Oh, Man! The last few days have been a blast! It really does feel like Christmas when you can give photos and receive film, and I received a bunch of film. After copping a few new cameras (a Fuji Instax Wide 300, and a few 35mm point and shoots from my local thrift shop) and lacing my film shelf with a 10 pack of colorplus, 5 packs of Agfa Vista 200 and a 5 pack of Portra 400, I am all stocked up and ready to shoot.
My first film experience since High School came out pretty well (check it out HERE) and I decided to go all in on film for a while. In preparation, I've been watching a ton of Negative Feedback YouTube videos and running through rolls of Superia 400 like crazy. Not quitting digital (or even taking a break really), just adding to my arsenal of cameras and shooting a ton of film. I've got about 7 rolls in the shop right now, and I'm waiting on the results. The point and shoot 35mm cameras I found at Good Mojo are fun to shoot and a breeze to cary around, but I've got to get my scans back before I can do any revewing. I even found out about a local Developing Lab, which may very well be the only spot left in Norfolk. I'll be heading out that way after the new year to shoot and grab a camera or two.
Fujicolor Superia Xtra 400
I photograph places, or I photograph people. I rarely photograph both.
When I'm shooting places, the people tend to be inconsequential. When I'm shooting people, the places seem secondary. Bokeh and motion blur define my early work; my portraits have distinctive style because of my subjects, to the exclusion of their backgrounds. But as my work improves and my creative focus shifts from the inside of concert halls to include the streets outside them, I am learning that often people are anchored to and inseparable from their environments. I am interested in the places that define the events that take place and people who in them. My First series of photo zines, called "these are faces", are portraits of people in their places. They are also portraits of places with their inhabitants. Wherever there are people, there are faces.
I'm going to start this blog like a bad college essay; with the dictionary.
Miriam-Webster's defines Askew as "out of line, not straight, on an angle." When a photograph is described as 'askew', one must take stock of it from an angle that is different than the normal view. This, dear reader, is the stance I hope to take on in my discussions on my cities. I plan to tackle the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach as a passionate observer, a lover of their shape and substance; their people, culture and structure. My dual-citizenship in these cities is structured around my home and occupation; the constant shifting between my Norfolk dwelling and my Oceanfront work. My attachment to the local scene is well documented, (my photography website is proof of that) and my music and writing in the past have touched the surface of the waters that surround us here. I love reading the local blogs and watching the other content that arises from the talented folks in this area. Still, I feel that a voice like mine is missing from the local conversation.
It has, in the past, seemed to me that support in the community has been limited (both among artists and citizens), but recently the fog is lifting and the creative tide is rising. For this, I must credit spaces like the Neon District and the Vibe district who shine a light on all of the activities that can bring out creative crowds of all types. I must equally applaud publications like AltDaily, Veer, and the VB Beacon who keep me and others in the scene abreast of all the local goings-on. Without these, I would be lost.
That said; this space, though interested in music, art, and style, is one predicated on writings on and photographs of the cities and culture I love so deeply. This will include poems, writings, podcasts, films and songs by myself first and hopefully others soon after. The postings here will cover growing up, or attempting to. They will explore the spaces that surround me and the skin that covers me. They will depict me and others like me, and also those with whom I share little in common but a hometown. They will be stories; fiction and non-fiction. They will be short. Or long. Some posts will contain no words at all, only sounds or images. I hope you will enjoy them, because they are for you. And I hope they will inspire you to write your own stories, however you can.