10 June 2016, 9:30 am
I gave Steffy a yellow Instax Mini camera as a Christmas present last year, and we have really love it and bring it on most trips now. The photos are small and soft but still have that dreamy instant feeling everyone loves. Also its nice to just point and shoot sometimes! Of course i'm sure it will be just the gateway to a new instant film obsession, and i'll soon move on to full size instax, instax wide, and then i'll be selling my kidney to buy polaroid film on Ebay...
2 June 2016, 8:49 pm
I decided to change things up and go mainly digital on our trip to Iceland and Amsterdam this May. I rented a Zeiss Batis 25mm lens to use with my sony A7S II, figuring it would be nice to have some wide, sharp photos. I thought the lens was really great (though the built in LCD is a useless gimmick) and the photos and colors look awesome. It was also nice having reliable auto focus, since all of my other lenses are Canon EF used with an adapter. Enjoy!
23 March 2016, 11:11 am
Here's a couple of images from my trip to South Africa earlier this month, all shot on a Yahsica Electro 35 GTN with Cinestill 50D pushed +2. The picture of the aloe plant which was really underexposed ended up being my favorite in a happy accident. I think in hindsight it's pretty obvious I didn't have the right camera for wildlife shooting but since I only had 3.5 days, I wanted to bring a rangefinder and keep it easy and quick.
8 March 2016, 4:17 pm
After 2 days on the south coast I realized there wouldn't be any waves, so I decided to change plans a little bit and spend a night in Durban, but stopping at a game reserve on the way. I got to Tala Private Game Reserve early in the morning (first name on the check in list) which is about an hour west of Durban. Its a self-drive reserve, basically they give you a map and you drive around spotting animals, with a couple of places where you're allowed to safely get out. It was a nice lazy way to marvel at some amazing wildlife after that 10k hike, although piloting a ford fiesta on craggly dirt paths was a challenge of its own. As soon as I got in the gate, I came right up to a big group of zebras and antelope. I honestly don't know the exact names of a lot of these animals but they were all really amazing to watch.The craziest part was running into a group of 3 rhinos! Apparently they have GPS trackers and their own security force to protect against poachers. They were the only ones who made me a little nervous, they gave me a pretty intense look and I could picture that horn tearing up my poor fiesta...
After a couple hours driving around and no luck finding the giraffes, I headed to Durban and checked out the Golden Mile beachfront. It felt a little like Huntington Beach. I stopped and had lunch at a place called Afro's Chicken Shack on the recommendation from a guy at a surf shop, the chicken was all time.
I spent the next day sampling Durban's various coffee shops and even went to a sourdough bakery! The food and bean scene is top notch, but I didn't take any more pictures. After a crazy 5 days, it was time to head home. I checked out seatguru's page on the South African Airways' Airbus A346 and found out I should book seat 73D, because there is a safety hatch in front of it and no seat. You gotta love the internet!
Tomorrow i'm hoping to get a chance to drop off my film, and in 2.5 weeks i'll head back to Zimbabwe to retrieve the camera system.
5 March 2016, 10:25 am
I woke up early today and drove around to do some surf checking, but unfortunately I happened to be here at the wrong time of the year to score waves. There are a bunch of amazing spots and I really hope to be able to come back some day in the wintertime for a proper surf trip. I continued on my journey to the Oribi Gorge natural reserve, which was about 20km inland. Entrance fee and a map was a steep $2, and I set off hiking. It started with some pretty steep climbing and I ended up on top of the gorge with some of the most incredible views i've ever seen, and not another person in sight.
The hike followed the ridge for a couple of km, and was just one amazing vista after another.
After 4km, the path runs down the side of the gorge to the river. It was crazy steep! My legs were shaking from such an extended descent and I walked through at least 20 spiderwebs, each more fun than the last. Here's the view from the bottom looking back up to where I started.
And here's a picture of the map - I did the yellow Miziki walk. 9 kilometers hiked and it was barely noon!
They had an amazing ice cold swimming pool to cool off in at the reception, and then I went and had lunch and toured the property at Beaver Creek coffee estate.If you didnt notice, I tend to do a LOT of stuff on my trips. If youre the type of person who's idea of a good vacation is sitting by a pool and sipping on a drink, don't ever go on a trip with me. Still more to come!
