Monday, November 2, 2009

Some classic black and whites and the stories behind them.

I feel like telling some stories today so I thought I would break out some older black and white images and tell the stories behind them. These were all shot on film.
Lance is a good friend of mine and its not uncommon to get invited on road trips with him when he has a gig out of town and even though the camera tends to stay in the bag more and more on these trips I still throw it in cause you never know when a shot like this will present itself. We were on our way to Duluth, MN for a show Lance was doing and kind of running a little behind when we crested a hill to see the moonrise just below the thick bank of clouds. First chance we got to pull over we did, I had an old Nikon FE2 (manual) with a 50mm lens loaded with a roll of Kodak C-41 process black and white film. I snapped about 4 images and we jumped back on the road to the gig. The funny part about this is the person who booked the show told Lance the wrong time and when we showed up thinking there was about an hour before Lance had to go on we find out he was up next so we just made it.
The way this image came about was kind of interesting. I was out one night around the 4th of July watching some friends play a gig at a local bar and I saw Rachael here at the show and talking to the band between sets. She looked really familiar but I couldn't place her. A few days later I was on that bands Myspace page and saw Rachael on their friends list, when I went to check out her page one of the first things that hit me was one of my images from a few years earlier with the band and she was one of the extras. One email later I found out she lives out in Cali but was coming back to Bemidji for a wedding in a month. With all the planning that went into lining up a shoot everything kind of fell apart at the last minute and we only got to shoot for about 45mins but I was able to get one of my favorite shots. It was the first time I got the white background to go nice and white without casting major shadows. This time around I was shooting with a Nikon F100 w/ a 50mm 1.4 lens (for years I would go on shoots with a 50mm and a 20mm, sometimes I would only take one of them) The lighting on this if I remember right was two med soft boxes on her, one on each side then two bare bulb lights on the background, one on each side.
The last time I tried going back to school I was taking a photojournalism class and we were told about this cemetery walk that was going on that night. I just happen to have my ultra light kit with me that day so I decided to hang around and see what I got. I wasn't seeing much with the main group that wasn't being covered by the half dozen other people from the class so I started to wander the cemetery. This guy was waiting to act out his scene as a Civil War soldier that is buried there. I got a couple quick images with a Nikon FE2 and a 85mm 1.8 on Ilford HP5 (this was one of my favorite films)
This is probably my favorite image I have done over the years but thats mostly because its my Grandpa that lived next door to me my whole life and he passed away in 2008. Every single piece of wood in the shot he cut and hauled, all winter long he would go out and cut a small load of wood and haul it back to the house, he did this till he was 87. Everything was pretty strait forward, natural light coming in camera left and a silver reflector camera right. This was like the second shoot I did with my, then new Mamiya RZ67 with a 110mm (normal) lens. The film was Kodak Plus-X.
Back in the summer of 1999 and 2000 I was asked to shoot images for a local radio station at Moon Dance Jam, a big classic rock festival in nearby Walker, MN and out of the two years I shot it this is by far my best image. Taken during Eddie Money's show with a Nikon N70 and a 85mm 1.8 on Kodak Tri-X (my other favorite film)
The first time I tried going back to college I got on the school paper, even made photo editor. It was homecoming and all of my photographers were going out of town so I was stuck shooting everything. This shot was from the Johnny Holmes concert they have every year. I was inside the at the show when I saw the security people trying to roust this drunk guy up off the floor. It was too dark in there to get a shot so I made the choice to go out to the lobby hoping they brought him out that way and not out the back. Sure enough they brought him right past me and since I was shooting with a Nikon FE2 I was only able to get the one shot off before they were gone. 50mm 1.8 with Tri-X.
I met Jin online and found out that she was an artist living in Minneapolis. After a few weeks of chatting we set up a shoot as part of a road trip I was taking to see a friend in Wisconsin. On my way home I came through Minneapolis and essentially we just hung out all day while we wandered around the city. This was taken at a little coffee shop that from the outside just looked like a cool old house. Its been like 8 years since I shot this and when ever I think about how I miss the simple days of shooting film this is the one shoot that tends to come to mind most often. Nikon FE2 with a 20mm and loaded with HP5
There really isn't much of a story to go with this one, it was a spur of the moment shot from the same day as the image below. Mamiya RZ67 w/110mm and Tri-X.
This is the image we had set out to shoot, it was inspired by a painting that I had remembered seeing in an art class and as soon as I met Alina I knew she was the perfect person for the image. Natural light and same tech stuff as above.
Back in 2005 I went to the Winnipeg Folk Fest and figured as long as I was going up I would try and do some photos. I went up two days early and ended up shooting with Caitlin here and one other model but Caitlin was by far the better of the two to work with. This was done with my FE2 and a 50mm loaded with Ilford FP4+.

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