Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In review

A few favorites as I go through my pictures from last year and make plans for the new.

Counts for the type of photographs I posted here last year:
[Digital infrared: 171][Camera phone: 169][Point and shoot: 140][Instant film: 126][Film: 185]

The numbers show a pretty even split with an encouraging 40% film. A lot has changed as I moved through different modes. I am writing this to attempt to sort that out.

Playing in the band was great. Traveling around and shooting with film cameras was great. Only a small fraction of the shots from the twelve weeks I spent on tour have made their way here.

I have tried to work through my creative impulses many times on this blog space. It isn’t always easy to put those things into words, let alone coherent paragraphs. It isn’t necessary to get into those deeper discussions very often though. An effort to check in every few months helps me to see if I am still on the track I set out on.
Why ask why? (12.22.10)
Bottomless (4.14.12)
Disposable (5.23.12)
Just the other day, I wrote it pretty good: Sometimes the reasons why I do what I do with photography occur with a momentary beauty of understanding. Then the words are gone.

I began to formalize my photography interests about two years ago after four clueless months with my first dslr. I’m definitely grateful for the few hard life-lessons prior. Creative endeavors have their own sinuous path. Choosing hard and fast outcomes in such activities is a sure road to stress, disappointment, and anxiety, since these things rarely turn out the way you expect them to. It seems that I no longer do what I do to get somewhere else, though this is different from having no direction.

I put together a print showing in July of 2011 and found that 8x10 prints from my crop-sensor dlsr didn’t meet my standards most of the time. Older 5mp images fared worse. The reasons are less to do with the camera or my shots, but more about what I did’t know technically. I could see that I wasn’t far from getting there, but I would not be able to afford a modern full frame dslr and lenses. In December 2011, I got some photographic enlargements from 6x6cm negatives that showed the kind of print quality I was after. The borrowed Hasselblad makes prints that blow my mind. I went out shooting and learned quite a bit more. Throughout the last few years I have been repeatedly running out of money. That led to more serendipitous ’course corrections’, such as getting ahold of a Leica rangefinder from a stranger who overheard a conversation I was having. A 35mm negative does not have the inherent quality of 6x6, but it is far more economical. The IIIf is much easer to carry, set up and shoot than the Hassy (though by no means simple).
Agness poppies, Andrew D. Barron©5/27/12
Katya, Susanville Bluegrass festvial, Andrew D. Barron ©6/23/12
Clouds above the Huffaker Hills, Reno, NV, Andrew D. Barron©8/9/2012
The Leica was a wholly unexpected addition and it captured most of 2012’s best photographs. I look forward to seeing some rescans with ColorPerfect. Especially from one night I crawled up to one of the hills at Sister’s Rocks.

A Petri 7S with a roll of expired Astia brought in a bunch of interesting pictures. I still have it but am not too into zone focusing (which to me seems like no-focusing). I didn’t really figure that part out. I remember the idea of ‘100 asa portrait slide film’ being in my head for most of the shots.
The sea from Cape Sebastian, Andrew D. Barron©1/1/12
Gold Beach airport, Andrew D. Barron©12/31/11
The Nikomat FT2 was a shining star. I found the quality very good; like a modern dslr should. There wasn’t anything quirky, funky, or especially distinctive about the photographs from it. It works well and takes great pictures. That’s the camera I reach for if I can only bring one. One of these days I’ll get around to the 50 or so frames I’ve not scanned.
Azaleas in the rain, Andrew D. Barron©4/30/12
The beach at Greggs creek, Andrew D. Barron©April 2012
Lobster creek bridge over the Rogue, Andrew D. Barron ©5/9/12
I would be remiss to not say a few things about the infrared converted D5000. The D5000 like a consumery-D90, a hidden blessing as I would have been reluctant to convert a better camera.
Andrew D. Barron©1/6/12
Old tree sunrise west of Porterville, CA, Andrew D. Barron©1/10/12
Pillars of destruction: storm underway, Andrew D. Barron©3/28/12
I somehow put this camera down for most of the summer and fall.
Snow day in South Reno, Andrew D. Barron©12/23/12 [Infrared converted D5000]
Flowers, old church, Caspar, CA, Andrew D. Barron©9/16/12 [Land Camera 320:Pack 3 shot 8]
Scanning is not that fun. It is so much more work than shooting digital, but clearly worth it to me. I take more time with the shots. The quality/feel/vibe of the pictures appeals to me more. There are fewer images to deal with. There are real, tangible photographs. This brings the not-computer aspects to this thing that I do: I will need more things not-computer as I roll along 2013.

I went through a lot of instant film in 2012.

It was really fun to try some of the Impossible Project film stocks and test out some Polaroid models that were more modern (Sun 660 and Spectra). I have an SX-70 in a box somewhere that I really wanted to shoot; I hope I can find it in 2013.

Scanning instant prints:
The prints tend to collect more dust and scratches in their time in the real world prior to scanning. What I like about them is that the colors tend to be much closer once scanned than color negative film. I shifted to a lot of pack film away from the Fuji Instax Wide integral film I used a lot in 2011. There was a lot of Fuji sent through my 210, too. I picked up the sleeve sheets which are great. Pack film needs quite a bit of time to dry completely as to not stick to these sheets though. It becomes a minor lose-lose because there can be damaged in the sheet protector to the surface if not dry.



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