Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nicaragua, Part 1

Nicaragua has been very interesting so far. Some highlights of the trip - 

* Being stuck in a hotel room for 3 days waiting for the helicopter to clear customs
* Taking a ride in the most destroyed taxi i've ever seen. It had 240,000 KM and looked like it had been in 240 accidents
* Surfing and being in the ocean through a massive rainstorm until getting chased out by very close lightning
* Driving my tiny car through back country muddy roads
* My friend stepping on a stingray (that was a lowlight actually)

I've been shooting some film and have a lot to develop when I get home, I cant wait to share!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Art of Packing - Nicaragua

This installment of The Art of Packing comes to you from Managua, Nicaragua. I'm down here to install the aerial camera for a TV show that is going to be shooting for a couple months. Part of my job was to hand carry 6 massive cases of gear (totaling 398 pounds) through the airport and customs. Needless to say, I tried to keep my personal gear to a minimum apart from my necessary tools. Read about what I brought and why after the photo!

1. Ticket organizer - Steffy got me this as a gift from J Crew, it has slots for your boarding pass, money, passport, etc. It seemed dorky at first but its actually really handy.

2. Pepto Bismol - you never know when that empanada from the street vendor will wreak havoc.

3. Sunglasses - same cheapies

4. Domke bag - I love this bag! I use it on set as a sort of fanny pack for gear, or in this instance I removed the belt and used it to keep my cameras organized inside of my regular non-camera backpack.

5. Olympus XA2 - my newest camera, I think its going to be perfect for travel. Its truly pocketable and very discreet, I can keep it ready at all times.

6. Removable flash for the XA2 - not sure if i'll use it but you never know, I also have 2 spare batteries.

7. Yashica Mat 124G - when I have more time to compose and for landscapes, ill use this camera

8. Sharpie - for labeling my rolls

9. Film - 2x 100TMAX 35, 2x 400TX 35, 2x 400TMAX 120, 1x expired 100TMAX 120, 1x Lomo 400CN 120.

All of this fit in my normal size backpack with plenty of room for my computer, a book, water bottle, headphones and more. Since the Yashica is the most expensive camera at $240, i'm not overly worried about theft or whether I should take my camera places. I also have a small carry on roller with my clothes and tools. And that's it! 3 days of work, 5 days of fun, and when I get back i'll have a couple days to hopefully work and develop some film before heading to New York!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Clem's Classic Cameras

This weekend I found my dream camera store. A couple months ago while in Daytona Beach, I was in a little camera shop where I bought the Time Magazine camera for $5. They had a pretty cool selection but the owner told me that there was a guy at the flea market who had ten times his selection. I had to leave the next day and the flea was closed so I had to wait until next time to check it out. We just spent Memorial Day weekend up in Ormond beach so I made it a point to investigate. Let me tell you, Clem's did not disappoint. He let me come behind the counter and ogle his merchandise for the better part of an hour and was really friendly. The selection was just massive, old folding cameras, underwater stuff, medium format, SLRs, Leicas, and much much more. I ended up buying a vintage camera bag, an Olympus XA2, some expired film, vintage camera straps, and a couple of $1 point and shoots for my friends. His prices were reasonable and its great to get to play with the cameras in real life instead of just looking at pictures on Ebay! If you're ever on I-95 near the Daytona exit, seriously consider checking this one out. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Art of Packing - Memorial Day Weekend

The summer of 2014 is seeming like it's going to be a great one! I have a lot of really exciting things coming up: Memorial day weekend in Ormond Beach, working and then surfing in Nicaragua next week, a trip to new york, a trip to Martha's Vineyard, and possible trips to Spain, Washington DC, and northern California. I decided I should do a series about the things I decide to bring with me and why. Read about what's coming on our 3 day road trip after the photo! I'm packing very light. 

1. Reusable water bottle - got this at a thrift store for $1

2. Werner Herzog book - the legendary documentary filmmaker, one of my favorites

3. Urbanears headphones - given to me as a promo when I worked at a convention once

4. Sunglasses - cheapo free pair because my Shwoods got stolen on a job =(

5. Poler Daypack - a great simple bag that fits a 15" laptop, it's holding all my clothes

6. Minolta Hi-Matic E - loaded with 400TX

7. Canon A2E with 50mm/1.4

8. Ektar 100/ TMAX 100 - we'll be in the sun a lot so I'm bringing fast film

9. Sunscreen - save your skin!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Miami Fashion Week

This past week was Miami Fashion Week and I went with Steffy to a bunch of different events. I took most of the photos with our Canon SL1 since she needed to blog about everything, but in between I shot and developed another roll from the Yashica Mat. The batteries still haven't shown up, but the beauty of black and white film is that it has just so much latitude. You can over or under expose by two stops and still have more detail in the clouds than digital. I'm starting to get the hang of the camera a little more, and I also learned a new developing trick. I had been having trouble spooling my medium format negatives, and I read that if you cut the edges of the film at a 45 degree angle and give them a slight crease, it will load much easier. That worked great, you gotta love google. In a week i'll be leaving for a job in Nicaragua so lots of film to buy and things to prep! 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Yashica Mat First Roll - Zak's Bakery

