CONTAX ZEISS 35-70

Here’s a couple of the frames that I captured with the Zeiss™ 35-70mm lens over the course of a week or so that I had a roll of Portra 400 in my Contax™ 167MT.  I really love how the lens performed throughout the different natural lighting situations and shutter speeds. The versatility of the focal lengths without any major distortion or lack of sharpness was extremely impressive. I’m obviously not one that likes super sharp images when it comes to photographing humans (hence the Pro Mist filter) but I know there’s going to be situations where the sharpness comes in handy (for instance, the first frame). If you’re looking for a versatile lens that you can keep in your bag for numerous situations that doesn’t lose the photo integrity and can keep up with a fixed 35mm or 50mm, then this one is for you. Lenses to photo-makers is equivalent to brushes to painters. This brush, well, I plan on painting a lot with.


-Danny


IT WAS A GREAT DAY

Here’s the bday photos that I remembered to take while trying to be completely present on my gals special day. And what a great day it was.


Film processed and scanned by @DarkRoomFilmLab


-Danny


LOOK FOR YOUR TUBE

We just finished shipping your posters out. I must say, it was really fun signing and packing orders and designing new branding materials. At times I forget how much I enjoy doing these types of things as “work” and how fortunate I am to have the ability to produce the ideas that I see in my head. Thank you so much to everyone that supported this SSPC release. 


New posters will be available next week.



-Danny


NEVER AGAIN

The gal and I were feeling wild so we deiced to hop in the Jeep, blast 6lack and do something that I haven’t done in years, go to a drive-thru. Yes, I’m talking about fast-food. I don’t know what possessed me to order churro-bites or what greasy wet-dream lead to my honey ordering fries, but whatever fantasy got us to the window was quickly interrupted once the first bites went down. I never thought in my entire life that my stomach would reject “food” (or whatever they want to label it) but it totally happened. I ate two bites, the gal ate half of her small order of fries and we were both regretting it almost immediately. 


It’s wild how my body reacted to what used to be my daily diet and has now turned the lab-born-substance into an intruder. And this was just from churro-bites, I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened if I ordered an actual meal (enter poop emoji). Like Trump and his ideology for a wall, my guts too have laid their bricks down to keep out all things foreign. 


It’s cool that we can laugh about this experience.


-Danny  


CAMERA DELIVERIES

Here’s the cameras that I’ve purchased over the last couple of weeks, either online or thrifting. It’s always so wild to me when I find rare compacts at thrift stores that appear to be unused and comes with the original box or accessories like most of these did. I’ve already shot the Rollei Prego AF which is hands down one of my new favorites and I’m currently running a roll through the Pentax Espio 140V, this baby is feeling smooth like a classic Cadillac.


-Danny


THE OTHER HALF OF MY SKY

Today is a very special day to me. Perhaps my favorite day of the year. Today is the day the other half of my sky was created. The day the universe designed and brought to life the person that I would eventually find when the time was right. Yes, timing, the timing had to be right for this interaction to work. Under any other circumstance, coincidence or encounter this would have never been a dynamic that transcends. This, this thing that the gal and I share. A bond, a partnership, a co-creative atmosphere that may not always be sunshine and chirping birds but nevertheless our North Star always seems to shine and guide us back home. When I wonder if I’m on the right path in my life, when I question if I’m living better than I was and doing what I should; when I doubt myself and question if ‘god’, the ‘universe’, the ‘creator’, whatever you want to call it, is on my side, all I have do is look next to me and see who’s standing there. The person that I tell my secrets to at night and share my dreams with in the morning is the same person that reminds me how powerful I am when I feel depleted. Someone with a heart like hers is rare and the compassion that this woman demonstrates, at times, leaves me stunned. Her ability to contribute to not only my world, but everyones that she interacts with is her superpower. She’s in the business of healing, and business is booming. So, today, this day, this special day is perhaps my favorite day of the year because she was born today and I am honored to be the one who gets to hold her hand and celebrate the beauty that was created.


Since I can’t develop and scan the photos yet of the adventure that awaits us, I figured I would post these photos from a roll of film that I just got back of her and my FML (future mother-in-law) doing girly stuff in Topanga.


