Blurb Down Under: Oculi + Blurb Opening Sydney

Last night we co-hosted an event in Sydney with the photographers of Oculi, a collective based here in Australia. Over the past few months one of our Blurb members, Garry Trinh, worked with Oculi on a book project as well as setting up last night’s show. Last night’s show was part of the Reportage Festival. Stephen Dupont, festival director, stopped by to unveil the new posters, complete with a cover image by David Burnett. You might be thinking, “Ya, ya, another opening,” but this one had a different twist. Each attendee had an opportunity to make their own book from the work of the Oculi photographers. After walking in, each attendee was given a form containing a book layout. Each person could make their own edit, choose their sequence and submit the form for Blurb to print and ship the book.

As a photographer your edit and sequence are critical and NOT something you would normally put in the hands of the audience, but that was precisely the point with this particular show. Both Oculi and Blurb were looking for something different. Personally I see so many shows and exhibitions and many of them are pretty generic. You have probably heard of the movement to “get the art out of the galleries,” which isn’t my particular view, but I DO feel there needs to be more exploration when it comes to photography. We were attempting to do just this.

There was an excellent turnout on a cold, extremely rainy Sydney night, even with a multitude of photography events all happening at the same time. Oculi is the recording device of an entire nation. Much of their work focuses on Australia which is one of the things that makes them so distinctive. The show prints were SMALL, something else I found refreshing. I was told the designer wanted the attendees to be able to see all the work in a small area as opposed to seeing each image massive and set alone. I applaude both the agency and Garry Trinh for putting it all together.

Smogranch_20130512_Sydney_003

Smogranch_20130512_Sydney_001

Smogranch_20130512_Sydney_002

Smogranch_20130512_Sydney_006

Smogranch_20130512_Sydney_004

Smogranch_20130512_Sydney_005

RIP x100s

Well, the experiment with digital is now over. Not by choice mind you, but butterfingers here dropped his brand new Fuji x100s. It still works, but for how long, not so sure. I thought it was okay but upon removing the filter and hood the front element nearly fell off entirely. I pushed it back in, put the filter and hood on and lit a candle in honor of our time together.

Photo on 5-20-13 at 9.48 AM

The reality is I don’t have time for digital photography, at least not when working on a trip like this. No time for download, edit, tweak and convert files when I’m running on a few hours of sleep while on the perpetual go. It sounds crazy but it is the truth. The ONLY way to work is with a phone, which I can use to shoot and upload on the spot. I’m not a huge fan of working with a phone but at this point not sure there is anyway around it. In keeping with my f****** horrible luck with technology, the Aussie cell phone I purchased is also on the blink. Did I mention my Lightroom imploded as well? I’ll not even bother to explain that, but a local LR person helped me reinstall and start the great process over again. Oh, the card slot on my laptop…that doesn’t work either. FYI

There are certain undeniable signs in life, and I’ve been doing my best to try and ignore the one in regard to me working digitally. At this point I have to say, it wasn’t meant to be. I love my film cameras, their incredible performance, and the reality that I like to deal with my work on a slower pace, on my own time, and in a more tactile way. Yes they are bulkier, heavier and require the subsequent bag-o-film but the reward, at least for me, is just too strong. Not that ANY of this matters to any of you.

I envy my digital loving friends and am not in ANY way casting a negative vibe towards ANYTHING in the tech or digital world. I’m only turned on by happy photographers, and whatever makes you happy is what makes me happy. I feel horrible for my friends at Fuji. This is an impressive little beast, but one I managed to slay before the relationship really began.