The Bay Area

Sometimes, the best spots are right under your nose, if you’d just look. Or have a little local knowledge. Step forward Richard Sintchak.

Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver

Valerie Arntzen at 800 Keefer Street Eastside Culture Crawl is a yearly event in Vancouver where artists of the Eastside open their studios and host visitors to show and sell their latest work. Led by the lovely Valerie Arntzen, the Crawl lets artists engage directly with the public and gain a huge audience in the space of a weekend rather than having to tout their work around galleries and spaces, and also give people an insight into their workspaces and often living spaces. I spent an afternoon at the Crawl and went to meet Valerie at her HQ, AMP at 800 Keefer Street, where several other artists have studios. She spoke to me about how they ended up there - several of them bought the place over a decade ago to safeguard their workspaces, and it’s worked out wonderfully… (audio sadly lost)

Story: Vijapur Demolitions

Injuries to young Rajnikant. Finally uploaded the Vijapur story about a tribe whose homes were demolished at 4am. I arrived a day or two after the event to document the damage and speak to the tribals. While this story has been on Facebook since Day one, I held off publishing it until I had some more recent information, as the wheels were beginning to turn for them just as I left India in the summer. Unfortunately, I’ve no more information at this time, but I feel the story should go up, late, but better than never. (Story returning soon.)

M9 Rangefinder woes

I think the M9 took a hit, because the rangefinder is rather out of alignment. Mostly vertically but also, sometimes, on the distance too. So it’s off to Leica USA as soon as I can dig up a copy of the receipt from the UK, and they’ll have to ship it back to me on the road. Slightly annoying to have a camera built like an brick on the outside and like cream cheese on the inside. I suppose it’s a common problem and an easy fix.

Water: Vancouver Island

Just because a place has an abundance of water doesn’t mean that it can afford to ignore its welfare. Water sources Vancouver Island Rapids

Short film - The Morning After - late update part two

This short film, my second work as DoP with Lexitricity, was far more impressive than the first one, “Chalk”. It’s called “The Morning After” and we filmed it in mine and Lex’s flats one day, and it was edited by the extremely talented Mark Curl. It’s seen some great exposure, some lovely reviews and I’m very happy with it. This time we set out to make a proper short and the results, well, you can watch below. A twisted little tale starring the dry and witty skills of Miss Charlie Cawthorne.

The Morning After from Lexitricity on Vimeo.

Short films - two very late updates, part 1

Apologies for the almost too late news. Two short films I was DoP for have been going quite crazy over the last six or seven months and I really should have featured them here, but all the activity was happening while I was out of town. Firstly, “Chalk”. This started life as a Sunday night let’s-take-the-camera-out-and-play session, not long after my Canon 5DII arrived, and my good friend and then-neighbour, Lex, dragged me out with two actors for a muck-around and a few pints. The results are this little music video, “Chalk” which has now been screened right across Europe and most excitingly for me, at the ICA in London as part of the Soho Shorts festival, where it was nominated for Best Music Video, up against Coldplay, U2, Goldfrapp and others. Not bad for a few hours work. See the original post on the main Lexitricity site here. In the meantime, watch the short for yourself below. Good work team Lexy.

Chalk (2009) HD from Lexitricity on Vimeo.

Lost Weekend / Part 1: North America

Early tomorrow, local time, I’ll be in NYC to start the big trip, covering a large chunk of the US before heading down into Mexico and all through Central America to Panama.

Leica M9 sensor quality

A quick response to a question several people have asked me, regarding the sharpness of the Leica M9 sensor, since it has no anti-aliasing filter. Well, ultimately, it can only matter on a print, not at 100%, but equipped with a Zeiss 50mm Planar, here is a 100% crop that should help answer that question. I think it’s incredibly sharp, for those of you who care about these things. Alyn Eye 100%

Project Basics: Water

Water. I don’t even trust bottled water in India. I drink the filtered stuff any time I stay with family, because they all largely avoid water when out themselves, and resolved to filter my own this time. Christina pointed me towards bottles with self-contained filters, but the only one I found was a Pure Hydration one with a filter in the cap. Essentially, you pour any old water in, preferably without particles, shake it up and leave for 15 minutes. Then squeeze through the filter in the cap and drink. I believe that the shaking releases iodine into the water and then the filter takes that out and anything that might be dodgy still in the water. Works perfectly, but you don’t get a massive water flow if you’re really thirsty, like chugging from a bottle. But the bottle is made of this new microbe-resistant plastic and it doesn’t get dirty or skanky. The filter lasts for approximately 350 litres and fails-safely. The water becomes harder to squeeze through as the filter becomes exhausted, so you only ever get clean water, but you will end up getting nothing. Good call.