…..I get that question a lot. So folks, here you go, I’ve exploded 3 of my bags below for your eyes only. These are the bags that I carry everywhere whilst on a project, whether I’m shooting stills or directing motion….yes, I still lug around the stills gear for directing, it can be beneficial.

All 3 bags below are pretty straightforward, at least in my humble opinion. It’s all about backups; camera bodies & hard drives are key and are the foundation of these innards. When I hit a location, depending on the project we’ll have a digital tech on set and will use their computer for workflow, and mine will play backup & we’ll have other bodies & glass on hand as well. It’s all about redundancy.

My hard shell cases, Pelicans & Zero Halliburtons, are entirely other animals, they accompany me, but in the belly of the plane. I’ll save those for a later date if at all. I design & pack them on a per project basis, or I rent, which these days is not uncommon.

Without further delay meet the contents of my camera bag, computer bag + toiletry bag and lmk if this is it what you thought you’d find in my bags? Feel free to hit me up directly or via the socials. FYI I’ve had to turn   comments off here because of spam, inundated with it, sigh.

 

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….how I loved and hated you, but you were the only game in town.

While I’m not pulling ALL of my film from my freezer, I’m pulling most of it. You see, I haven’t shot a roll in 10+ years. What I have left is #stalefilm & waaaay past the expiration date. We used an ancient acronymic language when chatting about film not that long ago, such as PKL, PKR, TMAX, EPL, RVP, NPZ, TRIX, C41, E6 etc.

I showed this colorful film pile to Rose (7 yr) and naturally she had noooooooo idea what this was. But look at all of those purty film cans!IMG_3771

One of my fondest memories is of freshly run #kodachrome, ohhh that smell! The E-6 smell, the black & white chems, yum! And the organization of it all. I have 12 jumbo file cabinets dedicated to my career with film…and garbage cans full of “outs” that I never threw away, thank you Jay Maisel.

Want to learn how to take photos? Shoot with E-6 for a few weeks and discover the lack of latitude in which you have to work with, maybe a stop in either direction, maybe lol! Things had to be right. Or they were very wrong.

Want to talk about buzz kills? Polaroid tests. I don’t miss those one bit! Depending on the temperature & the Polaroid film choice, it could take anywhere from 30 secs to 3 minutes to develop, whilst the set came to a screeching halt…and then you just hope that the film pulls clean. Or you shoot another.

3 Minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but when you shoot a CEO, for example, and you only get 5 minutes, well, you set up & test well before the arrival of your subject and then lock down the set–> enter subject, shoot a ‘roid, and start shooting film. Assistant pulls it, and adjust if need be, think fast, make small talk and stay cool! Clip test in the lab, and push or pull the film as needed. I used to assist photographers who would freakout during this process. Photographers could be real jerks back then, I attribute some of that bad mojo to film lol.

We not only had light meters, but color meters as well, ugh. And that dictated the film that we used on location. Mixed lighting, and we’d have to gel the overheads, or filter them out and of course loose some stops.

We traveled with a lot of film, at least a backpack full, sometimes duffels, and it all needed to be hand checked in airports. The States were a pain, but decent. If you told security that it was all asa 800 or higher you get a hand check. London/Heathrow forget about, all film got x-rayed like it or not. Once I talked my way through it, I don’t know how. Eastern European x-ray machines would toast film completely, trash it at that point. Once I shot in Brazil, in the Amazon for 2 weeks and between the heat & humidity, the results were not good. We kept as much as we could in coolers but even then we got beat.

Now, it still blows me away that I can travel for weeks with digi cards that can fit in my pocket, thousands of images! We just have to manage computers, hard drives, backups, readers, dozens of cords etc. etc. Always something, but it’s all good!

