I swear sometimes working with 35mm film is this strange form of self punishment that I like to throw upon myself. I love film of course, but my preferred medium has always been 120. I love the bigger negative and the added depth. The materials are so much easier to handle. The cameras are so much more fun to use (TLR’s and waist level finders!!). 35mm on the other hand is just so tiny and difficult to scan well.
The trouble is I am often finding large quantities of 35mm film at rock bottom prices and I can’t help but buy it and use it because from an economic perspective it is just too damn difficult to pass up. 
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I swear sometimes working with 35mm film is this strange form of self punishment that I like to throw upon myself. I love film of course, but my preferred medium has always been 120. I love the bigger negative and the added depth. The materials are so much easier to handle. The cameras are so much more fun to use (TLR’s and waist level finders!!). 35mm on the other hand is just so tiny and difficult to scan well.

The trouble is I am often finding large quantities of 35mm film at rock bottom prices and I can’t help but buy it and use it because from an economic perspective it is just too damn difficult to pass up. 

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What is it they say about the eyes? Something horribly cliche I’m sure and it’s awfully tempting to quote it here but I won’t. 
I think I’m starting to study faces more than I used to when I work. It’s not a bad thing. It’s much easier to look someone directly in the eye when you have the safety of the camera between you. I can use that to my advantage when I want to. 
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What is it they say about the eyes? Something horribly cliche I’m sure and it’s awfully tempting to quote it here but I won’t. 

I think I’m starting to study faces more than I used to when I work. It’s not a bad thing. It’s much easier to look someone directly in the eye when you have the safety of the camera between you. I can use that to my advantage when I want to. 

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The weather was just so perfect on this particular day. Lots of warm sunshine and a breeze that animated the environment in that way a photographer can’t help but love a little bit…catching the model’s hair in just the right way, moving the blades of grass and the branches on the trees. All those subtle little things that a poet likes to describe when composing their prose. 
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The weather was just so perfect on this particular day. Lots of warm sunshine and a breeze that animated the environment in that way a photographer can’t help but love a little bit…catching the model’s hair in just the right way, moving the blades of grass and the branches on the trees. All those subtle little things that a poet likes to describe when composing their prose. 

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First I made this poor model sit on a colony of angry ants. Then I made her pick up a dead fish. I swear I’m not a jerk!
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First I made this poor model sit on a colony of angry ants. Then I made her pick up a dead fish. I swear I’m not a jerk!

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You know, I am really starting to get to a place where I’m wondering how many photographs I have left in me. I almost feel like a boxer, having been punched and gone into the ring so many times I’m left with permanent brain injury. Only in my case, it’s more like my creative circuits just feel fried and frayed. 
I’ve been doing this for a long time. Decades in fact. I’ve snapped the shutter on various cameras over what must be millions of frames by now. The closet in my apartment is overflowing with negatives, old hard drives filled with digital files, and rolls of film that have yet to even be developed. Thanks to photography I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my closest friends and have had experiences most people would feel lucky to partake in. It’s been the source of some drama in my life, and headaches, and most importantly love.
At different stages it has also meant different things. Sometimes it was my escape, my reason and excuse to get away from regular life. Sometimes it has been a source of independence, that one activity I could truly call “mine”. There were times it was about sharing an experience with someone, being a teacher or a student or even working in collaboration. It was a tool to get to know someone better. What it has never been is just simply making pictures.
At this stage in my life I don’t know what it means or what it does for me. That right there is part of my frustration. I’m feeling a little bit lost in purpose. 
In a lot of ways I’m currently on auto-pilot. Just simply taking a break from photography doesn’t seem like an option in my brain. I don’t have many other hobbies. I don’t geek out about TV shows all that much. I don’t collect anything (besides cameras). Traveling could be a hobby if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a day job that makes it difficult to get away often. 
So maybe the better question is how do I break out of this mode I am in? 
Please nobody read this post and freak out and beg me not to quit photography. I’m not going to do that. I’m just asking questions of myself is all and it can’t be denied that is a healthy thing to do from time to time. 

You know, I am really starting to get to a place where I’m wondering how many photographs I have left in me. I almost feel like a boxer, having been punched and gone into the ring so many times I’m left with permanent brain injury. Only in my case, it’s more like my creative circuits just feel fried and frayed. 

I’ve been doing this for a long time. Decades in fact. I’ve snapped the shutter on various cameras over what must be millions of frames by now. The closet in my apartment is overflowing with negatives, old hard drives filled with digital files, and rolls of film that have yet to even be developed. Thanks to photography I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of my closest friends and have had experiences most people would feel lucky to partake in. It’s been the source of some drama in my life, and headaches, and most importantly love.

At different stages it has also meant different things. Sometimes it was my escape, my reason and excuse to get away from regular life. Sometimes it has been a source of independence, that one activity I could truly call “mine”. There were times it was about sharing an experience with someone, being a teacher or a student or even working in collaboration. It was a tool to get to know someone better. What it has never been is just simply making pictures.

