Zeiss-Ikon Ikonta

I

I'd like to introduce you to the newest addition to my growing collection of cameras, Zeiss-Ikon Ikonta 521/16 (clearly her Christian name). As I mentioned in my previous post, I purchased two new cameras while strolling through Brick Lane Market on London's east end. One of these cameras was a ninety year old Zeiss-Ikon camera. It's an old German camera with an accordion style lens that folds back into itself and has held up quite well over all these years. The day after purchasing it, I came across a Calumet Photo in Soho that was selling the 120 film needed for my newest acquisition, so I grabbed a box and waited in anticipation until the following day to begin shooting with it. It's strange how something as seemingly minor as looking through a square viewfinder as opposed to a standard rectangle can change your entire perspective. I've become so accustom to framing my whole world in a particular manner that it was quite fun for me to be forced to look out with new eyes.

.

Anyway, these are some of the photographs I took with the new camera. Due to a bit of jet-lag and my attempt to multi-task in the short five hours I had between flights, my first roll suffered from a few chemical stains and an uneven exposure, but I kind of like them with their imperfections. .

.

The second batch turned out much better, as I was taking my time and completely focused on the developing process.

.

 

.
If you're unfamiliar with 120 film, it's much larger than the standard 35mm and only contains twelve shots per roll, hence the square format of the photographs. These were just kind of for fun but I'm really excited about the possibilities that lay ahead with this new addition. I already have a few projects in mind and can see the value this camera possesses.
.
More London photos + an artist featurette with illustrator Ryan Selvy are on the way in the upcoming days!
.
.

Happy birthday, Chicago

Today marks 175 years since Chicago was officially incorporated as a city.

As a child, I remember visiting Chicago with family or on school field trips and just being overwhelmed by both it's beauty and immensity. I remember waiting in the car and getting so very excited for that point on 55 where the Sears Tower just becomes visible. I remember feeling as though a five or six block walk between destinations was an infinite distance. And I also remember thinking that Chicago just had to be one of the best places in the world. I always had a desire to live in this city so when I had an opportunity to move here, I did not allow it to slip away. I am so grateful for all of the  opportunities this city has brought and for all of the wonderful people I would have otherwise never known, if not for Chicago.

.

In appreciation and celebration of the great city of Chicago, I wanted to share some of my favorite photos from the past few years here.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

A List

Howdy all. Hope your week has been lovely.

.

February has been a strange month for me. All at once quite busy and not so. Perhaps I'm just terrible at evenly distributing work.  What I'm trying to say is that there isn't much to share yet this week but keep an eye out for a new artist interview before the week's end featuring Cornmeal's Chris Gangi and new tour diary posts by next week, as I'll be on the road again with The Giving Tree Band covering their upcoming shows in Dekalb, Illinois and Ames, Iowa.

.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a few things that I've been enjoying and finding inspiration from lately. They may or may not have anything to do with photography.

.

1.  I just discovered this photographer: Chloe Aftel. She has the most beautiful dreamy/vintage style. I highly recommend taking a look through the "Personal" section of her online portfolio.

.

2. For any fellow darkroom junkies out there: I just tried Ilford's Ilfosol 3 Liquid Developer after using Kodak D-76 Powder Developer fairly exclusively for the past several years and think I may never switch back. It takes about three minutes to mix, doesn't require the water to be brought to any specific temperature, and (admittedly this may be the result of a few changes in the darkroom though I'm sure the developer is playing a huge role) my negatives have never been clearer.

.

3. I try to not let it show too much on this site, but I'm an avid baker. It's my back-up plan, so to speak. I recently made these and that might have been the best decision of the month year to date. I've never had a gluten-free baked good that was so... good. It's got me wondering what other kinds of bread I can whip up with a similar flour concoction. Regardless, this is next.

.

4. Clint Eastwood. Specifically as The Man With No Name. And specifically in For a Few Dollars More. Besides being an overall awesome movie, Sergio Leone, the director, was a master of creating the feeling of vastness and leading the viewer to take notice of the small details that gave each character depth. I've been on an old western kick as of late and have always had an appreciation for old cinema in general but have really been taking notice of the grittiness these old films were able to capture, a great deal of which they owe to the medium on which they were recorded. I have enjoyed many modern day takes on the wild west such as True Grit and There Will Be Blood (not a "western" per-say but right era and attitude), but their within their polished presentation, they lose something. I'm beginning to truly believe that art has nothing to do with perfection or even the projection of perfection but rather the acceptance and enjoyment of mistakes.

.

5. Another photographer I've been thoroughly enjoying : Sally Mann. She's an American black & white photographer who has produced some seriously haunting images.

.

6. This cover of the Grateful Dead's "Brown Eyed Women". I'm not just saying this because I work for them--this cover is amazing but how it came to be is a pretty great story in itself. Less than a month ago, we were on the bus headed to a show and one of the guys brought up how much he loved the song which somehow turned into a conversation about covering the song. The song was put on and repeated a handful of times before the guys decided it could be done. They then discussed how they felt it could be arranged with their instrumentation, listened to it a few more times, and departed the bus with only that knowledge. A few hours later, they played it flawlessly live in front of an audience. That's the kind of musicians these guys are. If everyone had focus to work through their goals like that, think of the kind of place the world could be.

.

7. I wholeheartedly endorse these five simple rules for happiness.  It really is simple.

. .