Film vs Digital. My internal battle with photography.

I honestly can’t count how many times I’ve gone back and forth with different cameras, films, and mediums of photography. I started with a Nikon then bought a bunch of film cameras early into shooting wedding photography. Started booking more editorial and commercial stuff sold everything and purchased a full-frame DSLR and some strobes. A few years later, I decided I didn’t want to pursue that life, sold off a ton of gear and bought a Leica M3 with the intent to rent other gear if I had a proper gig coming up. Fast forward to today, I just said goodbye to my Leica and probably film photography as a whole.

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The film photography world is quite strange, but also so beautiful. There are so many different stocks of film to try that all render different results in different scenarios. However, film is quite costly. One roll of my favorite color film, Portra 400, costs about $9 and to get that roll developed and scanned by a lab is another $15-20. That can get pretty pricey pretty fast. The cost was the ultimate reason why after switching to film and back to digital for the second time will most likely be my last. I’m happy to now photograph all day without having to fiddle about with reloading film in the busy streets or windy landscapes. Not to mention my wallet will be a little fatter too!

At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to tell the difference. There is a vast difference between a DSLR and a medium format film camera like a Mamiya RZ67, but when comparing 35mm cameras, the difference is almost non-existent. I would argue that if you are shooting film then getting them scanned so that you can post to Instagram and claim #shotonfilm you probably missed the point. The whole appeal of shooting on film is the process. I would encourage those wanting to get into film, to develop it themselves and wet print your favorite images. Otherwise, save yourself some money and buy a digital camera.

Mykel and Jessica - Wedding Film

Earlier this year I had the honor of being apart of Mykel and Jessica’s big day down in Redwood City, CA. Please enjoy the wedding film above. I had such a wonderful time capturing their wedding day and can’t wait to see how their story continues together.

Fixing Apple TV Remotes with Syndicate Design

I had an opportunity to fly home to Louisville, KY this past week to work on a couple photo projects with my good friends at Syndicate Design. Zach at Syndicate is deep into designing a sleek wooden case for the Apple TV remotes. Having gone through several of the tiny remotes over the years, it’s a problem worth fixing! Here are some images of Zach hard at work and some product photos for use on their website.

Shot on Film - May 2019

May was a busy month. We had family visiting and took a spontaneous trip to Yosemite (the best national park in all of America). I continued to photograph around on the streets as I very slowly hone in a style I like.

June so far has been too busy of a month to get out and shoot. I hope to do some more shooting on the back end of this month, but we will see.

These were all shot on a Leica M3 with a Voigtlander 40mm with Ilford HP5 and Portra 400. It was developed and scanned by the masters at State Film Lab.

Starting in Street Photography

Several months ago, I began to rethink my photography and what I was pursuing as an art form. My passion for photography is storytelling and capturing the beauty in the everyday. After exploring several avenues of photography, I think I am being drawn more and more to photographing in the street.

I would not call myself a street photographer by any means. I merely am trying to document life around me. Now being based in a big city, there is a vibrant street life with something going on at every hour of the day. I started by taking the early bus over to SF and shoot in the early hours of the morning before the work rush.

The first few weeks were building confidence to photograph strangers in the street. Thankfully I’ve had no confrontation yet, lots of confused looks, but no verbal or physical attacks, yet! I know it will come if I continue down this path, but it’s something I’m mentally prepared to tackle. I’m mostly shooting with my Leica and when in tighter spaces like BART I’m shooting on my iPhone.

Shot on iPhone

Shot on iPhone

Shot on iPhone

Shot on iPhone

For now, I’m sticking mostly with black and white film but am trying to think through how I want to tell stories best and right now black and white films makes the most sense. I feel like color may be too distracting; however, I love a good challenge.

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Marie Brennan - Creative Space

Last month I had the honor of photographing painter and tattoo artist Marie Brennan in her beautiful Oakland studio. Marie’s fine art and tattoo work are breathtaking and gorgeous. We did a couple portraits and some shots of her working on a new piece. She is inspired by nature and the beauty of this earth.

See her work here: http://www.mariebrennanart.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariebrennanart/

Shot on Film - April 2019

I’ve started carrying my Leica M3 around with me everywhere, documenting my personal life and life in Oakland. I think I will continue to create some work around Lake Merritt that will be apart of a much larger body of work that will hopefully tell the story of the ever-changing Oakland, CA. Please Enjoy!

Making a HUGE move across the country

Emily and I are now settling down here in Oakland, CA. After a week of travel, we are relieved to be adjusting to our new home. The drive out here was so beautiful. The first major stop was the Badlands in South Dakota. What a place. It was basically a desert when we got there. During the summers the park gets up to around 95–105 degrees and in the winter can get as low as 15–10 degrees. We watched the sunset over the crazy rock formations and then spent the night at our insect infested campground. 

The next morning we drove another 10 hours to the border of Wyoming and Idaho to another little park called the Grand Tetons/Yellowstone. Without a doubt, these are some of the most beautiful parts of our country I have ever seen, rolling hills all the way up to a quaint valley where the city of Jackson is located dominated by views of the Grand Tetons. A few minutes north and you’ll be at the southern gates of Yellowstone National Park. 

We were not able to do a whole lot that week besides a few national parks. We had to be in Oakland in time for Emily’s first day of work. The highlight was definitely The Grand Tetons. There was so much to do, one would have to spend an entire week there exploring. We decided to go horseback riding on a hike through the hills and around a section of Jackson Lake. The views were just to die for. We started the trail down a winding valley, slowly making our way uphill to the grand view of the Teton Valley below.

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We spent the next day with Emily’s Aunt in Idaho and then made our way to Reno for the night. We could have driven all the way to the bay but decided to take it easy and layout by the pool instead. Driving into California was so surreal. It still doesn’t feel real yet to say that we live here. 

We are still settling down, looking for an apartment. I’m job hunting and re-establishing my freelancing here in the Bay Area. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time of transition.

Kentucky Craftsman - Ben Aroh

Known for his wooden state key holders, Ben Aroh's love for his craft is shown through his meticulous skill and design. Check out his website here: The Wooden States. I love doing personal shoots like this as there is no stress to get a certain image just room for creativity and experimenting. We photographed in the warm cozy woodshop owned by Ben's uncle in Louisville, KY. Most of these images were shot with a mix of natural light and gelled (CTO) strobe light.

We did a small handful of portraits and several images of him working his craft.

Gear nerds:

Realm Church Logo Design and Re-Brand

Realm Church is a new church officially launching fall of 2019. On top of networking, community outreach, and adjusting to a new life in Oakland, CA they had no time to come up an identity or brand for their new church plant. I saw them struggle through a couple different logomark designs so I reached out to see how I could help.

Their message and vision for the church are to be a place where God can permeate all “realm’s” of life. They also talked about how they want to be seen as a loving and comforting church in the community. I knew that I wanted to start with a simple and abstract design that would reflect their mission in the Bay Area. This is where the circles in the mark come in. The representation of “realms” by circles was a natural one that I felt goes well with the overall aesthetic.

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The mark is paired with their name in Futura to match the nature of the geometric mark. I started with just sketches of their name and played with how I could incorporate realms as spheres into the design.

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For reference here is the original logo next to the new re-design.

Old Logo

Old Logo

New Logo

New Logo