I received a comment on my blog recently that stated simply, and in its entirety, “You’re a digital hating hipster.” Well, I wasn’t even hip when I was the right age for it, but, more to the point, I don’t hate digital. I choose not to use it. As I’ve stated in previous posts, art is as much about the medium as it is about the product. What we do is informed by how we do it. I choose film because of the lack of instant gratification, and the meticulous process of large format photography; what I refer to as “the slow zen of quality.” I have spent so much of my life hurrying about, trying to get everything done from work to home to fitness, and back again. I do so much in my line of work that revolves around computers and high-tech gadgetry. When I get to take pictures, or work in the darkroom, I get that rarest of opportunities, which is to take a breath, and let the world pass around me for just a little while. I get to live briefly in the world as it was when Ansel Adams climbed the Sierras, and developed his film under the stars. It doesn’t take hating digital to want that. It takes loving film.
One of my best-selling photographs.
I was out with Gaia, with my newly acquired 50mm Carl Zeiss lens and my Hasselblad. I wanted to get pictures of this caboose, and the weather was cooperating. I was lucky, because a week later the caboose was vandalized (in a bad way), and it just wasn’t the same.
The friend who posed for this picture informed me that it was 15 years ago.
I was new to medium format, and to handheld meters, but I nailed the exposure on Kodak Tech Pan. I perched my tripod on a flatbed truck, and shot this with my 80mm Zeiss lens.
Mike was wearing an East German Colonel’s uniform, and the idea was to express the state of affairs in the former Soviet Bloc in 1999 with a little humor.
Gaia and I are looking to buy, or build, a house in the place where I do most of my photography: the Columbia Gorge. We want a spot on the dryer side, past Hood Rivet, or any place that has less pollution than Portland. This blog has been all about film photography, and it still will be in the future, but I feel the need to let everyone know that we may be on the move soon, and that my commute to Portland down I-84 every day could yield more photography, much like driving across the Marquam at 6:00 AM did for my Hawthorne Bridge pictures did a few years ago. You can see those pictures at my Flickr page. If Gaia’s health improves, we’ll be staying there. The photographs will follow. All will be film photography. That will be the hardest part. Imagine putting a professional darkroom in a RV.
Our plan is to live in a RV until we find the place where Gaia’s health is best, and then to build a house there. Allergies suck. The photography could be awesome