Posts Tagged ‘analog’

I was reading quotes from famous artists, and one of them said something to the effect: “When I go to the canvas with a preconceived idea, those are usually not as good as the ones where I go with no idea what I will paint, and just paint.”

Effectively, going to the sandbox to play.  Because creativity is play.  Creative activity.  The ability to make something out of nothing.

I’ve been taking that to heart and using it for a photography project.  The idea is I have a model, I have outfits, and I have a camera, but I don’t have a subject in mind to shoot.  I can create anything I want.  And so far, what I’ve created isn’t at all what I would have thought to create.  It’s in the creation that they came to be.

I’m working on the photographs for a book project, so won’t post any here, but there is certainly a way to work, as this old photojournalist has to break his thought process and just get in the sand.  And play.

And play.

Sometimes the first photo doesn’t seem so inspired.  Shoot it anyway.  It may lead to another photo.  And that one may be the inspired one.  The inspiration may come when you stop thinking, stop looking for it.

It’s crazy magical that way, the way it works, the way it manifests.

There’s something to it, when the muse is allowed to play.  Pick up the camera, look through the viewfinder, and shoot something you’ve never shot before.

Create a scene.  Play with light and your subject.  See what you come up with.

I’m using a vintage Mamiya C330S twin-lens reflex medium format film camera, just to add to the process, on a tripod, carefully framing and exposing the negative.

Oh, let the muse play!

 

I asked my Father today if he remembered life before television.  He said he did, and it was a world where a lot of people read books and newspapers, played games and got together with friends and a barrel of beer.

The reason I asked is because I realize that since the invention of TV, and people watching hours a day, we’ve now become a society that lives on screens.  I wake up to my iPhone and iPad.  I read the iPad with coffee, then off to a computer where I work editing photographs and marketing photography.

Or I have a photo shoot, and I make the photographs and check them on the camera’s screen.  Finally, import them to the computer for editing tomorrow.

I wrap up the day, and it’s back to the iPad.  Or I write at night, like this post here, on my laptop either at a pub or at home.

I’m not a TV watcher, but if I were, I would probably switch that on when I got done writing, and finish up the day with an iPad in bed.

What happened to us?  We live on screens.

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I think that’s why I’m drawn to film photography–I get to create with a simple ground glass for viewing the image (on a 4×5 or 8×10 view camera, a Rolleiflex or a Leica 35mm).  It has no electronics.  It’s physical, just light being focused onto film.

Same with hand-printing photographs in a darkroom, it’s hands on, and nothing electronic to it.

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I’m betting that’s why some people like gardening (I am not one of those people) but it gives them the chance to work with their hands and dirt to create something beautiful.  Can’t get more “down to earth” than that!

Same thing with nature lovers and landscape photographers (I am not one of those either).  Staring at the sky and trees is a welcome past-time in this digitally screened-in world.

Anyway, I wonder what all these screens, with living in a screen world, is doing to us, how it’s affecting our culture, our friendships, our lives.

Are we better off than 80 years ago, when all we needed were friends and a barrel of beer?kids1 (2)

LA Friends: I have a photograph in the Lucie Foundation Analogue Project with a gallery opening Thursday April 11, 6-9pm at ROW DTLA. It’d be great to see you there.
 
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Unless they can see the difference.

Many people cannot see the difference.

So, many people don’t care what camera you use.

The camera doesn’t define you, or make your work.  You do!

You define your work.  Here’s proof.  This photographer shot 100 different cameras, and yet the work all looks similar.  Because it’s not the camera.  It’s the vision.  It’s the person behind the camera.

Photographers tell us as much about themselves as they do the subject they are showing.  For essentially they are saying, “This is what I photographed, this is what I made.  This is what I like, what I value.”

Look at the photos, ideally on a big monitor and hit full screen at lower right.  It’s such a great display.

When I show my street photographs, they are a reflection of what I see and think are storytelling images.  To you, they may mean something entirely different or nothing at all, based on your life experiences, what you like and what you relate with.

