Thursday, December 31, 2009

Doris


She told me it was really a trip to have lived for so long. She didn't really use those words, but she can't really believe that she's actually been alive for 89 years. Born and bred in Brooklyn USA, now seeing out her twilight years in central Jersey, trying to keep as safely active as she can until she gets the call.

She told me that she's lousy when it comes to posing for candid pictures, so I should just shoot her while she was in conversation. I took only one roll, and for some reason this shot speaks to me. Even if it's not in perfect focus, or the best lit, there's just something about it for me.

This picture was taken at the end of the day, after spending it with her two children, their spouses, and her only grandchild, who she was nice enough to let take some pictures.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Blast From the Past

Kid Kevin.
San Pedro, California.
1999.


None more cooler!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh Lordy Loo...


You know with a title like that it can mean only one thing. Yep, I forgot her name. I didn't write it down because I had forgotten my little notebook. I want to say it was Christine, maybe? Or Tammy? I do remember that she was from Virginia. I was parked in front of FIT and was trying to take artsy head-on photos of those pigeons hanging out on that ledge in the back with people walking by. I'll post the less than stellar results when I get around to scanning them.

I knew I should have at least entered her name into the memo application of my superphone, but I thought, "It's just one little name. I should be able to handle that."

Fat Chance, Mister Moto.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mustard


I recognized him immediately. I was, as usual, using Washington Square Park as a proving ground. In this case, for the Kodak No.2 Folding Autographic Brownie which I had given a fresh cleaning inside and out. Of course, I wasn't without my Yashmat either. So anyways...

He walked right by me, and I knew I had to act fast. Was it really him? Should I really try to get his attention? "MUSTARD!" I shouted.

He kept on walking at the same pace. Maybe he didn't hear me. Then he stopped and turned around. It was him alright. As he walked towards me I extended my hand and said, "I heard you on the radio, I've seen the video. It's great."

In case you're not already familiar, allow me to explain...

A few weeks earlier, Mustard appeared on the Opie and Anthony radio show on Sirius/XM (Sirius 197, XM 202). He was to be part of what turned out to be their ill-fated 2009 "Homeless Shopping Spree." It's a grand tradition they have of unleashing the homeless on an unsuspecting local mall with money to burn. Charity and hilarity ensue. Long story short, it didn't go off this year. However, Mustard made an impression on the bbbbboys, especially after they gave him a guitar and he sang Radiohead's "Creep." He also did some equally impressive original material. You can see the Creep video here. So back to the story...

"You saw me on the radio," Mustard said. "Take a picture?"

Happily I now didn't need to actually ask him and I took four shots. This was the first one, and I think the best. I kept saying to him over and over again how I hoped it all works out for him. "They're going to record me," he said, which is true, since Opie has pretty much appointed himself in charge of the Mustard project (and maybe he'll one day take 13-year old Gary to that Islanders game. LingerLonger!). Though I know there is a definite push to get Mustard on "America's Got Talent."

He hasn't got a home, but he's got hope. I think he had it even before Keith the Cop brought him into the radio studio, but now he's got just a little bit more to continue forward.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hopefully Tomorrow...

...this thing will get back on track. Hopefully they'll have found a way to deliver one roll of film 20 blocks. I'm also bringing in some fresh black and white rolls and hopefully again I'll have them back on the same day.

So until then, two completely different shots from two completely different decades.

Here's Dan Destructo, circa 1999:


And who's that handsome young fellow seen reflected in his shades!

And one more snowstorm shot, from the night of December 19-20, 2009:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Out "Sick"

I brought in some slide film to be developed at the start of the week. I was hoping to have it back by Wednesday or Thursday. The guy I take it to doesn't do it in-house. It's delivered to some other lab and returned the next day via delivery boy (or girl or man or woman or how about "person?").

Said deliverer was suspiciously sick in the days approaching Christmas. I'm pissed. I mean, I (and by extension you) am (and by extension are) being denied my art! Who knows what masterpiece of photography is sitting in a lab in the 20s and not being posted on a Saturday night!

You know, I have a feeling that the more I talk this roll up, the more I'll be ashamed when I get around to posting the shots.

Until then, here's a frozen action shot of Hai and that other photographer getting in the act (as related here):


Oh, why not....and speaking of frozen:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Water Seller

Okay, I'm pretty gosh darned tired. Here's one from the Gay Pride parade. Hopefully we'll get back on track tomorrow with some newer more interestinger material.

