Archive for the ‘Analog’ Category

Recently, I took a dive back into some older film scans and found a few frames from our Colorado trip that I hadn’t blogged. Coincidentally, their composition and subjects are pretty similar. Here we go:

© 2014. Looking westward from Ute Pass Road off of Highway 9 near Arapaho National Forest, Co. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014.

© 2014. Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

© 2014. Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

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© 2015. Jeff and Vera, after a quick breakfast from Russ & Daughters on East Houston Street in New York City.

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Analog: Birthday crabs

At some point in the past year, I put my film cameras down and, more or less, forgot about them. I could blame our move in January or our wedding in May or a general lack of inspiration since I’d last used film (in Colorado). Whatever/regardless of the reason, my film cameras sat in the closet and stayed there.

Then my friend Zach got a Mamiya C220, like mine. And he and his wife had a beautiful baby girl. And he began taking exquisite frames of their everyday life and sharing them, and inspiring me to pick up my damn cameras again.

So, here’s some film from my mother-in-law’s birthday lunch of steamed crabs in Essex, Md. — and there’ll be more film to come.

And thank you, Zach for getting me out of my rut.

© 2015.

© 2015.

© 2015.

© 2015.

© 2015.

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Analog: Colorado

Jeff and I went to Colorado for a friend’s wedding in Snowmass Village, where it was autumn and the aspen leaves were in their golden prime. Then we spent the next day and a half at Rocky Mountain National Park, where it was winter and the snow crunched under our boots.

When you go to a big, epic place like Colorado, you need to take a big, epic camera. So I brought my Pentax 6×7 and all three lenses, plus a few rolls of Portra 400. Enjoy!

© 2014. Looking westward from Ute Pass Road off of Highway 9 near Arapaho National Forest, Colo. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014.

© 2014. Aspens at Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

© 2014. Wildflowers along the road to Snowmass Village, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

© 2014. Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colo., Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

© 2014. Maroon Bells near Aspen, Colo. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

© 2014. Wildflowers along the road to Snowmass Village, Colo. Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.

© 2014. View north from Falls Road near West Horseshoe Park in Rocky Mountain National Park. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

© 2014. View east from Rainbow Curve in Rocky Mountain National Park. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

© 2014. Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

© 2014. Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

© 2014. Tundra Communities Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

© 2014. View from Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park. Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014.

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When I went to Houston in May for my grandfather’s funeral, I brought not just my digital camera, but also my Mamiya C220. I shot an entire roll of just family time in the backyard, but this one’s my favorite.

© 2014. Emily with Layla, then almost 20 months old, in Houston.

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Thanks to warehouses and shipping and other forces beyond my control, I won’t get to send Christmas presents to my brother, sister-in-law and niece in time for Christmas. So, Matt, Emily and Layla, here are some analog photos from Italy (and a bonus frame) as an early Christmas present to make up for the belatedness of your package!

© 2013. Layla rides a turtle? dinosaur? something? in a playscape near the Pozzuoli harbor.

© 2013. Emily and Layla along the river Tiber in Rome. This frame looks like I applied an Instagram filter, but this is real film, y’all.

© 2013. You can sit on ancient pillars inside il Colosseo. I think my mom might’ve had something over the lens, on the righthand side of the frame.

© 2013. Family photo in Montepulciano.

© 2013. Along the Pozzuoli harbor.

© 2013. At this point, I was trying to use up the rest of the roll of film, and Emily and Layla happily obliged.

Aaand now for a bonus frame — the last frame on the roll, which I took during one of three snowfalls we had in a week back in York:

© 2013. We bought this bottle at the Maker’s distillery back in May, and I got to dip it in the wax. Jeff finally opened it to make bourbon balls, but before he did, I insisted on making this frame. Check that dynamic range!

And thus concludes my blog posts of photos I made while in Italy.

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So, I guess I like rubber duckies, because this happened in July:

© 2013. At the 25th annual Rubber Duckie Race in Lancaster County Central Park in July 2013. Kodak Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

…And this happened in October:

© 2013. My best attempt at “duck lips.” Rubber Duck art installation in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2013. Jeff’s best attempt at “duck lips.”

