Archive for August, 2009

Crystal

Posted in Life on August 24, 2009 by sojournerphoto

20090822 Adox CHS100 - Northumberland 9  24mgs

20090822 Adox CHS100 - Northumberland 9  23mgs

This is our friends lurcher, Crystal, who died last week. She was a lovely dog, one of the best, who was always pleased to see people and her death was a shock to them and us.

As it happened, I had taken these pictures of her a couple of weeks earlier – just snaps – probably neither of which would have been printed except that she died. But because of her death I was able to make a couple of prints for Mike and Tina as a memory for them. This has also been a reminder of the value of such ‘snaps’ as little memorials in our lives. They always look back, but can remind us of good things we have been blessed with.

Mike

Too many clicks – or being in the moment…

Posted in Film, Life, Working on August 24, 2009 by sojournerphoto

Two boys

A recent article in the Telegraph bemoans the ubiquitous presence of people snapping away with their digital cameras. Whilst the article is fairly standard fare, and pretty much what you’d expect from a reactionary paper such as the big T, there are some valuable points.

The principle complaint is that the photographer in question failed to enjoy the experience as he could have, as he was glued to his camera throughout a cable car ride. Fine, but that may just be his way of enjoying life… Quite why it so annoyed the journalist, apart from needing a topic for a column, I’m not really clear.  But I do agree that there is a time for not taking a picture – I was out for a run on Friday Friday afternoon and the light through the trees was wonderful, but I did not wish for a camera at all. I was quite happy running on a lovely day and filling my lungs with fresh air. I don’t take a camera to work with me as I know that I can’t photograph during the working day – my job just takes too much. But if I am photographing I am enjoying looking and seeing, so I don’t really feel any different from other times. Of course, I’ve learnt by experience to leave the camera sometimes and haven’t always been so happy to let things go. But surely we can allow people to learn this themselves, without lambasting them in the media.

In a similar vein, the picture above is from the christening the other weekend. I had decided not to really take pictures, but we agreed that I’d take the Ikon and a roll of film. I finished up printing 6 or 7, which quite surprised me as I had a very relaxing afternoon and left the camera in it’s bag most of the time. Best of all, it didn’t take me long to cull the 36 shots after I’d developed the film.

Mike

This small space

Posted in Art, SoFoBoMo on August 19, 2009 by sojournerphoto

I’ve just uploaded my SoFoBoMo 2009 book to Blurb and ordered a copy. I’ll report back on quality when it arrives – please don’t order it until I know the images are at least OK. There is a link below, or you can see the whole book at the SoFoBoMo link.

Mike

By Mike and Hannah S…

Noah and his mum

Posted in Film, Lens, Life on August 16, 2009 by sojournerphoto

Rachel and Noah v2

We spent yesterday at Noah’s christening. We had a party after in the village cricket pavillion, which was a real community affair with many Derbyshire accents reminding me of my younger days. I had atken the Ikon and C-Sonnar, but didn’t take any pictures during the service or early part of the afternoon. However, I shot a later on on a roll of Adox CHS100. Although it’s a bit grainy for this sort of picture (developed in Rodinal 1-100) I’m pleased with this one of Noah and his mum. This is the second of two frames I took of them.

I also enjoyed chatting with Rachels brotehr and his wife who are keen photographers. They had their 20D and a 50 1.4, which is another lens I like very much.

Mike

on Kodachrome

Posted in Film, Rangefinder, Zeiss on August 13, 2009 by sojournerphoto

019 Stainburn Moor acr

When Kodak announced the ‘retirement’ of Kodachrome a couple of months ago I bought 5 rolls – probably the best sales month for some years I imagine – and have just printed a few pictures from the first roll. I haven’t used Kodachrome since 1995 and I have to admit that I am very happy with the results. It wouldn’t be an everyday film for me, but the colours are lovely and the grain is not really intrusive at 10.5 by 7 inches.

015 Cow Parsley acr

 

028 Stainburn Moor acr

Finally, the contrast is a bit high and the focus is off… but I like this one too

025 Sue Hannah and Naomi at Stainburn Moor acr

Limited Edition… sandwiches!

Posted in Art, Workflow on August 10, 2009 by sojournerphoto

Log Pile

Returning from holiday in Northumberland I stopped at a petrol station and found that they were selling ‘Limited Edition’ sandwiches. Not just local sandwiches either but Boots (I think) Limted Edition Chicken and Pesto sandwiches. I’m not sure why they were Limited in Edition – surely they didn’t buy the last 3 pots of red pesto from the supermarket, and there was no evidence of any numbering system, holographic id or certificate of authenticity.

Strangely, at the time I was just amused and slightly irritated at the arrant nonsense marketing teams will produce by way of decoration and attempting to offer some sense of exclusivity. I didn’t at first consider how the relation to the photography and print market, where limited editions are all the rage. I would be delighted to limit my editions to 250 or 500 prints – it would have no impact on the level of sales… and presumably none on value either. Given that photography was created, at least in part, to allow limitless reproduction of images, as compared to the limited numbers that can genuinely be made from some printing plates (look up Collograph for what can be a particularly fragile approach) to artifically limit production is simply a device to control the volume of product and hence maintain prices. In a market that is heavily oversupplied, there are many substitutes for most of the photography for sale and, like the sandwiches, it may not be helpful in generating sales from knowledgeable customers.

As a side note, if your work has value because it was done by you and not because of the image itself, then there is a very strong case to limit production. This is what the art market is all about I think. Limited productions by ‘approved’ masters or artists.

Of course, one good reason to limit production could be  to allow yourself to move on. In this case, just make one or at the most a couple at the same time and then do exactly that. Move on. The only reason to come back then would be to do something new with the negative or file, and if you are making new work you may not have the enthusiasm for that when the cost is not making something entirely new with your time.

I didn’t buy the Limited Edition sandwiches.

Mike