Stay Sharp

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

2 F**kUp's Turn Pretty

6x6 Metalists

Metal and photo geeks, I'll just let these key words guide you through the next set of images :

Tokyo Underground Death Metal, Ilford 120 / 3200ASA, Hasselblad 503CX, Monopod, 120 bulb LED light with diffuser, Monday night…

Video of shooting HERE!

Have been thinking of using the small LED light I got not long ago. Was going to be used for outdoor medium film photography. Like shooting portraits, people at night or at limited light scenes. Worked just nice to get that extra fill light and simplicity I was looking for while shooting these guys at a very much underground location in central Tokyo last Monday. They are all band members and I have under the years got to know most of them. I will deffinitely bring my medium film gear with me in the future for this kind of stuff. Have to tweak the light source some and probably be more precise when it comes to metering the light next time. But hey, for being the first try with this set up I am more than pleased.

Scanned with Hasselblad FlexTight X5 at Hasselblad Japan HQ. Minimum retouch

Latest Published Work….and a rant

My rather large body of work from Malaysia's Georgetown on the West coast Island of Penang got some attention in the form of a double spread in ANA's inflight magazine Wingspan this month. I have been doing articles and essays for them for quite some years now, either alone or co working with a writer.  This city is one of my favorite in South East Asia even if Malaysia in itself doesn't really interest me that much. I have been traveling and living in S.E.A since the beginning of days as an 18 year old backpacking Able body seaman. Lived out of a backpack for over 10 years more or less and got to respect and appreciate this part of the world hugely. Still do. Anyways, these images are just a fraction of what I have been working on and always a surprise to see what the editorial pool select as the final result of the images I provide them with. Well, It's their magazine, not mine. I am just a contributor that for an amount of hard cash sell off his work to anyone interested in it. Eat or be eaten, it is what it is.

Ok, here we go. This may come as a surprise to many aspiring upcoming or already established freelance photographers and photo journalist. I just have to get this off my chest to be able to go on in life and continuing doing my thing, which boils down to the philosophy of "Live Till You Die", oretty simple. For you good people that have seen or even followed my blog on a regular basis might have noticed that there isn't much of my published work on here anymore. I used to post any little how trivial gig to share and get feedback on. I liked it, made sense and put shit in a perspective I could relate to. That was then. I have more or less stopped spreading any of my published work due to the fact that I just loose out on it. How many of you will now try to find out who and where ANA's inflight magazine is published and by whom? Common, admit it, if you are a freelance photographer, writer or something like it you need these types of gigs to be able to maintain your lifestyle and way of life you are now google the crap out of any key words you can imagine. No one has the monopoly on these connections. It's a free world and hey, "dog eat dog" rules out any other thoughts and common sense if you need to eat and put food on the table for your loved ones. Fine, having said that…I just got tired of (after more than a decade) battling and constantly having to compete with often less talented but more ruthless wannabes out there in the world. I just can't compete when it comes to something so close to me as photography, it's not a job for me anymore, I don't want it to be only a job and I have lost the ability to shoot GOOD stuff if it has no interest for me what so ever. The other week I was asked to shoot for a magazine because, quote, -"We like your style and for you to do your thing with our pages".  Funny, because I have been here many times by now and it always ends up with me shooting what the editor, director or who ever ask me to when it comes down to basics. My style, my way… my ass, thanks for asking and putting it that way since it always sounds really cool and wild, but.... thanks for nothing guys. Still, I do it because of what ever money I can squeeze out of it and can't fight these all ready set standards. Don't feel like fighting if there is no spirit backing it up in the first place. It will be good enough, when it could have been AWESOME, AWESOME…I mean AWESOME. Again, not my magazine, publication or where ever the images will show up at the end. Im just the photographer.

To prove another point that can and should be considered by most of my "peers" out there. I shot this entire essay above with my little harmless G9 Canon point and shoot camera. Not the first time I conducted this "stunt"either. So there you go. Looking mighty and all with tons of gear (I have it all, just so you know) showing up at the editors office, when it can be done with what fits in your shorts pocket. But you show him/her that and you will probably not get the gig. SO, to really confuse you all, I will start focusing more on shooting medium format film in the near future. Back to basics, getting back the old school feel of photography and making it a challenge for myself not to slack down in that bottomless pit of creative down spiraling and a lost vision, just shooting for money and not for myself. And you won't see many more of these "jobs done" posts either. I will be as egocentric and self centered as possible, not sharing because I know it will not make any difference. Have I ever got any jobs due to a nice portfolio…not so far. I don't even think I have one at the moment. Who cares….Well I know I do, but this I have to keep to myself so don't tell anyone.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

6x6 Scanning at Hasselblad Japan

Had the chance to scan some 6x6 stuff at the Hasselblad Tokyo center last week (thanx guys), on their Hasselblad Flextight X5 beast. The "art" of scanning has for me always been regarded as a pretty stoic and time consuming process that usually had to be done more of necessity and need than by joy. But this BIG and HEAVY (there is a reason for this…stability and lens focus range etc…theft prevention...) turned out to be a cake walk when it came to handling and speed. Just mount your film slips or already cut film in the flexible holder and let the machine do the rest. Scans up to 300MB / min, 8000dpi due to a high profile Rodenstock lens glass-free optical path between the film and the lens. The images I decided to "test" scan were shot with Kodak T-Max 400 and the FujiChrome Velvia 100. I knew I underexposed some of the images due to slow film, dark scenes/environments, hand held spontaneous street shooting. The color transparent I didn't touch at all, the T-Max I only squeezed in some light into if needed, a pinch of contrast perhaps (I use Lightroom, always have), it turned out just great. Not everyone have the almost US$25.000 I saw Adorama in NYC is asking for it, so to get the chance to try it out at the Tokyo Hasselblad center was just great. Check their FB HERE!

This is Kodak T-Max 400, sanned as color negative