"We'll?" Who's we? The royal "we?"

Maybe I'm just turning into Gollum...

My presssshhhhusss...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joanie


Joanie's a friend, and she's also a photographer. Her milieu is the Lower East Side, and you can see her evidence of it here. She's soon making the jump from digital to 35mm. She'll have to go through the whole process (pun not intended) I did, especially remembering not to check to see if you got the shot every time and get in touch with the idea of waiting and patience.

It took a while for me to get (re)used to.

BONUS SNOW SHOT:

It's Christmas Eve, so what the hell. Here's another one from last week's storm:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Riverside Park Sunset

Boy, I'm really getting into the hack material here. First the snow stuff, and now this:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Snow on a Saturday Night

What kind of hack would I didn't take shots during the snowstorm?


I think the only people out were photographers, everybody standing around the arch and the tree getting it from all angles. I think I was the only one with a film camera there. So I suppose I'm late to the party in getting these pictures up.



I might even put more up, but I'll put them up like in addition to other placeholder posts, not just as a single so you're not like, "Oh Christ, there's the arch in the snow again..."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flowers and Phenomenal Cat


This was on Downing Street in the Village over the summer.

In other news....

SCHOOL'S OUT!

Hopefully I can keep the placeholders interesting enough to keep you interested before I start building up a new crop of strangers and friends to get in front of the camera and up on the site.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

She is Bathed in Light


I really shouldn't be this tired at this time of night, yet somehow....

Well, you know, I'm beginning to figure that maybe this little slew of placeholding can be kind of like a "best of 2009" edition ("best" being relative, as always). Everybody else is doing it, right? All those tv shows with all their year end countdowns and dead celebrity tributes, so why not? And here, you're seeing things that I haven't put up before (not on this site, at least).

So here's a shot from the summer, taken with the Diana F+, her hair backlit like one of those professional 1980s chick yearbook shots the girls would get who didn't want the hired gun photographer to take their picture.

Oh, those were the days...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Blows


They were part of the first group of Santas to show up in the park that day. I had no idea what a spectacle it would become.

I took this shot with a Kodak Junior Six-20. I've become quite adept at respooling film in the dark. Now if I could only become more adept at the pictures I take with it...

SPRINGER'S FINAL THOUGHT:
Oh, how I wish...

Yes, as you may notice, this begins yet another run of placeholders. I'm not sure how long the run will last, since I'm currently studying for finals. But as per usual, there will be a picture posted every day, as to give whoever looks at this damned thing something to look forward to (if I may be such a presumptuous asshole).

You know, I got an A on a paper despite all the time I've devoted to this site. You know, you wouldn't think doing this site would take up so much time, but it really does. Besides, what else would I be doing with that time. Studying? Please.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Julie


Julie is a Tall Black Girl, but you wouldn't really know it from looking at her. She noticed the YashMat2EB on the counter at the photo place. It looked like she was bringing in some disposable film cameras for developing. When I told her about the project, and feeling more than a bit self-conscious while giving my spiel in front of the photo dude, she agreed. I waited until we were outside to give her my card. She was surprised that I wanted to take the picture right there. As we talked, I discovered that the owner of the bar where she works is an old friend of mine. Say, can you call someone a friend that you never see, never talk to, and never made plans with, even when you saw them on a regular basis and that's only because they were working behind a bar?

Worse yet, the other person I'm referring to is a killer photographer and is going to soil herself laughing when she sees what I've put up on the site.

SELF-DEPRECATING NOTES:

Yikes. I don't even know where to start with this one. Oh, I know...we'll start with the positioning on the sidewalk. Even though we were in the shade, I still didn't insist that she face the opposite way, since the sky behind her was a little bit bright. Part of me felt it didn't really matter, since it also looked brightish when facing north. I could have at least had her the other way so maybe I'd have her exposed better. But the bigger thing was my shyness in even wanting to make the most simple request of, "can you stand this way?" And this was someone who was surprised that I wanted to take the picture immediately, right there (like I mentioned above). What am I so afraid of that I can't make small requests of willing subjects? What's wrong with me (don't answer that)? I could easily say that I'm just not wanting to be any more of an imposition on a person's life, but it's more than that. Yech.

Speaking of yech...how about that shaky, slight double image thing I have going on here! Yech indeed. Though Part of me can live with it, since I like her expression a lot. I think it makes up for my technical ineptitude (I use that word a lot around here, "ineptitude"). I took another shot of her, but this one was definitely the better image of her, even if it wasn't the better overall image.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Claus


Yeah, I know it's a lousy shot, but anyways...

