Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blackout Matt

Matt's not disfigured, and he's not out to rob you at gunpoint. But he does play the bass in a fine band called the Blackout Shoppers. I have to admit I was taken a little aback when Matt insisted on putting on the mask for the photo, especially since the Shoppers weren't even playing the park that day, but he did get up onstage with Endangered Feces for a short while.

Matt is a productive, respectable member of polite society and I think he feels more comfortable keeping the various realms of his life separated.

Your secret is safe with me, Commissioner...

Friday, October 30, 2009


I can't believe I've known Jay for ten've known him more than ten years, though I can't really remember the last time I've seen him. Being in school for the past almost four years (holy crap, when am I going to finish!) had kept me away from all those Punk Rock reindeer games, but I'm not complaining.

Jay plays guitar in Endangered Feces. They're more than just a bunch of middle-aged men who throw toilet paper at the audience. The music is pretty darned good too.

Now if I could have only gotten the focus right on his face...Next time, Jay. Next time.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Adam, Stoshi, et al.

That's Adam second from the left. He was the spokesman for the group. But I'm getting ahead of myself here...

I was going north up Mercer and stopped behind these guys to take some "artsy" picture of a garage sign that didn't come out very artsy (no surprise there). I heard them speaking a language that I thought was Russian. I liked their yellow, and began to steel myself to ask them for a picture, which I did.

Adam said, "yeah, sure." And nobody else seemed to object. This was taken standing in the middle of Mercer, after a break in the traffic. I wish I had centered it a bit better, but I'm just happy not to get run over by some super-stretch heading to the Mercer Hotel.

After the shot, three of the men stayed behind. Adam, and Stoshi, who was all the way on the right. Yes, you know where this is going...The very nice person on the left, the one who after the fact complimented me on the YashMat...yeah, I forgot his name. I apologize.

Wanting to sound cool and hip, I said that I also had a Salyut. I figured I'd let them know I was down with some old-school Mother Russia Cold War technology.

"We're Polish," Adam said.

I'm such a dick.

Okay, so this is finally my last shot on that awful Reala stock. But I think it was Martin Luther King Jr. who once said that you shouldn't judge someone by the color of his stock but by the content of his photos.

Shit. I'm screwed both ways.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I can't remember when I first met Sid, or even how. It probably wasn't long after I moved to the city. As long as I've known him, he's been a tireless promoter of punk rock. He's wheat-pasted many a wall in his day. He even "Psycho TV," his own public access TV show to help the cause.

I've been running into him in odd places lately, be it a bus stop, or a random subway encounter. We usually greet each other with some friendly barbs.

I am tired and have an insane headache. I'm not doing Sid proper justice with this entry.

But trust me, he's never wavered from punk rock, which is more than I can say. Then again, I'm not sure I was ever punk to begin with. Then again then again, I never claimed to ever be punk. I think that all works out okay.

So maybe I lied. This isn't the last Reala shot, but the penultimate (ooh, such a big word! What am I, in college or something?) shot. Tomorrow I'll post the last one and finally we can be rid of that abomination.

I had something witty to say about this yesterday (witty in my estimation at least) and forgot to post it. Now I can't even remember what it was.

Could somebody out there deliver me a sandwich or something? Thanks.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


As promised, I went out on Sunday to see if I'd get some photos. I took the Salyut to Tompkins Square Park where there was a free punk show going on. I figured I'd probably run into people I knew and perhaps cajole them into having their picture taken.

I've known Ron since we were in high school together back in a faraway past called New Jersey. He happened to be at the show since his girlfriend was drumming in a side-project, all-female Misfits cover band. Ron's a drummer too, and a pretty darned good one at that.

I don't see Ron much. Well, I don't see him at all, really. But it was a genuinely happy surprise that he should be at the show. We've been through some times (wow, can I be any more vague?).

I don't know when I'll see you again, but I'll be glad when I do.

So this is I think my last roll of the god-awful Superia. Never again. How many times am I going to say that? Probably until I post my last image taken on that infernal stock. I think I only have one more Superia portrait left. I'll post that one tomorrow.

Oh happy day!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Time for another placeholder. I went out yesterday and got some decent shots (I hope). I didn't get as many people as I'd have liked, but if everything comes out reasonably well, I should have seven new pictures for the site. I took in a bunch of film today to be developed. Hopefully I'll be able to get something fresh up tomorrow.

