I graduated from the University of Southern California on Friday! I’m on my way home for two weeks before starting my job in the Bay Area. I’ve almost finished the first roll of film from my Canonet 28 and can’t wait to have that developed. More updates to come once I get to Portland!
I rode the bus over to the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of LA this morning, intending to visit LACMA and the Stanley Kubrick exhibit. Unfortunately, when I got there the museum was closed. 😦 Fortunately however, the La Brea Tar Pits and Page Museum are right next door 🙂 The tar pits themselves are a bit…underwhelming, but there is a very nice park and Mid-Wilshire is a cool area to hang out in and have lunch. I brought along my Canonet 28 and also took some photos using the Camera Plus app with my iPhone 4.
The Page Museum is sort of built into a hill and there’s a neat lattice structure on the roof which made for some interesting shadows. I also took this on HP5 film. I’m curious to compare the two photos when I get the roll developed.
These purple trees are in bloom all over LA. This city can be surprisingly beautiful at times.
The Camera Plus app is great, but it loses sharpness at even the slightest zoom. Not terrible though, especially for a phone.
Enjoying the park 🙂
And finally…I snapped this while waiting for a bus and used the built in tilt-shift effect from the app. Rather cruddy, but again, not terrible for a camera phone.
Stay tuned for my film shots!
Next Friday I will be officially graduating from USC! I can’t believe how quickly my undergraduate career went by. Every year seemed to go faster and faster, and I honestly could not be more ready to be done. I am coming back in the fall for my masters degree. However, I will be working almost full time and living well off campus.
On May 31st I am moving to Berkeley for the summer and working at a large biomedical company doing IT and emerging market analysis. I cant wait to take advantage of all the photographic opportunities the Bay Area has to offer. I’m getting more comfortable with film and will be focusing on that aspect of my work. Also, look for more changes to this website in the near future!!! Big things to come.
And because this is a photography website I will leave you with this photo of my fraternity brothers lounging around when they should be studying for finals 😉
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…And by redesigned I mean I picked a new WordPress theme. Eventually I’d like to do a little bit more, but I simply don’t want to spend $60-$100 on a ‘premium’ theme that I can customize (and full on web design is really beyond me at this point). Perhaps over the summer when I have a more steady stream of income. I like to change things up and experiment with how the website looks, but I will always have the linear style posts as opposed to tiles or something else. Let me know what you think of this particular theme! I’d really like some feedback.
Looking to the near future, I’m planning on posting a few reviews of the equipment I use. I’ll focus more on my film cameras and lenses because there is already an encyclopedia of information on my digital Nikon D40 body. I’m still shooting the first roll on my Canonet 28 so expect some preliminary thoughts on that. I also have a lot to say about my Nikon N80 film body.
Now I have a question for you…I’m considering getting into medium format film within the next few months and have been thinking about what type of camera I’d like. My price range is less than $500. I’ve been looking at a Fuji GW690ii or a Mamiya 645, two very different options. What do you think? What else would you consider? Leave a response in the comments 🙂
I’ll leave you with this…
Have a great day!
I think that photo-walks are a really good way to get to know your city. I love just walking for a few hours around an area with my camera. I did this all the time in Japan over the summer, but I haven’t had as many opportunities to do so in LA this year. The city is not the most ‘walkable’ ever, but it’s not terrible. I just haven’t had the time to get out there.
A few weeks ago I did get a chance to walk around Hollywood with my girlfriend. I’ve been to Hollywood a bunch, but I hadn’t had a chance to explore it on foot. We took the LA metro (which I think is aesthetically the worst subways system ever…more on that later) to Hollywood Blvd and Vine, and then walked up to Hollywood and Highland. Hollywood is full of interesting people and it’s definitely somewhere I’d like to do street photography. The area is also a lot more grimey than it’s portrayed by…well, Hollywood.
The sun had set completely by the time I took this second photo. I was surprised I was able to hand-hold the camera still enough that the picture came out this clear. The whole front of this tattoo shop was visually enticing but I would’ve been standing in the middle of the road to shot it. I’m still happy with the end product.
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A few days ago I received a package from Photoworks with my developed film! I started shooting this particular roll of Ektar way back in December, which just goes to show how busy I have been in my final semester of college.** I took a trip up to San Francisco with my favorite person in the world, my girlfriend Kayla, this March. The weather was amazing which made for great photo opportunities all over the city.
This particular scene caught my eye in the Presidio: the American flag with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. I took multiple pictures, but I liked this one the best, with only the two icons and a beautiful sky showing. I am very pleased with the overall effect.
**On that note, I ended up getting into three graduate programs and ultimately decided to return to USC for another two years to get my master’s degree in public policy! It was a tough decision, but I had so many good reasons to stay in southern California for the near future. This summer however, I will be living in Berkeley with my girlfriend Kayla! My job is yet to be decided but I have a few interviews that I am very excited about. More to come – including more pictures.
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As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently purchased a Canonet 28 on eBay. This is a compact rangefinder made in the 70’s. It has a sharp f/2.8 40mm prime lens, and it’s super lightweight. The only problem is that it was not designed to function manually (except for focusing of course). The Canonet 28 has a built in meter, with a light-sensitive cell on the lens (but not through-the-lens). If the meter is not functioning or you are using a flash, the camera defaults to 1/30 shutter speed.
When I bought the camera, the seller mentioned that he did not have a battery to test the meter, and there was a chance it wasn’t working. I took a gamble and scored the camera for about $22! I preemptively ordered a Wein Cell zinc-air battery that replaces the original required lead battery. When the camera arrived I installed the battery and held my breath…nothing. No movement from the shutter speed indicator. Bummed out, I called a local camera repair store to see about an estimate and set the camera aside.
A day or two later, after some further research, I discovered that zinc-air batteries need time to oxidize after opening in order to work correctly (hence the name ‘zinc-air‘. I picked up my Canonet with the battery still inside and set it to auto…presto! The meter jumped to life. I loaded a roll of Ilford HP5…
Unfortunately, the foam light-seals on the back still need to be replaced, as is true of most vintage cameras. I took a bit of an unorthodox approach to a temporary fix and sealed the back with electrical tape…
Hopefully this works until I can replace the seals. I really don’t enjoy light-leaks in my photos unless it’s the look I’m going for (it never is…) On a side note, I used the iPhone Camera Plus app to take these pictures and I think they turned out really well. The app is completely worth all the 99 cents I payed for it. Huge upgrade from the native software.
Thanks for stopping by today!