Yesterday I took my shiny new (35 years old actually) Yashica Mat 124G over to Wynwood and had lunch at Zak the Baker. I took some photos around the bakery and then came home and developed them. The camera definitely has a learning curve, especially the inverted viewfinder which makes framing a little difficult at first. I ordered some replacement batteries (they dont make the original mercury ones anymore) which haven't arrived yet, so I used my iphone meter app to take some readings of different parts of the room and guessed from there. The results were inspiring and I definitely see a lot of potential in this once I get the meter working and get a little more comfortable with it. I love how sneaky you can be with a TLR! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Yashica Mat 124G

I'm happy to introduce the newest addition to my fluctuating camera collection. I got this Yashica Mat 124G on ebay, film tested and in great condition for $240. You can find working ones in rougher shape for under $200, but I chose this beautiful one because the seller was from the US and had recently shot with it. In college I had a Yashica Mat LM that worked great, but I regretfully sold it a few years ago. I have been on the prowl for a medium format camera since my time with the Hasselblad. I didnt have $1000 to spend though, so I was between this and a Pentacon Six. The movie "Finding Vivian Meyer" pushed me over the edge and I went with the TLR. It's loaded up with a roll of Tri-X and ready for the weekend, hopefully I'll have a roll to share by Sunday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Road Trips

To me, there is nothing more exciting than a good old fashioned road trip. I'm obviously a techie and a gearhead so I'm always finding new pieces of gear or new ways to improve upon the simple formula of car+food+tent=good times. Some people aren't into it, but traveling by car has always taken me to places I wouldn't have ended up in otherwise, good and bad. We're headed to Orlando tonight to see a Deer Tick show, just a quick 24 hour trip but i've got the film packed and should have some nice boxes of things waiting for me when I get back tomorrow! Here are some pictures from a road trip we did to Georgia 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Caffeine Overload

Today I woke up at the crack of 3:45AM for a car commercial, which is the way it goes sometimes when the shot list starts at sunrise. But when the crew are your friends, baking in the sun and chugging coffee all day isn't so bad. Tonight I can relax and watch the Heat and get ready for a different job tomorrow. Also I ordered a new medium format camera which i'll debut on the blog when it arrives next week!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My essential photography knick-knacks

That should really read "some" of my essential knick-knacks, because there are plenty more. Every photographer has their own little bits of gear that they can't shoot or travel without. Read about mine after the jump!

1. Storage pouches - I'm an organization nut, and pouches work great to keep batteries, cables, etc separate. I have a bunch of husky brand ones from home depot and assorted ones I find in other places.

2. Multi tool - You should never go anywhere without a multi tool. I just got this new one from Gerber that feels really great, I retired my old husky one to the trunk of my car.

3. Headlamp - Anytime I work at night, especially outdoors I always use a headlamp to free up my hands. This is a new "tikka plus 2" from Petzl, my old energizer one with a sliding on/off switch kept getting turned on in my bag and killing the batteries. This one has a rubber click button that shouldn't have the same problem.

4. Dust-aid - A little sensor cleaning kit I like to have with me in case some dirt or dust makes its way into my camera.

5. Sharpie - I have a big box of sharpies because they are always getting lost/stolen since every department on set uses them so much. Mine are mainly for labeling cards, cameras, and hard drives.

6. Memory card wallet - Cheapo from Amazon, it probably would have been smarter to buy the more expensive waterproof Pelican one.

7. UV Filter - I buy a UV filter and put it on the first day I get any new lens. This is really key to keeping your glass in good shape and upping your resale value. This one is a B+W, don't skimp on a cheap one because once you notice, it's already too late.

8. Bongo ties - These are clutch and have a ton of uses, like holding a group of cables out of the way.

9. Rubber circle - This is a great one. I use this to help remove stuck screws, as extra grip with my fingers or to grab with pliers and not damage the metal.

10. Pancro - Expensive lens cleaner, but the best there is for your expensive optics.

There's 10 of my favorites, what can't you live without when you shoot?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Hanging the Mezuzah

Sunday we stopped by our good friend Zak's grand opening party for his bakery. I have been taking photos and making videos for Zak since he started baking in Miami two years ago, and it's amazing to see how far we have both come in a short time. Our first collaboration, "what is artisan bread" was one of my earliest successful documentary pieces that i'm still very proud of. Here I captured the Rabbi and Zak hanging the Mezuzah to signify the opening of the business. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Rainy Saturday

Last night me and Claude took a walk in between drizzles around the beach and enjoyed the break from the summer heat that has arrived

Friday, May 2, 2014

Oaxaca, Mexico

My last proper surfing trip was to southern Mexico last year in April. We spent a week and a half road tripping around, getting our little car stuck in the sand, eating a dozen tacos in one sitting, and of course surfing. I brought my 7D and gopro and made a short film that I called "Mexican Sojourn", and when I wasn't filming I shot some film photos on my Minolta. I have yet to take a surf trip this year, but I always have something in the works. Hopefully late May or June I can go get lost somewhere new!