Long time friend, and sage photo editor Jeff Divine, once put this question to me after pouring over a seasonal submission of imagery. Pages of 35 MM slides encased in Vis a File plastic sleeves, were stacked on his light table.
“Don’t you ever shoot anything besides golden hour?”
“Not if I can help it, Jeff.” (He looked at me quizicaly)
The edit session gave me a reason and motivation to examine my method of operation in creation of my work. (Good editors are like that) Eventually this led to a higher (and narrower) degree of focus.
That modus, which has stuck with me for ages, is why I am really excited about the Samsung NX1.
Being of a smaller than DSLR footprint, and capable of capturing professional level Audio, Stills and Motion, it is quite obviously going to be more facile as my companion in the creation of my ongoing library acquisition work, than that of any system I have used prior.
I am a huge fan of quality of subject, in creating my work. That means being at the right place and time, with the right people (or animals) with my “game on.”
Everything I do, is predicated on my perception of, and relationship with, creation.
For example, from Nov to Feb every year since 1997 I have swum with a camera, sometimes 7 days a week, from 45 minutes before dawn to up to 1 1/2 hours after dawn. Conditions dictate frequency, not my own desires. Generally no one is around, unless I have managed to convince a surfer to wake up at o dark thirty, pull on damp rubber in 40-50 degree icy offshore winds, and paddle out into the pre light.
And it is not solely waves and surf that see this tack. I use it on every subject.
It is June here in Southern California, and along with the grey dampness of the marine layer, comes a desire to re visit my shoot files from earlier in the shoot year. Here are a few that I pulled out of the digital limbo that is my raw file folder.
The other day I went for a walk-run up nearby Sulphur Mountain. In my right hand was the little Samsung NX1 and the kit lens (16-50mm F 3.5-5.6 OIS power zoom). It was so easy to photograph some of the striking and bizarre things which exist on that fire road-bike-hike trail. Nature seems to co-exist with a line item that within our culture is thought of as being the antithetical enemy: oil.
Oil rises up from tar pits and flows down the mountain in a few places. Seeing as it is directly in the watershed, well that is an odd un, and fun to look at. The oil deposits were first “discovered” during the Lincoln administration and were part of the series of telltales that did two rather dramatic things: led to the California oil boom, and consequently the demise of the whaling industry, where whales were hunted, and the blubber reducted for it’s oil.
Here are a few images from my sweaty little run a couple miles up and down the Mountain.
In my library exists a wealth of all manner of documentation (and Art) that serves as an archival reminder of the cyclical nature of creation. Much of it produced at great effort and expense using bulky gear, and involved processes for both Photography and Cinematography.
It is amazing what archival footage can produce. Here is a wonderful film titled “Denali” that is a perfect example of why and how a talented person with a camera can use his life and library to add to our lives and culture.
Lastly, here is a beautiful series of images of Ventura, shot on the NX1. I saw the light change while working in the office, and dashed down to the beach for a little run on the sand.
Being present, with a full tool set, that is what this camera system is helping me to do.
I will be delving into the more technical aspects of the Samsung NX1 in the next blog post. Excuse the time pause in this series, as I have been immersed in that oil spill mess which soiled Refugio a few weeks ago. That is a very important subject to me, because both the beach and it’s oil stained history, have been and continue to be, a significant aspect of my life and work.