The contact sheet seems to be going the way of film and disappearing. It’s magical and a wonderful way of evaluating our work. When I was still working in the wet darkroom I always made contact sheets prior to printing any of the negatives. I could carry it around with me and look at any time I wanted. Armed with a grease pencil and loupe I would spend a lot of time going over each image carefully. Today we have the digital equivalent of the contact sheet which for many is Lightroom. I love computers and all of the software that goes with them. In fact I’m a bit of a software junky and have made a career out of writing it.
I’m always studying photography, concepts, theorys and techniques all in an effort to improve my work. It is truly a never ending journey of learning and growing. When shooting digitally we typical shoot many more frames than we did on film so our digital contact sheet is much larger and more of a challenge. Typically we don’t print it, we simply evaluate the images on screen. While this is effective I’m going to try something new. I’m going to narrow my selections down to twenty or less from a given shoot and print contact sheets, RAW images straight from the camera. I don’t place a lot credence in ratings on images, they either work or they don’t but that’s a different discussion. I’m curious to see if my evaluation process and final selections are influenced at all by this method. I’ll also have something tactile to work with which I believe brings us closer to the work. Holding something in your hands is different than looking at it on screen. I can divorce myself from the digital whirlwind for a few moments and enjoy my work in a different way.
If you follow my blog you’ll know that Zinn came over to collaborate on my Empty Room project. I always ask models to bring along a few wardrobe items. Usually very loose fitting lacy textured types of things. Zinn pulled out what I thought was a white scarf when she arrived. I set it aside mentioning that I thought we could use it. About half way through the shoot I picked up the white scarf and noticed that it was not what it appeared to be so I asked what it was. I know, dumb photographer. So we went to work with it….
I was incredibly fortunate to have an opportunity to collaborate with Zinn this past weekend. We worked on both the Empty Room and Something New projects. Zinn’s work on Something New is nothing short of extraordinary.
After the sun goes down magic can happen so whenever I’m traveling to Lone Pine, CA and the Alabama Hills I always make it a point to go out after dark. While shooting these I was looking at an image on the back of my camera and heard the sound of wings and before I knew what was happening a very large moth flew between me and the camera screen.
This was my second trip to Death Valley which was nothing short of a fantastic adventure with good friends and spectacular landscapes. The first time through the park I was totally awe struck and overwhelmed but this time I was able to absorb more, see more and gain an even stronger love for the place. The vastness and dead quiet are so strong that they simply grab you and move to a place of calm and peace that I’ve not experienced anywhere else. I found myself just standing there in appreciation of the beauty and quiet with a smile on my face. I could stand for a long time just taking it all in. I was incredibly fortunate to spend the time with two great friend and fellow photographers. I’m a novice when it comes to landscape photography so this was a learning experience for me. No doubt I’ll be returning to this very special place. Oh yeah, there is a water fall in Death Valley (Darwin Falls).
- Canon EOS 5D for sale
- Excellent condition
- 35-40k shutter clicks
- 12.8 megapixel full frame sensor
- Original packaging
- Original user manual
- EOS camera strap
- 3 batteries and a charger
- 4gb CF card
Email me if interested.
I have a room in my house that has been largely empty since my daughter moved out over a year ago. I walked by it one day and noticed beautiful natural light streaming into the room. It was only then that it occurred to me that there were photographs in that room that had not yet been discovered. There are opportunities all around us that we don’t always see immediately and in some cases never see. I work extremely hard at being aware and seeing as much as I can but it took a year for me to see this one. At the time of this post I’ve collaborated with two models, Erica Jane and VDB Nudes on the Empty Room project and have to say that I’m really enjoying it.
A number of years ago I studied with Cig Harvey and she offered this quote; “Pictures make pictures” and it stuck with me. An example of this is that a second project was born out of the Empty Room effort. This one I’ve titled it Something New.
I’ll continue work on both projects in the coming months.