Joe McMurrian and Woodbrain will be playing their regular gig in Hollywood at the Laurelthirst this Friday. More on that below.
I am buried in film. I got my first ever roll of slide film back shot with the Konica Autoreflex T. I am completely blown away with this Fuji Veliva 50. Wow!
On Saturday I went to St. John’s (a neighborhood of northwest Portland) for a photography show. These are images that are selected by the film developing store staff as a print makes them all stop and look; a neat idea. There were a great number of photographs displayed. At my first stop, the solo for the Wind Cries Mary blaring over the house sound took me away for a moment. A man approached wearing a hat similar to mine. My first thought was, “um, maybe we shouldn’t be standing next to each to each other.” He told me of a blues show nearby. After checking out the photos, seeing the dozens of Portland film photographers and meeting none, I was into my third pint when the dance party began. Somewhere, my phone snapped this spooky picture: your guess is as good as mine.
After a conversation I can only describe as ridiculous with a six foot tall woman in a red sweater, the guy in the hat appeared and encouraged me to check out the band. I shot some Instax of the film shop crew and then headed to see.
I was totally impressed. Joe McMurrian and his bandmates were rocking. Joe’s style is rich and steeped. My new acquaintances, some with Irish accents, kept saying how great these guys were. The band is known as Woodbrain. Near the end of the night I got the Fuji Instax 210 out and snapped some shots of the band. Like most people, they seemed excited to see that film pop out of the camera.
And so we began talking. Since I have my own roots in the blues, there was quite bit to talk about. Joe had moved to Mississippi and was able to spend quite a bit of time with Honey Boy Edwards.
The weekend was a perfect harmony of amazing/lame. I will do my best to leave it at that.
Thoughts about the Instax
The novelty of the scans having the border has become passe to me. There are loads of smartphones making polaroid-like images. What impresses me about the Instax integral film is the detail. The film is in desperate need of a good camera or a back that will accept it. If there was a Hasselbad back that took Instax Wide film, I would be living the dream. It ain’t too bad the way it is, though.
On Thursday I was in Portland tying up a long-protracted loose end to do with my volunteer work for the USGS. I was near the Lloyd Center after my appointment for the shot at right.
Next I had an errand to do with a building I photographed on Sunday. I am getting a little bit constricted here shooting film because I know if any of my medium-format shots turn out, that story is better with those negatives when they are returned. I am interested in Art Deco and that period of American history. The roaring twenties can be interpreted in lots of ways, and I will explore that in the future. The buildings and the art from that time strike a chord for me. I stumbled upon a mansion from 1927 on Ankeny and 33rd as the moon rose above Laurelhurst, made some new friends an took some pictures. I didn’t forsee being at Portland State finding Architecture issue from 1928 and photocopying an article. The skills we learn graduate school can be applied to a curiosity-filled real life. I walked up to the library, but was ready to shoot. I loved finding this Art Deco, Egyptian-themed dormitory. As I was shooting the various motifs, a window opened.
(Not bad for a plastic lensed instant film camera)
All day shooting makes a lot of pictures. I have to go catch Woodbrain. . .so here are couple from the Hipstamatic.
Moon rises over Lombard.
I have a deep appreciate for delta blues guitar. It has not been my focus, but I have tried to learn a few things. From last October, Robert Johnson’s revered blues: