Monday, February 27, 2012

McGuire / My Favorite Picture of You

In this blog I get into some connections about songwriter Guy Clark and photographer Jim McGuire. Later on, there are some photographs from the last couple of days.

This photograph by Señor McGuire is from the press materials for Guy Clark’s 2009 release, Some Days The Song Writes You.
Guy with guitar he built, photo by Jim McGuire ©2009

To get into this, the above photo was taken by Jim McGuire with a D300 and features his iconic studio backdrop. I resampled, cropped, and converted it to black and white to go on the website I put together long ago for the great songwriter Guy Clark. It had been over twelve years since I changed the photo.

Recently this performance surfaced of this unreleased song. Even Guy Clark is hip to instant photography. He sings:

My favorite picture of you
is the one where you’re starin’ straight into the lens.
Just a Polaroid shot
someone took on the spot;
no beginning, no end.

Just a moment in time you can’t have back.
You never left, but your bags were packed.
Just in case.

My favorite picture of you
is bent and it’s faded and it’s pinned on my wall.
Oh and you were so angry,
it’s hard to believe we were lovers at all.

(Complete lyrics here.)

I was in Owensboro, Kentucky, mostly chasing a bluegrass thing in November of 2007. Naturally this book jumped off the shelf: Jim McGuire’s book of portraits with Bill Monroe on the cover, released only days before I walked by.
McGuire, Nashville Portraits©11/04/07
I wrote about it then and talked about the Bluebird exhibit in this blog from 2007. It was fun to unearth these photos from my first smartphone, a Sony W810i. For 2007, it took decent photos, was an okay music player, but was not a good phone.

This weekend I was putting these pieces together, and found that Jim McGuire is featured this month in a Canadian ezine called Adore Noire. I very much enjoyed going through it. So I wrote to McGuire, who promptly responded that he shot with a Hasselblad 500c for 35 years. There is yet another reason that I have such a strong resonance to McGuire’s portraits. Huge enlargements used to decorate the walls of Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe. You can go back and time and read about my experience from 2000 here.

And onto some photographs for the weekend.
Plants, Harbor, OR, Andrew D. Barron©2/25/12
Thrift store bookends, Andrew D. Barron©2/25/12
The bargain grocery store is an experience. I wonder how long it has been since “gross me outlet’ has had film.
Kodak sign, Brookings, OR, Andrew D. Barron©2/25/12
Sunday night was cold but dramatic and beautiful.
Ophir sunset, Andrew D. Barron©2/26/12
There is a beautiful crescent moon setting outside. This long exposure shows the conjunction of some planets tonight. It is 33° out there.
Moon and planet conjunction, Andrew D. Barron©2/26/12

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Evening Shoot

The Pacific, Andrew D. Barron©2/20/12
It is Wednesday. The daffodils are about to bloom.
Daffodils before the bloom, Andrew D. Barron©2/22/12
There was some amazing light tonight and I was blazing around the neighborhood with the Hasselblad shooting Ektra 100 as well as a whole pack of Instax Wide in my Fujifilm camera.

The rich greens of the valley take on a powerful white in my infrared-converted dslr.
Euchre Creek valley, Andrew D. Barron©2/22/12
Euchre Creek valley, Andrew D. Barron©2/22/12
Once the light drops below the ridge, one can drive back towards the coast and catch the last rays of the day.
Euchre creek meets the sea, Andrew D. Barron©2/22/12
By the way, today, the 22nd, is George Washington’s 280th birthday today. I photographed a statue in Portland last October:
George Washington statue, Portland, OR, Andrew D. Barron©10/30/11
Looking to the west down Sandy Boulevard last fall:
Sandy boulevard sunset, Portland, OR, Andrew D. Barron©10/30/11
George Washington statue on Sandy, Andrew D. Barron©10/30/11
George Washington statue, Portland, OR, Andrew D. Barron©10/30/11

Monday, February 20, 2012

Louisiana Moment

On Saturday night here in rural coastal Oregon there was a Mardi Gras party at a local dive bar in Port Orford. This year Mardi Gras occurs two weeks earlier than last. I am almost totally clueless about Mardis Gras traditions, but each year my curiosity is piqued, and I wonder what other people do to celebrate.

One day in 2008, I went to New Orleans. These photos are not very good, but they’re all I will likely have. They go back well before photography was serious for me. I spent three weeks camping in the blazing Texas sun at the Kerrville Folk Festival, returning to Baton Rogue days before this quick trip south down the Mississippi. It sure is hard for me to put myself in a time and place where I would only snap 30 photos and spend 3 hours in a place like New Orleans. Today I am liking black and white versions that simulate Tri-X 400. The clouds over Lake Ponchartrain really looked like this. This view is looking roughly northeast up Decatur St. from very close to the river in the French Quarter.
New Orleans, Andrew D. Barron©6/14/08

C’mon take me to the Mardi Gras
Where the people sing and play
Where the dancing is elite
And there’s music in the street
Both night and day

Paul Simon
Take Me To The Mardi Gras

That song is from the same album that celebrates film photography (Kodachrome) and the prophetic, wistful take on America as a whole in An American Tune. Indeed, then as now, “you can’t expect to be bright and bon vivant so far away from home.” These guys were walking down the sidewalk near Jackson Square.
Street musicians, New Orleans, Andrew D. Barron©6/14/08
Most of time I, did’t know where I was. All of these years later, I can sight-see some more. Here is the Steamer Natchez; the low blue building on the left is the Aquarium. The World Trade Center New Orleans looms behind.
Steamer Natchez, New Orleans, Andrew D. Barron©6/14/08
Clouds above the Mississippi, New Orleans, Andrew D. Barron©6/14/08
Check Point Charlie, New Orleans, Andrew D. Barron©6/14/08
At that time, I had done almost no street photography, and not very much travel photography. This kind of shot was only to tell me that indeed, I was once there. Bourbon Street.
Bourbon street, New Orleans, Andrew D. Barron©6/14/08
I once considered relocating to Baton Rouge. On that singular trip to Louisiana I learned a lot. I was exposed to the great Tab Benoit, who’s ballad, New Orleans Ladies comes to mind when I see these pictures of the streets from the chorus:
All the way from Bourbon Street to Esplanade they sashay by

The end of a way too short visit to this amazing city. (alternate)
Tab’s album, Night Train to Nashville was out only six weeks when I was there. A few months later, I myself was on a proverbial night train to Nashville, moving there in a u-haul in September.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Few At Sunset

Humbug Mountain, north bank, Andrew D. Barron©2/17/12
Humbug Mountain, north bank, Andrew D. Barron©2/17/12
Humbug Mountain, north bank, Andrew D. Barron©2/17/12
The sky broke and formed a clear wedge just as the disc of the sun dropped below the horizon.
Sunset north of Humbug Mountain, north bank, Andrew D. Barron©2/17/12
Humbug Mountain, north bank, Andrew D. Barron©2/17/12
Humbug Mountain, north bank, Andrew D. Barron©2/17/12