You know, I've noticed that lately I'm getting less people per roll. When you only have 12 shots a roll, it's not the most economical thing to keep taking pictures of the same inanimate objects. That's the thing with this project. Once I decided that I'd take pictures of people who liked the camera, that's when they stopped coming. I realized that I couldn't just be walking around with the YashMat dangling from my neck, but I actually had to be using it. Well, some people see the thing dangling and have to say something, but more often than not it's when I'm actually in flagrante that their interest really gets piqued. This is also necessitating me having to get over my shyness when it comes to approaching total strangers and asking for their photo, though I actually did it today with a group of people...but...I should wait to talk about that when I get the picture up.

So in the meantime I'm going to take you back...The year is 1999. The place is San Pedro, California. I saw an interesting looking man walking on the beach and asked if I could take a picture. He didn't say anything, yet stopped to allow me to capture his image with my Pentax ZX-M.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Much like Domino, Roxy doesn't know much about cameras either, except that Roxy does know that he doesn't like them shoved in his face, especially if it's a 30mm fisheye lens just inches from his face. He's not too fond of Domino either, but they don't see each other very often.

Actually, Roxy doesn't even like being looked at closely. He'll close his eyes, hoping that you'll be gone when he opens them up again. He especially doesn't like it when you have a camera in his face, and then kick his cat stand so he'll open his eyes so you can get a picture of him with his eyes open and even then you miss the shot with his eyes entirely open and you get them as he's beginning to close them again even though he still has his tongue sticking out all cute and all.

I'm sometimes not sure what Roxy likes exactly. No, that's not true. He likes his collards and kale. He likes endive too, and especially goes gaga for grapes — but they're only a treat — not a dietary staple.

Actually, I think his biggest dislike is being bothered. He's the kind of lizard that just wants to be left alone. I can respect that, well, up to the point that I can't take it anymore and have to pick him up and tell him what a great little monster he is.

What can I say, I love the little guy, and I know somewhere in that pea-brain of his, he loves me too.


Well, it's come to this again, pictures of animals in lieu of people for the project. But hey, I've got midterms and some heavy papers coming up. Besides, I think we had a good run here, all the way back to October 8th. It's great outside today, hopefully I'll get the chance to get out. That is, if I get enough work done, and if I can overcome this Benadryl hangover. Damn throat wouldn't stop itching late last night. But I hear a touch of swine flu is a real character builder.

Funny, even though I've been doing this project, today is the two month anniversary of my postings here!...I mean, since I've been doing this project, you'd think that it would get easier for me to talk to strangers. Not really. I'm still nervous before every time I go out, and wonder if someone will approach me, or if I'll get up the courage to approach someone else. I know the latter part of that isn't really in line with the project, but who cares. I want to get decent shots of people, more than anything.

Though after I have that first interaction with someone, things begin to fall into line, and I feel a bit more comfortable. Hopefully I'll get a decent amount of people today to put in the can. The school vise will only be getting tighter.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lishan, Fatima, Ribka, Mpho, Jessica (l-r)

I don't know what they were looking at, but they were having so much fun. I watched them from a short distance, trying to convince myself to approach and ask if I could take their picture. Fatima saw me staring at them and I turned away. A few minutes later I made my approach.

They're all students, and had no qualms about me taking their photo. I told them to just go back as they were, having fun looking at stuff on the computer. I think this is the best shot, even if Lishan's eyes are a little closed. It's also the best shot of Fatima. In all the other ones she's completely hidden, or just her eyes are visible, like so:

When I took this, I had no idea there was this Batman camera tilt going on.

This one has good takes for Fatima, Ribka, and Jessica.

Oh, to get a candid group shot where everybody is visible and smiling and has their eyes open at the same time!

Thanks again guys.

After I finished taking their shots, Jessica asked me about the camera. I gave it to her and she and the rest of the gang had a fun time checking out the O.G. technology. Even though I approached them, they still thought the camera was cool, so I can say that this entry is still in keeping with the spirit of this project.

Friday, October 23, 2009


"Let me go and grab my coat first," Josh said after he agreed to be photographed. Like me, he's a student. Well, hopefully he's not a student like me. I wouldn't wish that on many people.

Though he's not just a student, he also plays guitar in FreeDOOM. He told me they just got a gig with D.R.I. next spring. Very cool.

