NEW YOUTUBE VIDEO

That’s right, I’m officially making my way back to Youtube but this time, dumbing things down and not aiming for perfection. I’m just going to create for myself and let you see all of the mistakes along the way. 


-Danny


FIRST ROLL - NO.4

This round of First Roll was a shot in the dark as I knew absolutely nothing about the Rollei™ Prego AF camera. I found it on an online thrift store for $90 (shipping included) but wasn’t even sure if it was in working condition. I just really liked the way it looked and thought it was worth a shot; and when comparing it to eBay prices which put this camera at a $200+ value, I figured this is the perfect type of point and shoot to test out. After purchasing the camera, I tried to do a bit of research but couldn’t find very much information on it aside from a photographer using it for a few frames in a Youtube video and briefly talking about how it tends to have light-leaks. Not really a fan of lomography type images, I was already regretting my purchase.


The camera got delivered and upon the initial inspection I was really happy with the visual aesthetics and overall condition. It looked like it was hardly ever used and came with the original Rollei™ neck strap and pouch. Things were looking good so far but the real tests happen when I install a battery and fresh roll of film. First things first, I popped in C123 battery and prayed for juice. I hit the on button and boom, the camera came to life. Just like the voltage running through the circuits, I was equally energized with optimism as I loaded a roll of Kodak™ Portra 160. Time to take this baby for a spin.


While walking around and shooting, I found myself constantly keeping it in my hand. That’s really rare for me. I usually just snap a shot then put the camera back in my pocket or bag but with this one, I wanted to keep holding it and using it. I wasn’t even sure if the photos would come out good due to the untested mechanics but I simply didn’t care because I was getting lost in the viewfinder and the experience that I got each time I hit the shutter button. Aesthetically, it’s a very fun and responsive camera that feels great in your hand and is extremely easy to shoot with. After a day of walking around in Hollywood, it was time to drop off the roll.


I was honestly blown away when I got the scans back. The photo quality was beyond what I expected and quite frankly, comparable with the likes of a Yashica™ T4perhaps even superior. I absolutely love everything about this little shooter, dare I say, it’s my new favorite point and shoot. It definitely performs way above its price bracket, even at $200, and is surely one that I’ll never get rid of. Hopefully if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to find another one as a back-up. Some of you may be saying, “wait, if this is your new favorite, why isn’t there that many images from the roll?”. That’s because I took this camera with me on the gals birthday and didn’t want to share her special occasion with something as mediocre as my need to nerd-out over a piece of plastic (you can scroll down to see the images). Now time for the pros and cons.


PROS:

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Cool design
  • Super sharp 35mm 3.5 lens
  • Accurate auto focus
  • Adjustable modes
  • Strong flash
  • Great contrast and tones 
  • Rare
  • Reliable


CONS:

  • Plastic body
  • Hard to find
  • The fact that I wish I had 5 more


In closing, this is the type of camera that embodies the whole point of this First Roll project. Hunting for an overlooked piece of machinery that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. This camera singlehandedly is the epitome of what my pursuits are geared towards when digging through the mud and trying to strike oil. If you happen to come across a Rollei™ Prego AF, please don’t buy it, just let me know where it is so I can come and get it. Thank you.


-Danny


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