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Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Mighty Dense and New Place to Play

San Gabriel Valley Tribune  4
dense |dens|
closely compacted in substance : dense volcanic rock | swirling, dense smoke.
• having the constituent parts crowded closely together : an estuary dense with marine life.
• figurative (of a text) hard to understand because of complexity of ideas.
• informal (of a person) stupid.
San Gabriel Valley Tribune  5
Some good news. I have been hired as a staff photographer once again. After seven months of 'furlough' (laid off) from the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, I have been re-hired back to LANG to lend my full-time photojournalistic skills to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Pasadena Star-News and the Whittier Daily News (The San Gabriel Valley News Group). After a few days of intensive self-imposed training including: studying the coverage area on the map (that area will take about a year for me to get the lay of) finding, organizing, typing in and programing the emergency frequency codes in the scanner and most importantly, learning the ropes of my new gear. After shooting Nikon gear for 20 years I was handed Canon gear. A bit of a learning curve for the level I need to shoot at right out of the gate.
This area is dense. The basic footprint of our coverage is the Los Angeles County area from Pasadena to La Verne to Diamond Bar to Cerritos. I am finding that it takes time and patients to get from A to B in constant road-rage, L.A. traffic using a lot of surface streets.

Train vs Truck
Union Pacific Rail Road workers clear the debris of a Penski rental truck after it was struck by a freight train at Nogales St. and E. Railroad St. in the City of Industry, Friday. Aug. 21, 2009. SGVN/Staff photo by Eric Reed
8-21-09-13 RAMADANMuslims gather for afternoon prayer to mark the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan at the Islamic Learning and Practicing Center in West Covina, Friday. Aug. 21, 2009. SGVN/Staff photo by Eric Reed

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Summer of Holga

Student Work:
Holga images from Kimberly Albright's "Untitled Architecture" series.

The Summer Photography 101 course at Victor Valley College proved to be quite a lot of fun and a good learning experience for all including the instructor, yours truly. The Holga is a piece of crap camera with a plastic lens and light leaks galore. With that in mind it makes truly amazing images that have that old photographic aesthetic and levels the playing field of those using it. Because it has no relevant settings it has a 'point n shoot' nature so a high degree of technical ability is not required, just your creativity and in the case of this class the learned ability to hand develop black and white 120mm or 2 1/4 film. I enjoyed the opportunity to develop my Holga images along side the students to see the difference in cameras (each one is unique) and trouble shoot the assignment. One thing is for sure, enthusiasm and a true love of photography makes a huge difference in the learning process for everyone not just regurgitating facts and numbers. Shoot on!

Holga image from Ashley Wilkins' "Working Lives" series.

VVC-101Holga-SaraAHolga image from Sara Taylor's "Lost Hearts" series.

VVC-101Holga-JohnnyAHolga image from Johnny Martinez's "Vintage Wheels" series.

VVC-101Holga-Crystal2AVVC-101Holga-CrystalAHolga images from Crystal Carroll's "Little Helga" series.

And to add one of mine. I had to take this to a new level for me and shot 35mm color film run through the Holga.