At this stage in my life I don’t know what it means or what it does for me. That right there is part of my frustration. I’m feeling a little bit lost in purpose. 

In a lot of ways I’m currently on auto-pilot. Just simply taking a break from photography doesn’t seem like an option in my brain. I don’t have many other hobbies. I don’t geek out about TV shows all that much. I don’t collect anything (besides cameras). Traveling could be a hobby if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a day job that makes it difficult to get away often. 

So maybe the better question is how do I break out of this mode I am in? 

Please nobody read this post and freak out and beg me not to quit photography. I’m not going to do that. I’m just asking questions of myself is all and it can’t be denied that is a healthy thing to do from time to time. 

I was most certainly not in the greatest of head spaces when I made this image but I think it turned out really lovely all the same. Thankfully the model was very patient and understanding of me on this particular day which made all the difference! 
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I was most certainly not in the greatest of head spaces when I made this image but I think it turned out really lovely all the same. Thankfully the model was very patient and understanding of me on this particular day which made all the difference! 

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This is the time of year when everything changes on a technical level. The typical gray sky of the Pacific Northwest begins to part and we get several months of solid sunshine and warm temperatures. All the 400 speed film in my camera bag goes back into the ice box and is replaced with 100 speed film and maybe even a little color mixed in for good measure. I start developing my film three degrees colder to tame down the contrast a bit in my final images.
Most importantly I have a new element at play to work with. I have no choice but to dance around with direct sunlight, keeping in mind when I make images, using it to my advantage when I can and compromising with it when I can’t. It can be a fun challenge, and an ever present anomaly to annoy me when I’m not accustomed to it.
NOTE: I am incredibly grateful for all the notes and e-mails that have been flooding in as of late. The well-wishes, compliments, and questions are all very welcome and if I haven’t replied it is simply because I am overwhelmed and have just not gotten the chance yet. Just know I appreciate them all!!

This is the time of year when everything changes on a technical level. The typical gray sky of the Pacific Northwest begins to part and we get several months of solid sunshine and warm temperatures. All the 400 speed film in my camera bag goes back into the ice box and is replaced with 100 speed film and maybe even a little color mixed in for good measure. I start developing my film three degrees colder to tame down the contrast a bit in my final images.

Most importantly I have a new element at play to work with. I have no choice but to dance around with direct sunlight, keeping in mind when I make images, using it to my advantage when I can and compromising with it when I can’t. It can be a fun challenge, and an ever present anomaly to annoy me when I’m not accustomed to it.

NOTE: I am incredibly grateful for all the notes and e-mails that have been flooding in as of late. The well-wishes, compliments, and questions are all very welcome and if I haven’t replied it is simply because I am overwhelmed and have just not gotten the chance yet. Just know I appreciate them all!!

I have to give some major props the model for this particular image.
Little did I know at the time I as was taking the shot, the poor model was sitting on a swarm of ants! She quietly sat in this pose letting me take several frames, composing carefully, holding absolutely still. The moment I said, “ok, you’re done!” she leaped off the log and exclaimed, “there were ants attacking my butt!!”
We had a good laugh and I walked forward inspecting the log…sure enough, there was an angry colony of ants not at all thrilled by the naked girl who had disturbed their little world.  
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I have to give some major props the model for this particular image.

Little did I know at the time I as was taking the shot, the poor model was sitting on a swarm of ants! She quietly sat in this pose letting me take several frames, composing carefully, holding absolutely still. The moment I said, “ok, you’re done!” she leaped off the log and exclaimed, “there were ants attacking my butt!!”

We had a good laugh and I walked forward inspecting the log…sure enough, there was an angry colony of ants not at all thrilled by the naked girl who had disturbed their little world.  

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mexclusive asked: ANdrew, Just a quick note to tell you I admire your work and that I too find solace under the red lights. In a frenetic world, the darkroom is one of the last places to have peace, that and a sailboat in the middle of the ocean.. the only other passion I have besides taking pictures of beauty. Take care and fear not, for you are not alone. Sincerely, Sean

Thank you very much for the kind words. I really appreciate it!