Of course, I couldn't get the damned focus right, even though I took the time to refocus after each of my three shots. This is the only other one that's semi-acceptable:

For some reason I thought the lower angle would be better, but I like the waist-level view from the first shot. Though I think the second shot was better exposed, especially on the left side of his face (or should that be his right? I mean, his left, our right). I also think it's the better picture of him (expression-wise). Not to mention the whole focus debacle.

Maybe one of these days I'll get it together.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Natalie was pleasant. She's both a student and an administrator up at school. Well, she's a student at one school and administrates at another. I'm just a student and can barely manage that much.

Yes, you can notice that I went back to slide film for this (at least I hope you can. If you can't, that's okay too). Lord knows how it would have looked with the Reala. Hmm, maybe I should do some side by side tests with the Yashmat and the Yashmat2EB.

Screw it, I know the Reala stinks. I'll just use up what I have and never go back.

Ektachrome or bust, baby.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


In case you're wondering, the giant smiling sandwich did not compliment me on my camera, but I realized that this blog was severely lacking in photographs of giant smiling sandwiches, and had to take action. He was a sandwich of few words — no words, actually, though I figured he was as good a sandwich as any to do a night flash test. I think this was .25 strength flash with a .5sec shutter speed (aperture wide open, of course).

I wonder if there's a "Subwoman" out there somewhere too. I'd hate to think he's all alone in the world, soliciting sandwich favors in front of Gem Spa.

Don't worry Subman, I'm sure she's stopped some where waiting for you

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Any time I see a man sitting on an inflatable couch giving away cookies for free, it's cause to investigate. His endeavor is called Free Cookies NYC. Basically, he goes out with his couch, and gives away his free, homemade, vegan cookies.

Yes, you read right, they're vegan. No milk, no eggs, no beef, but lots of sugar. Scott said that they have more sugar than your average chocolate chip cookie because of the whole vegan thing.

Oh, I guess you're wondering how they tasted. Well...

I politely declined a free cookie. I claimed that I have this thing with sugar, which is true to an extent. For years I threw beaucoup sugar into my body every day, and a few years ago I drastically cut down on my sugar intake. Living on two big bowls of Frosted Flakes every morning with a side of cupcakes and drinking sugar sodas all day can only go so far. You might think with a diet like that I was quite a load. Actually not. Maybe that makes it even worse. But where was I...

Oh yeah. I declined claiming the sugar thing, but I admit that I just wasn't ready to accept a cookie from a total stranger. Even one with a business card, a smile, and an inflatable couch.

If I ever see him again, maybe I'll take him up on his offer.


Monday, October 19, 2009


This is Iryna. Yes, this is the same Iryna that we met way back on October 1st.

Notice how she stands there with her camera, contemplating her next shot, not wanting to waste a single frame (and she shoots digital, yet!), as is evidenced in her Flickr stream.

On the other hand, I shoot film like it's going out of style (or maybe I should say, like I hope it's going to come back in style. Fat chance).

I could probably stand to learn a thing or two about patience from her.

Oh, who am I kidding...

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'm sure you remember Jim. I've run into him a lot since I took pictures of him back in August. Well, I mean, I always saw him around for years, but since I had actually talked to him I've taken the time every so often to say hello.

I think I mentioned earlier that I got a flash. Well, when I ran into Jim last week with the YashMat, he was more than willing to let me burn a roll on him while I fiddled with my shutter speeds and flash settings.

I think the shot above came out okay, but I like this one too:

This one I'm not so sure about. Hello glasses glare:

And then there's this gem:

Maybe you wouldn't believe this, but sometimes things don't always work right on a vintage camera. When I have the shutter set for 1 second, the flash is triggered twice (three times actually, but that third one is after the shutter is closed). While I do see the artistic (read: crap) possibilities in this, I'm not sure this shot is going to make me the next Harold Edgerton.

I'm also betting that when Harold did his experiments, he actually took the time to write down what speed his shutter was running at, the strength of the know, everything I wasn't doing that night on St. Mark's place when I was firing away at Jim. I really need to start bringing a pen and paper with me when I do this sort of thing.

I'm also going to have to find another human model for nighttime flash tests.

Any takers, if I can't find Jim?

Saturday, October 17, 2009


That's her on the left. I've known Maria now probably over ten years. She was a waitress/bartender at a now-closed dump that was my home away from home. At some point in the mid-2000s we became closer — just as friends, never in any other way — and she became one of the most important people in my life. It's still hard for me to believe that we fell out so fast and so concretely for 13 months.

