Stay Sharp

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CVLT Nation

A good friend of mine is getting his band on the road and it's taking off in a royal manner (Legion Of Andromeda) and I suggested to help him get more exposure. I contacted a site I like (probably the only one I actually like) and asked them to do something on the LOA…they did…happy days. I was then asked by CVLT Nation if I would be interested to b next photographer on their "Seven Story" photo thing. I gave them 7 images I shot by 6x6 medium format camera lately….check it out here :

Super cool, stoked to be on the CVLT nation page, respect these so much and what they do for what I hold close to my heart.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Part 6/6 - 5 Roll Project

Listening to CVLT NATION's 2.5h long sample "Doom Nation Black" atm. Sunday blues pressing down heavy on my broken being. Fight fire with fire. To add insult to injury and really go the full mile I will post my last 6 shots from the 5 Roll Project. A mix of grim, blurred and moody frames that actually is perfectly suited to what today is, but on the same hand very misplaced when it comes to the joy and sheer excitement I got out of heading out with my camera and 5 rolls one day a couple of weeks back in MMXIV. The actual "plan" was to just get something done, no strings attached, no big scheme with a glorious goal at the end, no profit except on a personal level. No, just to strap on the camera and hit he city, see what this crazy place I call home could give you on 60 frames of medium format 6x6 film. Like I mentioned before, I got around 40 frames that wasn't completely "wrong", I know I missed to scan the shot I was most thrilled to shoot (thanks Paul for lending me your scanner btw)…man, that is life, sometimes you miss out on the good stuff but in the end of the day there is no one but yourself who actually cares (and I have the negative…so there you go). Maybe I get it done someday and post it, who knows. Posted 37 out of these here below in 6 Parts. Turned out to be 6 parts i.e man, tree, bldg, water, dark and lost that had some line drawn between them. This last Part is more or less leftover bastards that I can not label as one so I call it "lost", wasn't supposed to shoot color but in all haste in the dark under a bridge in the forgotten part of town I accidentally loaded a color negative and got what I got. Decent stuff actually, these turned out better that I would like to admit. Maybe my long lasting heavy grit Monochrome Period slowly coming to an end and another dimension with colors is taking shape? Doubt it but who knows. I've got a stash of insanely outdated 120 color negatives in the fridge that could come handy if I so choose...
Images, Words and Music is getting shaped into one big heavy demolition ball of inspirational destruction, life rolls on and as long as there is some creativeness left to explore there will be a way up and out.

There is only one suitable title for this set : Doom Nation MMXIV

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Part 5/6 - 5 roll Project

The city expanding rapidly and without mercy. The mentality of "He-who-has-most-shit-when-he-dies-wins"is blooming, thriving and even though I always liked the engineering behind any larger-than-life structure (lots of good stuff out here, I've seen some by now that would rock the sox of a 30 year younger me) I have to admit it's with a slight distaste I see how new full areas are popping up all around the city like there is no tomorrow. Gonna be a hell of a racket when the big Kanto quake level it all. Can't say I really care since I'm so far outside this spectrum of the society here and everywhere else that it's just a mere observation. If there is a demand there will continue to be providers. Heard somewhere that the economy is taking a steep plunge and people grinding their teeth of how the Yen, Dollar and what not is loosing it's values. Doesn't really affect me and my close to zero impact (and wealth) on any social balancing scale so I continuing to give off just the slightest footprint in the sand before next tide wash it away as one never existed in the first place. Always been the melody I have waltzed through life with. Here in this city as in any other place, power is displayed in real estate, vehicles, a beautiful/respected spouse and as much shit as you can possibly squeeze in between the gaps. Anyways…buildings are straight (most of the time, the once I like anyways), square and fun to shoot with a medium format 6x6 camera. Architecture is a way of human expression, though these apartment buildings has only "functionalism" written all over them, nothing wrong in being functional I guess. No flare, just function all the way. A rant is a rant is a rant…but this was essentially a 5 Roll photo project so we save the rant of all rants till another sunny day.

