wonderlust photoworks in collaboration with @kyotocatAnalog Bath (2018)

Bathrooms are not a great setting for photographs. First, they tend to be small/cramped. Second, they generally have crummy lighting.

This was a lesson I learned the hard way back when I was a film student. Every single project I attempted involved a scene in a bathroom. Without a bathroom with a window–which for those who don’t live in Brooklyn is a truly mythical creature.

But–for once–I have a bathroom with a window. It’s small but it’s south facing and my tub is actually photogenic.

During my last session with Kyotocat, I wanted to try to do something with it, esp. given that I only have this apartment for three more months.

By the time we got to it, the light was all but gone. My instinct was to just ditch the idea and cut things short. I figured that since I had no idea when I’d have someone else to work with, I might as well try.

I metered things and it was super sketchy. The rule of thumb is you can operate an SLR handheld down to roughly 1/30s shutter speed. Anything lower and you’re going to have camera shake. Interestingly, this has to do less with drinking too much caffeine and being jittery. An SLR has a mirror which flips up and out of the way before the shutter opens. The up and down motion of the shutter actually causes more of the shake than your movements.

I’ve all but sworn off SLRs–excepting the Pentax 67ii, I have trouble with fine focusing. By contrast, although rangefingers can be more challenging to find gross focus, fine focusing with them is a breeze for me. But I digress….

With a 35mm range finder I can get down to 1/8 of a second before I start seeing noticeable camera shake. When I first measured the light it was 1/4s (100 ASA, aperture wide open–f4).

It was 1/2s by the time I was ready to expose the first frame. In other words, there’s no way doing this handheld is going to work out.

Again, I thought about scrapping it. Instead I locked my xpan down to my tripod, put the camera strap around my neck, straddled the tub, braced two of the legs against the wall behind me and then treated the camera as if it was my tango partner.

To give you even more context: I’m wearing a long dress and Kyotocat is scootched with her legs halfway up the wall behind me. (She probably looked not unlike the model in this magnificent image by Joanna Szproch.)

I tried to line everything up symmetrically–which sounds much easier than it actually is when you find yourself in such a position.

When I got the slides back I was thrilled with the color. However, the slight angle of the composition bothered me. It wasn’t what I had envisioned compositionally–so I didn’t want to accept it.

I kept circling back to it for some reason. I still can’t decide whether the tilt harms or contributes; I have decided that the symmetrical intention is clear enough as it is and that the angle perhaps doesn’t harm or contribute and instead complicates.

Stepping back from questions of composition: the mood I was chasing is absolutely conveyed in spades. So I’m sending this photo out into the wild as a reminder to others just as much as myself that that adage about crisis being another word for opportunity is correct. This isn’t what I had in mind but I’m pretty sure it’s better than what I originally intended. I’m just not sure how to articulately defend that thesis because it’s more a nascent feeling than any sort of intellectual certainty.

wonderlust photoworks in collaboration with @suspendedinlightAssisted Self-Portraits (2017)

Over the last three years or so, I’ve dabbled a bit with street photography. Alas, the only camera I have that I’m fast enough with is a panoramic camera–which is not exactly well-suited to that task.

Really, though–what’s stopped me is that there are just issues of consent with street photography that I find increasingly disturbing.

The idea for these emerged partly from an urge for the challenge of street photography style work–quick thinking on your feet, rapid response, etc; the other part was I’m always looking for ways to reduce the amount of time I allow myself to over-thinking things; and, from the vantage of procedure, I’m interested in minimizing my imposition on the work.

The notion here was that I hand a cable release to the subject–in this case Lyndsie–and she chooses the moment the photo is taken. I merely have to keep her in frame and in focus.

It was such a revelation to work this way that I’ve actually instituted it as a sort of icebreaker every time I collaborate with someone.

wonderlust photoworks in collaboration with Kathleen Truffaut – [↑] Atelier (2016); [+] Redolent (2016); [↓] Cauterwaul (2016)

My last trip out to L.A. was pretty much a cluster fuck of truly epic proportions. The highlight of the trip though was meeting and making photos with the angelic and thoroughly intriguing Kathleen Truffaut.

(An extra special shout out to @jacsfishburne–without whom the above would not have happened.)

Christian Schnalzger Untitled (201X)

I’m posting this less as an endorsement of the artist–alright not as an endorsement of the artist at all (I mean he has some okay ideas, but his technique just is not anywhere near where it needs to be)–but more because this isn’t cropped. The image is actually that wide.

I’m verklimt–talk amongst yourselves. Here’s a topic: the Holy Roman Empire was neither ‘holy’, ‘Roman’ or an ‘empire’. Discuss.

Seriously though, I found out about this format on Wednesday. It’s depending on where the camera originated either the Hasselblad Xpan i/ii or the Fuji TX-1. It uses regular 35mm film and fits 21 shots per roll and features an aspect ratio equivalent to Ultra Panavision 70mm. (Think Ben-Hur or Tarantino’s forthcoming The Hateful Eight.)

The cameras are extremely rare and exorbitantly priced. It would also solve a half dozen different problems I’ve been struggling with in my own work for the last three years.

Really, someone out there has to love my blog enough to get me one. You don’t understand. I need this camera like woah…I can’t even.