THANK YOU EZ + CREATURE COMFORTS!

I love the blogosphere, I do.  I would marry it if it would have me (and if marrying my Fancy as well wouldn’t make me polygamous). I wanted this post to convey my deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks to Miss Ez of Creature Comforts for her generosity.  Ez has been so supportive of my many endeavors–my photography, graphic design, my new blog, etc, etc.  In fact, Ez’s blog was one of the very first I read on a regular basis. I loved her authentic voice which hooked me and was over the moon for her when she blossomed into the groove she is in now (which has kept me coming back for more).  It is such an inspiration to be able to see an individual overcome adversity and turn it into a creative fount, which she certainly has. It’s one of the things I love the most about the internet that we can revel in eachother’s successes.  I feel so lucky when someone that I admire, well, admires me back.  I don’t know of a more eloquent way to word it, but I am truly grateful.  I am also thankful for all of you that stop by and visit, it amazes me everyday that anyone finds this little neck of the internet woods and when you leave a note I am happier than a bird with a french fry.

::photo by:tristan b::