This was my first shot of the day with my Kodak No.2 Folding Autographic Brownie (long enough name, you think?), circa 1923 or so. They were already sitting there, and I figured it would make a nice shot with them and the menorah in the background. That was before the menorah was descended upon by other Santas looking to get picture with it. I'm surprised they didn't rip it off the fence and parade around with it like they were Titus.

As you can see, there's still a bit of a learning curve with the Kodak No.2 Folding Autographic Brownie, especially with blind-aiming the darned thing. But this couple seemed sincere and nice, and just happy to be there. That's why I took their picture more than anything.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yanna


"Can I take a picture of you holding our card?"

"Just as long as I can take a picture of you," I responded. She was representing an organization called Pro Dad, a group lobbying for non-discrimination from employers for stay-at-home dads. I'm not a father, but I know a thing or two about staying at home (despite all of these photos that I've taken not in my home).

Yes, and little did she and her two colleagues know that the Santa Clauses were about to converge on the park...

How about that, I actually posted something before 11pm!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monty


It was the calm before the storm, though neither Monty nor myself knew it. He was just happy to catch some rays on a sunny winter's day. I wondered, but never did bother to ask him why he brought along a sunning-type chair if he was just going to sit on the park bench. His friend next to him (not pictured) said, "I get ten percent of whatever you give him" (usually that's my line).

I said to the friend, "That's between you two." The friend declined to have his picture taken, though I thought he'd have made as just an interesting subject, even if he wasn't indulging in le soleil.

The storm to which I referred to in the opening sentence was the invasion of Santa Clauses. When I get my Santa rolls processed, I might put some of the pictures up to show you what I've been complaining about for two posts already.

Yes, I know I'm a complainer.

You don't like it, go complain to someone.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Technical Difficulties

I bounded over to the film guy's, hoping to get my two black and white rolls back, only to find out that he was hard at work figuring a way to fix the machine that does the black and white film.

So I'm a liar yet again.

For your pleasure, here's a shot from the Gay Pride Parade taken with my Lomography brand Diana F+, which was the camera that got me into this whole real vintage camera medium format mess.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sack Time

I think I got a few decent shots this weekend. Well...until the park was overrun by several thousand unruly Santas who were rude, drunk, and urinating in public (a story for another day). In other (but related) news, my film developer (well, he's not "mine," but you know what I mean) promised that I should have fresh rolls ready to go tomorrow morning. So until then I present two shots, both taken of and on the day I got Hai, Cuong, and Shady to pause for a portrait.

You'll see this first one is a double exposure, and yes, it's a mistake. And if you're like me (god I hope not, for your sake), you just may think it actually looks pretty cool. It was taken with my Zeiss Ikon Nettar that my dad gave me. He got it when he was 13 and it still looks brand new. I think it takes even nicer shots than the YashMats, but of course focusing is more of a challenge since you don't see what you're focusing on with the thing, you just guess the distance and hope for the best:


This second shot I also took with a "new" old camera, a Sawyer's 127 that I got off ebay. Yes, it uses 127 film with Efke still makes. The black and white is relatively affordable, yet the color is a bit much, unless I take to cutting down 120 film to size in the dark, but I'm not sure I'm ready for such an advanced level of fiddling around.

As you can see, a flock of pigeons also took a great interest in the hacking:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Silent Witness



This shot could have been a lot better. I'm realizing now that it would have been a lot more interesting to maybe shoot each of them in kind, like just their faces. Well, I can't get too close with the YashMat what with the fixed 80mm lens, but still...I think their faces were a lot more interesting, especially second from the right. I like her stern stoicism.

For more information about the Quakers (well, these quakers), you can check them out over here.

Yeah, I have to figure out how to shoot in that light coming from that odd angle so I don't have to post process the thing so darned much that they lose all detail from their coats.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Lara


I was leaning on the fountain running my first roll of film through my newly acquired Kodak Junior Six-20 folding camera. She was sitting on one of those raised knob things (what the hell would you call them?) that ring the fountain. We sort of looked at each other back and forth, her noticing the camera, and me noticing that she was looking at a map. "Where are you from?" I asked.

