Stay Sharp

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Fleshland

A night out with Coffins, new album Fleshland (on Relapse) release gig. Heavier than lead, darker than the basement where this murder ballads took place.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Makehen (Japanese Lucha Libre)

I was helping out my buddy Rodrigo (FB) today at a Japanese wrestling event. Rodrigo (Web) is a Mexican professional freelance photographer based out of Tokyo and has been shooting the Lucha Libre wrestling scene both in his native Mexico (City) as well as the traditional Japanese style. He was test-shooting with a Hasselblad H4D today and I tagged along backing up his day by filming him in action. I got the chance (with permission) to snap some on the side and I decided that Black&White would look cool…and it did. I never been to a Wrestling event like this before, have been shooting some amateur MMA in the past but I have to say that this was way more a spectacle and more fun to shoot. The audience a whole new level, a great mix of general weirdos, true believers and dedicated aficionados…all in one in some cases I believe. What struck me was how very welcoming and friendly everyone from the top organizer, the wrestlers and people we run into during the day. A true "people" event…hope I get the chance to explore this side of for me an untapped side of what could actually land in the "underground" culture category, grassroot at it's best and most enjoyable side. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Mediumformat and the Night raiders

Had the pleasure to join up with my old time friend Motoyan (just google him) and his motley crew of outlawed cyclists last week. Always a treat to night-ride with these guys.

For the camera geek:

Shot with a Hasselblad 503CX, 80mm f2.8 CF, Ilford 120 Kodak Tri-X 400, Monopod and a small LED light….in a back street of Koenji - Tokyo, Japan.

I shot 2 rolls of 120 film this night (x24), just a sample of what I got. The top one got exposed slightly when I pulled out the film in all haste just a tad too early after what I took for a sufficient handcrank rewinding. Shooting with a relative "fast" fil that ISO 400 afterall is, the light was pretty low and gave me still rather borderline shutterspeeds for even a monopod and LED. So glad I brought these with me and I have slowly starting to get to grips with what I need and how to do it to get the desired result I seek. Not too keen on precise sharpness in this projects of 6x6 B/W portraits of the creatures of the Tokyo underground. Some grit, some nice and dark "mood" and "feel" is what I need and strive for as a main player. I feel stupid, bit like a fool heading out from my bunker with all this gear on a ride like this (or any rowdy deathmetal gig…same feel, same mood in a way). But after all is said and done, it's just plain simple happiness and pride as a film photographer to have captured what I wanted that rules the moment. Hope you good people like it as well…don't really care if you do or not though!


Monday, July 08, 2013

Old School Geekery

Been doing Medium format film photography for some time now I have always had this thing in the back of my head to reopen a for me long gone closed chapter that is 35mm film. Been shooting Mamiya RZ67 II, FujiFilm 6x4.5 Rangefinder, Rolliflex and then finally Hasselblad 503CW. On the professional level I never looked back really after getting busy with digital image making. I sold all but one of my work horses, the Canon 1V and just got going full throttle with digital stuff. Due to clients, due to costs and out of pure convenience and speed that digital after all possess.

My last ProBox of 35mm PROVIA100F have been sitting in the fridge since February 2007 (expire date Oct 2008). Then all of a sudden I dusted of my 1V, rooted out the film way back behind natto and tsukemono and popped in a roll and fresh batteries. The fact that certain people I have had the pleasure to hang with since I moved back home to Tokyo after 3 years in South East Asia had a certain influence on my new found interest played a big role as well. Lets see what expired film will look like after 6.5 years. Test roll coming up, stayed tuned!

Been shooting with this 1V along with a 1N as backup/wingman for many years before switching to digital. Before Canon I used Minolta Alpha 9 as main body but sold all and got Canon when Minolta becom KonikaMinolta (now SONY). This camera has been used in Acid rain (yes, really!), the Gobi desert, The Himalaya, The tropics, snow&ice, been banged around in all possible and impossible ways. Never failed me, A true workhorse. Love it!

Expire date : 2008.10

Still smelled like they should. That's good!

Frame 1…coming up!

9 days later….

…man, turned out just perfect. The old look of Provia 100f is there even, a tad "under", just the way I remember my work back then and the result I always have been aiming at. Cool, meaning ai have 19 rolls to go through before I ever have to buy a new color transparent film again. Was shooting with a 35mm f/1.4 this whole roll, all in one sunny afternoon in the dark heart of Tokyo.