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Instant and Infrared

I have imagined way to attach filters to my go-to instant film camera (Instax 210) involving tubing, but I haven’t tried yet. I was thinking finding a PVC pipe that goes snugly around the retractable lens, then figuring out what diameter that would be and permanently attaching a step up or step down ring to the PVC tube. For now, I sometimes tape them, but usually I just hold them up in front of the lens of. Close up filters thread together:
Close up filters, Andrew D. Barron ©1/31/11
The trick with a close up filter seems to be to hold the filter so that your subject is in focus. You could measure this distance, but here, I just stayed put and added the camera to the back of the filter. I find the images produced with a glass filter are better than the tiny plastic clip on close up filter that comes with the 210.
Yard flower with Fuji Instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
Here I held up a circular polarizer and a UV haze filter. I think I should try setting the camera to ‘lighten’ for this combo.
Rogue River, north bank, with the Patterson Bridge, with Fuji Instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
Yesterday a brilliant rainbow blazed across the sky. It was a little cold, and I think I got rain on the lens. The print was developing slowly, and looked a little bit desaturated. So I held it over the heat of the woodstove. This was not a good idea, for the print got very hot, and very purple. I was able to recover the image somewhat, but I think it would be best to leave Instax prints to develop in normal temperatures. I wondered about how to change the exposure while it develops though. Would throwing the print in the freezer stop the development?
Rainbow with overheated developing print, instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/13/12
There was a break in the rain. I do love this little hill as well as the way clouds are rendered in infrared.
Clouds above Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12
I love Kodak TriX. I received many rolls of film back from the lab though it will be some time before I get them scanned. For this infrared shot, I converted to black and white with SilverEFEX and used the built in preset for TriX. It is a good simulation of real TriX. Refer to my Downtown blog (12/18/11) for a big dose of real Kodak TriX. I am unsure, It would be fun to roll some 35mm onto a 120 spool for some sprocket hole photography in the Hasselblad.
The sea at Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12
Greggs Creek meets the sea, instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/134/12
Looking west at Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12
The channel swap on the infrared seem to have a characteristic two color vibe. It’s the first time I’ve seen trees come out kind of green.
Looking south from Sisters Rocks towards Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12
This is a three shot mosaic. I was hoping for better, but it is okay. I panned up, but what I really wanted was the the beautiful fringe on the clouds at the top.
Looking west from Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12
I could really use another neutral density filter. I could only get down to 1/2s exposure.
Looking south from Sisters Rocks towards Ophir, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12
It began to rain but before I left, I got down with the instant camera for this parting shot.
Parting shot from Sisters Rocks, instax 210, Andrew D. Barron©2/14/12

Monday, February 13, 2012

In between

I finally installed the fun iphone camera app called 6x6. I had heard about it from xolager, but took months to get it as my iphoneography has taken a major backseat to film photography. It is especially helpful for practicing the Hasselblad. Large format cameras are framed with upside down images in the ground glass. Medium format cameras have left and right swapped often. 6x6 can emulate this, consistent with the waist-level viewfinder of the Hasselblad. The big difference is that on the iphone, the lens is pointed away 180° from the viewfinder, whereas, a medium format camera is pointed 90° away. This app is different from the Hipstamatic, favoring a portrait orientation to the phone. There is some vignetting in this orientation while the iphone is in the Owle Bubo. This is a function of using 52mm filters, rather than the Owle Bubo itself. Here, the black and white option in 6x6, and a Red #25 filter.
Above Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
It is a fun camera app, and brings to my 3g a shutter using the (Volume up) button. It sort of inspired a two-frame square mosaic from the infrared dslr:
Above Sisters Rocks, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
This is the day use area at Humbug Mountain state park along Brush Creek.
Log across Brush Creek, Humbug, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
I like long exposures with the infrared camera.
Log across Brush Creek, Humbug, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
Multiple trunk tree with ferns, Humbug, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12

Spooky tree, Humbug, Andrew D. Barron©2/9/12
It rained substantially for a few days in a row. On Saturday it was clear and beautiful. I checked out the thrift stores, but left with only photographs. I was impressed that back near the cameras, the staff was playing Buddy Guy. The Owle Bubo allows for very close focusing. That’s a full size Bob Dylan vinyl LP behind the CD case.
Thrift store visual capture, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
There were a lot of cameras like this one, a Konica with a 38mm, f/2.8 autofocus lens. It takes AA batteries and probably decent photos.
Konica 35mm automatic, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
The mouth of the Rogue River, from the north bank with the Patterson Bridge in the background.
w Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
I went on Hipstamatic spree on this day. Sometimes I do that.
Rogue River, north bank, with the Patterson Bridge, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
The Owle Bubo has a macro lens that I rarely use. This is a shirt.
Fabric detail, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
Kiwi vines climb, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
Calendula; yellow #2 filter in front.
Calendula, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
I have been seeing that my 3g iphone has a characteristic shift in the blue channel. Putting the yellow filter in front renders interesting colors that are more like reality.
Calendula, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12
Calendula, Andrew D. Barron©2/11/12

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