New Gadget

While I’m very underwhelmed with all of the new crap that Apple unveiled this month, I couldn’t be more excited about the new Canon 5D. When it was announced a few weeks ago, I pre-ordred one the same day. I love my mkiii, and the mkiv has all of the stuff that I wish the mkiii would have had. Anyway, it arrived in the mail today and I decided to do this corny little unboxing video. My daughter loves these kind of videos for some reason. She usually watches ones about lego sets or play doh. But maybe I can get her stoked about cameras if I show her this vid.

Watch me mumble to myself about my new camera below, sexy slow-jams for background music and the whole 9 yards.

35mm scans

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When I started my 35mm slides project, I got the camera before I had a chance to order any slide film. I was so stoked to try out the camera and get familiar with its feel and function, that I wandered into a Duane Reade down the block from my apt and bought a 4-roll pack of Fujifilm color negative film (Fujicolor Superia X-tra 400 iso, to be exact). Believe it or not, you can still pick up 35mm film at most of the pharmacies and even a lot of the corner bodegas in NYC. No guaranties that it hasn’t expired. But hey, at least it is available! Anyway, I brought the AE-1 with me almost everywhere for a week or two after I loaded the first roll of film. The POS scanner I have doesn’t really do these images justice, but here are some of the prints anyway. The green hue is not some sort of VSCO filter. This is actually how they came out. There is something really fun about having to work for the shot, and not knowing if it is going to come out or not. So, yeah… Film.

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This is one of me that B took. Not bad! Focus is sharp, but exposure needs work (to be fair, I guessed on the exposure settings before I handed the camera to her).

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I can tell by Lola’s yawn how over it she is

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Lola waiting for her mom outside of Jubilee Market

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Johnny McCormack

Hailing from Auckland NZ, photographer Johnny McCormack came onto my radar this week via Juxtapoz. Jux highlighted a series that McCormack recently published entitled “Homecoming.” While the set could readily be dismissed as just another minimalist collection of cool tones, I really enjoy this project. I admit that part of the allure for me personally is the way that the images of the snowy mountains lit by low winter sun resonate with my fond memories of growing up in the Rockies. Personal sentiments aside, I think that the aesthetic presented in this collection has the ability to evoke a certain mood in anyone. McCormack describes the project saying:

HOMECOMING stems from the ‘out takes’ whilst travelling internationally to shoot commercial and editorial work for over a period of sixteen consecutive winters. Shot on the outskirts of the pacific rim, paying close attention to the notion of a return and yearning for ‘home’ a body of work began to unravel.

Being far from home, finding solace adrift in strange and incongruous territories, places of wonder and curiosity – the photographer attempts a sense of belonging via his lens while living and operating within transient circumstances.
The resulting landscapes evidence places of retreat and pilgrimage – for the viewer, potentially to also find a way to return home.

[Images via]

Old School Transparency

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Last summer I saw some atypical wall art (in a bar, in Jersey) that caught my attention and got my creative wheels turning. In this bar is a light box hanging on the wall with 35mm slides mounted under glass. The slides are backlit by they light box. I liked the way that it made me get up close to see what each of the individual images were. I decided that I wanted to replicate the piece, putting my own spin on it and using my own images. This was part of the impetus of picking up a manual 35mm camera again this year for the first time in probably 20 years. It has been a lot of fun shooting with that thing, even though it is one more camera to lug around. I’m trying to keep it as simple as possible though, using only a 50mm lens and shooting mostly natural light. This way I can avoid being weighed down with extra glass and strobes.

Last week, I had the first roll of slides developed. There were a couple of images that I really liked. But, for sure Sturgeons law was in full effect. I put together a little makeshift light box to get an idea of the aesthetic. Just for fun, the top image is linked to the full resolution file. I had to compromise on the image quality quite a bit to get the file size small enough for a manageable upload. But I feel like there are still enough pixels to get the gist. I also included a couple of details in the images below.

After shooting 2 or 3 more rolls, I plan to start building the light box. Stay tuned! Ha.

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De La Weekend (America’s Cup)

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The weather here has been a bit bananas. It rained for about 10 days straight and didn’t break 60 degrees. Then Sunday happened. The forecast all week was heavy rain for Sunday. Instead we got sunshine and breeze. I normally don’t care for the breeze. But America’s Cup happened this weekend. I generally try to avoid gatherings of 30k or more humans in public spaces. But when sailboat racing happens in my neighborhood, it is kind of hard not to step out and take a gander. Also, B used to race sailboats. So I had a front row seat at one of the world’s premier sailboat racing events and expert commentary from a sexy woman. It was actually pretty awesome. Here are some snaps–

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De La Weekend (1 WTC)

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I had a very event filled weekend, spent with close friends and family. During the course of it all, we paid a visit to the new One World Observatory at the top of 1 WTC. The experience did not disappoint. I generally avoid tourist traps, because I don’t have the patience to wait in lines. But for a few extra $$ you can skip the line and go straight to the top. So, we went that route. I want to go back again when I am not on such a tight schedule, so that I can spend more time up there. It was a pretty clear day with great visibility. I would highly recommend the experience.

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De La Weekend (Springtime in Feb Edition)

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Sunday was one of those few days that I was able to talk B into a quick portrait session. The weather was super warm for February, and the afternoon light was awesome. We were shooting with the 50mm f/1.2L, wide open. I love the way that it naturally vignettes. Buttery.

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NYC Coffee Cups

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I’m not a coffee snob (or anything even close to that). When I buy coffee, I usually just get drip (or a double shot Americano when in Europe) and usually take it black because it saves time. I think that coffee tastes disgusting, though I drink a lot of it primarily for its caffeinated properties. Because of this, when I buy coffee, I generally select coffee shops based on things such as branding rather than what it “tastes” like. I will admit that I appreciate some good visual design when it comes to coffee cups (and almost everything else). There are a lot of ’em here in the city. Within a one block radius of my office there are at least 3 non-chain coffee joints. In that same radius there are probably 5-7 chain locations (Starbucks/Dunkin/Coffee Bean). I find myself patronizing the non-chain brands almost exclusively, and a lot of it is based on branding (i.e. the visual aesthetic of the disposable cups/sleeves). My friends at Gear Patrol, published an awesome little blurb this week visually cataloging some of the cups that can be obtained around NYC. I thought it was such a cool idea that I’m sharing it here. There are a few others that I would have included in the image had I been creative enough to come up with this idea. But I think that they chose a good cross-section. Check out the original piece over here.

[Photo: Henry Phillips]

Leica Q

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I had a bit of envy last week as I was perusing the pages of Gear Patrol. Envy is not an uncommon reaction when I look at that site because so much of the content is right up my alley, and my friends are the ones creating it. The instance that I’m specifically referring to is when I came across this review of the new Leica Q. My comrade Henry lugged one along with him on a trip that the GP folks did to Wyoming. From the feedback that Henry provided, I’m ready to trade in the Fujifilm X100s and put the dollars towards the Q. Or better yet, maybe someone could just get me one for my birthday 😉 Peep the rest of the images and full review over here.

[Img: Gear Patrol]