Lets call this set : Altho Do Diabo

Friday, January 02, 2015

Part 4/6 - 5 Roll Project

Jan 2. Not much to say today. These blackened squares below is a couple of snaps I deliberately under exposed to get the mood I was looking for. There is a place in the heart of the city that is pretty magic and where I do go a lot. The trees and walkways surrounding the Meiji Shrine is a place where you can let your mind wander freely, always reminds me of some scene from the LOTR triology. J.R.R Tolkien would have liked this place I come to believe. To have such a sublime oasis right in the middle of this behemoth of a city is a treat. Anyways, a couple of underexposed squares reflecting the mood and feel I was looking for. Hasselblad 503CX / 80mm f/2.8 / 400 Tri-X & T-max…handheld ofcourse. I'm amazed on how well the metering of my Hasselblad view finder combined with the Kodak film can handle the high lights v.s the really dark shadows. Truly something you will struggle with on any "modern" piece of camera metering.

Lets call this set : Black Fangorn 

This frame is from another place, fits the mood and was shot on the same roll so why not

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Part 3/6 - 5 Roll Project

This is something I would like to continue working on, the movements and different moods of water, especially the Sea. I made a living working on cargo ships on the worlds big open seas for 10 years back in the 90's and it has been with me ever since, a huge admiration and deep affection for the Ocean and all what she represents. I wanted some "water" frames but having rather limited access to the open sea here in Tokyo I went down to the man made land fill area just south of the city with my 2 remaining rolls of 120 film (set out with 5 rolls in the morning). This area is absolutely special, all here is man-made, surrounded by the black water that makes up the city's ancient natural harbor in Tokyo bay. The "land" that the huge structures stand on here is more or less a gigantic garbage dump (i.e landfill), the bridges that connects it to the city and all in between is obviously made and deposited here by man. What used to be ocean is now an enormous playing ground that will host the next Olympic. Anyways, I often come here at night as there are places here that enables you to explore sites not meant for public access. The reminder that you actually are "in" the sea is always present. Water below, multi lane motorways high above, a crisscross of lower bridges below. All carrying heavy traffic, an endless stream of goods being transported, greasing the wheel of industrial prosperity. Areas here are fenced off in a lame attempt to keep men out but since no one really comes here on foot (in my case bicycle) and especially at night there is no guards to make sure you commit the ultimate insult in Japanese society i.e. the breaking of rules. The mood was sublime so I was really excited and felt glad that I made it here instead of going somewhere else or calling it a day. A cold and windy night, enough to give some movements of the black water, strong reflections. Low light and low ISO means slow shutter and a fully open lens. Though, didn't turn out too blurred to ruin the mood I was looking for. I accidentally loaded a color negative film in the dark, shooting color with a B/W mindset usually turns out completely weird, looked cool this time I think. I could write more about the sea and what it means for me, maybe I'll do one day.

Title : Earthless

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Part 2/6 - 5 Roll Project

New Years eve 2014. Sitting in my Kitchen noodling with various stuff on the laptop. Had a good year overall, not sure why this melancholia is hitting me so hard and so often. Got fed, slept warm and dry most nights with a roof over my head, had love reaching out and grabbing me more than once, what more does a man need really? I can by now sort out the rotten moves that was handed to me during the last 365 and let them stay locked in for a day I decide to take care of it. No action without an reaction.
Thought I post a Part II of this 6x6 film thing I named "The 5 Roll Project". Always liked nature, always liked the ocean. Got this fascination with trees as well as a turbulent sea from an early age. Tokyo is a pretty green place after all, being such a metropolis in the heart of the Japanese industrial and economical machine. That the indigenous men with a steel mind let seemingly "wild" things prosper it is a sign that the roots of nature means more than any concrete, steel or glass conquest in the name if prosperity. When I say I like trees I mean the irregular shape and patterns that has during the years have had free reign to develop into something unique. Trees and plants are cool, I just like to see them, to be near them as much as possible. In the past they used the branches of sturdy trees to hang the unruly and wild from…what a paradox juxtapose.