It was July, 2007. The details of the actual incident aren't worth getting into here. I guess you could say we had differing opinions over a certain matter (come to think of it, I suppose that's what a "falling out," is, or at least stems from). At the time I had plans to go out of town for a while, and Maria's sister (also a close friend) said, "Don't worry. By the time you get back she'll probably be all like, 'I miss Evan!'" Don't read this to think I'm putting it all on her. It takes two to be stupid.

I came back from my trip and jumped right into the fall '07 semester. The Maria thing still gnawed at me, but I didn't reach out, and neither did she. We were also living in completely different worlds at the time. She was tending bar, and I was in school. It's easy to be stubborn when you're not forced to interact with the person you're having trouble with and work things out.

As the semester wore on things just got worser and worser. I dropped one class, withdrew from another, and got a sympathy C- in the only one I stuck with. It was a miserable time all around. The Maria thing wasn't the cause of all this (lord no), but it didn't help things either. And still, neither of us reached out to the other.

I remember at one point in the fall there was a social function I attended at which I expected Maria to be a guest. I had this fantasy in mind that we would look at each other, smile, hug, and put it all behind us. She wasn't at the function. And still, I didn't reach out to her.

I don't know how many dreams I had about her. Some of them were really nice, where we would get together and we'd say all the right things and it would feel so good — and then I'd wake up. We hadn't reconciled. It was just a dream. And still, neither of us reached out to the other.

I ended up cutting my whole social scene out of my life. It wasn't just Maria I wasn't seeing, it was her sister, and everybody else. What was I thinking? Oh, I wasn't.

By August 2008 I couldn't take it anymore. I had to end this, regardless of what would happen, whether we'd be friends again, acquaintances, or maybe she wouldn't want anything to do with me at all. I don't know now many times I scrutinized the email before I pushed "send."

She was thrilled to hear from me. All this time she thought I hated her. Likewise, I thought all that time she hated me. It turns out we both had miserable years, but hers was coming around. Mine was too, but maybe in a slower fashion. She said that she had been talking to her sister about reaching out to me when my email came.

I don't know how many lessons I learned from this experience. I know one of the most important ones is that you're never too old to be stupid.

I think if I wrote out any of the other lessons I learned, they would come out as cliché — even if they are true.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Jonas noticed the Salyut up on the High Line. He's visiting form Germany, so that's not pronounced Jonas like Jonas Salk but Jonas, like Yo, NAS (if you happen to be trying to get NAS' attention at the time).

It's his first time in New York, and he's here for the week. Do say guten tag (like I did) if you should see him.

Guten tag, y'all...(or maybe that should be j'all?)

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I had parked myself next to Meredith and her friend Rachel (not shown, by her own choice. Though I do have some pictures of the both of you if you're interested — that is, if you're even reading this) in Union Square Park. I had just gotten a new focus screen on the Salyut and also picked up a 30mm fisheye lens and was doing tests in the park. She and Rachel had been giving a running commentary of backstories of various people going about their daily business à la Annie Hall. At some point Rachel asked me, "What kind of camera is that," and I was off and shooting.

Actually, I was off and babbling like the overtired boob that I was. I had taken a slew of pictures with the Salyut when I realized, "Oh, this roll already ran out." Then I pulled out the YashMat-2EB and started in with that.

The above shot was one of the few that I took with the Salyut. I wish I could have captured her eyes better. They were strikingly blue.

You know, the more I do this, the more I realize that maybe a class or two in photography wouldn't be such a bad idea. I'm not against the idea. I'm not one of those people who thinks that going to school to "learn" art somehow crushes the innate artistic instinct or anything. Though I could definitely use a brush-up on some of the more technical aspects. But my "regular" school schedule forbids that for the time being.

I'll just have to keep on keeping on over here, and hope I can learn from my failures and occasional successes.

I just had to add this picture of Meredith tearing up the word of The Lord.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I don't know where I should start the self-flagellation. Should I start with the fact that I had a really nice conversation, and then forgot this person's name, or should I start with the compositional deficiencies of the photo. I'll just start at the start in starts and fits.

After I got the YashMat, I was thinking that maybe I should get another one, just in case it broke and needed parts. Ebay solved that problem in a timely and economical fashion. So for the past few months I've had this other YashMat just sitting around, waiting to be dissected in case anything should have happened to Number One Son. After a while, I figured "what the hell," and decided to get the second YashMat fixed up. Now let's jump to the action.

