365 - January

Let's just get the elephant in the room out there first..... 

I know it's a leap year. I know there are 366 days this year and I know the title of this blog is 365. It doesn't matter. I see 365 as a kind of a brand name, a representation of something or somethings I'm trying to achieve this year and I see this project as a foundation for those things. I've mentioned them in my daily post often enough but here they are again.

 

- Finish Twelve: We've had two setbacks so far, which I'll talk about more in details on the twelve site soon. We've faced adversity before and we've moved on. We intend to do it again, once the weather gives us a break.

- Improve Developing Skills: That for me only comes with shooting and experimenting. So that's what I've been doing so far...and lots of it.

- Portraits: I like many other people I talk to have a fear of shooting people. I've no idea why..I'm pretty sociable, but when it comes to being sociable and then taking a photo, I seem to freeze up. I intend to fix that this year and I've made some progress in January and I've got another shoot lined up in February.

- Print More: Off to a good start with that too. Simple things like asking for proof prints from the lab add to the experience of receiving the scans back. I've also just secured an enlarger so hopefully in the next month or so, I'll give that a go too.

- Read More: I got some decent books over Christmas and it's given me some direction and inspiration for the year. When that drops, which it can do, I pick them up again...and it helps.

- Continue to Enjoy Photography: Possibly the most important part. I rarely take myself seriously and I have a similar approach to photography. If I stop enjoying it, it will be painful....and that can't happen...ever.

 

So with that, I give you January.  A month of Sound and Vision.

And the images from the video...



Ilford Pan F Plus 50

"Pan F is slow"...............

"Pan F is a challenging film to work with"................

"Pan F was designed for and is meant to be used in the studio"..............

 

 

I've only ever shot one roll of Pan F.................I intend to shoot more.

 

All 12 shots were taken on the Hasselblad.


The Bucket list - Grand Canyon

So my bucket list...where to start...? Well, OK, I don't have one. Who does? (please don't reply that you all have...!) I do love to travel though and part of my job involves travel, so in that respect I'm lucky, but I don't necessarily get to choose where and when I travel.  Back in May however, I embarked on a very special trip, a trip that had been planned for a few years, a trip that would help myself, along with my two closest friends celebrate surviving the first forty years of our lives.....a trip to where else.... Las Vegas!

Honestly, most of the trip was spent where we expected....in the casinos or poker tournaments along either the strip or downtown Vegas, which was as expected...superb...

One day was different however.  

The day started out like any other.....woke up after not enough sleep, got ready, headed out for breakfast and ended up in a poker tournament by 11am. What was different though, was that I had booked myself onto a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, and with that in mind, I 'purposely' played badly so I wouldn't risk missing my pick up....truth! So after finishing 'appropriately' placed in the competition, I headed back to the hotel to get ready for my pick up...16:30. I'd booked the 'sunset' tour.

Pick up was on time, I was first on the bus and we headed down the strip to four or five other hotels to pick up more people. After a 45 minute journey to the helicopter field, I was feeling a little 'delicate'...the weather and clouds were also closing in and by the time I checked in they advised that flights had been cancelled and there was a chance that mine could be also, or that the pilot may turn back and that we may not land in the base of the Grand Canyon....not good..certainly no sunset..!

I was given the option to cancel and reschedule but given that I was only there another two days, I decided to go with it, which I'm really pleased I did. Also, a friend who had been previously had suggested that I should try to get the front seat if possible...let me be clear to anyone else who is considering this...YOU SHOULD!!!! 

So, what follows are the results of that helicopter ride....but perhaps just a final few points which I was pleased about.

1) The entire trip was shot on film...Ektar to be precise, which I love more and more every time I use it. 

2) Cleary from the shots below, you'll see that the weather broke, in a good way...still no sunset, but plenty of sun.

3) Helicopter rides are bumpy (at least this one was) but I'm still happy with the clarity of the results... if you plan to do this, choose an appropriate shutter speed...!

 

Maybe one final point...if you have a bucket list, and this isn't on it...put it on...now!

Seven Days

 

So, next week I go to Las Vegas for the trip of a Lifetime, with my two closest friends, a bag full of film and a couple of cameras....well, three to be precise. 

The thing is though, I hope to come back with four.

I've always fancied trying to get hold of a beat up Leica ever since reading this post by Ray Larose. The work carried out by Youxin Ye looks staggering to say the least and I wanted to give it a whirl myself......and today, I found the one. I beat up old Leica M3 currently residing in Toronto.

Now for the plan......the camera will be shipped tomorrow to Youxin with the hope it will reach him by weekend. I've spoke to Youxin and depending on the condition, he will try to turn it round in a couple of days and then ship it to the hotel I'm staying in Las Vegas, where I'll be for four nights, from 13th, although I'd like to run some rolls through it for a couple of days before leaving, so really we have seven days.....

This is going to be a challenge...will they be able to pull it off? So many interdependencies, but that's the fun part right?

Fingers crossed.

Big thanks to Ray for all your advice today.