We used to label & number every roll that came out of the camera with specially made stickers and we would separate the even & odd rolls. From that point on they never came together until they hit my light table. We would travel with them separately, messenger them to the lab separately &  have them processed separately, always the same chemicals though, for consistency sake. The clip tests, the endless editing, stacks of slides, sleeving them, duping & scanning the selects, canned air etc. Meticulously tracking every submission to clients, follow up calls to retrieve the film, lawsuits due to lost or damaged film. I haven’t spoken to my IP attorney in years, I kind’a miss him, we had some good times and quite a few court dates in lower Manhattan. We always won. But we didn’t always get paid. Fun!

To tell you the truth, the scent of freshly run PKR aside, I don’t miss film one bit. It is true that each manufacturer had different emulsions that had their own personalities & character, and I always appreciated that. However, now I have the ability to develop my own look, feel & texture thanks to digital, it’s my own emulsion! I’m so thankful to have experienced film and to have the education & pressure of shooting with chrome, but I’ll be fine if I never have to make another image with film. #goodbyfilm.  #filmporn

I am thrilled, humbled & honored to share the news that the new The National Blues Museum has recently acquired the 3 images below for their permanent collection. All three will be printed at 5 feet across. The Museum is scheduled to open April 2nd, 2016.

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                    Mr. Johnnie Billington

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LC Ulmer

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Leo “Bud” Welch

My much anticipated (lol) annual pictures-out-my-hotel-windows are up! I’ve been making images out of my hotel windows for many many years. The following is a partial list from 2015.  One rule, it’s simple: I have one push of the button to make something out of sometimes nothing, that’s the fun part! One thing that I’ve noticed is that the quality of the hotels dipped a bit this year….hmmm, I must work on that in 2016;) And without further adieu, here’s what I made.

15-01 3/20 Rose KC Spring Break Museums etc.

816 Hotel # 325 Kansas City May

 

15-02 7/21 Montreal Museum, Niagara Falls etc.

Americas Best Value # 407 Niagara Falls, Ontario April

 

15-16 UMMC via Ramey

La Quita # 405 Memphis June

 

15-16 UMMC via Ramey

Hampton Inn # 121 Jackson, MS June

 

15-02 Cantor Horses, Fairmont Park, IL

Hilton # 576 Indianapolis Jan.

 

15-02 Cantor Horses, Fairmont Park, IL

Chase Park Plaza # 479 Saint Louis Jan.

 

15-15 Marley Coffee Jamaica

Knutsford Court # 1252 Kingston, Jamaica June

 

Breakfast/Travel. 15-20 Sundance CO

Super 8 # 211 Cedar Creek, UT Aug.

 

15-23 CSpire Bull Travels Starville, MS

Hampton Inn # 309 Starkville, MS Sept.

 

15-02 5/3 Chelsea Wedding Rose, Seed Festival Bakersfield, MO

Holiday Inn # 224 Mansfield, MO Aug.

 

14-01 3/1 Chelsea Snow

Villanova Inn #311 Radnor, PA Feb.

 

15-02 4/19 Nevada

Marriott # 10722 Las Vegas Oct.

 

15-02 4/19 Nevada

Marriott # 251 Henderson, Nevada Aug.

 

15-20 Sundance, Buffalo, NY

Marriott # 237 Springfield, OH July

 

15-20 Sundance, Buffalo, NY

Staybridge Suites # 311 Buffalo July

 

15-02 7/21 Montreal Museum, Niagara Falls etc.

Hilton # 125 Near Montreal Dec.

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Hilton 327 Springfield, MO May

 

Rm # 1002 KC Hilton for ba'mitzva with Kalsows.

Hilton # 1002 Kansas City Nov.

I’m honored to have 10 images, that I’ve made over the years of the NYC Marathon, on display at The Museum of the City of New York. The exhibition is titled The New York City Marathon: The Great Race. I’ve been shooting the marathon for about 9 years & counting and was at it again last Sunday. If you have a chance to check out the exhibition it’s pretty cool, as is the museum in general, it’s a great place! The exhibition will be on display from OCT. 20, 2015 – MARCH 8, 2016. Here’s a few iPhone snaps.

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