I had just gotten the YashMat 2EB (Electric Boogaloo) back from its tuneup and was ready to start shooting. I was kneeling on the sidewalk loading some film when the above gentleman started to ask me questions about the camera, and spoke about a friend of his who is also into photography. He also said that

I felt flustered and rushed. I think part of it was that I was using this "new" camera for the first time, and it's actually not an exact clone of Number One Son. The shutter speeds are totally different. Okay, I won't bore you with those details. I think maybe part of it was that I was talking to someone who was on the job, and I don't want to hold up anybody any more than need be as they go about their day.

Maybe it all made me feel just a little uncomfortable. Not because of him (again, I'm sorry I forgot your name!), not at all. But...I don't know. He asked me if I wanted him to do anything for the shot. Immediately, I knew I wanted him to be holding his equipment (which is barely visible in the bottom left-hand corner. But...shyness...something...that lack of killer instinct just to be able to ask, "could you hold your equipment, I think that would look great..." I have to get over that. I think him centered holding the equipment would have looked much better.

I think I also have to start writing people's names down after they tell me.

I have a terrific headache...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


That's my name, but that's not me in the picture. I'm always taken aback when I meet people with my own name. It gives me the creeps — not the person necessarily, but the experience.

While we have the same name, the similarities end there. No, wait. He wears glasses, I wear glasses. No, that's about it. I don't have tattoos or pierced ears. No, wait. He likes photography. I like photography.

I was taking pictures of the busker when he asked me if I knew any places that sold used medium format cameras. He couldn't help but notice me cradling the Salyut in my hands. Then again, who could miss the thing, it's HUGE (sort of. relatively speaking, that is.) I gave him a tipoff, and then he obliged to have his picture taken.

This is another weird, foggy shot taken with that Superia stock. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it. Mind you, the sun was at my back (or somewhat overhead and behind me) when I took this. I'll have to see how other Superia rolls come back, as compared to my usual favorite (Ektachrome VS) from the Salyut. Then again, maybe there's something going on with the camera backs (I have two).

Okay, enough of this fascinating technical talk/speculation already.

Monday, October 12, 2009


This is a picture of Mary when I saw her the day before school started. Yes, this is the same Mary that I already wrote about. I saw her again last week.

She doesn’t remember getting hit, or going over the handlebars. Her first memory is coming-to in a hospital, vomiting. Her next recollection is lying flat on her back. A nurse was putting a mask over her face. “Breathe deeply,” she told Mary, as the anesthetic took hold.

The procedure is called a craniotomy. The doctors at Bellevue cut a chunk out of Mary’s skull and drained the epidural hematoma. Blood was putting pressure on her brain, and without the operation she would have died. After the hematoma was successfully drained, the doctors fastened the chunk of skull back in place with titanium plates. It took 37 staples to close the wound.

I saw Mary just a week and a half after the accident, right after she had the staples taken out. I was shocked when she told me that her entire hospital stay was only three days. She didn’t have to be there any longer. When I saw her, she told me that she wasn’t having any ill-effects. No headaches, seizures, blackouts, or any of the other myriad things that can manifest after a major headwound. I was shocked at how quickly she was back out and about. “I can’t afford to take a long time to heal,” she said.

We had fun taking the pictures. “You’re going to make headwounds sexy again!” I shouted as I shot her alternately with the Salyut and the Yashmat while people walked by not quite knowing what to make of us. I was touched that she let me shoot her. The night before some total stranger asked to take her photo and she refused — but we’re not strangers. We’ve known each other over three years already. So she indulged me patiently as I used my various cameras, trying not only to get a decent picture of her, but maybe somehow bettering myself at this craft. It’s not too many people (even friends) that are willing to sit around while you fumble around with light meters, shutter speeds, flash fills, and all that crap that is second-nature to a professional.

I knew Mary was better when she started talking about her hair. She wasn’t so much worried about the scar, but was more concerned that almost half the hair on her head would be much shorter than the rest of her thick, flowing, brown tresses.

I kept telling her to just give it time, but she was still worried. Her vanity made me smile. She's going to be just fine.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


He gave me his card, and I've lost it. He told me his name, and I've forgotten it. I'm really building bridges with this project.