All handheld Hasselblad 503CX / 80mm f2.8

This second part I name :  18%TERRESTRIAL 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Part 1/6 - 5 Roll Project

6x6 V.S The city….Tokyo that is. Boredom and an overall apathy that comes with bringing the year to an(other) end. December blues if you like brought me and fellow photographer Paul ( Paul Del Rosario) to push out a 5 roll day of 120 film on the streets of Tokyo. I wasn't expect much to be honest and saw this as a great chance to force myself to head out with the Hasselblad and get some perspective on stuff. Been a long time since I have felt the urge to shoot the streets of Tokyo with a square format mindset. After 15 years in the city I feel I have covered all and every corner and angle of this place, of course this is not the truth, pretty far from it. But never the less, ones vision tends to stick to what one see and I see the same shit everyday. Though, in the viewfinder things happen, as new ideas and life views are being polished and refined so does ones eye seek out new and in this case pretty interesting "scenes" and moods.
I am not the same photographer philosophically I was a couple of years ago, my view has steered away from what i though was the way then and Im now seeking out other (not better, just other) ways to bring happiness and satisfaction from photography. I believe I did found my "style" and my "mood" a long time ago, just that I have polished this to a mere bare root by now and the more "less" I go I get "more". I also now have as non-pro the added plus and luxury to do what I want the way I want it, when I want. So…anyways, 5 rolls of 120 medium format film gives you 60 frames. This is Part 1 / 6 of these 60 frames. Not all turned out to satisfaction, I double scanned some, missed to scan some (still don't have my own medium format film scanner…). Fuck it, it's what it is and maybe one day I learn to care more, be less careless. All shot on my Hasselblad with the 80mm, all on heavily outdated film. Scanner pretty dusty which gave me a somewhat involuntary gritty look that I liked. Stay tuned for Part 2-6.

I call this first part - Betrayed By Light

Monday, November 17, 2014

Black Shape Of Light

He who is the Beast Man, step forward
Let us see you in full glory, revile the swine that holds you
As you once were, you will forever be
May all heinous deeds that has fallen upon your shoulders be lifted off you

You are every man, let us see you free and light
As we steer clear of your path, let us give you strength
Strength to rip us open, crush our bones, consume our flesh

Nothing is worthy of trial and error, no one shall compete to reach the end before you
Step in the footstep of few, the Beast Man seeks vengeance and rightfully so
Let us love to hate you, as you make us understand that all is nothing, nothing at all

Black shape of light
As the beginning of time reaches out
The pestered demon awakes amongst roots and rotting matter
Alone he is the possession of life draped in heavy cloak of anger and hope
A chord-less tune of rattling branches in the wind of the dark hills
Stone crushed to gravel under his sore feet
To see the shadows
Heavy laden with millennia of patience and understanding
Deeper breathing takes him higher
Leave no trace
The short reach for a lifetime of willing
Dead mass comes to life
Roots reaching for bedrock

Irregular patterns become invisible, a straight line in the forest means death. 
Cold and untamed is the air that flows in and out of the living. 
Why struggle to beat the Alpha, life a mere transition from womb to maggot. 
Yet the senses scream of fear of the oblivious end, escape the only way forward. 
Fangs rip through hide and tissue, feeding life and purpose. 

Loud Silence, failure is waiting around the next bend
The silence of countless lifetimes seek to deafening you
Pounding you down with a heavy beat, the beat of defense
Take your chance and hide, become the environment
Let no one catch a glimpse of you in this state
The hammer shall fall with full force, nothing is everything for you now
To lose is to succeed, success is on the futile path
The winding path of deafening silence

Stand tall

The black trunk of the Lord gives life to the darkest of shades underneath
No seedling can find it’s rightful place under the King
Basking with a clear consience as the ever whispering wind flows with an answer to all and every riddle                                                 
Roots gripping deep and firm
                              Tendons of steel penetrating
                                                     The Master of the sky will fall the hardest

Amongst friends you are the trusted one your sharp knowledge is complete Amongst the clueless you dwell not nor with he who has doubt looking over his shoulder Worthy companion of few With life I honor you 

Because amongst friends you are the trusted one

Beware the beast man, for he is the devil's pawn 
Alone among God's primates, he kills for sport, or lust or greed
Yes, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land
Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours

Shun him

Drive him back into his jungle lair, For he is the harbinger of death

The 23rd scroll, 9th Verse
“Planet of the Apes”