We all get to finish the art for ourselves.

At a talk about a book, someone commented to the author their take on what the book meant to them, and the author corrected them, saying that’s not correct.  The person commenting protested, “Who are you to say what it means just because you wrote it?”

Another good collection of photographs is by Jason Lee, who I recently found out about online.  I knew him as an actor from My Name is Earl, but not as a photographer.  He shoots several types of film, from 35mm up to large Polaroids.

 

From the work I see, I’d suggest he’s a romantic, into nostalgia, and maybe a bit of a historian.  He likes things that are incongruous.  The work certainly has a theme.  Many of the images share a similar look–do you agree?

I see a big difference in the look of film versus the look of digital.  And I get lulled at times to just use the Nikon DSLR and a 20mm–I feel I can do anything with that, it’s quick and easy.  It’s always ready to make an image.

Except it can’t make film images.

And what I make–that also defines me.  And you.

This spring, I will be shooting more film than I have been this winter.  Both 120 and 4×5. Because that’s what I like.  That’s something about me.  And you’ll be able to notice that about me in the work.

Or maybe you won’t.  But I will.  And some will.   Regardless, it all comes down to the story I’m telling–what is it I did with that film medium.  Photography is a vehicle to take someone somewhere.

We have to take them somewhere interesting, while revealing a bit about ourselves.

PORTRAITS ON FILM – What’s the difference?

I am proud to be known as a Film Photographer. It’s my passion and what sets me apart from most photographers.

Why use film when digital is so much easier? Who said art has to be easy? And why is easy better?

IT’S ABOUT MAGIC

Kenneth Wajda's photo.I shoot film because it’s a little bit dreamy, a little bit romantic, a little bit grainy, a little bit soft, a little bit magical—like a memory. It really is. It’s not completely literal, like digital.

Digital is perfectly sharp and clear, but like a CD is to a real vinyl record, it doesn’t have the same soulfulness, the warmth.

It’s the difference between a home-cooked meal and a microwave dinner. One is simply more satisfying.

Film is something you feel. When you see a portrait made on film, you may not even know why you like it, but you feel it. It’s that’s powerful. It’s emotional. It’s truth.

It’s not Photoshop tricks or Instagram filters. It’s simply truthful.

Kenneth Wajda's photo.It’s the difference between portraits of movie stars in the 1960s and 1970s versus today. That difference is film!

When you want a little bit of that magic, and demand the very best for your family, schedule a genuine film portrait.

Seniors too, both the high school kind and your parents or grandparents!

As an award-winning staff photojournalist for 15 years with a major daily newspaper, I worked everyday to draw out personalities, to tell a story with a photograph. To capture emotion worthy of a feature page cover!

SPOILER AHEAD

Kenneth Wajda's photo.The best images are not made with the most expensive camera, bursting with a thousand shots “spraying and praying”. It’s not about the camera at all, but the result of a genuine connection between subject and photographer—an ease, a comfort which shows in the image. (The magic isn’t in the camera, it’s in you, captured on real film!)

I shoot in studio, or at your location. Whichever best serves you.

Kenneth Wajda's photo.Because, it’s all about you and your family. For a truly special photograph that will be shared and passed down for generations, choose film.

You’ll feel the difference when the photograph—a magical, artistic image of your family—is displayed in your home. Your guests will see the difference, as it won’t be like any others.

See my other film portraits at http://kennethwajda.com/kennethwajdafilmportraitist.htm

CALL TO SCHEDULE
Please call 720.982.9237 to schedule your film portrait session. Sessions start at $325 and include print packages. Traditional silver and canvas prints are available.

Kenneth Wajda's photo.
NOTE: I’m usually booked about three weeks out, but if you have a parent or child visiting and need to work on a specific timetable, I will work with you to make the photograph!

If you are outside of Colorado, still contact me as I travel across the U.S. for commercial clients and may be able to make some time work for you, too.

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