Slowing Down

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Canon Elan 7E / Film / Fujicolor Industrial 400 / Fujicolor Superia Premium 400 / outdoors / travel
Boots of a pruner at Kenroku-en in Kanazawa

Kenroku-en (兼六園), Kanazawa. Fuji Industrial “Gyoumu” 400

"Swimming Pool" by Leandro Erlich at 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanzawa

Leandro Erlich’s “Swimming Pool” – 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanzawa. Fuji Industrial “Gyoumu” 400

Public toilet in Kyoto

Street toilet, Kyoto. Fuji Superia Premium 400

Abandoned van in the forest, Yamanobe-no-Michi, Japan

Abandoned van, Yamanobe-no-Michi. Fuji Superia Premium 400

Processed + scanned by Triple D Minilab, Singapore

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Little Red Dot

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AgfaPhoto Vista Plus 200 / Canon 300X / Canon Elan 7E / CineStill 800T / Film / Fujicolor Superia X-TRA 400 / singapore
Patchwork road, Singapore

Cinestill 800 + Elan 7E

Singapore, 23-32 degrees

Agfa Vista Plus 200 + Contax 159mm

Shot through a bus window: Sloped HDBs, Singapore

Superia 400 + Canon 300X/Rebel T2

What is it about this place that saps the spirit?

Is it the heat and humidity? The fast pace of life, the efficiency, the commodification of creative content?

The pleonastic ‘free gift,’ the sense of entitlement, the offense often taken?

The less-than-subtle flavoring indicative of a lack of natural resources?

The lack of solitude, anonymity, and space?

There’s balm/fuel, of course: Access to an enormous collection of books at the public libary. The occasional stirring film, concert, performance, or exhibit. Plus, that very efficiency will get you out of the country smoothly.

Work may consume me when I’m here, but I’m fortunate to have the flexibility to take a portion of my duties on the road (though ironically I’m currently working on automating certain processes).

The road calls. It isn’t adventure and spontaneity I seek, but a shift in environment, conversations with like-minded people or long-time friends, and above all, the space for reflection.

Processed + scanned by Triple D MiniLab

Serious little faces, shot on expired Fuji Natura 1600

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Canon Elan 7E / Film / Fuji Natura 1600 / kids

Noémie – Canon Elan 7E, expired Fuji Natura 1600

Serious little face – expired Fuji Natura 1600

Canon Elan 7E, expired Fuji Natura 1600

Noémie – Canon Elan 7E, expired Fuji Natura 1600

Above: Canon Elan 7E + lightly expired Fuji Natura 1600, shot at box speed.

Hmm. What happened here?

I needed film to shoot indoors at my niece’s birthday party, and Fuji Natura 1600 seemed like the best color option I had on hand. The rolls had expired by two months at most, and had lived alternately in my fridge and freezer since their purchase. But now I’m wondering how many x-ray machines they might have passed through. In retrospect, I would have rated them at 800.

I’ve misplaced my negatives, but it’s clear that I underexposed these images, and that they were soft in focus. The lab had to work with both of these things, and decided to sharpen them – hence the noise, which is most certainly not grain. Note that these images are from my second set of scans; the first set – from Triple D – had more color definition, but were sharpened to the point of severity.

In any case, mea culpa. I’ve got to be more organized with my film stash, and I’ve got to keep basic/reliable color film on hand. I don’t regret shooting active kids on film, or even trying out an unfamiliar film (that’s expired, at that) – but I should have shot one roll, not two.

In situations where I’m likely to rush shots, I might as well go digital for a greater margin of error. But these days, I find that shooting digital on a casual basis is somewhat like reading on a Kindle: it’s convenient, but the pleasure is fleeting; my brain is oh-so-likely to forget what it’s captured.

Processed by Triple D MiniLab, scanned by Yodobashi Camera, Tokyo

Serious little faces, Part 1

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Canon Elan 7E / Film / Fujicolor Industrial 400 / kids / portraits

Serious little face – Fuji Industrial 400
Serious little face – Fuji Industrial 400
Serious little face – Fuji Industrial 400
Above: Canon Elan 7E + Fuji Industrial “Gyoumu” 400

Toddlers make interesting subjects. They lack the muscle control to escape swoops from adults but possess the energy and persistence to wriggle out of their clutches. They’re curious explorers on the move, but sometimes they focus so intently on one task or motion – who doesn’t love ripping paper? – and then all of a sudden they space out, get lost in their own worlds. And when they become aware of a camera pointed at them, they don’t stiffen in the same self-conscious way that older humans do; they stare.

I shot these photos at my niece’s birthday party last year. I knew I’d be obliged to take some posed group-with-cake shots, so I brought along my digital camera, which is a rather good idea when you sit a one-year-old in front of a cake…

Cake foot. Canon 7D + VSCO.
Cake toes. Canon 7D + VSCO.
Bao mouth. Canon 7D + VSCO.
Birthday cake. 7D + VSCO.

Above: Canon EOS 7D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 + VSCO

Meanwhile, the older children ignored me and my cameras. They drew pictures, puffed into skinny balloons, and – once they’d eaten some cake – flailed about to a synthesized “Happy Birthday.”

I rewound a roll of film, unloaded it, and looked up. Three little pairs of furrowed brows were toddling towards me. Three serious little faces peered as I reloaded my cameras and put away my exposed film. Wingwoman/man, where are you?

Processed + scanned by Yodobashi Camera, Tokyo