He was a great guitar player. Not overpowering, no screeching solos, just low-key, pretty cool stuff (as you can see, I'm not much of a music critic either). He also told me that he will be in Times Square on Halloween. He didn't say if he was dressing up or not.

Though I think he could probably go as Dee Dee Ramone, especially from how he looks in the picture below.

Some technical notes:
I took these shots with the Salyut, using the 65mm lens. I think I'll only be using that on the Salyut, and the newly acquired 30mm fisheye. I have no idea what all the waviness is on the left side of the first shot. Maybe it's a light flare, maybe it's Dee Dee's ghost. Who knows. Actually, all the shots on this roll came out sort of fuzzy, or hazy, or something. I've taken shots with this camera with Ilford and Ektachrome and they've seemed fine so far. This was Fuji Reala, though I usually use Superia. I don't know.

Blame the film, that's what I say!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Like Jana beneath him (should I rephrase that?), Cameron was also spreading the Galilean gospel last week at school.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Does Jana look like she has stars in her eyes? Well she should, since she's a graduate student in Astronomy. But Jana wasn't just wandering around campus hoping Comet Kohoutek would come whizzing by, she was part of a weeklong effort plugging the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (don't you see the IYA 2009 button on her jacket?).

I've had a bit of a romance with astronomy myself. I think it's safe to say that I was the only kid in grade school with subscriptions to Sky and Telescope and Astronomy magazines! Though astronomy was just one of the many cool things that held my interest as a kid. There was also paleontology, archaeology, meteorology, vulcanology, earthquakeology...I wanted to either be looking up or digging in the earth.

It was fun to dream about my future back then. I remember thinking that I'd do great in high school, maybe go to Stanford, and then come out and be some kind of scientist. Who knows what kind. But I was a lousy student in high school. Actually, that shouldn't have been much of a surprise since I was a lousy student in grade school. It wasn't that I wasn't smart. I knew I was smart. It's just that everything I was smart in wasn't being taught by my teachers. I just wasn't interested in what they had to offer. I had more fun looking through books in the library about all those cool things from the previous paragraph and so much more. Yet with all of these interests, I still somehow found time to get into lots of trouble. I might have been the original multi-tasker.

Today, I don't mind being on the sidelines of science. I can still read stuff, or watch Michio Kaku spread the gospel on the Science Channel. I'm content with that.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I was hoping to come back with fresh material today, but such are the vagaries of having your film developed. I don't do it myself because A: I don't really have the time right now, and B: I barely trust myself to develop my own black and white, let alone C-41 or even E-6!

Oh, there I go again, getting all technical to come off as a photo snob (but don't I really wish I was? yeah...).

So, I should have some new faces ready to go for tomorrow, and maybe even some old faces as well (that's a little something we photographers like to call "foreshadowing.").

Did I just say, "we photographers?" Oh, how I long to leave the snapshot hoi polloi behind!

So here's a little something without people. Personally, I find it very tiresome.

You get it, tiresome? Because they're tires?

I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Domino doesn't know much about cameras. Then again, neither do I, since this was the best of all the shots I took of him one summer's day at my parents' house and I triggered the shutter by accident. Anyways, back to the dog.

Normally, he likes to run around the yard like a maniac. The only reason he sat still was that he was transfixed by the dog bone my father was holding just out of frame. You can see it in his half-cocked ears. I mean, you can see that he's transfixed, not the dog bone.

When Domino isn't staring at food (usually other people's food), he likes to lie on top of people and pose for cellphone photos:

Stupid dog...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Study Break

I didn't catch her name. I didn't ask. She didn't even notice that I had a camera (yes, so technically this doesn't count as part of the "Hey Nice Camera" project but A: Like I said earlier, I'm in school now so I can't wander around the city all day and night hoping my light-capture machine gets noticed by other people and B: It also says up in the blog description, and anything else that strikes my fancy. So there).

Her writing looked like Chinese. I mean, not like her handwriting was so messy that it looked like Chinese, but that I think she was actually writing Chinese. I've been told on many an occasion that my handwriting looks like Chinese, yet when you compare it to real Chinese writing, it really doesn't resemble it at all. I think my handwriting has more of a cuneiform/sanskrit look.

We did talk briefly. The only thing I remember her saying was that she had a quiz in 15 minutes.

I took the shot with the YashMat from a nearby bench. What you're seeing here is a color scan of the black and white negative.

