I’ve been out in Palmdale and Lancaster shooting for work and I haven’t had a chance to post for a couple days.  I’ve missed it actually.  There’s something therapeutic about trying to write a few words every day about the real work you make in your life–the passions you have for creating things that don’t sell anything other than your own point of view.  Alas I work in advertising, so don’t tell anyone how I really feel.  It’ll be our secret–yours and mine dear reader.  

While I was on set I had the chance to meet a handful of other people who are passionate about photography.  That’s not so terribly uncommon though.  People who feel passionately about the arts seem to be drawn to commercial ends of their creative disciplines in order to make ends meet.  We all have to eat but as we progress in our careers, moving further and further from the clarity of vision we thought we had when we started out on our journeys, we find ourselves trying to trace an ever dissipating and near unintelligible trail of breadcrumbs back to our own source– trying to remember why we got involved in these industries in the first place.  Meeting other like-minded folks helps us to remember.  

The people I met on this shoot wanted to talk film when they saw my camera bag.  They wanted to look through the viewfinders of my rangefinders.  They wanted to talk about that perfect Nikon FM they had when they were younger and how it was the perfect camera.  About how nothing ever felt as nice as that one did.  The people I met talked about missing that feeling of anticipation when waiting for their prints and how nothing has the same feeling as opening that white envelop and flipping through matte prints with white boarders, holding at the corners and that sticky feeling when your thumb pushes the print up into your other fingers so you can maneuver it to the back of the stack and see what’s next.  

But for all of that love of the old days, lurking just beneath the surface of all that nostalgia, then  breaking the surface, slowly at first, was the argument of progress.  Technology has evolved now.  The pros outweigh the cons and it isn’t worth the hassle anymore.  It takes to long and then I have to scan and it’s to expensive.  Do they still press black and white or do you have to mail it in?  You can still buy Velvia?  People talk about how they converted now and they can’t really go back like digital is the one-way counter-sinking bolt of the image making universe.  

I always kind of laugh to myself when people say things like that.  My pursuit for a medium that emoted the qualities I was drawn to when started my journey, BEGAN with ones and zeros.  As I leaned and shaped my vision my tools technologically devolved to silver halide and a plastic base.  When I finally dropped digital and the false securities of checking a screen, and shooting 300 shots instead of one or two that actually matter and the constant need to buy newer better sensors and the million different lightroom presets.  All those “options” allowed me to never commit to any aspect of my process of creating an image.  Spray the scene with frames, shoot raw, try a few hundred different looks.  Shoot 50MP and crop.  That’s not the decisive moment.  

When I stripped away all of the shit I had unintentionally bolted, screwed and welded on to my passion–when I left all that dead-weight behind, that’s when I finally felt like I had truly arrived.  

Arrival, shot on film on a film camera, and push-proceed +1 by film lab

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