Showing posts with label street photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label street photography. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Greetings from the Zombie Blog (and a Parker 51 Fountain Pen)

Oooo... a Parker 51 set found for $18 at an antique mall. And it works!

Just remember, it isn't pen prn if it is out of focus.

Yeah, it is a little frou-frou, but who cares? It screams 1950 and would look at home in a Cadillac glove box.
 

Sorry I have been MIA, but Vintage Tech Obsessions at least has a sketchy pulse :-) And if you are at all curious as to where I have been since the beginning of the year, here is a small sampling from my Google+ stream.

New Orleans: October, 2014   Fuji X-T1
NYC: September, 2014  Fuji X100
Kansas City (exurbs): September, 2014  Fuji X-T1
Chicago: May, 2014  Fuji X-T1
Kansas City: Fuji X-T1
Portland: May, 2014  Fuji X-T1
Chicago: May, 2014  Fuji X-T1
San Francisco: March, 2014  Fuji X100
Washington, DC: February, 2014  iPhone 5s
In Fight: October, 2014  Fuji X-T1 (out of camera)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Other People's Lives: Confessions of a Kodachrome Voyeur

I must confess to a morbid fascination with other people's lives as revealed by their analog representations. It is no secret that I enjoy rummaging in thrift stores and antique malls. Inevitably, I run across cassettes and sorters full of slides. Rendered in the Kodachrome and Ektachrome transparencies of old, strangers look particularly exotic and engaging.

Recently, I ran across a collection of slides offered by an ebay liquidator http://www.ebay.com/usr/shesmidas She had scanned each at fairly high resolution. The image that first caught my eye was of a mother and daughter peering into an Olivetti typewriter store window display.

Pretty amazing, huh? This is a wonderful image, even for those who are not typewriter obsessed. And I am totally, madly in love with the look of Kodachrome.

Having realized that the collection had some very solid street images from around the world, I started copying away. And then I had a very odd realization...

This was the same girl...


And the same Mom... and that must be Dad who was normally on the other side of the camera. I know that reality well as there are few photos of me floating around.





So, is it good or bad to watch a total stranger's child grow up? My favorite photographic form is the art of the wandering snap known as street photography. I am constantly capturing strangers as a window on culture. But this seems different.

Certainly, it is different in an amazing way. This family trotted around the globe when flying cost a small fortune and flight attendants treated passengers like humans. Put in Dad-the-photographer's shoes, wouldn't I want people to enjoy my artistic work after I am gone?




We've spent the last sixteen years in the fast-forward maw of parenthood and are increasingly aware of how quickly our eldest will be off to college and a life of her own. Seeing a stranger's child grow up even faster on Kodachrome is just kind of weird.




Why do I look? Well, I am in love with all things photographic. From a purely clinical perspective, these images are a clean glimpse of another time. The look and feel is something I enjoy emulating through software editing tools like DxO Filmpack. But as a parent, it is hard to be entirely technical when looking at these images.

In photographic terms, this was a pretty amazing life. Picture perfect and lived, at least partly, in exotic places worth commemorating in permanent, analog form. And to be able to practice the art of street photography...





There are always vacations sometimes the family came along for the ride...




But eventually, the child grows up and starts moving on...




 Until the boyfriend becomes part of the life of the family... 


  And the baby is all grown up. Just like that. *click* *click* *click*



Photography is the art of storytelling. This random story is fascinating and made me contemplate my own life and family. The best photos are the ones that help us relate to our world or at least slow us  down enough to think.

I am also curious by nature. Who were these people? Did they live good lives past the late 1960s? How did all of these slides, a family history writ large, end up in the hands of an ebay seller?

I had been mulling this post for a month and was finally moved to action by reading this post from a fellow Google+ photographer: http://www.enlightphoto.com/views/2013/10/14/a-photographic-life-and-then.htm  This professional took on the task of helping a family sort through many thousands of slides left behind by another pro. Unfortunately, the photographer took the encrypted passwords for digital storage to the grave. That is a mistake I'll need to avoid.

Maybe I am hopelessly voyeuristic. Either way, I'd love to read your thoughts and opinions on this post. In the last month, this blog kicked over the 60,000 hit mark with precious little attention from me. I very much appreciate people like you who stop by and actually read all the way to the end.

Please share the Blogger love. There is a handy Google +1 button on this page. You can also find me on Google+.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

An Evening on the Streets

This post is subtitled The Many Joys of Street Photography

Alleyway Buskers: Power and Light by an Old Pickup Truck

I've riffed before about my love of photography, cameras and vintage lenses. But once again, I will step upon my Blogger soapbox to proclaim my love of street photography. I shoot almost anything that moves and a few things that don't, but street is just a sublime experience.

Bright Lights and Halos
When wandering with my camera, it's like I am a raw nerve. I walk, I watch and I react. Much of the normal noise in my head just goes away as I do and be. It is the proverbial 'Zone' of hyper-focus. My wife can attest to the fact that I will often forget to eat or drink on my forays. I've gotten better about that.

Tales of a Lonely DJ
As with all things in life, some evenings are better than others. All of these images came from one extraordinarily fun and interesting First Friday art walks in the Kansas City Crossroads District. This was the last evening before the leaves turn and we contemplate the long, dark months of winter ahead. It was pleasantly hot, but the vibe was super mellow despite the huge crowds and the buskers and other street characters were out in force.

Ah, less talk, more photos.

 Music, music, music...

Old Time Music with Gallery

And here is the scene inside the gallery. The art is being observed.

 
Which ones are stuffed?


This is the scene across from the Leedy-Voulkos gallery; the current center of the Crossroads.




The Fae of the Wildwood specialize in mirth and merriment.


Really, she is the most mirthful of the bunch. I can't blame her for glaring a the camera.

Just Another Faerie



Actresses in Character
Random Factoid: The majority of these photos were taken with a Sony NEX-6 fitted with a '60s era, Thorium doped Pentax 50mm f1.4 lens. Yeah, this sucker is radioactive! With the addition of a Lens Turbo, it acts like a 54mm f1.2 lens. Very handy when there is little to no light. I enjoy the challenge of working with a manual focus lens.

The street outside the old Arts Incubator building gets turned into a massive party. Some schmuck in a car didn't quite figure that out and became stuck between a dance party and a board crew taking back the streets.




And here is the Leader of the Pack! Yes, that is a Big Wheel. Best not to ask.




On a perfect summer evening, I can even be entertained by human statue mimes. Really, they were awesome!

They were more creative than the average buskers. An excellent entertainment value!


Street photography is exhilarating and somewhat exhausting. The thrill of discovery keeps me moving, and moving and moving until the crowds start dying out and the last Lonely DJ loops some really lovely tunage. The next day, I get to remember how many hours I walked in search of the visual buzz. I hope I never actually get too old to enjoy evenings on the streets.

But enough of my musings - bring on the random slices of life... starting with machines gone wild!






And moments of total randomness...


With moments of normalcy - who doesn't love cold treats on a hot summer night?





I can never get enough of reflections. Layers are the best.

 And so the evening ends. Thanks for coming along for the ride!





 Musings on the archaic concept of Copyright: While the concept seems lost in this digital age, the content on this blog, unless stated otherwise, is Copyright Dwayne F. of Vintage Technology Obsessions. Please participate in our sharing culture. There is a handy Google +1 bar at the top of the page. My personal images and random musings also live on G+ at Me, on Google+