It was our first trip to Pittsburgh, and honestly, we went for the duck. We did do other Pittsburgh things, though. We toured the Strip District, dined in an old-person Italian restaurant in Bloomberg, saw Andrew Carnegie’s dinosaur skeletons, nixed a few sketchy hotels in sketchy areas and rode an incline:

© 2013. View of Rubber Duck art installation in Pittsburgh’s Point State Park from the Duquesne Incline. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

But let’s be real: It was mostly about the duck.

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Last week, Jeff, his brother Mike and I found a T-rex skull at the National Zoo. Much to the joy of a nearby 17-year-old girl whose mother insisted she was too old to pose with the skull, I insisted that Jeff take this photo of Mike and me:

© 2013. Um, yeah, I’m 25. And a half. Pentax 6×7, Kodak Portra 400.

Today, while on assignment at a 30-attraction fun park in southern York County, I discovered that owner Hugh is a kindred spirit when I asked him to hop on top of an incomplete tire-saurus for a picture and he immediately struck a dinosaur pose without my prompting him:

© 2013 by The York Daily Record/Sunday News. Maize Quest Fun Park owner Hugh McPherson stands atop a “tire-saurus” whose head has yet to be mounted on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013. The tire-saurus and a nearby sea serpent — also made of tires — are the latest additions to the 30 attractions at the park, and need to be completed within the next two days before opening day. McPherson opened the park with the original corn maze 17 years ago, and has added another attraction or two every year. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS – CHRIS DUNN


(Read more about the Maize Quest Fun Park here.)

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Jeff was burrowing around last week and found three rolls of undeveloped 35mm film in a cookie tin. (There were several unexposed rolls in there as well.) So I took them to get developed. One is a Fuji roll he shot during our 2010 spring break trip to the Santa Fe region of New Mexico; another Fuji roll is from his Dec. 2009 visit to Houston.

The Ilford XP2 Super roll is from our Feb. 2012 trip to New York City — a trip whose digital pictures I never blogged, and whose film frames I never saw ’til now.

Along the lines of an earlier post about how I had a bad habit of wasting film, I was pretty disenchanted with the frames on that black-and-white roll: Too many frames where I shot something just for the sake of depressing that shutter button and advancing the film. Like I wrote before, I’m working now to make pictures, with film, that mean something to me, which typically means they need to be of people I care about. That roll from New York City is a good reminder of what I as a photographer should never do again.

But here’re two frames that I do like from that roll. Obviously, I shot one and Jeff shot the other. Can you tell who shot which?

© 2012. This was shot on 400 ASA Ilford XP2 Super, so you can imagine what the shutter speed was.

© 2012.

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Earlier this month, I finally bought my dream camera, and I’m going to use it to cure myself.

. . .

For seven months now, I’ve been dealing with a struggle.

It’s not a daily gloom, nor is it definitive, long-term or easily explained. Additionally, “dealing with” is the best way I can characterize what I’ve been doing — largely because I can neither face it head-on nor avoid it, largely because I don’t know what it is.

It’s not a rut or cabin fever. I’m still passionate about what I do as a photojournalist, and I’m proud of some of the recent work I’ve done.

It’s probably related somehow to my experiences in Newtown, but I’m not sure how or why.

It’s not impacting my ability to function as a human or as a photojournalist, although I’m sure that my boyfriend would appreciate it if I helped out more with chores, as I once did.

I can’t diagnose it because I don’t know what it is, where it came from or why it’s affecting me, but I’ve recently decided that the best prescription is to care a little harder.

. . .

I think, in this age of Instagram, Facebook and quick-and-easy photo-taking/-sharing, we don’t care as much about the pictures we make. We snap a shot, share it, move on. By the end of the week, we’ve shared two or a dozen more photos, and we don’t even remember what we photographed two weeks ago.

On a related note: I love my job. We are trained to transmit photos almost as soon as we make them, in certain cases (mostly breaking news and sports). It’s fun and fast-paced, and I think it’s a neat step forward that we’re able to do. But because I work for a daily newspaper, I can have anywhere from one to four assignments in a day, which adds up to a lot after any given period of time. People ask me what I did this week, and I have to explain to them that I honestly can’t remember because every day has blurred into an indistinguishable continuum.

