Another Sally Mann "Hold Still" Quote

"There is nothing better than the thrill of holding a great negative, wet with fixture, up to the light. And here's the important thing; it doesn't even have to be a great negative. You get the same thrill with any negative; with art, as someone once said, most of what you have to do is show up. The hardest part is setting the camera on the tripod, or making the decision to bring the camera out of the car, or just raising that camera to your face, believing, by those actions, that whatever you find before you, whatever you find there, is going to be good."

Sally Mann "Hold Still"

Over the last week I've been slowly reading Sally Mann's autobiography "Hold Still." It feels right to savor it, waiting for those moments where I can really immerse myself, rather than rush through. Several quotes and passages about making photographs (particularly the unique experience of shooting large format) have stood out.

"You wait for your eye to to sort of "turn on," for the elements to fall into place and that ineffable rush to occur, a feeling of exultation when you look through that ground glass, counting ever so slowly, clenching teeth and whispering to Jessie holdstillholdstillholdstill and just knowing that it will be good, that it is true."

"Many pictures came to me in that lucky rush of exultation, the ones for which I had time to shoot only one, one sheet of film, those where I sank to my knees after shakily replacing the dark slide, eyes shut tight in thanksgiving and fear, fear that I'd screw it up in the developer, fear that the fraction of a second I saw was not the one on film..."

I'll post a few more quotes as I continue reading.

 

 

San Francisco with the Olympus OM-1 and Kodak Film

On our recent trip to Napa, I decided to take the OM-1 and a handful of Kodak color film (a few Portra 160 rolls, an Ektar roll, and a Kodak Gold 400 roll). Scanning 35mm film is not something I typically enjoy, so when I made the decision to shoot 35mm on the trip, I also decided to send my film to Richard Photo Lab for developing AND scanning.

I’ve admired the work of a few friends who use Richard Photo Lab exclusively, but I have always struggled with the idea of sending my film across the country for developing - especially when we have so many great local labs. Pictures from a California trip, however, seemed to be a good match for the airy, muted color aesthetic that Richard delivers. I suspect my usual New York cityscapes wouldn’t be a good fit for the Richard look, but San Francisco and Napa turned out to be perfect.

Kate, Chloe (of course the dog made the trip), and I spent a day and a half in San Francisco before meeting her family at a rental house in St. Helena.

Chloe's Favorite Spot When We Travel, Kodak Portra 160

Chloe's Favorite Spot When We Travel, Kodak Portra 160

We stayed in the Fillmore District and immediately had to take a walk down to the Embarcadero.

Always love this view of San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Always love this view of San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Palm Trees, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Palm Trees, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Awesome Tree, Kodak Portra 160

Awesome Tree, Kodak Portra 160

Walking through Fort Tyron, Kodak Portra 160

Walking through Fort Tyron, Kodak Portra 160

Curved Piers, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Curved Piers, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Plants in the Harbor, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Plants in the Harbor, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Crossing Lombard, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

Crossing Lombard, San Francisco, Kodak Portra 160

On the second day, we went to the Mission District where I popped into Clarian Alley for some street art. I was just finishing up a roll of Portra, so I was able to switch to Kodak Ektar for these shots. And the folks at Richard Photo certainly delivered good scans of street art.

Vaughn Bode Mural Tribute to Moebius, Clarian Alley, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Vaughn Bode Mural Tribute to Moebius, Clarian Alley, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Clarian Alley, Mission District, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Clarian Alley, Mission District, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Clarian Alley, Mission District, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Clarian Alley, Mission District, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Guitar Player and Friend, Clarian Alley, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

Guitar Player and Friend, Clarian Alley, San Francisco, Kodak Ektar 100

A note about Richard Photo Lab: their scans are fantastic; they needed absolutely no retouching. Being able to forgo scanning and every bit of tedious touch-up work in Lightroom made the splurge of having my negatives scanned worth it.

October, St. Michaels, Maryland with Sony a7

St. Michaels, Maryland is easily one of my favorite places. Kate and I are lucky enough to visit her parents there several times a year. We were in St. Michaels for a 48 hour visit this past weekend. On Sunday afternoon, I had a free half hour before lunch so I zipped into town to take some photos. 

Always love this little sign. The fall colors behind it make a nice backdrop and this old Minolta lens from the 1960s has good character. Click on the Snuggery photo for a larger version on Flickr. 

Snuggery, St. Michaels, Maryland - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Snuggery, St. Michaels, Maryland - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Jack Russell Races Sign on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Jack Russell Races Sign on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

We FINALLY made it to the Jack Russell Terrier Races at the Inn at Perry Cabin. Every year before this one it seems like we were never in town during this annual event. It was hilarious. 

I couldn't resist the Halloween decorations on Talbot Street. 

Skeleton on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, Maryland - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Skeleton on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, Maryland - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Witch on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Witch on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Ghoul on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Ghoul on Talbot Street, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Harbor Boat Dock, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

Harbor Boat Dock, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PF Rokker 135mm f2.8 Manual Focus Lens

On Saturday we had a perfect day for a boat ride and picnic anchored at Wye Island.

Sailboat shot from our Speeding Boston Whaler, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PC Rokker 58mm f1.4 Manual Focus Lens

Sailboat shot from our Speeding Boston Whaler, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PC Rokker 58mm f1.4 Manual Focus Lens

Leaning Sailboat shot from our Speeding Boston Whaler, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PC Rokker 58mm f1.4 Manual Focus Lens

Leaning Sailboat shot from our Speeding Boston Whaler, St. Michaels, MD - Sony a7 and Minolta PC Rokker 58mm f1.4 Manual Focus Lens