She was from Switzerland, Z├╝rich to be precise. She was taking a year off before starting college, and was staying with a friend who's going to Fordham. Her friend wasn't out, since she was being diligent with her studies (something I apparently wasn't last Sunday afternoon), Lara was left alone to explore this "endless" city (as she put it to me).

She told me her gay friends back in Switzerland wanted her to visit Christopher Street. I pointed her in the right direction, but not before she let me shoot her. Oh, and this was with the YashMat, not with the Junior Six-20.

JUST A NOTE:
This entry could be way better. You know (well, you wouldn't know, but you know...), I was up all night last night writing a simply god-awful paper. No, this isn't one of those cases where you say, "oh, my paper sucks," and then it turns out you got an A. No, what I handed is was really an abomination. So yeah, I was up all night fueled on Ice Cream Sodas, Coca-Cola (left over from the float), more ice cream, a giant cookie, and just at the right time, I opened up my door and there was a package of fudge waiting for me. That's another story entirely. So yeah...I need some sleep.

Or maybe I should just stop making excuses.

Oh, and I was going to write this whole thing about parallax error/correction with the YashMat, since I'm pretty sure I had less headroom in this shot, but whatever (how many times have I said, "but whatever" on this blog already? Jesus Christ...). Yeah, I'll maybe finally do some real parallax tests.

You're fascinated, I can tell.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oh Fiddlesticks...

Yeah...you should know by now that if you don't see the picture right under the headline (or whatever they call it, oh, "title?" "subject?" whatever), you know we're still in a holding pattern. So I present to you a shot from the summer.

As you'll see, it is doubly exposed, and has sort of an interesting look about it. As you don't know, but could probably figure out, your humble narrator (apologies to A. Burgess) didn't plan it that way. I was shooting with a Lomography Lubitel 166+ and forgot to wind the durn thing forward. Wait..."durn" is a word according to the auto spell-check feature on this here Safari.

Who knew?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Quick Placeholder (I think! I hope!)

I took a few rolls in today. I'm feeling good about what might come out (keep your fingers crossed). So in lieu of the usual fare, here's a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge taken over the summer with the YashMat.

You know it's held up with cables, right?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Coffee, Crossword, and a Pigeon on Your Shoulder.


This isn't quite in keeping with the project, but I've never let that stop me before. Now, if you've been following this blog, you know what's coming next....say it with me...."I'm sorry, I forgot your name!" It's already been a few weeks since I took the photo, and I don't remember if I even wrote her name down or not. But she actually wasn't the focus of my interest.

The gentleman in the background was communing with pigeons and squirrels, and I wanted to get a shot of him from where I was sitting on the bench. The woman next to me at first offered to get out of the way, but I said she could stay, at the very least it would add some foreground dynamism to the shot ("foreground dynamism?" what the hell am I talking about?). I said I didn't mind, as long as she didn't mind having her picture on the internet.

"He talks to them," she said. "He's even named them."

"Well, it's no crazier than talking to a pet, right?" I responded. "I have a pet iguana and I talk to him constantly."

Logic (or a professional pickup artist) would probably dictate that the male of the species does not mention that he talks to a male of another species within five minutes of meeting a female of the species that's the same species as the male who is doing the talking.

Then again, when the hell has logic had anything to do with the decisions I make (not all, but definitely some).

I did take two other shots, each of them with her hair in her face, yet the gentleman's face was clearer. I didn't think it necessary to post them. I'll stand by this one.

Ooh, what confidence! Where did that come from?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Lucas


Like others, I hadn't seen Lucas for quite a while. Though we have been keeping in touch in a way, that is, by commenting back and forth on other peoples' facebook pages. The comments usually revolve around unnatural sex acts and foreskin.

Lucas works at the MoMa, and because of that, I can get in for free.

Of course, I can get in free anyways with my school ID. Oh, the irony!

I'm going to really have to work on this focus thing. I did try one of my stopped down mit der flash cranked shots with Lucas, and here's the result:



I'm thinking maybe this approach will work with 400iso film. I will be seeing this same group of people again (and more) pretty soon, so hopefully they didn't get too sick of my photographic shenanigans.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Ali


Even though Ali was there the same night all the previous shots were taken (well, the last stretch, not all the previous shots going back to August), I had never met her before. She was there in the company of Tim, who we met earlier ("we" being us meaning you the blog reader, that is).

