Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Alabama Hills

Mount Whitney and The Alabama Hills at sunrise.
35mm image on Ilford Delta Film

I recently spent two days in the Alabama Hills located by the town of Lone Pine in the Eastern Sierras. It was my first visit there, but it definitely won't be my last. Sometimes there are just no words to describe such a place so beautiful as these hills. Honestly, I could go back right now. 

There are incredible massive rock formations that make you feel like the size of an ant in every direction. Elevation is about 5400 ft with Mount Whitney towering in the backdrop at 14,500 ft.
I took pictures from sunrise to sunset those two days. It's really easy to lose track of time when out in such beauty. It was incredibly quiet there. And so many stars at night.

I'm only posting this one image in this post. I think it best embodies the incredible layers of rocks from the valley to Mount Whitney. You can view the other images from this trip at the "new work gallery". All were taken with my trusty 35mm camera on Ilford Delta film.

Hope you all are able to get out and spend sometime in nature with your families during the holiday season.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, January 9, 2017

New Gallery-Jellyfish Black and White Film Collection

Egg Yolk Jellyfish No.3
 on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

I am dedicating this body of work to my mentor and friend Nick Carver. Nick has taught me so much about photography, the most important being that photography is art. His work is a constant source of inspiration for me. Nick is an incredible photographer who creates beautiful art. His work is different from most and that is what makes it genius and inspires me to try to create my own unique work.  

The Story-
I have spent the last year creating these 100 images for this gallery. One whole year, one hundred images. Why jellyfish on black and white film you may ask. Let me give you some background into that question. I got ill in 2015 and for a period of time I could not pick up my camera due to pain and weakness. Before I go any further I would like to say that I'm not writing this to have anyone feel sorry for me. And therefore I'm not going to go into any detail about the illnesses that I struggle with.
During the time I couldn't take ANY photographs it wasn't the pain of the illness that was the worst part for me, it was the pain of not being able to create images. It was the pain of having my passion, what I love doing the most being taken from me. I didn't know who I was anymore. I was being defined by my disease and it was starting to consume my soul. You lose control of your life when you have a chronic disease. It is run by doctors, medications, tests and pain. I decided to take some control back the only way I knew how. Since I couldn't physically go out and take photographs I took them in my mind. A sort of previsualization if you will. I eventually came up with the idea of photographing jellyfish using black and white film. I saw them in my head for many weeks and those weeks ended up turning into months.

When I was able I went to the Long Beach Aquarium to take a few photographs of the jellyfish, a trial run. I took with me my 35mm camera and Ilford Delta 400 film and soon realized that it was much darker than I had thought at the aquarium and that ISO 400 wasn't going to work so on my second trip I used Ilford Delta 3200 film which worked beautifully. I love the grain and the contrast of the 3200. Over the last year I have made 9 trips to the Long Beach Aquarium. Each trip was about three hours. It was a slow process due to weakness and pain from my illnesses. I made one trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I couldn't photograph all of the jellyfish at the aquariums as there were too many reflections on some of the tanks, so I focused on the ones I could photograph.  

My Vision-
It was a simple vision really. I wanted the photographs to somewhat resemble drawings. I thought that the mix of the 3200 ISO with it's beautiful grain and using only black and white film would achieve my vision. And it did. I couldn't be happier with the results. Some images are grainier than others due to lower light situations but that makes them even better in my opinion. 

I didn't intend for this to be a year long project, it just kind of happened. I just kept creating more and more images never quite feeling ready to share them. It has been my therapy to help me through this rough time in my life.  I feel that the collection is now complete having reached 100 images and I am ready to share them, although I will certainly add more to the collection over time. 

Egg Yolk Jellyfish No.6
on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

Moon Jellyfish No. 8
on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

Purple Striped Jellyfish No. 23
on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

Jellyfish Facts-
-Have been on Earth for 600 million years, even before dinosaurs.
-Not actually fish, they are plankton.
-They have no heart or brain. They have nerve nets that sense  changes in the environment and  coordinate the animal's responses.
-2,000 different types.
-Range in size from larger than a human to the size of a pinhead.
-95% of body is water. If they are removed from the water they will  collapse and die.
-They breathe through their thin skin.
-A group is called a bloom, swarm or smack and a large group can  contain 100,000 jellyfish.
-Carnivorous feeding on plankton, crustaceans, fisheggs, small fish  and other jellyfish.
-Reproduce both sexually and asexually.
-Typically live less than a year.
-Jellyfish can clone themselves. If injured the damaged cells can  regenerate as full grown jellyfish.
-Box jellyfish are the most deadly and venomous sea creature in  the ocean. They can kill a person by stopping his or her heart in  two minutes.
-Some are miraculous-"Turritopsis dohrnii" are called the immortal  jellyfish. When stressed this animal can actually grow younger. It  is capable of moving backwards through its life cycle, returning  to  a less mature physical state. Much like Benjamin Button, haha.
-Many scientists believe that environmental stress- including  climate change, pollution, over harvesting of fish and dams have  led to the proliferation of jellyfish.

Spotted Jellyfish No.1
on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

Moon Jellyfish No. 2
on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

Purple Striped Jellyfish No. 9
on 3200 Ilford Delta Film

In Closing-
If I had to choose one word to describe jellyfish it would be mesmerizing. I could (let me change that to "I have") watched them for hours. Simply beautiful creatures.
I hope you take some time and look at each image individually.