And by opposing, end them? on Flickr.
untitled on Flickr.
a brand new minneapolis no. 41, downtown on Flickr.
approach on Flickr.
a brand new minneapolis no.36, uptown on Flickr.
This is Yuma. I stopped her for her portrait on a sunny afternoon in late fall. It was almost 60 degrees and in Minnesota in November, it’s reason to celebrate (it snowed 2 days later). Anyway, I asked Yuma how she got her name. She said that her dad told her he named her “Yuma” after his favorite movie, “3:10 to Yuma”! I’m guessing it was the 1957 version and not the 2007 remake…
(oh, and those two ghostly gentlemen in the background are graphics printed on the fence…bad job minding the background on my part!)
The first thing I noticed about this guy was his hair—-it’s awesome. The second thing was his unnatural calm; when I asked to take his picture, he gave me a gentle yes, posed for a few seconds, smiled, and went on his way. I found this admirable, especially since many students on campus seem so harried.
A side note: this is the first time I ventured over to the East Bank of the University of Minnesota, which primarily houses the undergraduate schools and is a lot busier than the West Bank, where I spend most of my time. This guy was an exception, but I find that many East Bankers don’t really connect with what I’m trying to accomplish with this project. For the sheer number of people milling about, there just aren’t many of what I would consider interesting subjects to be found (that is, unless you find 19 year olds wearing sweatpants and Uggs interesting). Most people are in their own bubble, chatting with their cliques, talking on the phone, or wearing the ubiquitous white ear buds. Its as if you’re asking them to do something weird—-donning a Santa suit and dancing the Macarena-weird—-when you ask to take their picture. For shooting stranger portraits, I’ve developed the following mentality: on the outside, you ask very nicely and are understanding if the potential subject says no. I mean, it’s definitely their right to do so. But depending on the attitude they give you (thinking of the, “Helllll noooo” I got a few days ago from someone), you have to imagine yourself as Richard Avedon; you’re doing them a favor by taking their portrait, not the other way around. It’s not really true for me, I’m not some great artist, but for the times when you face a rather rude rejection, it’s the kind of mindset you really need to have in order to keep asking strangers. Chances are, the next 10 people you ask will be really nice and give you a great image. A thick skin, a friendly smile, some fake attitude, and persistence are essential ingredients of a street portraitist.
a brand new minneapolis no. 34, uptown on Flickr.
After a 6 month break, I decided that it was time once again to go out and shoot some strangers! This gentleman was sitting on a bench in the Uptown part of Minneapolis late in the afternoon. The sunlight was peeking over the building in front of him and scattering about the many nearby windows. His grizzled face did the rest. I’m really happy with this re-entry into stranger street portraiture!
untitled on Flickr.
I shot this photograph, or should I say, three photographs, about a year ago. I was just getting into photography and was borrowing a friend’s DSLR. This is, oh, about two weeks into my photographic “career” and I was so, so excited and proud when I came up with this image. I remember standing atop the hill at the Witch’s Hat Tower in Minneapolis with a crowd of a few other sunset watchers. A guy sidled up to me and asked, “What kind of photography are you doing?” “HDR,” I said matter-of-factly. “Cool. I dig HDR,” my fellow onlooker offered, between puffs of smoke and over his blaring cellphone/loud music noisemaker. That interaction should’ve been an indication that I might be better served pursuing another type of photography, but it did not, at least for a few months.
Looking back on this image, with its garish colors and unrealistic atmosphere, I admit to cringing. But a part of me is also happy that I went through this phase and, more importantly, that I came away from it with a perspective of what I want to get out of photography. In fact, many of the photographs I now make are no more realistic than this particular example, but are not cringe-inducing for me. And art, being the subjective exercise it is, will hopefully be something that constantly evolves. Who knows, maybe my current film/fine art fixation will be something I look back on with disdain next year?
Stay tuned for the return of A Brand New Minneapolis street portrait project, coming soon! (I’m out shooting for it now!)
Glowing Guthrie Theater on Flickr.
Yashica Mat LM | Fuji Acros 100 | Rodinal (1:100)
I’m constantly rediscovering why I really love medium format film cameras. Not only are they quirky (looking at you Holga and Yashica), but they deliver some beautiful negatives. I’ve been going through my “archives” of the past few months and seeing if any negatives jumped out at me that I might’ve overlooked previously. This one definitely did. As the past year has gone by and my photography (including my digital darkroom skills!) has progressed, I can see more in an image than I could actually do in the past. In other words, my final product can now more closely match what I saw in the image in the first place. I’m excited to see what I can do in year 2 of this photography affliction…
The Bandshell at Lake Harriet on Flickr.
Yashica Mat LM | Ilford FP4+ | Ilfosol DD-X | Post in LR3
Why film (especially if it’s medium format) » digital HDR.
Film. The original HDR.
Stampede on Flickr.
Holga 120N | Ilford FP4+ | XTOL (1:1) | Post in Topaz Adjust
The long march home.
And by opposing, end them? on Flickr.
Mount Minneapolis on Flickr.
If you happen to be in Northeast Minneapolis this weekend and are looking for something to do, come visit me at Art-A-Whirl! I’ll be at the Waterbury Building, 1121 Jackson NE, in suite #121.