Like Tim (and me, come to think of it), she grew up in New Jersey. Unlike Tim (and me), she's now living in Silver Lake, looking to put her acting degree from Tisch to work. Unlike me, she actually finished there as opposed to dropping out. Like me, she likes attention (and what's a blog if not to whore yourself out on the internet claiming that you're making "art" when in actuality you'll sell out in a heartbeat god willing), and was more than willing to let me shoot her.

Of course, this was my best shot of her. Well, it would have been if I'd have gotten the gosh darn focus right. Je suis pissed, yet I have nobody to be pissed at but moi. Maybe I can say that I did the soft focus thing on purpose, like smearing vaseline on the lens back in the old days. Nah...it's all about my ineptitude. Now I'll never become a headshot photographer! Well, not that I want to be a headshot photographer, but I'd like to think I'd be able to if I so chosed ("chosed?" I really am from New Jersey...).

Here's another shot of her, in focus:


I actually really like the shifty-eyed glance.

Ali, I'm sorry I screwed that one up.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Hai, Cuong, Shady (l-r)


I've seen these guys in Washington Square Park before, though they're pretty hard to miss. They engage in some serious hackey-sack in the southwest corner by the fountain. I said "serious," because I'm reluctant to say "extreme." But it is extreme, and they give their all.

I got up my courage to ask them for a shot after seeing another photog taking up-close action shots with a digital camera. I also got some action shots, but from the sidelines, where I was happy to sit.

This photograph is almost great. I wish I had gotten their feet entirely in the shot. In my first shot, I did have them perfectly framed feet-wise, but their positioning was off. I was originally intending to post that shot too, but I'm busy and really ridiculously tired right now.

I used to hackey-sack when I was a senior in high school, but we played a game called, "Killer Hack." Basically, whoever missed the sack would get tackled. If you ran instead of taking your punishment, there was a pile-on.

Oh those schoolyard days....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Neil and Josh (l-r)


I didn't feel worthy of taking this photo. I don't feel worthy of even having a camera in my hands when Josh is around. He's quite the photographer, even though when I saw him the other night he said that he really wasn't much for taking pictures lately.

I don't believe him.

And if you want to see how he brings it, check his site.

I'm happy with this shot. Well, it could have been better centered, but I got a decent exposure with the flash, and got them in reasonable focus. I got some more pictures back from that night, and compared them with the settings I took down in my notebook. I think I now know what approach to take with the flash (he says now...). Of course, there will be continued experimentation, and the results will be suffered by whoever reads this thing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bobby


The better I know people, the harder I'm finding it to write about them. Maybe it's because there's just so much to say, and wouldn't know where to start or finish. Maybe I'm just overthinking something (most definitely).

Bobby is just so well-liked by so many people, and I'm definitely one of them.

He's also the face and beard of Hymen Holocaust. They are a most excellent musical aggregation if I do say so myself.

And I do.

We'll get that soup and burger soon Bobby.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Zach


This was the only photo I got of Zach. I used the same settings as my first shot with Althea, what with the aperture all the way closed, flash on high, et cetera. I kept the "natural" color scan of the black and white negative because it had more detail than when I went grayscale.

I've also known Zach (or is it Zack? I don't know) a long time. All the people associated with the dump I've known a long time, at the very least ten years.

I like this shot of Zach. He looks like a badass. I even think he looks a bit like Shel Silverstein in this shot. I've always been fond of Zach, and I can't remember the last time I saw him. It was good to see you again.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Althea


This was my first shot of Althea. It was my first shot of the night, actually, and was a bit of an experiment. I've been having problems getting proper focus in the dark (duh), and it's only harder if I have my aperture wide open. So I figured I'd try something else. I closed up to f/22 to ensure as much depth of field as possible as to provide some safety, shot at 1/4 of a second, with the flash at full blast.

As you can see, she came our just fine, focus-wise. Though other than her face and forearm/hand, she looks like she should be in Mummenschanz. Below is my second (and final) shot of her, with the aperture wide open (f/3.5), with the flash at 1/4 strength, and the shutter speed the same:


Here you can actually see much more detail of the dress, yet since I have so little depth of field to play with, if I'm not just exactly right with the focus (and mind you, I'm focusing basically in the dark), well...you get what you see above...there's got to be some kind of perfect medium where I don't have to worry about being super on-point with focus (hoping depth of field will save me), while at the same time getting a halfway-decently exposed shot.

That all said....

I've known Althea for ages. I almost can't believe how long I've actually known her, but again, as I've said in other places on this thing, I don't mean that in a bad way at all.

Thank you Althea, for putting up with me (and not just the other night).