Thursday, January 11, 2018

Plates: Amalgamation (My Father)

For these photographs, I took the concept from my piece, Amalgamation (My Love), and applied it to re-photographing pictures of my father.  Each of these 3 composite photographs are made up of exposures of photos depicting my dad at different points in his life. All 3 composites are comprised of the same 17 photographs, in which my dad's age ranges between 4 and 72 years old. I find it interesting how different each of these amalgamations look, considering they come from the same source images.

I used my Nikon F4 with a 105mm f/2.8 macro lens, and Ilford HP5+ film.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Myself, Through Time and Place (Continued)

A continuation of Myself, Through Time and Place. The current plan is to eventually have around 30-40 of these hung in a grid formation for my Thesis show. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Plate: Amalgamation (My Love)

While eating dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant a few months ago, I asked my wife to close her eyes and visualize her mother's face. She claimed that in her mind, she conjured various photographs of her mom to form an image of what she looks like. 

I believe amalgamations of photographs are the foundation to how we remember countenances in our mind's eye. According to this thesis, subconsciously, the human mind combines photographs in order to create pseudo-complete images of people important to us. I say "pseudo-complete" because these mental images are still quite weak and ghost-like. Vivid memories also figure into the mind's mental image for a time, but these inevitably fade (be it by time apart or death), until all we're left with are photographs from which to create an amalgamated physiognomy. 

Hopefully this theory doesn't sound too crazy, and maybe some of you can relate. Amalgamation (My Love), attempts to illustrate how multiple photographs can combine in the mind's eye to form the pseudo-complete image of a person's being. In this instance, it is the image of my wife. This photograph is made up of sixteen even exposures, with each exposure depicting Katie on a different day. It was made with my Pentax LX using Fuji Neopan Acros 100 film. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Spotlight: Exakta VX 1000

The Exakta VX 1000 is a 35mm SLR that was made by Ihagee, and was first released in 1967. It's an update to the Exakta VX, which came out more than a decade prior. The VX 1000 conveniently accepts the same lenses and finders as the VX.

The most noticeable improvement with the VX 1000 over the VX is the implementation of an instant-return mirror. This means, once you make a picture, the mirror returns to the viewing position automatically. With the original VX model, you had to re-cock the shutter before the mirror would reset. Other improvements include a more comfortable advance lever, and a film rewind crank (as opposed to a knurled knob).

The VX 1000 retains Ihagee's trademark left-handed operation, which can be strange at first. The camera is designed for you to operate the shutter speed dial, film advance, and shutter release with your left hand. Your left hand is then consigned to adjust the focus and aperture. Personally, I couldn't adjust to this layout (right-hand focusing is just too foreign feeling), and my left hand ended up taking care of all the controls, while my right hand simply held the camera steady.

The best part about the Exakta VX 1000 is its waist-level finder, which is extremely bright and fun to compose with. Prism finders are also available if you want to be lame. Finders are easily interchanged by depressing a switch on the front of the body. The standard VX 1000 focusing screen is all-matte with no aid, which makes focusing on moving subjects a near-herculean task. However, there are split-image screens out there if you're willing to spend some extra cash on Ebay. For non-moving subjects, however, the standard matte screen is great; details pop when in-focus. 

Fast speeds (1000th-1/30th, plus B) are set using one dial, while the slow speeds and self-timer are set using a confusing wind-up dial on the opposite side of the focusing hood. In all honesty, I didn't even mess with this dial during my time shooting, as I was hand-holding the camera for all of my exposures.

Rewinding the film is performed by depressing the metal button next to the advance lever while turning a crank on the bottom of the camera. There seemed to be more resistance to the crank than with other cameras I have used, but with a little extra effort my film rewound without a hitch.

I took my Exakta VX 1000 with me on a camping/renaissance faire trip over the weekend. Here are the photographs I made. For all the images I used a 50mm f/2.8 Zeiss lens and Ilford HP5+ film.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Plates: Myself, Through Time and Place

Myself, Through Time and Place is a new self-portrait series I've been working on lately, with the help of Katie Baer. 

The images within this growing body of work speak to the transient nature of humanity. We, along with our surroundings, are in a continuous state of flux. Always moving, always changing, always aging, there is no true constant in life. Everything moves way too fast. Whenever I travel to Chicago to enjoy the company of family and friends, I can't help but think, "I'll be back on the plane before I can fucking blink," and then I pretty much am. The ephemerality of existence is overwhelming, a feeling I attempt to express through these self-portraits. 

Each photograph is comprised of four separate exposures at different times and places in my life. I used my Nikon F2 with a 20mm lens and Ilford Delta 100 film.