Newly found Quality

Barcelona - December 2014

Barcelona – December 2014

Yeah, last thing i thought was that i was going to end this Sunday with something productive like a blog post.

I was waiting so much on a weekend off that when i finally got it, i had no idea what i was supposed to do. I wish i spent more time on my photography, and i was about to go to sleep 5 mins ago thinking that i didn’t. I actually spent at least 3 hours on and off in these two days, carelessly editing my pictures from December 2014 until now. Roughly 3600 pictures which would seem quite a few, but in reality it’s not. I’m having a hard time finding the wish to shoot lately and i think part of it is the job, part of it the fact that i’m kinda done with being here. We’ll see how that goes in 6 months.

However one important thing i learned 5 mins ago by flicking quickly through my edited past 3 months. Editing is dramatically important. Quickly browsing through 3 months worth of photos i kept thinking to myself “this is all crap”. And don’t get me wrong, it mostly is… But when the number comes down to 200 it definitely is a different ball game. I know it sounds like a very simple concept, but filtering out all the “just for fun” shots i found quite a few that i didn’t totally dislike.

Napoli - January 2015

Napoli – January 2015

Something else worth mentioning is that i should probably start thinking about getting the lightroom subscription for 10 bucks a month. I’ve been waiting since the end of december to make a decision: either get the subscription or wait for lightroom 6 to come out. I read about a rumor it was due tomorrow, but no news to be found on the interweb so it seems unlikely. But then again, even if it does come out tomorrow, should i buy the standalone? i’ve been running away from the decision but i need to make it. I still haven’t figured out the benefit of one or the other but really don’t want to get sucked in a monthly payment forever. Decisions, decisions… buonanotte.

Active but not showing it

Social media (blogging included) is never a good representation of of the person behind the screen. I’d say it can reflect 40% realistically what the person your reading is about, everything else can be anything else, completely beyond what you might think.

I was going through my recent blog posts and realised it was the case. It looks like I’m not taking pictures recently, but I’m not. I’m only shooting with film, and relaxing on a certain set of tones but i’m not.  I haven’t bought any good photography books, but I actually have. It looks like i’m done writing here but I’m not.

So here’s something from last week. It’s not film, It’s not my usual Kodachrome tone, and it’s inspired by some pictures i saw from Alex Webb’s use of light (I also picked up a book by him and his wife recently, highly recommended —> LINK).

December 2014 - Naples

December 2014 – Naples

Eric Kim – Introduction to Street Photography London Workshop

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London 2014

I made sure i managed to get a spot in this workshop over a year ago. I’ve always felt a little skeptic about these sort of things, but have to admit it was well worth it.

I caught a flight from Napoli departing at 6:15 in the AM, and thanks to the Lufthansa Business Lounges managed to be alive and well in London before noon. Took the train to my AirBnB room for the weekend (Angel area), left my stuff, and started heading towards ULU (University of London Union). Unfortunately the early alarm clock completely twisted my mind and found out I was 4 hours early. Oh well, I walked around for a little bit and made it to the classroom around 5. People started showing up, Eric arrived as well, and the show was underway.

The first day was a presentation and a critique session with the group. Never participated in anything like it, and it is amazing how much benefit one can take from open and honest confrontation. Some good feedback on three of my most recent and (what i thought) strong pictures which really opened my eyes while giving me quite a lot to think about.

Day two was focused on shooting. We were paired up, and hit the streets the whole day, mainly in the Oxford Circus area. I didn’t think about where i was, rather i just focused on the shooting.

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Ben Loosening up

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After a couple of hours on our own, it came to the 1 on 1 time with Eric. I have never been pushed so much and never felt so uncomfortable while shooting, to the point where i was really close to walking away. Luckily i remembered i was paying a fee for that, and thought to myself “Fuck it, no one knows me here” and powered through. Engaging people and asking (or not even asking) to take their picture is something i have never done and found to be not that hard as i thought.

Here’s a few shots after the pushing, where we realized it wasn’t so hard, but more than that, it was so bad at all.

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After the day was done, we were to select three pictures we thought were the best. I was able to get down to twenty-ish.

Day three was in the British Museum and trying to apply lines, diagonals, subject to ground and several more tips Eric was giving us through the weekend. I wasn’t quite feeling it, but felt glad i wasn’t the only one. We got back in the afternoon to the classroom and found out the pictures we needed to select was just one! Luckily Eric helped each one of us to edit and get down to the final one. Below was mine

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I gotta say, i’m not sure this is my best shot, and not really happy to say this represents my weekend. But at least i can say it was exactly what i had in mind at the time shot it, so i guess that’s good.

I waited a week to write down some thoughts (and due to my lazy ass i would’ve probably waited some more) because i wanted to see a followup to what i had learned during the weekend in London. To my suprise the tools i acquired during the workshop are definitely still with me, i managed to prove that yesterday, a week later, back in my hometown Napoli.

So overall an awesome experience, got to meet some great people, and learned a lot. Now it’s time to keep these tools with me and apply them to find my street photography identity. I’m not sure portraiture is my way, but i’m glad i’m loosening up to the point where nothing is holding me up. And i believe the weekend in london enabled me to do just that.

On to better things!

Friday Night

PHOTO (La Habana – Sept.2014 -X100S)

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It’s good to be back in my good old room. A lot of things have changed of course, but i can still feel comfortable enough. Got back yesterday from a 4 day business trip in the hills around Rome. Many hours and long days but good overall.

I was expecting a Friday night like the old days, but i can’t really expect much considering i’ve been M.I.A. in these past two years. But it’s all good – enjoying some quality time with my photo archive, mom’s pizza, learning to use my sister’s tablet, and picking up a friend at the airport.

State of mind

 

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No words tonight, just gathering thoughts and thinking about where to focus my attention. I was sleepy a couple of hours ago, now I’d need a drink to get myself to bed. The picture sums up my state pretty nicely.

No further going through my recent trip pics, I just decided 5 seconds ago I’ll let them linger a little bit. Maybe a week or a month or more. Maybe getting things in order first will help.