One thing I’ve learned in science is that you should never change two variables at the same time. If the result is good, you’re bound to end up running another experiment to figure out which change caused the improvement. If you’re unhappy with the result, you’re bound to run two more experiments to see if each variable alone was the right choice. Occasionally though, the outcome is exactly what you predicted with both variables changed and the gamble was worth it.
This weekend I decided to shoot some film, wear skinny jeans and listen to some bands you’ve never heard of. My normal go-to film is Kodak 160 NC, which I’ve rambled about before. This time, I tried Kodak Ektar 100 for the first time. But I changed another variable. I have a limited selection of lenses with an aperture ring: a Tamron 28-75 2.8, 50mm 1.8,a crappy macro lens and a vintage Bushnell 135mm 1.8 my stepdad gave me when I got my first Nikon. Since Emily had the 50mm and I didn’t feel like using the Tamron, I gave the old lens a try.
So, two variables. The Ektar 100 has much much finer grain than 160 NC, and the loss of only 60 ISO is totally worth it. The color edges on the magenta side, but still has a pretty appealing color tone. I plan to try out the newish 400 NC film, but I think I’ll be sticking to this Ektar stuff. As far as the Bushnell goes – it’s a tough lens to use. 135mm is quite telephoto and although very smooth, the focus ring generates a lot of resistance and can’t be focused quickly. Not really built for street photography. But I must say, in the right conditions, the lens is really fun to use. If you can focus in time, it can produce very sharp images, and since it lacks modern lens geometry and coatings, light spreads and bounces all over the place in it, going full-hipster when the scene is backlit. These photos are from my wanderings with this setup on Thanksgiving and the day after.
We recently photographed a wedding just north of the Cape at the Overbrook House – a big ol’ house nestled in the trees. It was absolutely beautiful. The rustic setting coupled with a short drive to the beach and perfect weather made this wedding absolutely wonderful.
Peaceful boats in the harbor.
When you want a festival to be huge and contain a tremendous amount of food, best leave it to the Italians. The Fisherman’s Feast, celebrated in the North End in August every year, is a notable example of a true Italian festival. Just over 100 years old, the tradition involves 1: food 2: parades 3: children shouting at each other in Italian from balconies 4: further destruction of Hanover St. traffic flow and 5: more food.
Emily and I walked from Brookline to the North End to catch the festival right about when the main events start. We arrived when cops began diverting traffic. This was quickly followed up by some brass marching bands and a carriage containing a statue of Madonna Del Soccorso (long story, read here), draped in donation money taped to ribbons. Thankfully, we caught the end of its 10-hour tour where it culminates in a very confusing discourse between two young girls on opposite balconies, dressed as angels, shouting at each other, in Italian, while smiling, and a third who is hoisted into the air with an apparently trustworthy pulley system to visit the carriage. She then soars back. Confetti happens everywhere and suddenly everyone is celebrating. Pfoo. Next time, I’ll bring someone who speaks Italian.
The 1st few photos are of our walk to the North end. Followed by festivities.
I’ve been trying to carry the mirrorless around more lately. It’s hard to get used to taking pictures at night on something other than a monster camera, but it can be done! Sony NEX-6 / 30mm f2.8 – all shot wide open except for the long exposure ones.
Ah good ol’ leading lines – an early assignment in virtually any introduction to photography course. Train tracks and guitar strings are the typical examples, but the idea is to find lines that converge on some horizon. Pretty simple. In street photography, leading lines are everywhere. Sometimes they’re your friend, sometimes they’re your enemy. In most cases I find myself struggling to avoid them. On this little trip around harbor side, though, I gave up and embraced them.
Zak is amazing… give him a guitar or a fishing boat and great things happen. Check some of his work here: https://soundcloud.com/zak-dylan-wass. He’s a Berklee College of Music grad and a wonderful friend here in Boston. His middle name sake is the one and only Bob (Dylan) – so we channelled a little 1960s Dylan in the photos towards the end :)