-Danny


IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOUTUBE

One of the most asked questions that I’ve been getting lately is if I’m still making Youtube videos? The answer is a tough one because I hate the fact that I’ve let a machine, a code, an algorithm, defeat me and my pursuits to create. The truth is, Youtube is a battle unlike any that I have faced prior. I went into the experience with a game plan, a map and an expectation of how fast I could grow my channel if I was truly honest and transparent. I figured, if this is the most vulnerable that I’ve ever allowed myself to be, surely the outcome will be worth it. Since time is money and it takes me about two to three days to shoot and edit each video due to this being a learn-as-I-go process, I thought I would easily hit the 1k subscriber requirement it takes to monetize my content which would justify how much energy I’m putting into my efforts. Seven months into this project and 185 subscribers later, I can honestly tell you just how naive I was in my expectations.


From my experience thus far, I can, without a doubt, tell you that Youtube is a nucleus of its own and does not (or rarely does) give you, the creator, instant gratification. It is not a place for overnight success and is the epitome of “slow and steady”. I’m sure there are ways to expedite your subscriber count but that will leave you, just as Instagram did, with a big following number that does not covert to organic acquisitions. Youtube is a place to build and share for yourself and if your motives are ones for financial success or popularity, you are building in the wrong place. You have to stay committed to yourself and express your thoughts and ideas freely as if you’re merely creating a digital diary, a moving scrapbook of your thoughts and experiences that you wish to look back on later in life. You document your interests and create content for the moment. You build from the heart with pure intentions for you and you alone. Maybe it will pay off, maybe it won’t, but that’s the thrill of it.


Seven months and 185 subscribers; is that enough time for me to truly give myself an honest shot at creating content and sharing stories through my own personal perspective? Has that been enough time for me to get comfortable in front of the camera? Has that been enough time for me to find my voice, one that could perhaps resonate with others? And lastly, have I found a way to contribute to the ethos? Absolutely not. 


Back to the drawing board. New video coming soon.


-Danny




FIRST ROLL - NO.3

Like many of the cameras that I’ll be testing for the First Roll project, I didn’t know this one existed. I just so happened to be scrolling through Depop one night and thought the design looked interesting. Knowing nothing about the specs or how the Chinon™ Monami performs, or if this particular point and shoot was even in working condition, I talked the seller down to $25 including shipping. I figured that was a reasonable price to take a gamble. The mysterious thing about gambling is, sometimes it pays off.


The first thing I noticed upon holding it for the first time was how everything turns on at once. You flip open the lens cover and the flash instantly pops out. It’s actually quite charming. Something about the simultaneous mechanics got me excited to shoot, which is one of the things that I hold in high regard when it comes to a compact camera. Now it was time to load a roll of Kodak™ Portra and see what this baby could do.


My initial impression after shooting a couple of frames was just how much fun this camera is. It’s really a no frills, here to do one thing.. captures moments, type of experience. The only mechanics that you have control of is the flash, which you have to push back into the body and hold it down with your finger when you want to use natural or ambient light. I could see how one might think this is annoying but for me I liked the interaction. The viewfinder was pretty accurate and the focusing seemed to hit almost every time unless I was closer than an arms-length to what I was shooting. I even snuck a shot from the window of a moving car (frame #6) when we were in Malibu and it surprisingly almost caught the shot fully in focus. Remember, this is a grip-it-and-rip-it camera, meaning, all of your shots are dependent on the cameras accuracy to hit auto focus and exposure. So for me, this little plastic gem was up there with the point and shoots that are well in the $100 range. More importantly, the fun factor of this little guy made the experience memorable. Add that with the capability that this camera has to output usable images and you have yourself a nice little tool to toss in your pocket (or bag if you wear skinny jeans like me). Time for the pros and cons.


PROS:

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • One-motion (flip) to turn everything on
  • Cool design
  • Pretty sharp 35mm lens
  • Somewhat rare
  • Reliable
  • Extremely easy to use


CONS:

  • Have to hold the flash down to turn it off
  • Slow 4.5 lens
  • No settings
  • No close up shots
  • Not weatherproof


There’s my thoughts on the Chinon™ Monami point and shoot. Now, as predominant as the cons seem to be, this is the First Roll with the most usable frames so far. Out of the thirty-something shots that I got from the roll, I used twenty but that’s only because some of the frames were either identical or simply out of focus. I would say that says a lot about this little camera and the reason why I am definitely going to keep it. Not only am I keeping it, I even bought another one as a back-up and highly recommend anyone who wants a very easy to use camera to do the same. I’m sure the secret will get out soon and we all know what happens when cameras like this get popular. 


-Danny