Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Publication Opportunity...

Andy Adams will be reviewing images for Der Greif Magazine- deadline 1/28, submitting is free! Details, here...

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Analog Seasonal Blues!!!

One of the things we’re sad about today is that Photographers don’t walk around with a camera all the time and photograph without a project.          -Richard Benson

Ain't that the truth...

Which brings me to the point, that every year at this time... I flat out freakin' panic! Like many a serious amateur, I'm fairly religious (yes, I'm usually packin', except at night, when I'm happy to say- fuck it!). Consummate weekend warrior, I also try to finagle whatever lunch and break period one can during the live long, work a day week. But November thru February are the pits. Go home from work in the dark, wake up "late" on weekends at 9, have a lazy breakfast on the computer, household chores for a few minutes, and its 2 'oclock- 2 hrs before it's dark, and considerably less should you happen to engage in an errand or two....

This is when I grow desperately jealous of my digital brethren, all they need do is raise their ISO setting- easy peasy! So my analog only will frays and goes fickle, my eyes start to stray and wander as to what it would be like to own a brand spanking new X70, or (considerably more feasible) how about a used GR?!? Just point them things anywhere, anytime- don't even have to look! Every winter solstice I persevere through this, and even after purchasing a top of the line XT1 last summer (and selling it within a month), I still wonder if I could better endure these dark seasonal passages if only I had a little digital something, something- anything to raise my hopes and ISO...

Honestly, not much going in the winter months unless you're into winter sports or snowy scenics. People don dark formless clothing, moving about from one indoor place to another; the photo ops they help create in the casual summer months are noticeably absent- how many all time, memorable photographs can you remember with knee high, pee stained snow banks in the background?

So why sweat it at all? Soon the light returns...

This baby still looks like what a digital 21st century camera (from the future) should look like!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Making America Great Again!

Are you serious?
Apologies for freedom, I can’t handle this.
When freedom rings, answer the call!
On your feet, stand up tall!
Freedom's on our shoulders, USA!
Enemies of freedom face the music, c'mon boys, take them down
President Donald Trump knows how to make America great
Deal from strength or get crushed every time

C'mon!!! Any song that begins with the word cowardice has to, has to be great! And let's not forget The Donald's impeccable war credentials- he got a medal for neatness in military school while racking up his five deferments.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

It's Personal...

I'm in absolute love with this camera. Previously, I kinda liked this camera. I like the camera above much more for it's dials and retro styling- it looks like a classic, cool, hands on camera (essentially, they're pretty much the same). The thing is, with either one, I imagine myself surreptitiously walking about effortlessly taking the most incredible street photographs with every step I take! There'd be nothing to stop me, I wouldn't know what to do with all the great photographs I'd take- if only I had one of those damn cameras!

There's only one small problem... the one called reality. Years ago when I lived in NYC, I tried to be that incredible, quintessential street photographer- and pretty much, flat out failed. That's not to say that I didn't succeed in getting the occasional  worthy shot, it's just that I eventually realized that it just wasn't really my thing and had little to do with the camera. And although I continue to photograph on the street to this very day, I don't (as would many a self professed hard core street aficionado) consider myself a true "street" photographer. I think I'm what is now referred to as a "flaneur,'" which sounds very much like some kind of lackadaisical French pervert in a flannel shirt.

But this new digital wonder changes everything! It doesn't matter that I actually held the GR in my hands last year and realized that with my close up vision now comprised by age, that tiny screen was rendered pretty much useless w/o also donning my reading glasses (in addition to being useless in the sun). With this gorgeously compact and totally inspirational X70, it just wouldn't matter that I would either have to compose completely on the fly, through a guesstimate OVF add on, or take five times longer figuring out a way to flip the screen in some magical direction for a shot which had long ago passed... I would just be that much better is all.

Truthfully, either one of those cameras would probably get me the occasional, serendipitous photo here or there from the hip. Would either be worth the money I don't have- most likely not. But a guy can always dream...

PS- What I really would have bought is an X100 with a 28mm(e) and a 21mm(e) converter. That's-no-lie.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Revenant

Vivid dreamscapes, nature in its raw, natural elements... cold, wet, breathtaking in its beauty and uncompromising in its ferocity. Since the world of movies first burst forth with those audience galvanizing scenes of a moving train and a pointed gun, cinema has never ceased trying to put you in the very scene it has sought to create. The Revenant does just that- the water, wind and snow beneath your feet, against your skin and throughout your senses. 

Wide angle lenses can often look gimmicky on the big screen, here in the great wide open Alejandro G. Iñárritu has used them flawlessly, a major reason why we are seamlessly enmeshed into the environment of his making. We see arrows initiate flight, frenetically approach and whiz harmlessly by our heads, or stop full upon their deadly mark. We hear, feel and for all purposes smell the very breath of those that approach us, friend and foe alike. 3D can't touch this, virtual reality can't come close.

This is experiential movie making at its most vivid and dramatic, where even the dream sequences that occasionally manifest are just further extensions of the present reality. And DiCaprio lives up to the spectacle. There's no way a human body could actually survive the abuse his endures, but you're willing to forgive and forget... because the movie is that damn good. 

Easily one of my All Time Top Twenty, possibly even in the Exalted Top Ten... Must see on the BIG screen!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Great Advice; Greater Action

Good advice any day, any year- too bad we're still in such dire need of it.

(available on Netflix streaming)

Gideon's Army is what can happen when people get that chance of a lifetime and fight to try and salvage others in similar circumstances. Call them heroes, call them saints- they're people who actually care and won't turn their backs, or shrug their shoulders, or just keep going on with their own world of problems... like most of us.