If I see her again I'll have to ask her how she did...

Monday, October 5, 2009


I didn't so much find Ronald as he was forced upon me. Allow me to explain.

Ronald sat down at a nearby picnic table while I was taking Michael's pictures. After I took the last shot, Michael jumped up and said, "You should take pictures of Ronald playing the guitar, he's awesome," and walked away.

"I guess he just passed you onto me," I said. "May I take your picture?"

"Sure, I guess. I've been playing here fifty years," he said. "I met my wife over by that bench," he said as he pointed in the direction of Garibaldi's statue, and then started playing.

He played two songs, something between folk and old country and western. They sounded familiar yet original at the same time (not to mention beautifully played and sung). I didn't ask him who they were by, not wanting to seem like some kind of unhip neophyte (I'm such a prideful poseur-asshole), though I really should have, since it would have filled this account out.

After he finished his second song, he simply said, "They don't write 'em like that anymore."

Like with Michael, I took these pictures with the Salyut. I just ordered a new viewfinder (Hasselblad knock-off) from Ebay that should be coming this week. Hopefully it will work better than the stock one which has some issues not worth getting into here. At least I hope I can blame my focusing problems on the viewfinder.

Yeah, it's the viewfinder's fault. It's always the viewfinder's fault...

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Ashley and I have class. Well, we have class together, I mean. We also sit next to each other in the front row. She sits between Reina and myself, acting as a buffer between me and my old friend. Reina and I tried sitting next to each other for the first two classes, though we spent most of that time hitting each other. Fortunately our professor only has one eye and bad hearing so he missed out on our horseplay. I feel like I should mention that my mentioning of our professor's sensory limitations is in no way a reflection of him as a teacher. He's awewome.

I feel like I suckered Ashley into this project, as I think I have (and will be) suckering many others. With Ashley, I told her about the project first. Then after I produced the camera, I got the desired reaction, and the commitment was made. Though I have to thank her (like everyone else on this page) for willing to be a part of my nonsense.

As my luck would have it Ashley also has a history with photography. When we first started talking about it, she said she was into, "stupid pinhole shit."

I replied, "I love stupid pinhole shit!" I really do, even though there's none of it on this page (yet...). She also did her own cyanotype work, and said that she's thinking about getting back into photography. Great. Another person whose work I'm going to look at and just make me feel smaller.

I mean, I know this isn't supposed to be a competition (it isn't, right?), but isn't it in a way? Any kind of "art" is being judged in terms of dollars and/or praise. I think a lot of "artists" will say that they don't care whether people like their stuff or not, they're doing it for themselves. Bullshit. If you're making a living from your art, you had damn well better care what people think of it, and hope they like what you're producing. And despite what they all say, it feels pretty damned good when someone compliments you on something that you created.

I guess that's why I'm doing this site/blog/thing. I admit it, compliments feel good. I like getting them. Though I'm also willing to hear people tell me where I'm screwing up too (even if I'd really rather not). I mean, I don't know what's going to come of this thing. In my midnight confessions (apologies to The Grass Roots), I'd like to think that somebody will see this page and say, "Wow, you're like if Steiglitz, Avedon, Bourke-White, Weegee, and Arbus all had a kid together, and I'll give you craploads of cash to keep on taking your crappy photos!"

If only.

In lieu of that I'll stay in school, cramming as much information into my brain as it will take, and keep a camera at my side as much as possible.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I should really change the name of this blog from "Hey Nice Camera" to "Pictures of People Who Take Pictures of Things and Other People That are Way Better Than the Pictures I Take of Things and Other People" (, of course).

Ken consented to be photographed just as long as I included his work, which if you click above for the bigger version, can see are his artistic visions of produce.

I forgot if I was the one who suggested he take off his hat, or if he volunteered. Either way, I was happy in thinking that his face wouldn't be covered in brim-shade.

You know, it's a funny thing. Why is it that leaf-shadows on a person's face and shirt that look so innocuous in person come out so strongly on film?

If I knew the answer to that, maybe I'd be selling my stuff in the park instead of grousing about it here.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Michael noticed my camera, but it wasn't the YashMat. It was a newly acquired Салют (Salyut). It's a copy of the O.G. Hasselblad, and I still had some learning to do when it came to the focus as you can see.

Of course, the shot with the better focus isn't as well composed/formed as the slightly off one.

But that's okay, there's plenty more photos to come.