Pretty sure this was just a simple accident at the time, but I like how it all happened. I probably wasn’t even thinking about it when I cut the film. All of those small things that just add up. Makes me want to leave my digital camera at home more often.
Anyone who tells you developing film is like riding a bike is lying. It’s been three years since I last spooled a roll of black and white. I first tried again the other day. About an hour into it I was sweating and cursing my decision. Two hours into it I was ready to give up. Three hours in I finally had it. Three days and several rolls later, I’m finally getting the hang of it again. Now it feels good. It feels right. I’ve missed the smell of fixer on my fingers. I’ve missed dust and water spots and all the other headaches that come along with the process. My New Year’s resolution was to shoot more film for my personal work. I’m just starting to make good on that.
I’ve never been much of a technical photographer. I like mistakes and errors. I try to put feeling first and not really worry about the syntax of things. So that’s where I’m trying to go with these new images. They’re rough sketches, but I like them as a beginning. And for now that’s all that really matters.
Earlier this week I was asked to shoot some photography stills for a new music video being made for a song called “Hanoi Love Story”, by the artist Tri Minh. I’ll be one of a few different collaborators on this project. I haven’t seen any of the other work yet, but I’m excited. It should be a fun experiment. It also feels good to be working with other artists; it’s something that doesn’t happen often enough around here. Photographers/videographers of Hanoi, unite and take over.
The above three images are outtakes from one of the “scenes” I was shooting. The theme was loose. A love story. And with an hour to shoot it, I just focused on getting some good pictures that could be edited down into some kind of vague or metaphorical storyline later on. Since they’ll be mixed with video, I was playing around a lot with motion and blur and other things that I think of when I think of cinematic qualities in things. Rightly or wrongly. It was fun. In the end what else really matters?
A few weeks ago I was hired to take some portraits and other art/architectural photographs at The Bui Gallery in Hanoi. They wanted something a bit hipper and grittier than your standard kind of commercial images, and also something that kind of showed off the old French villa that they inhabit, so they let me in to bother them for an afternoon. Here’s a small selection of images from the few hours I spent with the always wonderful gallery staff and owners.