A day late, but this seemed appropriate!
Hope everyone had fun.. we sure did.
Back in 2001, I took a series of photography classes through Queen’s University. Kristen St. Martin was our teacher and she was great to work with. She covered everything, from the technical side to the aesthetic. Anything I may do good with a camera, I have to give a nod to her. One task was to take some pictures on slides. I recently dug all this out and have started to get them scanned. I was pretty happy with the aesthetic of quite a few of these.
I think some color saturation is lost in the scanning process here. That might just be the nature of the developing process with slides, or perhaps they’ve deteriorated some with age.. I’m not sure. In some scans, there are some noticeable artifacts as well. No doubt that came from displaying these for class, the only other time these were out of their sleeves. Another thing you’ll notice is a strong grainy quality in all of these. I’m certain I used a higher ISO film than I should have, but I think it gives some of these a little different aesthetic that’s interesting, even if it makes the quality look a little lower than I’d like on some. I suppose that’s how the digital age has changed our perceptions about how pictures should be captured. Photoshop has given us extraordinary capability to alter images to look like they were captured differently. It’s turned photography from a medium of captured art to one of process. That’s not a bad thing but it’s created a new set of expectations by the viewer, in my opinion. I still find a lot of things I love about looking at unaltered images, and it’s what I like about photography, real images that aren’t altered.. at least not beyond what could be accomplished with film.
All are from September 2001.
Charlotte Center City
Downtown Charlotte has a lot of great architecture, so it’s fun to shoot. Compositionally, I was trying to capture ‘vignettes’ as opposed to whole buildings. I can’t recall if that was something that came out of the class instruction, or just something I set for myself personally. Either way, I’m probably most pleased with composition on most of these.
The dark spaces in this photo could really benefit from capturing digitally. The dark areas are a little too dark. Either way I think it’s a neat composition.
As mentioned in a previous post. , depth of field really makes this work for me.
This photo makes it look like this could be a large waterfall or a small fountain. It’s the latter, just a nice close up of a small portion of it.
What I loved about this was the color differences. The red dirt, the green trees and the blue sky. I’d love to recapture this with more color vibrancy. Mooresville, NC
Compositionally, this was difficult to capture, and I don’t think I really captured what I wanted. The top of this tree had broken and fell to one side. In the winter with no leaves, you could see it. But in the summer, it looked a little surreal as if branches were sticking out the side. I’d love to have this one back to redo.
Again, I love differing depths of field in an image. This was taken from in front of my apartment in 2001.
Lake James, NC
I used to travel to this area for work, and it’s a very scenic and lovely area, so shooting there just makes sense.
This is a quick and short one, but thought this had some fun ones to share.
This shot is up there as one of the coolest photos I’ve ever taken. As with most night photography, this was taken on the Bulb shutter setting. I held it open for about ten seconds at 70mm, zoomed out slowly and then held for another 10 seconds at 300mm. So you essentially get two shots superimposed, with the streaks between the two. I absolutely love the way this turned out.
Icehouse is a local restaurant in Southend (the Southend area had become a recurring shooting location for me.. it was close to my house) and I really like how this turned out. Bulb setting, held on the close up, then zoomed out before releasing the shutter.
The surrounding street had a lot of different light sources on it, so the streaking cars effect is a little washed out with all the diffused sources. I needed more traffic to make the car streaks standout more, but the overall aesthetic works ok.
The clouds were moving rapidly over the moon, so the blurred clouds in this photo were actually much better defined to the naked eye, but are streaked in this photo, which makes for a nice moody picture.
I recently went looking for some older family pictures, so I pulled out all my old negatives and prints and found some shots I thought worthy of posting, so I scanned these in to share. Not sure where the artifacts are from. My scanner seems pretty clean (and new for that matter!), and I don’t recall seeing much on the prints, but maybe the scanner is picking up some dust on these? Who knows.
But there is a noticeable character that film adds to photos that you don’t get from digital. I think all of these have that intangible quality that only comes from the chemical process of film. Makes me want to go back and do more with it!
From Charlotte – A friend used to own an events company, so I went and shot this rooftop plaza and street level entrance for his promotional materials back in 2001 or so. Tony’s Oyster Bar is no longer there.
From Wilmington, NC – Loved the light in these. This is taken from Downtown Wilmington’s Riverfront. The battleship is the decommissioned USS North Carolina. This is is from sometime in 1999.
From Los Angeles – Summer of 2003
Nighttime from the hills overlooking the city. Might have been the famous Mulholland Drive, not sure.
These were taken on Hollywood Blvd. The building had a TV company’s logo on it that was familiar, but now I can’t remember. Anyway, this is just fun with reflections. The differences between the two photos are a rotation of the polarizer filter I had between shots, and I also zoomed in slightly on the second to crop out the edge of the floodlights on the bottom left of one of the tree’s reflections, and the slight encroachment in the upper right corner of one of the actual palm fronds of one of the trees. Kind of a neat contrast, and it’d be better if the pictures were the same, structurally speaking… but really cool to see the difference in optics.
Who doesn’t love palm trees? The Roosevelt is a famous hotel in Hollywood, and chances are you’ve seen it in a movie or show. My wife and I had not met when this was taken, but we stayed there a few years later on vacation. Beautiful old hotel.
If you’re one that was hoping to follow and/or see more out of this blog, I’m sorry for the lack of posts. Life gets in the way of our hobbies sometimes, and I really just haven’t had the time to update, or to take pictures like I used to. That’s not to say I’ve stopped taking pictures, but it has slowed down a bit. Most have centered around our son, and my wife and I have decided not to post pictures of him for public consumption. I’d certainly love to share them… he’s such a great subject for obvious and biased reasons, but it’s just a personal choice. But in the process there are often incidental shots that I try to take that can be shared, so perhaps I’ll pull from some of those and post them here. Lately I’ve been busy perusing my hard drive, and there’s plenty to post.. so maybe I’ll find some time to drop some into a post or two.
Couple of past post related topics… I’m sad to report the old Queen Park Cinema was torn down to make way for the future of the property it sat on. I’m glad I got to photograph it when I did, and its demolition certainly brought some traffic to the blog last June.
On a happier note, for those who saw the previous post of Jim Avett’s show at the Evening Muse, there’s something of a follow-up. Some colleagues and I were happy to spend some time with Jim Avett on his farm in conjunction with some volunteer work we do. Jim was a gracious host and has so much to offer in the way of life experience and his anecdotal stories are just so wonderful. He played a bit for us too, and that was pretty special, and so here’s a public thank you to Jim, and a photo of us all on the day we visited. I may post our follow up to that when I get it done.
Once again, feel free to drop a comment into a post.. I’d love to hear your thoughts.