December 30, 2013

Hollywood Camera

Music | Into You by The Cinematic Orchestra

Between running errands today, I knew I'd be driving by Hollywood Camera, my most favorite camera shop in the city. Ed, the proprietor has been there for decades and knows his cameras. He only deals with analogue photography equipment and has photographic history in and all around the counters of the shop. He sells and processes film, all kinds of film cameras, darkroom equipment and items you might not find anywhere else.

I've been visiting his shop starting about a year after I moved to Portland. Since then, I stop in at least once a month to see what he has. Often, he pulls out something special to show me. I was asking him about a Rollei 35 that I had recently seen. Ed says for me to wait a second... He goes to his back room and pulls out a pristine Rollei 35S. The creme de-la creme of that model. He goes on to tell me about the superior optics of the Sonnar lens that is on that body, pulls out some prints that he had recently shot with that camera and suggests that I have not seen anything sharper or with that superior colour rendition. I agree...

As I initially walked in, 2 younger gents where in talking with Ed about a very nice looking Rolleiflex. He know immediately that even though the camera looked pristine, and was described as hardly used, he knew to be extra careful with it. His knowledge of cameras is amazingly vast and he also knew a hardly used camera might not work hardly used. He goes on and tells the kids that the lubricants of the camera, maybe over 40 years may have dried up and instead of doing its job, would create brittlenss and possibly break some internal parts. Ed's mannerism and hand gestures shows how serious he is about this matter and the kids listen with sincerity.

Later, a gorgeous young woman comes in, looking for a Polaroid Land Camera. As if he knew she was going to come, he has one waiting on the counter. We both learn she is an avid film shooter, of Polaroid, 35mm and 120 film. When she left, I say to Ed, "You get the best customers working in this shop!" He goes onto say that he loves how the younger generation has taken to film and the analogue ways.

If you are ever in town and are looking for some film gear, I highly recommend seeing Ed at Hollywood Camera. If not to buy, just to stop in and see all of the various cameras he has on display. It is quite a journey!

December 20, 2013

The Nude

Music | Red Dust by Zero 7

What is it about the nude human body that people find so disturbing . There's a big gap between a nude body and pornography. But for whatever reason there are people out there that can't make that differentiation. The other day, I knowingly posted a photograoh of a women with her breasts exposed. Yes,I know the rules of facebook, no nudity... I'm not surprised that my image got pulled, but the one thing I said I would never do is complain in facebook about it. I did post a message however, to try and start a dialogue to the person who felt it was necessary to report my image. I'd love to know why they felt so compelled to take the time to do so.

Beyond that, I later found that I was prohibited to post anything for 24 hours... A little slap on the wrist for my dirty deed. I know it makes no difference, but I decided to deactivate my account.

I guess I have a lot of frustration about not only facebook and the many, including myself who have become so dependent on it, but how the annonymity allows people to speak out without having to be responsible for what they say and mean. It is lame and cowardice.


December 09, 2013

Taking Commissions

Music | Solitaire by Uri Caine

From now to the end of the year, I'm discounting portrait sessions in Wet Plate Collodion. Select from 3 different sizes and give the gift that is unusual, one of a kind and everlasting...

Discounted pricing til the end of the year...

My sessions run about an hour to 1.5 hours. I will shoot at least 3 plates and you chose the one that you want to keep. I can shoot a range of sizes from 2.5 inch square plates, 4x5 inch and 8x10 inch plates.

Price of a session includes one framed and matted plate. Additional plates are extra... Prints of plates are also available.
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Price per session by size...

2.5 inch square plate - $85. Additional plate is $60 (Regular price is $125/$75)

4x5 inch plate - $175. Additional plate is $100 ($250 / $175)

8x10 inch plate - $400. Additional plate is $200 ($500 / $250)

If you are interested in booking a date, I will need a payment of the session in advance to hold that particular time frame. There are no refunds.

email for bookings or questions to
subject titled - Facebook Portrait Session

top lf - Anna, top rt - Will, bottom lf - Yuta, bottom rt - Amanda

December 08, 2013

That's a Rap...

Music |

Thru my transition from shooting digital to film, then to wet plate collodion, I always felt the need to to back up the shoot with my digital slr. Maybe it was the comfort level that digital gives all of us, seeing what we have shot in real time. But as I became reacquainted with the large format film and wet plates, I didn't feel the need to have that digital back up. If my intention was to create a great film shot or wet plate, having digital on stand by was a crutch that I could always beckon. How was that making me a better film or plate photographer.

I have to admit it took a good amount of time where I left the digital camera behind. It has gotten to a point now that I have to remember to bring the digital because my client wanted some colour images to go along with the monochromatic wet plates.

There is a sense of arrival being able to tell my subject that we are done with the session after just 4 exposures. I'm reminded of a story from a fellow assistant, way back in the day when he assisted a photographer who shot the Marlboro Cigarette billboards. The jobs would end up taking weeks and weeks, from location scouting, creating the scenes, gathering local cowboys and horses and all of the other elements to making sure the shoot would go according to plan and with everyone as happy and comfortable as possible. On one occasion, one of the photographic images that needed to be captured was having a dozen horses running over a hill, creating a fog of dust in the background, then into a shallow lake. The perfect locations couldn't be found, so they created a lake at the very base of the hill somewhere in Wyoming where the horses were going to run over. Thousands of sheets of plastic had to be brought in, truck loads of water hauled and poured...

Finally, the perfect moment of twilight arrived, the photographer radioed to the cowboys to get the horses to gallantly run over the hill and thru the water. As the reflections of the water started to break up upon the first set of horses creating splashes and waves, the golden light of the sun being trapped in the dust over the hill, manes of the horses dancing upon their necks, the photographer snapped one exposure and said, "Thats a rap..."

Kiley 1 of 4
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