4 March 2016, 12:38 pm
The blog has been dormant for some time but this trip necessitated a (brief?) revival. I'm currently in KZN, South Africa about an hour south of Durban. I came for a job which unfortunately did not go well, we had some equipment malfunctions and the fact that we are 10,000 miles and 7+ time zones away didn't help. New parts are being flown in with a company service person from California, and I was told to stick to my original plans being that there was nothing more I could do to fix our problem. I flew out to Durban from Johannesburg this morning after an anxiety wracked night and picked up my car. Getting used to driving on the left, and shifting a manual with my left hand was a challenge for the first hour! I stopped into the Factory Cafe, one of South Africa's oldest roasters and had an amazing pour over of Tanzanian bean. I made friends with the staff and they showed me around and I bought four bags of coffee to take home (are you one of the lucky recipients??)
My next stop was Gounden's take away and restaurant, where I had Durban's most famous dish - Bunny Chow. It's basically a super spicy curry dumped into a hollowed out 1/4 loaf of bread. It was amazing but so so spicy.
I tried to stop in a surf shop before heading south, but got stuck in one of the wildest traffic jams i've ever experienced and decided to just get out of there. The Fiesta and I drove down to Vernon Crookes, a small nature reserve southwest of Durban. Since it was the afternoon, I wasn't expecting to see many animals (they're most active in the morning). Surprisingly, I got within 10 feet of a herd of wildebeest, and a couple of zebras! It was really amazing, now I really felt like I was in Africa. I also saw a couple of giant lizards and a monkey.
These were all taken with my phone, I didn't bring any digital gear. I'm shooting with the Yashica Electro 35 GTN and Cinestill 50D, which I think should look great. More to come soon!
18 September 2015, 12:44 pm
Cinestill was a product that interested me from the start, but it took me a while to get my first roll because a. I shoot mostly black and white film and b. its really expensive, about $12 vs $5-6 for portra. I happened to be in the lomography store a couple of weeks ago the day before I was headed up for a weekend in the Catskills and even though I was already stocked up on film, I saw an employee unboxing a fresh supply of Cinestill and finally caved. I got one roll of the 50D, which I shot on my A2E mostly with a 40mm 2.8 pancake, and pushed to 100 ISO. I LOVE the photos and think I am going to buy at least one roll for every trip or special occasion from now on...
22 April 2015, 10:39 pm
Here's a glimpse into my backyard, long beach and the boardwalk. Normally on a day like this I would be out surfing, but a broken wrist has kept me behind the camera for a few months now. I love living here and spring is really fantastic, I spend a lot of evenings running around with my dog on the sand and having coffee with Steffy while we watch the sunset. These were taken on 100tmax (new favorite!) with a canon A2E.
16 March 2015, 3:56 pm
I made it through my first full winter EVER! It started to feel like it was never going to end for a minute there, but we took a trip to Florida for a wedding and came back to beautiful 40 degree sunny days. I got to celebrate with the most mesmerizing 3 hour flight shooting for a new TV show last Thursday...
13 March 2015, 4:40 pm
Inevitably, I got sidetracked and stopped keeping up with this blog. I think I will have more success for now keeping it simple and posting some photos from my analog shoots and freelance jobs. These were from a shoot in Italy this February, taken on my XA2 which I recently sold. Welcome back!
7 November 2014, 3:31 pm
I spent the first five days of November working on a Carnival cruise ship commercial in the Caribbean, which sounds great in theory. In reality, there's nothing romantic about running gear all over a ship full of guests and working 12-14 hours a day. It was just like a normal job, except that the ground was shifting and at the end of the day I went to sleep in a windowless room. Fun, right?
20 October 2014, 10:48 pm
Its been a REALLY long time since i've updated, I know! There has been so much going on, its been hard to keep up. A quick bulleted recap of the past month:
* We bought a house! It was a long and difficult process but we closed about 2 weeks ago.
* We're renovating a house! Its a long and difficult process that just began. Wish us luck.
* Lots of work! I've gotten really busy and exceeded all of my expectations for what might happen when I move to New York. Its been all different kinds of gigs which is fun and fast paced, but sometimes stressful. I also finished editing the Artisans pilot and sent it off to the network for finishing touches.
* Weddings, events, holidays - filling the gaps between work and house stuff
I haven't shot a roll of film in a month, and that is a tragedy. Here's a collection of iphone photos from various recent gigs.
29 September 2014, 12:03 pm
Earlier this month, I went down to Nicaragua to do some work on a reality show shooting in San Juan del Sur. I've spent a lot of time in Nicaragua (probably almost a year's worth of time) but never made it down to the south because I try to avoid touristy spots. I ended up having a great time and being blown away by the contrast from the north of the country, I may actually have to plan a surf trip there sometime (in the off season).
