After 180 years it has been decided that the medium of photography should be discontinued in favor of a return to painting, charcoal drawing and water ballet. Blah, blah, blah… April Fools!
This is how it is supposed to go, right? Unbelievable claim, some elaboration that pokes fun but sounds vaguely plausible, maybe, followed by the big reveal- psych! But the April Fools Day joke posted this morning on The Phoblographer is in my opinion another matter entirely. Not only have they posted an entire “April Fools” article, devoid of any winking humor, describing the end of Portra 800- but they have an affiliate link, that works, to buy the film on Amazon “while supplies last.”
This is, at best, misleading and in poor taste and, at worst, it is disingenuous clickbait. The disclaimer that it is an “April Fools day joke” is at the very end and buried under an ad- most people will miss it:
How is this funny? It’s worth noting that I don’t read The Phoblographer, but found out about the post when it was shared on Facebook by a concerned photographer, who like so many will read the first few sentences and share. Remember: this post and its untrue title will be indexed by search engines, spreading this “fake photo news” indefinitely. This kind of information, even when intended as a “joke,” does not go away, ever. In 6 months when someone comes across that article… are they going to be thinking “ah- April Fools!”? No. And that kind of pointless misinformation hurts our industry. For folks who post this kind of garbage- irresponsible is the only word I can come up with.
Just to be clear…. I still stand by my original processing technique outlined here in FR years ago which does not use the pre wet and has slightly more agitation than the technique outlined above (metal reels and tanks only for the older process). If the film and agitation technique is perfect without a pre wet then go for it but I have found most modern films do benefit from the pre wet… the only downside is developer longevity and about 1/3 stop loss in speed.
Wow, it must be great being a successful artist, doing what you want and living such a creative free life!
How can I be successful in making my art? I spend money and time and have TEN JILLION followers on some BS social media platform and yet I still am not “making it”!?
Just because you love something does not mean it necessarily has to provide you with money, happiness or satisfaction. “All expectation leads to unhappiness”…. (thank you Buddha.)
This is an excellent article and should remind everyone that doing something for the joy of it is enough. Being happy is enough. And making it as an artist and making money can turn something you love into just… work. Remember that working artists stress just as much as other professionals, but without the job security and benefits.
The Hustle and the Gig economy can be a real trap- don’t buy in.
My favorite quote from the article: “Adam J. Kurtz, author of Things Are What You Make of Them has rewritten the maxim for modern creatives: ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life work super fucking hard all the time with no separation or any boundaries and also take everything extremely personally.’ ”
Make art that makes you happy. If you can make some money, great… but remember you got into art because it made you happy first.
This makes me very happy! Back when I did my review of Df96 monobath developer (link below) my only issue was the cost of shipping liquid chems is very high due to the weight. I asked about the possibility of a power version and was received with a hmmmmmm…. well that hmmmmm has turned into a big YES. This is very good news not only from an economic standpoint but it will now allow this chemical to ship to many more locations and the increased shelf life of unmixed powder is a very big plus.
So here are my latest results experimenting with CineStill film in Caffenol (instant coffee)… I am very happy with this combination! I have found the usable EI for this film-developer combination to range from 100-3200, all with one processing time, but the very best is around EI 640. This test image was made with my 1956 Leica M3 with a 1960 Leica 135mm Leitz Wetzlar Elmar at F5.6.
I’ve been continuously tweaking my Caffenol developer and developing technique over the past few years… I find it to be a very solid go-to developer for virtually any black and white film.
That’s right! I am happy to announce that I am being featured in an upcoming documentary of photographers who work with motion picture film for still photography. The amazing Brendan Leahy of Studio Skylight has visited my studio for location filming at the Wilson Castle in Vermont, MassMoca and The Artist Book Foundation (more on that in just a bit) and on Cape Cod. We are planning additional shooting in Mexico and NYC in the very near future. The full length documentary- featuring ten artists from across the United States, but most importantly ME- will be out in early summer and will be featured at an exhibition I am curating on the topic of motion picture film photographers at the Wilson Museum at the Southern Vermont Art Center in Manchester, Vermont.
For now please enjoy these two teaser clips… sound on for best experience…
And follow me on instagram @stephenschaub where I am posting a lot of new content and daily studio updates.
There’s lots to celebrate in this new year: for one thing, film sales are very strong. 2018 saw some intriguing new films introduced and some old favorites brought back. Things are really getting interesting, aren’t they?
On a personal level, I have many cool projects in the works, including a new Widelux F7 that is getting serviced by my friend Bob Watkins at Precision Camera Works. This camera was in good shape when I purchased it, but it has not seen a service since say, 1990, so I decided to to play it safe. To quote Bob: “More than almost any other camera, there’s a lot of nuance involved in a Widelux repair. No two are exactly the same.”
Here is the picture he sent me of the camera, mid-CLA, today:
Note to self: NEVER open this camera without Bob!
Stay tuned for several posts on new events, ramblings on Caffenol shows I have coming up, and a few follow up articles from 2018.
This is my favorite camera bag EVER for my Leica M system. I have been looking for a bag like this for over a decade…. watch the video for a detailed review and look at the images below for some detail shots.
My final thought on the matter: We spend a tremendous amount of time, energy, and money building the optimal camera kit. Doesn’t it make sense to invest in a bag that will last as long as your Leica does?