Hey World

Wassup!

Hey, it’s really been a while so here’s an update on what I’ve been doing lately. Mostly I’ve just been working and taking photos, which has definitively become my standard outlet for creation in the last year or so. Most of the time I post them on my Tumblr. In general, my “studio space” is non-existent these days; I develop film in my bathroom and I scan/archive in my office (a.k.a. the bedroom). I think this lack of studio space has definitely pushed me more and more in a photographic direction. I see myself as a kind of street artist/performer that uses the outside world as my playground and the space where I get to realize my creative potential. I like to think that I’m not just capturing images but documenting objects and scenarios that have a very temporal existence in space. I like to document and claim (appropriate, steal?!) these objects and moments I see out in the world as my own. It’s similar to the process that Andy Goldsworthy employs by using photography to document his temporary sculptures that exist out in the natural world. In his case, he actually makes the objects while I just find them.

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So there is a two-part process to the actual creation of my work, first is as mentioned above, I go out and shoot. This is also, in my opinion, the easier part of the two-part process. Basically, I just walk around and take snaps of shit I think is interesting. There’s no need for patience when it comes to the creative process, no drawing or painting things out and checking on form and minute details to make sure everything looks right. If a photo works, it works, and if not – delete. This isn’t to say that I just walk around randomly snapping photos; for the most part I use film which costs a bit of money and helps to restrain myself. I have a limit and so I have to be creative within the bounds of that limit. In my opinion, this is the best way to be creative anyways… too much freedom breeds a lack of creativity. Anyway, when I’m out taking photos it’s a very intuitive process, I don’t think too much about what I’m shooting, although the more photos I take the more recognizable to me certain symbols or objects have become before I capture them.img_20140413_0025

So, here comes the second part, the less “intuitive” process: organizing/focusing my work in order to define meaning within it. This is seriously the hardest thing for me to accomplish. Back in the days of drawing and painting I had the meaning down before the image and my job was to make something physical to promote understanding of a complex subject. Now I’m having to find focus within such a complex web of images that represent so many different ideas at once. It’s like looking at a cloud from a distance, you can see it as this sort of fluffy soft thing in the sky, and it makes sense. But the closer you get, new forms appear, it starts to take different shape, the edges are soft  and the cloud starts to become vague and once you get inside of it it’s just one big grey mass. That’s where I’m at right now and I would like to be able to come out of the cloud in order to define a little better what my work is about and how I want it to be displayed. This may be more clear cut for other photographers out there, but I rarely go out shooting with a project in mind.DSC_5515-s

To be honest, that last paragraph reminded me of the very mundane fact that I’m also constantly trying to make sense out of my life. I mean, just replace the word “work” with “life” and you can understand the scope of this massive knot I’m trying to untangle. Or in the very least you get a  pretty decent psychological evaluation. Man I’m fucked…

Polaroid

Here’s a quick little set from my first ever batch of Polaroids! The film is from The Impossible Project which tends to leave a sort of cream colored cast to each image, especially on the whites. The quality/sharpness isn’t all that great and I wasn’t sure how to adjust for exposure (within the span of 8 photos at least) and it kind of reminds me of a Holga in this sense. I bought the film because I’ve had an old Polaroid One Step sitting in my closet forever and I thought it was about time to make it worth the $5 I spent on it. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy taking photos with it as much as I did; I saw it as more of an experiment and perhaps a slight alternative to Instagram which I feel has taken over my life lately. I can’t wait to get my hands on some more film, though to be honest, it ain’t cheap – around $23 for a pack of 8!

Buuuut, sweet instant (30 min) gratification…

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Alameda Jungle

These photos are part of a working series that I started pretty much the moment I moved to Alameda. This island (which definitely feels separate from the rest of the bay) has a pretty unique landscape. Sleepy suburbia is mixed with the overgrown trees and brush which is constantly being trimmed back to perfection. Throw some light into the mix and you have the Alameda Jungle. There is a utopian quality that exists in Alameda that is appealing for older folks and people with children; it’s safe, quiet (relatively), close to San Francisco, and separate from the “darkness” that is Oakland. We even have a tunnel that is called the Alameda Portal on one side and the Oakland Portal on the other that literally transports you from one city to the next… Most people in their twenties find this place boring with nothing to do. It reminds me of a place in a Haruki Murakami novel that exists only in the mind. Kind of a bizarre imaginary reflection of something bigger that exists in the real…

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Squares For Thought

This is what I’ve been up to lately! I’ve been taking lots of photos and posting them to flickr, instagram, and Tumblr (just a simple photoblog).  I’m not sure where I’m going with any of it, I just know that taking photos has definitely become a huge part of my daily routine. I recently got a C-41 processing lab (el baño) set up so I can catch up on the big film backlog I have hanging out in my fridge. I’m pretty psyched!

Film has this weird time element that digital escapes entirely and I’m not sure if this is a good thing or not. What I mean is that it takes time from the moment the image is taken to the time you get to see the image in it’s final form (whether a print or just a digital record) and your mind might not be in the same mental state as when you took the image. Certain images that you thought weren’t important might become the shining gems of a roll. But sometimes this can be hard because I can’t remember why each image I took was important. So far I haven’t really been keeping notes and most of these images below were taken months ago. I have noticed though that certain themes keep getting my attention and that certain compositions are almost always present whether I’m conscious of them or not. This is kind of neat to me because I can look back at a collection of random photos and categorize them. This has made taking photos even more fun for me (and definitely more important) because I’m starting to trust my intuition and take photos for no other reason than to shoot. For me, when I start to think about what I’m doing or the meaning behind something my thoughts start to get in the way of actual creativity/productivity. And in general, I’d rather do now and figure out what it all means later.

We can’t predict the future, but at least we can shape how we see the past…

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One Year

The other day I got an email saying that my Processing Tumblr had turned one year old. A lot has happened in one years’ time. I can’t really describe the physical and mental transition I have gone through in the last year, it’s more complex than just ups and downs, good and bad, hot and cold. I feel like I have changed, and although I don’t think “change” is bad by definition, I do think it is painful and incredibly hard to come to terms with.copy16 copy44 copy46 copy83 copy84 copy44copy76 copy77 copy84 copy99copy100 copy115 copy117 copy21

An Addiction

So much has happened since my last post and to be honest I’m actually a little shocked. I completed my second class at Rayko (color printmaking!) which was a lot of fun. I have acquired two new cameras: a super awesome Mamiya C220 TLR that takes 120 film (medium format) and an iphone 4. I have taken a TON of photos with both and I’ve developed at least ten rolls with six more exposed rolls waiting for me in the fridge. I have made several awesome prints, I’ve become more active on flickr, and I’ve joined Instagram. Oh, and I just got back from a little vacation in San Jose and Santa Cruz.

I’m fascinated with the contrast of shooting with an iphone vs an old school professional medium format TLR. One is instant and free while the other is definitely neither but I still love using both (and of course, I’m still making time for Glady!). But honestly, I don’t really compare the two. I’m still focused on the same kind of imagery and I would rather be taking photos instead of joining the great digital vs analogue debate. But maybe I will do a little profile on each of them in future posts. Until then, here are some photos!

The first three are from the iphone, the last three are from the C220. The ones with white borders are scanned prints.

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An Orange Cat!

These are from my last class. I was able to develop four rolls and I still have one roll to scan (hand scanning and digitally processing is much more work than I had realized). I’m really loving this stuff. I feel like my relationship with my camera has grown somewhat lately and now I’m ALWAYS itching to go out and shoot.

alameda jungle alameda, oakland cranes liz and josh no hitting balls orange cat, green field park1 smoke damaged house

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