15 September 2014, 7:06 pm
I work in a field dominated by technology, and as a freelancer I live and die by emails, phone calls, and texts. That much is not really up for debate. However, I have been making an effort to try to spend less time worrying over the "fear of missing out" (FOMO). The goal is to continue to work, blog, and capture but to spend more of the time in between outdoors, reading, or doing something away from a screen. I've recently been encouraged by some great reads, such as:
"Reboot or die trying"
"Nature connection will be the next big human trend"
This is more personal than what I usually share, but it is in no way a pledge/pact/philosophy, just an attempt to spend more time here:And less time here:
14 September 2014, 9:13 pm
I just got booked today to go back to Laughlin, Nevada for the third time and realized that I never edited these photos from my last trip there. The job is for Ford trucks and we shoot on a beautiful but scorching hot section of highway. I snapped these photos on my Olympus XA2 of the camera car and the surrounding area. 400TX might have been the wrong film for shooting in bright desert sun, but its what was in the camera at the moment and that's just part of shooting film. Unless of course you have a Hasselblad and multiple film backs... one day.
7 September 2014, 10:30 pm
I think it's safe to say that this was one of my favorite days of work that i've ever had. The job was for channel 7 filming their news helicopter air to air and then recording stock footage around Manhattan. I rigged the camera in Long Island and then we flew over to the city, shooting for the afternoon and evening. Getting to see New York from such an amazing angle for so long (most helicopter tours are 12-15 minute and very expensive!) was mind blowing!
1 September 2014, 8:06 pm
I've recently been dreaming about a shiny new Contax T2 to replace my Olympus XA2 (I know, I move fast sometimes) but this roll reminded me of why I love the XA. Small enough that you hardly know it's there, so easy to pull out and snap candid moments, and occasionally somewhat sharp. I'm taking a short break from film until I have my own apartment again, which is kind of strange but I have a big backlog to keep sharing so stay tuned for more.
28 August 2014, 7:16 pm
Way back on Memorial Day weekend, Steffy and I road tripped up to our friends' place in Ormond Beach and spent the weekend hanging out at the beach, at a flea market, and on the Daytona boardwalk. These were shot with a Canon A2E and Ektar 100 film. I love my A2E because I have so many EF mount lenses that I instantly had a whole package and its really a breeze to use (and cheap!). This was also the day that I acquired my beloved Olympus XA2, such good memories.
25 August 2014, 5:38 pm
It has been way too long since i've posted any film photography, but in my defense we did just move to New York and all of my tanks and chemicals are in storage. A few days ago I found time to go to Manhattan and drop off 8 of my rolls at Luster photo. I found them on google, and they did a pretty good job for a reasonable price. I spent most of today scanning them in, here are a couple from our annual trip to Martha's Vineyard that I shot with my Yashica Mat 124G.
13 August 2014, 9:56 am
Using vintage lenses on modern cameras has recently become very popular, not only because of their attractive price but also for the interesting look they can give. There are enough articles about them to fill many books on the internet, so i'll just to share my experience with two particular lenses that I own. A great place to find more info is Vintage Lenses for Video. After the recommendation of a DP friend of mine, I started looking into old lenses that produced what is called the "swirly bokeh" look. I wanted to add some flare to my "artisans" pilot without breaking the bank. I did my research and ordered two lenses on ebay, the Helios 44-2 58mm f/2, and the Helios 135mm f/2.8. I spent about $120 total on both lenses and shipping. 98% of them come from Russia or the Ukraine and the descriptions can be pretty dicey, but using my moderate Ebay intuition I picked some pretty good ones. The only thing you need to adapt it to a canon camera is a $12 M42 to EOS adapter. Check out the photos and read about how to use them below -Using these old lenses can be tricky because they don't "talk" to your camera. What that means is that you have to set the aperture manually and your camera has no idea what you set it at, rendering aperture priority and shutter priority modes useless. You also will have no autofocus. For video this obviously isn't a concern which is great, but I have been using these a lot to take photos for Steffy's blog. I start by setting the aperture around 2.8 and then doing trial and error to get a good exposure. To focus, you can set it by eye but it is easier to use a live view preview and zoom in for better accuracy. It's a little more complicated than using my regular Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, but I think the results speak for themselves. The 58mm produces a wild looking swirl when you shoot in front of a busy background, and both lenses flare like crazy. They may not be perfect for every situation but when you have the option to be creative and add some character, I don't think there is a better way to do it on such a budget. Using these lenses has opened up a whole new world for me and actually made me excited to shoot digital again! There are so many out there to choose from an experiment with, I just picked up a 35mm Mir-1B lens for $40 and have my eye on lots of others (but I do need to hold back for now). So if you have the patience and $40 or $50 on hand, get out there and do some experimenting.