What I'm doing. Where I've been. What I saw. And why I shot it.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

mixed feelings

fiesta flags, San Antonio
 San Antonio TX street, fiesta April 2010
There's a point where you realize that a good image is a good image, and a mediocre one isn't going to become a good image.  You can (in the olden days) tone, burn, hand color, or lift the emulsion & transfer it to watercolor paper. Nuh-uh, it's just not going to become a good image.
Or you can (nowadays), photoshop the bejeepzis out of it: liquify, sketchify, desaturate to black & white, watercolorize- and , yeah, same result.

So that brings me, guiltily,  to my beloved Hipstamatic app. I can't stop shooting this. I admit, it's a gimmick.  I instantly mimic the artsy plastic cameras with light leaks, and the polaroid transfers and the emulsion lifts from the past.  No yucky chemicals or complete darkness or time wasted working up the process. 

 San Antonio TX, wall at Titos,  April 2010
Truth is, making an imitation arty piece most times only looks like imitation art.
But it sure is fun to keep trying.

Monday, April 5, 2010

H2 Ohhhhhhhhhh

So, a magazine asked me to photograph an accomplished MIT hydrogeologist, preferably in some water.  I thought-bingo!- those crazy monsoon rains battering us last week were so in my favor.
MIT professor Charles Harvey , hydrogeologist, at great meadows national Wildlife Refuge
you have to keep in mind the water is cold. very cold. he should be wincing.

My subject suggested we go out to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, where a walkway normally crosses a  full open pond. Except, the pond is so full, it has taken over the parking lot.
Ok, what care we?  It's water.  We are there for water. We wade in. First on the rocks, then straight in.
MIT professor Charles Harvey , hydrogeologist, at great meadows national Wildlife Refuge Our subject puts on waders, I'd asked him to go waist deep, he's game. My asst and I roll up our jeans and follow to stay close, on the edge of where the scientist steps down to chest level.  Fabulous! Sun, blue sky, good natured professor.  We take out  strobes and shoot some fill, handing them back & forth above the water. Joking, heh heh about electrocuting the marine life if we fumble  and the HV pack goes  into the pond. But we really don't need the juice. The gold reflector is perfect.
Seeing as I like a low angle,  I squat down, just grazing the water.  I hear a splash.  Right near my pocket. My compact flash card wallet, taking a dive 2 feet down.  Nooooooooo!  Filled with 10 compact flash cards.

No lost images from this shoot , they were all in the camera on a large card but, still, that's a lot of sodden gigs.0410FamVar_400 Having an MIT hydrogeologist (dude knows water) advise me to soak them in rubbing alcohol and then seal them in a bag with dry rice was, if not reassuring, at least a plan.

And it took my mind off this fella, who first joined us on a rock.
And then hissing at us, in the water.

Moral of the story: if you have an asst who is over 6 feet tall carrying a secure bag for you into water, place the compact flash wallet in his care. Also: watch out for snakes.