So, I have recently found myself pretty anxious to take a very large, deliberate step back from the immediacy that everyone else supplies and demands. (At least, for personal work.) Therefore, I’m returning to my roots, which means film. I first learned real photography at a summer job in New Mexico, where a hippie named Grant put a 6-pound, medium-format Pentax in my hands and taught me the entire process. To make frames on such a tank of a camera — and to develop the film, use enlargers and make prints, all in the same day — was incredibly empowering, and magical. I fell in love.

Last month, I went to Santa Fe to see Grant again and spend time with him. (I don’t think he ever believed that I made the trip just for him, but it’s true, Grant.) It was only a three-day trip, but it was peaceful, and in my heart, New Mexico is home. As I used my Mamiya (no Pentax yet) to make a picture of Grant and his Charlotte in their backyard, I knew I’d found a cure, or at least a relief, for my struggle.

I’m going to return to film, and make pictures that mean something to me. I can’t tell you how many rolls I’ve wasted on shots “just because,” and how many of those frames are just languishing in my binder because they ultimately are of no value to me. So I’m going to care harder about my personal photography, and it’s going to be film, and it’s going to be something that I will treasure 20, 30, 40 years down the road.

I’m starting now, with a few frames from a few rolls I got developed after my New Mexico trip. These were all taken with the Mamiya, but expect to see a lot of work coming from the Pentax from now on.

© 2013. Let’s start with Grant, who here strikes an “American Gothic”-esque pose with his Charlotte in their Santa Fe backyard in late June 2013. It goes without saying that I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for Grant and his guidance, patience and warmth.

© 2012. An accidental double-exposure during a Special Olympics event at Blue Knob State Park in February 2012. This frame features two Jeff’s, and two Mike’s (Jeff’s younger brother).

© 2011. When Jeff moved in with a family in Broken Arrow, Okla., for the duration of his Tulsa World internship, they brought home a cat for him. I named her Oreo, and finally met her when I visited Jeff in October 2011.

© 2011. The Blue Whale of Catoosa, because who doesn’t love a Route 66 roadside attraction?

© 2012. I went back to Houston for a few days in August 2012, and Dad happened to match up his authentic Hawaiian shirt perfectly with his Crocs. So, this happened.

© 2012. My mom took this of Jeff and me on the morning we left Houston to drive back to York. Notice the brand-new boots.

© 2013. Step aside, Prince George Alexander Louis. Baby Layla is the only baby that matters. Family portrait with Matt, Emily and Layla, then 6ish months old, in my parents’ Houston backyard in February 2013.

© 2013. Can you tell this is May in Missouri? Chelsea and I were college roommates, and this visit was the first time we’d seen each other since senior year.

© 2013. I went up to Philmont Scout Ranch, where Grant first taught me in 2006, for a day. This is Bryan outside the News & Photo building, and he’s holding a printer that I took back for Grant. Bryan and I worked together at Philmont in 2008, and he’s now the ranch’s marketing director.

Every single one of these frames means something to me.

Is that something any given person can say about any given photo they’ve taken recently?

Probably not.

But it’s something I want to be able to say, honestly, about all of my personal work from now on.

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Erin and Scott are two nerds who got hitched in Erin’s parents’ backyard in mid-September.

© 2011. Erin and Scott! Sorry for the dust on the film. Portra 400.

Jeff, a few Missouri photojournalism alumnae and I attended. Naturally, we all brought our cameras. Naturally, I brought my Mamiya.

© 2011. Erin and her parents enter the ceremony! Portra 400.

It was a small, lovely wedding.

© 2011. Jeff's and my places at our table under the tent. Portra 400.

© 2011. Erin with Kristen, one of the bridesmaids. Both were masters students at Missouri, and they're kinda nerdy. Portra 400.

Thanks for sharing your lovely day with me, Erin and Scott!

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My editor slated me for three Penn State football games this season, at least before any post-season action starts up. I took my Mamiya to the first game I shot — against Alabama — just for kicks, and it turned out to be a nice icebreaker for the veteran photographers and me.

