The photographic blog of Sean Wood (aka motionid)

Another great quote

"A successful artist is a person who is able to create something that manifests their truth...a perception that they feel they need to bring to the world. A successful creative person is someone who continues to create no matter what happens. I respect many artists. They are not all extremely successful in the art market, or in the art status structure. Some are, and some aren't. Some of the ones I respect have been overlooked. But I still consider them to be successful, because they have succeeded to give the world their vision, even though the world does not always acknowledge their worth...In other words, I define a successful career as much more than just external validation." -- Jan Harrison

Stolen from again!

Possibly the end

Well, that was fun.Lots of work. Not a great deal of reward. A lot learned. A few friends made. LOTS of time wasted. Photography, I need a rest. Thanks for all the kind words over the several years. Time to get on with my life. Bye.

Flickr response

flower closeup with the contax 645

It's interesting to see how people respond to different photo's. More often than not (80% of the time?) I find people liking shots I've taken that I think are ok but nothing out of this world. This particular shot appeals to me for a number of reasons and was ignored on flickr :-)The tones in the shot are hard to achieve in B+W film unless the exposure and circumstances are spot on. The picture was taken using the Contax 645 with the Zeiss Planar 80mm f/2 lens with a special adapter which makes the background just vanish into a smooth blur. I like this photo a great deal and it was interesting to see who fav'd it. Expect more in this series and follow up with a bit of colour too.

Out with the new and in with the old or out with it all?

So I started shooting medium format film for a few different reasons. I like the "look" of film. I like the mood it gives you. I like it's unpredictability. I like that it's not easy to get right. I like that it can give pictures a timelessness. I like that medium format photography is a slow process. It's manual focus. It's slow lenses and manual winders (most of the time). You can make big prints. And when you manage to get all of the details correct you can make a great picture (or so I've been told).Another reason I changed formats and mediums is because I realized that my old digital photos were easy to copy. And when I realized this I understood that what I thought were great pictures were not. Anyone could take them. So I thought I should try harder and set myself a challenge to try to shoot the same subject matter with a different camera. Give myself a challenge to see what I could achieve. And so after countless rolls of film and a huge amount of time trying I finally realized that I suck at medium format photography. A friend of mine took a look at my pictures recently and told me not to give up on the old stuff I'd done. I think I'm slowly starting to see his point. And what's interesting about this is that what he's saying not only is that my old stuff was better but, given it was so easy for anyone to replicate even the old stuff was not much good. I think I may need to revisit the whole idea of taking pictures.

and the point is?

I watched a video the other day about a man who came up with his own set of rules to live by. One of them was "always try to do your best" and another was "don't try to be better than anyone else". I like these. I think they would not be bad to adopt. And so, when I apply this to photography it appears that I've been encountering a few issues.One is, I genuinely believe my immediate friends take better pictures than me. So, this should be a good thing. I'm in the company of people with great skill and eye's that can see what I'll never be able to. This also inspires me to try to take "good" pictures. Unfortunately, out of the insane number of photo's I've taken within the last two and a half years I'd say that I'm happy with maybe 2 or 3 of them. I've poured a lot of time and energy and money into this and what is interesting is that, in the process I've managed to make more good friends than good pictures (I don't quite know why given the quality of my shots). Now I'm sure a few of my friends would argue that I've managed to make more than a handful of great shots and that would be nice of them to say but I don't think I have. And if the reason for doing this for me is, just that, to make me happy and for me to make pictures that I am happy with then is there a point in continuing when I have clearly failed? Have I really tried my best or could I do more? And what is ones best anyway? Where do we draw the line? What and how much do I need to sacrifice in order to really, genuinely do my best (the job, the wife, the friends?) Photography can be a bit on the evil side. You can try all you like and not make a good picture. But because of the nature of photography we're lulled into this idea that "maybe the next shot" will be the one. And so you continue in the hope that the next one will be better or be good. At what point do you stop and admit defeat?

What's also interesting about photography for me is the idea that pictures that are unique to an individuals perspective. This and the idea that no one moment in time is ever the same makes every picture (almost) unique. This is suppose to be one of the main attractors of photography. But what if no one finds your viewpoint interesting? What if, as you look around you discover many people have a more interesting view of the world than you do? Is there a point to continue when everyone passes you by, uninterested in your view of the world?

47 minutes

Jim O’Connell. The man seems to have a knowledge on photography that knows no bounds.I've been trying different developers for a while and have found the process a huge time sink. Half of me enjoys it and the other half just can't stand sitting around Agitating every minute. So, over a flickr on the Magnum group (no, the other one) where we seem to have all kinds of crazy discussions, the question came up about Rodinal by Jon about how long to develop for. Jim answers "For that, mix 1/100 with tap water, mix well, pour it in, shake it like a martini for 5-10 seconds and then let it sit for an hour before fixing and washing." but I remember hearing from either him or second hand that 1 hour didn't cut it when he changed to a new batch of chemical so he dropped the time to 47 minutes. So I tried it on 2 rolls of TMax 400 @400 and they "look" like they came out fine. Also tried it on 2 rolls of TMax 400 @800 and THEY look like they are ok too. The real test was to see if I could do a roll of TMax 100 and Tmax 400 at the same time. Result! I can't confirm this 100% until they dry and I've done a few scans but it's looking promising. I think the moral of the story is, if you have a question about B+W film dev just ask Jim. Stay tuned for results.