WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY | VIVIAN MAIER

August 11, 1954, New York, NY

January 9, 1957, Florida

I wanted to showcase some of my favorite analog photographers this week. I really don’t believe in separating a photographer by film or digital, after all it doesn’t change the fact that they are a photographer whatever medium they choose but for the sake of the theme this week I will pull from a small selection of film photographers that I admire.  I am launching with Vivian Maier because her story is so unreal, outstanding and ultimately magical that it bears either an introduction or for those that know her to be highlighted. The concise version is the Vivian was a nanny and an avid street photographer who not only shot  extensively but did the very odd thing of never developing her film. One day a young man bought her storage locker of film, developed it, showcased it on his blog and Vivian became viral.

“Vivian Maier’s photos were seemingly destined for obscurity, lost among the clutter of the countless objects she’d collected throughout her life. Instead these images have shook the world of street photography and irrevocably changed the life of the man who brought them to the public eye.”

I look at these images and my heart stops. I ache for a time when people dressed beautifully, even the most disadvantaged.  If I were to go street exploring today I may have a collection of shots of men past their prime wearing Ed Hardy shirts and girls with sweat pants hanging off their hips advertising someone’s company on their bum.  If you want to become a better photographer (besides actual shooting on a regular basis) you need to be able to understand what it is that attracts you to an image. Is it the light?  If so can you figure out where that light source is coming from?  Is it from the a window? Is it in back of the subject” Etc. I am constantly flipping through magazines, books, even on-line and if an image is of interest I will try to figure out what it is that compels me to look further.  It may take time to figure out why a photograph works, but it is a good exercise + habit to get into.  If I had more time I would be flipping though Vivian’s portfolios all the day long.  I am that taken with both her talent and this tale. The young man, John Maloof, that introduced her to the world has begun production on a documentary, you can take a peek at the trailer here. There is also a book that would be welcome in any aspiring photographers collection.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY | FILM

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Tanja_Lippert_139

I have mentioned the Framed Network when I discovered it during its premiere season.  If you are a photography buff I can not recommend this site enough. It’s a well produced show of  interviews with today’s most celebrated photographers and up & comers. The photographers are culled from every aspect of contemporary genres-maternity-children, seniors, wedding, family, commercial, fashion, beauty, action etc.  They are on season 3 now, so you will have plenty of interviews to go through and you will leave their site duly inspired!  They recently released a set of episodes under their ‘Film’ series which is hosted by film photographers Ryan Muirhead, Tanja Lippert and Tia Reagan (who is also an amazing stylist + make-up artist).  I am going to give you fair warning here, please do not judge the episodes immediately by the hosts being a bit goofy, some of you will roll with it and others may be like, ‘what the what?‘. This trio is super talented, very generous with their knowledge and you will learn so much, especially about working with light.  The #15 Episode at the penitentiary blew.my.mind.  You really get to see how light will effect the end image. I loved that episode and if it’s the only one you watch of their series you should walk away from it a lot more inspired to shoot in more interesting lighting conditions. For me it just made me want to shoot! Throughout the episodes they will discuss what type of cameras they are shooting with, the names of the film and settings.  It’s even great for those that have no desire to shoot film but just want to learn how professional photographers and shoots go down, it’s definitely a behind the scenes look and you do feel privy to information that you usually aren’t readily exposed to.

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. This week is dedicated to film photography, she sure hopes you leave here a bit more inspired!

A WEEK OF FILM PHOTOGRAPHY | FILM IS NOT DEAD

film is not dead besotted blog

filn is not dead besotted blog ii I grew up when film was the only option for photography, but I never took a class, although I wanted to.  It came down to budget. When I was in school you could only take a photography class if you had access to a 35mm manual camera, unlike now where you could get one (a good one at that) for under $20, cameras were very expensive and since I knew nothing about photography other than I had an interest in it, it seemed like something out of my reach. As a young adult I was still interested, but photo classes at the time ran hundreds of dollars. What I LOVE the most about the internet is that it is very democratic, you don’t have to be part of the elite to be able to explore your interests. There’s a plethora of information at your finger tips and I hope in a small part that I too am now contributing to that.

