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.

Blurb Australia: Brisbane Begins…

I thought it would be interesting to show a tiny glimpse into this little Blurb Safari we are experiencing at the moment. I’ve been getting a lot of emails, messages, etc. in regard to this trip, mostly from folks who think I’m on vacation because for us Americans Australia is such an exotic place there is skepticism that this could possibly be a work trip.

I get a lot of “Are you going shark diving?” “When are you driving the Great Ocean Road?” “Make sure when you are in Sydney you see these eleven things and in this order….” The only problem with these wonderful suggestions is that we actually ARE on a work trip. which looks a lot like the second and fourth images here. I also get a lot of emails from people who think I’m here working on a photography project, which is also far from the reality no matter how much I wish it was true. At some point, near the end of this little voyage, I’m hoping to get a few days to spread my photography wings, but until that time I’m making myself less photographically miserable by snapping these odd little moments, frames one an three, that are simply about color. It’s all I’ve got people and I’m clinging to it like a life preserver in rough seas.

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We spend much of our time doing what we are doing in the second image which is logistics, planning, sign making (Garry is a MASTER) email and then getting to and from the events, which entail about five different programs in each city over a three or four day period. Today I’m off up north to do a masterclass at a local art school, and tomorrow we do a designer event in the morning and book workshop in the afternoon. The following day begins a two-day staffing and lecture at a local photo festival. Our entertainment comes from comparing hotels, the speed of elevators, what odd times we woke up due to jetlag and how Jason and I nearly die when Garry tricks us into eating food so spicy we sweat through our shoes.(He does this in every city.)
Life on the road is an interesting one filled with many new faces, new places and the unknown just around the bend.

Blurb Australia: More Street Photo Shenanigans

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I’m not a good tourist. I feel like I need a reason, a purpose, a focal point or point of contention. Internal unrest, mental not physical, at least for now. Forcing myself forward, step by step, ignoring certain things, certain people and fixating on others until they feel my need and it all goes away. Why would you walk with a lens cap on? After all these years I’m not sure. Like an infantryman carrying his rifle with a pool cue in the barrel. Makes it somewhat difficult to achieve the desired result and yet there these mysterious creatures are.
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Something unfamiliar in my hand, but I’m working on that. Like new shoes I feel the visual blister forming. It demands it’s own dialogue. I can’t speak to it in the same language I normally use. Clarity from the clutter is more difficult with the little beast, so I need to change the way I see, the way I layer and the way I look for light.
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I break things into mental quarters to give myself a helping hand. “In the end..the machines always win.” Yes, true but as humans we all want to fight the good fight. A guy blows $400(Australian) on a slot machine next to me. Like a kiss from a stranger. That love was never really his, wasn’t in his wallet long enough. A few flicks of a finger, a few spinning dials and it’s gone forever. Remember what they say about the machines.
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I like being here because it is a challenge and I actually do feel like I’m doing good. “Please remain calm, we are here to help,” coupled with “Beatings will continue until moral improves.” I make photographs and I make books, a lot of each. I like to share why, how and then revisit the why. Sometimes I don’t want do either but yet there they are, the camera in hand the nonstop mental editing and then the smell of ink on paper. I tell people I jokingly call it a “curse” but I’m not really joking. I watch others moving through life with a different filter and I wonder “why me?”
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Why do I need to report, record and resolve? I wander into a gambling hall and face backwards staring into the souls of the men watching the ponies with a focus that only comes with money on the line. I don’t gamble but I’m fascinated by those who do. Crumpled bits of paper, hands sweeping across sunken eyes and stubble. There is always another race, another day, another bet. The energy in the room is a palpable strain of uncertainty and guilt. “In the end…the machines will always win.”