My friend Maher was in town a couple of weeks ago and it seemed a perfect opportunity to take my OM-1 out for a spin. I picked this one up on ebay for under 10eur ...I'd had my mind set on finding one ever since I read that the legendary Observer magazine portrait photographer, Jane Brown, used only these... buying them whenever she saw one. So here's a selection from my first roll of film on it...
A couple of shots from my test run with the Kodak Retinette 1A - mine is one of the later models, produced around 1963 (I could be off by a year or two). It's all a bit of guesswork... guess the exposure, guess the focal distance and cross your fingers! On the plus side, the lens is lovely & sharp and the exposure seems to be quite forgiving ... and the wind on lever is on the bottom of the body, which is a nice touch. These shots from the Ste Catherine/Canal area of Brussels.
I thought it was time for a little tip! Since January, I have been collaborating with a great collective of ceramic artists who work from a studio next door to mine. Studio Porcepolis is a working porcelain studio but also a teaching space, open to everyone with an interest in working with porcelain. I've been shooting their headshots, products and classes... and learning a little bit about the techniques and methods as I go along - I'm definitely going to try it out soon. You can contact Eve (who runs the studio) for info about classes or buy some of her funky ceramic creations online.
Another in my series of testing out old analog cameras. This one is not so old, a fully automatic point and shoot Kyocera/Yashica (Kyocera bought Yashica in 1983 but continued using the brand name as it had a pretty good reputation) - manufactured sometime in the 90s. Picked up for me by my mum at a garage boot sale for a couple of euros. I ran an expired film through it so the colours are a bit off but all in all, I quite like it!
One of the big stories in Brussels recently has been to do with an unlikely Xmas tree controversy. This year, the Brussels council decided to replace the traditional 10m high pine tree with a minimalist light box sculpture that visitors can climb (proceeds go to the local fire department). Cue outrage - a petition attempting to have the 'tree' hacked down has collected 12,000 signatures and counting ... arguments against the sculpture range from the expected (not traditional enough) to the far fetched (phoney attempt at secularism). I actually think it's fairly impressive and the light show, a play between the tree and the town hall, is really quite beautiful.
Tour & Taxis hosted the Japan Expo a few weeks ago - dedicated to everything you would most readily associate with Japan - manga comics, playstations, karaoke and martial arts to name a few (along with a smattering of hello kitty and samourai swords). Most impressive were the dozens of people who went along dressed up as their favourite cartoon or video game character... costumes designed with such elaborate care, it must've taken hours of thought and preparation!
I went specifically to check out the martial arts demonstrations and shoot my friend Philippe's Shorinji Kempo class introducing the Belgian public to their art. If you fancy joining a class, and I highly reccomend you do - info can be found here
The HUB Brussels is an amazing, innovative co working space right around the corner from me. I'm often tempted to grab myself a desk there but can't quite justify it ... a lot of my editing is done later at night and I have a perfectly good space at home. It's always nice to have an excuse to spend some time there though, which is what MediatEUr's open space event offered me on Friday. So two posts in one really - some open space action and some HUB vibe. Here's the full flickr set
I'm guessing everybody in Brussels (or who has ever visited) knows this building - it's bang opposite the entrance/exit to the Gare du Midi, right by the taxi stand/spot-where-you-smoke-your-last-cigarette-before-boarding (well, not me, not for the past 5 months anyway :)) ... I'm not sure everybody thinks it's as cool as I do though, so here's my attempt to convince.
Et Voila - this blog is a year old today. I'm quite pleased about it really... I haven't posted every day religiously but I've managed to drag a lot of shots out of my daily wanderings.. which is nice, and the blog is definitely a motivator, also nice. Anyway, there are 30x40cm prints to be won by the first three people who send me the correct answer (do not post publicly though!). I'm sending you on a little hunt through some of my favorite shots of the last year... each photo will have a clue (in bold) to the next one. I will give you a year and an event, you will need to find the right day and month and move on to the photo posted on that day.
A little tip: you don't need to manually cruise through all the shots... there are the categories to the left, and, better still, a search box (if you enter August 18 for example, you should find the shot faster!).
on this day in 2008 - Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, the largest bankruptcy filing in US history
This is just a pencil. 6th of Nov still being posted at 3pm...
I really like this shutter and the markings of the old lettering on Rue du Namur...I often walk past and think it would make a nice backdrop but it's the last slice of hill before "Home" so I'm often too tired/braindead... I'll go again sometime, see if I can find some more exuberant characters walking by. On a different note: In three days this blog will be a year old - in order to celebrate this landmark, I am organising a little giveaway competition... here's how it works: on Sunday (the anniversary), I will post a photo at 3pm. In this posting I will ask a question. The first three people to send me the correct answer via email/contact form on this website/facebook message/private twitter message (anything not public, basically) will each receive a 30x40cm print (or equivalent if square) of any one photo published in the last year on this blog.