Tuesday, November 15, 2011

St. Johns / 4x5?

I wandered around to the St. Johns district of Portland on Friday.
Simmons Grocery, Portland, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
At the end of St. Louis at Edison, there is a street mural in the form of a compass. The Willamette River (and probably the ocean) is symbolized in this NNW quadrant.
Street mural, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
(Weeks ago, the other intersection mural I spotted is a much larger one at 56th and Stanton, Freda’s Tree; the mural is to honor 100 year old chestnut tree. seen in this view.)

This is Cathedral City Park down by the bridge.
St. Johns Bridge, Portland, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
St. Johns bridge, Portland, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
Street mural, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
Across the way was a huge metal ship propeller, easily twenty-five feet in diameter. The propeller is for a much larger ship than the one I photographed. These are visible in the satellite view here.
Ship propeller, Portland, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
My plan was to go to the end of Lombard, which was all I could remember about the address. After shooting what caught my eye, I was pleased to already be in the neighborhood for my first visit to the legendary film camera shop. I walked up the hill with my seven rolls of 35mm film in my pockets. Once inside, I was blown away with all there was to see, film camera-wise. I had a nice conversation with the owner, and eventually got to the reality check of shooting with a 4x5 camera. He steered me towards this Toyo monorail and asked me if I was ready for something like this.
4x5 Toyo monorail, Portland camera shop, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
It had geared settings and was just freaking enormous. My Konica Autoreflex T is a very big and heavy 35mm, here dwarfed by the Toyo. I said yes I was, and hoped to be shooting large format by the end of the year. Inside, I was more than a little intimidated by this thing. Maybe a dozen more rolls on my 35mm cameras first? He said that he shoots an 8x10 camera, about 100 frames per year. It made me wonder; could I tell my stories in 100 frames per year?
4x5 Toyo monorail, Portland camera shop, Andrew D. Barron©11/11/11
It was hard to contain my enthusiasm about all the film stuff! Holding the gigantic Mamiya RZ67 was really eye-opening; what a beast! As for all the film I have shot since August, I opted for process-only so I can have a look at the negatives before getting prints. I was so bad about keeping track of exposures. . .well, notes of any kind, shooting those rolls. My backup plan was to shoot a digital frame most of the time. As I was about to leave, I spotted an expensive, but very much missing part of my photography gear. The Gossen Luna Pro F light meter!
Gossen Luna Pro F light meter, Andrew D. Barron©11/15/11
Gossen Luna Pro F light meter, Andrew D. Barron©11/15/11
My large format aspirations are still on the table, but I can see that I will need to learn more about processing my own film and about $1000 to get started. Or to find a large format view camera lying around.

The film camera shop is having a 10 year anniversary celebration in Saturday, December 3, so I am looking forward to that.

A quick search turned up yet another McMenamins brewery; these places seem to be easier to find than 7-11 in Portland. This time, St. Johns Theater, pretty much across the street.

Over the weekend I put together another Hipstamart order and found it a little difficult to come up with nine images that I thought would work at seven inches square. The impetus was that a musician I photographed with the Hipstamatic this summer, Caleb Klauder, is playing a show in Portland this weekend. He is based here, but has been touring all over. Here is the shot, with bluegrass legends Mike Compton and Keith Little:
Mike Compton, Keith Little, Caleb Klauder; Andrew D. Barron©6/15/11
The Hipstamart was having a sale, so the prints were reasonably priced. This picture, and my overall paucity of musical performance has started the itch. I find it much harder to play music in urban environments. It is good in a band with regular gigs, but I can see the need for a practice studio. I am glad to have the Hipstamatic restored to my 3g iphone, even if it is antiquate at version 190. Why oh why are updates only available through the phone itself? That’s neat, but also stupidly limited.
Camas window, Andrew D. Barron©11/12/11
I have been living what feels like lyric fragments of Tom Waits songs, particularly Till The Money Runs Out. I was thinking about how grateful I am for the many talented musicians I have played with.

We seem scattered all over, playing for not enough, giving it all because what else do musicians do? Here’s a shot from early January 2008.
Johnny, Andrew D. Barron©1/9/08
The nice thing about my photography is that I can easily figure out where I was at any time. This gig was hard for me, but I really do miss playing with such a talented fiddler. This shot from last year shows the night’s pay.
Cliff and James, Andrew D. Barron©11/12/10
I plan to find places that might offer good views to shoot near sunset in Vancouver. My archives of photographs from Ophir seem to mock me, but that’s okay. Even I was getting tired of sunsets; this one from right about a year ago.
Ophir sunset, Andrew D. Barron©11/13/10
I am pleased to have a local library card and managed to get through The Omega Man with Charlton Heston. Post-apocalyptic zombie-flick turned interracial love story?

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