I have always loved the huge magnitude of geometric lines and angles going on in this image.
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I have always loved the huge magnitude of geometric lines and angles going on in this image.

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I’ve always considered myself a really independent person. Never have I been one to ask for help, or rely on my friends for anything. However, with a lot of life changes suddenly in front of me I’ve come to realize that I have a network of people who have been there for me whether I knew it or not. For that I am grateful. 

Coming to this conclusion I’ve become really interested in just taking portraits of people. Mostly people who have been kind enough to donate their time and jump in front of my camera over the years for no other reason than friendship.

It’s fitting that I’ve started this project with Holly. She’s been posing for me for nearly a decade now. I first met her in Berkley at an art show where she had a painting on display. To this day I have that very painting hanging in my home after she graciously donated it to me to commemorate our friendship.

Holly was willing to pose for me when I was dirt poor and could barely afford dinner, let alone a few rolls of film. Over the years she’s been available for a beer and a smoke under the summer stars or a random adventure out in the woods, where we have promptly gotten lost more than once. We often joke that I will still be taking her picture when we are both old and gray and it cannot be denied she has the most amazing hair of anyone I have ever met.

I’m going to be taking these kinds of pictures more often. I need to fill my life with images that aren’t just of people making perfect poses and looking pretty. I need something a little more real.

I am still feeling absolutely obsessed with water drops on plants. Or rather, water drops on anything really, but in this case on plants. I think it must be the weather. We are having a lot of rainy days around here pierced with rays of bright sunshine and then back to rain. It’s kind of awesome for lazy Sunday mornings. 

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!