I think it is time to talk about some very hard truths in my life. It is entirely possible that an internet blog isn’t the right avenue for this but I don’t much care.I spend a great deal of time on this blog practicing a certain art of deception. I am an expert at it in a lot of ways, both here and to the vast majority of the people I know in real life. I make a concentrated effort to sound as if I am in a state of perpetual optimism. The future holds no limits, each and every day is new and exciting, I can gaze at the world and find fascination in things both big and small. There is absolutely nothing that can break my spirit.However, the truth of the matter is I am a person almost always gripped by fear. To a degree we all are, but for far too long I have taken it to an extreme. The only way I can describe it is imagine a constant shadow lingering in your stomach. It seduces you and sings to you. It tells you it is perfectly ok to just crawl inside yourself and embrace a certain degree of blindness. It weaves poems about how the world outside will hurt you so don’t ever leave. All you have to do is put on a brave face and you can stay there in the darkness as long as you like.Sometimes I will go for days without eating. It is far less of a body image issue and more just a result of being numb and walled off from the world. That gripping fear in my stomach doesn’t feel much different from hunger a lot of the time. I often look for battles I do not need to fight because it is far easier than throwing punches with myself and admitting my ego is so battered it isn’t even possible to be loved. I find it easier to hide the truth and avoid hard conversations with anyone who cares about me because I don’t want them to see this seething ball of insecurity I have hidden away. I smack head first into walls constantly because I am so busy looking inward and holding myself together instead of paying attention to what is around me.The real me is buried so deep I don’t even know what I should be looking for half the time. I might as well be trying to turn night into day. I can scream at the stars and the moon all I want but the sun isn’t going to rise any faster. 
This is who I am, and it is about time I stop running from it. Or rather in my case, stop hiding it. I’ve never run from it. I buried it under layers and layers of dirt and sand. The reason I am able to talk about this now is because I believe I have finally hit rock bottom. It isn’t a fun position to be in. It’s terrifying knowing that in a lot of ways you can’t sink any lower. At the same time, it is a necessary place to be. I’ve made all the mistakes I am going to make and I can’t possibly make any more. It’s also the only place in which I can finally accept help, both from within myself, from professionals, and from the many hands that have been held out to me over the years.The very bottom is where you stop holding on for dear life and instead actually begin the climb out of the hole you’ve found yourself in.

I think it is time to talk about some very hard truths in my life. It is entirely possible that an internet blog isn’t the right avenue for this but I don’t much care.

I spend a great deal of time on this blog practicing a certain art of deception. I am an expert at it in a lot of ways, both here and to the vast majority of the people I know in real life. I make a concentrated effort to sound as if I am in a state of perpetual optimism. The future holds no limits, each and every day is new and exciting, I can gaze at the world and find fascination in things both big and small. There is absolutely nothing that can break my spirit.

However, the truth of the matter is I am a person almost always gripped by fear. To a degree we all are, but for far too long I have taken it to an extreme. The only way I can describe it is imagine a constant shadow lingering in your stomach. It seduces you and sings to you. It tells you it is perfectly ok to just crawl inside yourself and embrace a certain degree of blindness. It weaves poems about how the world outside will hurt you so don’t ever leave. All you have to do is put on a brave face and you can stay there in the darkness as long as you like.

Sometimes I will go for days without eating. It is far less of a body image issue and more just a result of being numb and walled off from the world. That gripping fear in my stomach doesn’t feel much different from hunger a lot of the time. I often look for battles I do not need to fight because it is far easier than throwing punches with myself and admitting my ego is so battered it isn’t even possible to be loved. I find it easier to hide the truth and avoid hard conversations with anyone who cares about me because I don’t want them to see this seething ball of insecurity I have hidden away. I smack head first into walls constantly because I am so busy looking inward and holding myself together instead of paying attention to what is around me.

The real me is buried so deep I don’t even know what I should be looking for half the time. I might as well be trying to turn night into day. I can scream at the stars and the moon all I want but the sun isn’t going to rise any faster. 

This is who I am, and it is about time I stop running from it. Or rather in my case, stop hiding it. I’ve never run from it. I buried it under layers and layers of dirt and sand. 

The reason I am able to talk about this now is because I believe I have finally hit rock bottom. It isn’t a fun position to be in. It’s terrifying knowing that in a lot of ways you can’t sink any lower. At the same time, it is a necessary place to be. I’ve made all the mistakes I am going to make and I can’t possibly make any more. It’s also the only place in which I can finally accept help, both from within myself, from professionals, and from the many hands that have been held out to me over the years.

The very bottom is where you stop holding on for dear life and instead actually begin the climb out of the hole you’ve found yourself in.

I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately. Mostly because working out is the only activity I can think of that allows me to get a decent night’s sleep later. It’s either that or get used to taking drugs.
What is interesting is the way my body had been changing. I’ve always been a very scrawny guy and I always will be no matter how many weights I lift. However, being so skinny, new muscles (little ones, but still new) tend to show up very quickly. My shoulders and upper arms in particular. For the past couple of days I’ve been looking in the mirror and thinking, “how did that get there!!”
I spend a lot of time looking at other people’s bodies and so very rarely focus on my own. In a small and tiny way that is changing right now.
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I’ve been going to the gym a lot lately. Mostly because working out is the only activity I can think of that allows me to get a decent night’s sleep later. It’s either that or get used to taking drugs.

What is interesting is the way my body had been changing. I’ve always been a very scrawny guy and I always will be no matter how many weights I lift. However, being so skinny, new muscles (little ones, but still new) tend to show up very quickly. My shoulders and upper arms in particular. For the past couple of days I’ve been looking in the mirror and thinking, “how did that get there!!”

I spend a lot of time looking at other people’s bodies and so very rarely focus on my own. In a small and tiny way that is changing right now.

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Greetings everyone from lovely Vancouver!

I’m having a nice time just checking out the city, being social, and at the same time being rather solitary. It feels really good being in a new environment even if it does feel a little familiar.