When I met my boyfriend (now husband) the one thing that impressed me the most was how intently he listened to what I was interested in. I told him I always wanted a camera and for my birthday he gifted me one. It changed my life, it wasn’t just a camera but a new set of eyeballs. I will be forever grateful. Now as an adult, a little older than my younger self, I am thrilled that there is a whole subset of photographers out there embracing the film medium and making it accessible to people like myself.  I was initially very frustrated with the information that was available about film photography.  When I first started dipping my toe into the analog photography waters I checked-out books from the library, but they all seemed over my head, I wanted to know how to be able to use film in the 21st century. As  I researched further, one name continued to pop-up time after time and that was Jonathan Canlas. Jonathan had started teaching workshops called Film is not dead.  The workshops were way out of my price range, since photography for me is a hobby and not my profession, I couldn’t justify the investment.  I did sign-up for Jonathan’s mailing list and was glad I did. The day his book with Kristen Kalp became available he announced it and I bought it.  It is by far the best book for a newbie to film in these modern times.  Jonathan’s style is more masculine than what I would shoot (or could shoot), the book is very no-nonsense and conversational.  He goes through everything–film, cameras, settings, film development with beautiful examples of his work throughout the book, all in a voice that is very easy to comprehend. If you have any interest in film photography buy this book!  I say buy rather than check-out at the library because I often find myself going back to it and looking things up, it’s a reference and I would be sad if I couldn’t have it at the ready.  It has made me covet medium format photography and I want a Contax 645 camera more than just about any camera (including the Canon Mark 5D III). If you are scratching your head and wondering where to start get the book!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE::DECKLED EDGE RULER

Deckled-Edge-Ruler-Besotted-Blog jpgI love details. What details? All of them, on everything. I think simple is very beautiful, but sometimes the addition of a subtle detail like deckled edges on your stationery can elevate it to another level. Years ago I found an interesting ruler at the craft store that would create the edges I coveted.  It was a hideous looking tool, bright metallic purple (why are all craft tools purple?), I spray painted mine gold. It comes with two edges for creating the deckling. One edge you’ll need to ignore, it will make your stationery look like something from the Flintstone’s, not the elegant detail we are after. What makes this tool so remarkable is the simplicity of use, you are basically tearing the paper or cardstock against the fine jagged edge. You just place the ruler (really, I write ruler but I have never measured with it and neither will you) on top of the item you want to create the edge on, leave a bit of paper sticking out so you can grasp it and just rip against the edges.  Viola! You have a beautiful, organic edge. Could you use a straight-edge ruler? Yes, but your tear will be more uniform and will be absent of the interest created by the jagged edges on the deckled ruler and it will look like you just ripped your paper and that’s not very elegant right?  It will take a few times to get the hang of how much pressure to use, but after the fourth time you should be able to zip through stacks of paper. What paper is best?  Light-weight paper to medium weight cardstock seem to rip the easiest. This looks great on photos if you print on matte paper. If you want to tear your own watercolor sheets, which usually come with only one deckled-edge you will now have in your arsenal the ability to tear on all four sides. Think of the possibilities–place cards, gift tags, menus. This is perfect if you are doing any sort of DIY event from weddings to holiday parties.  I think it’s another great tool to have and I use mine all the time. It would be especially great if you are a chronic d.i.y’er, photographer, event planner, or artist, so basically the entire blogosphere. Have you ever tried anything like this before?  If so any tips or tricks that I have missed here?

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.

THE YEAR OF LETTERING BY KELLY CUMMINGS

Kelly Cummings Besotted BlogI recently discovered the lettering work of Kelly Cummings and what immediately struck me was her enthusiasm and willingness to share what she has learned.  Kelly a photographer by trade recently picked up nib and  ink and started her grand lettering adventure. Her site aptly named ‘The Year of Lettering’ is not only a showcase of her progress, but is filled with tips and answers to questions from fellow lettering enthusiasts. I loved reading the q & a’s sandwiched between her beautiful work. Her dedication to learning a new craft is so inspiring.  If you have been reading these weekly lettering posts you know how much emphasize I put on practice. You can get better at anything if you put the time in, it doesn’t have to be lettering if you want to be a better photographer, writer, reader, cook, parent, what have you, you need to dedicate the time.  I practice my lettering every day, sometimes I only get a few stolen moments in but I know the more I practice the better I become and the more accomplished I feel.  When I started this lettering journey I couldn’t even remember how to write cursive as I have been utilizing an architect’s hand for more years than I can remember. I was convinced that perhaps I wouldn’t have the aptitude for it (it’s always good to start off a project with a ‘can’t do attitude’. I jest), but I have just persevered and I am thrilled with my own progress, it’s not perfect and many times not even good, but if you told me I would be able to do this a year ago I would have rolled my eyes at you. Practice friends, that’s all it takes, you can do it! I do hope Kelly inspires you as much as she has me to go out and try something you have been wanting to do, share your experience and to just put your work out there and see what happens.  It’s scary but could lead to some wonderful things. Here’s to wishing Kelly many more days of continued inspiration.

P.S. I love this deco inspired quote + illustration. I recently saw the trailer for ‘The Great Gatsby’ adapted by Baz Lurhmann and I can not wait to go see it–sumptuous is what comes to mind. It looks like there will be some serious eye candy–the costumes, the sets, the actors every detail looks magnificent!

P.P.S. Skillshare is launching what looks like will be an amazing illustrative lettering class for only $20!

Author / Miss Tristan B

Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.