The film turned out nicely, too.

© 2011. The press box at Beaver Stadium.

© 2011. A bicycle I found outside the stadium.

© 2011. The photo vests we have to wear on the field kinda swallow me. Photo by Jason Plotkin.

© 2011. On my way to the other side of the field during the fourth quarter.

My last regular-season game is tomorrow, against Illinois. The forecast is calling for snow, which I’m actually okay with. For aesthetics and my own comfort, I’d much rather shoot in snow than in cold rain.

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A decent hour-long, winding drive from my apartment, Hanover is home to Snyder’s of Hanover and the Hanover Chili Cookoff.

(It’s home to other things, too… like news editor Kate. Not to be confused with photographer Kate.)

News editor Kate, photographer Kate and I met at the 16th annual Hanover Chili Cookoff last month for chili, beer and more chili. It was a pretty gross, hot, humid day, which limited how much chili and beer I could consume, but it was still nice to get out of the office with folks from the office.

© 2011. Photographer Kate, who must've just had a hot bite of hot chili. (The chili sample cup is in her right hand.) Sept. 4, 2011. Portra 400.

© 2011. One of dozens? a hundred? chili vendors serving up samples. Sept. 4, 2011. Portra 400.

We also met up with some Hanover Evening Sun folks (journalists always seem to gravitate to each other, what can I say)… including Clare!

© 2011. Clare, who was actually on assignment at the festival. Sept. 4, 2011. Portra 400.

Clare began her graduate courses at Missouri right around when I began my photojournalism sequence. Getting to see another Mizzou photographer — in Hanover, Pa., of all places — was pretty neat.

Next up from this roll of film: My first game at Penn State!

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As you may have read here almost two months ago, I am now/finally in possession of my very own medium-format film camera.

(It only took five years. That said, I will always be searching for the Pentax 6×7, complete with the wooden handle.)

I’ve gone through five rolls of Portra 400 and finally scanned them all in one late-night scanning spree. Here are a few from the first and second rolls. I’ve color-corrected all frames, and performed only minimal cropping, such as when the frame edge made it into the scan.

© 2011. "Sun tea" on our apartment deck. This was a test shot from that first roll.

My roommate and I went to Ben’s house one cool August evening for a barbecue. Ben is a friend of hers from high school, and he’s renting his parents’ old house, which has a sweet backyard. Ben’s pretty sweet, too.

© 2011. Backyard barbecue at Ben's in Glen Rock, Pa. The side of a shed in Ben's backyard.

© 2011. The almighty grill.

© 2011. Cheeseburger, steamed broccoli and a sweet salad. And lots of scratches/dust, despite my using a can of compressed air and activating the noise/dust reduction option.

© 2011. The covered pool. If you look closely enough, you can see my roommate underneath the arbor.

I’ve looked over all the scanned frames and decided that I need to err more toward overexposure. Oh well. In the meantime, I’ll blog more frames from other events over the coming days and weeks.

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As some of you may have already read, I bought a new(ish) camera a few weeks ago.

Earlier this week, I ran a quick roll of film through it, just to make sure it works. You never know with these old(ish) film cameras. The advance wheel could be inconsistent, the shutter could be off, etc. So whenever I’ve used a film camera that’s new to me, I always run a test roll through it.

I’m happy to report that my camera works!

The first roll!

I’m not sure that I’ve figured out how to frame/compose with it yet. It’s a twin-lens reflex. Whereas “what you see is what you get” with single-lens reflex cameras… you don’t quite get what you see in twin-lens reflex bodies.

I’ll figure it out eventually. In the meantime, I’m confident enough to shoot Penn State football games now. *wink wink Brad and Eileen*

Regarding the title of this post — For this camera, I have to “cock” the shutter before I can take a single frame. So yes, I really do have to cock the camera before I can shoot it.

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New camera

My editor was very excited to hear that I’ll be using my new(ish) camera to shoot Penn State football games.

A Mamiya C220 twin-lens reflex, with 80/2.8 lenses.

I think I might be more excited than he is.

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