Who we are, now | FSC members & Amy Jasek

Recently, inspired by a variety of things that led me down the path of thoughts about the passage of time, I asked our members if they wanted to participate in a self-portrait project that would portray who they are, right now. Life is an ever changing journey, as we all know, and I believe both the the sorrowful / difficult times and the joyful / easy ones are worth honoring. Even the boring times, when everything seems static, stagnant, are worth noting, because who knows what is actually in the works behind the scenes. We only see through a glass darkly right now, after all.

Anyhow, my proposal was met with a resounding yes, so I present to you below the resulting photographs and accompanying words from the members who were able to participate. May this be a challenge to you to create your own!

Anda Marcu

Anda Marcu

Colin Poellot  Shot March 9, 2019 at night in Riverside Park, New York, NY with a Rolleiflex Automat on Fuji Provia 100 film. Bulb time 60s exposure.  The last few years of my life have seen tremendous change, both good and bad. I’ve lost a few good friends to addiction and disease, moved 3 times, strengthened some relationships and severed others, adopted a rescue dog, and traveled to some new places. I’m constantly reminded of how transitory life is, so my favorite style of self portrait somewhat reflects that. Stepping in and out of the frame of a long exposure to create an impression, but not a strong one, shows how we fade in and out of our environments.This shot is in front of a stone enclosure that houses lighting to illuminate Riverside Church at night. I walk by it every day with my dog and it took me a month to figure out what it was for!

Colin Poellot

Shot March 9, 2019 at night in Riverside Park, New York, NY with a Rolleiflex Automat on Fuji Provia 100 film. Bulb time 60s exposure.

The last few years of my life have seen tremendous change, both good and bad. I’ve lost a few good friends to addiction and disease, moved 3 times, strengthened some relationships and severed others, adopted a rescue dog, and traveled to some new places. I’m constantly reminded of how transitory life is, so my favorite style of self portrait somewhat reflects that. Stepping in and out of the frame of a long exposure to create an impression, but not a strong one, shows how we fade in and out of our environments.This shot is in front of a stone enclosure that houses lighting to illuminate Riverside Church at night. I walk by it every day with my dog and it took me a month to figure out what it was for!

Chris Tennyson

Chris Tennyson

Colton Allen  Showering with ALS  Since getting into photography, and since I was diagnosed with ALS around that same time, I have made a point of not making my photography be about my ALS. Despite that, ALS has been a major factor in how I approach photography, and has placed huge limitations on what I can do, as well as forced me to adapt on a weekly basis. I don't want my photography to be about my health condition, but I think that it is important for people seeing my photos to have some idea of what it takes to make them, and that doesn't often come through in our modern online world. To that end, I have tried on a few occasions to show the extents of what ALS causes. This self portrait is an attempt to show just how weak my body has become, but even this fails to truly convey the devastation caused by this terrible disease.

Colton Allen

Showering with ALS

Since getting into photography, and since I was diagnosed with ALS around that same time, I have made a point of not making my photography be about my ALS. Despite that, ALS has been a major factor in how I approach photography, and has placed huge limitations on what I can do, as well as forced me to adapt on a weekly basis. I don't want my photography to be about my health condition, but I think that it is important for people seeing my photos to have some idea of what it takes to make them, and that doesn't often come through in our modern online world. To that end, I have tried on a few occasions to show the extents of what ALS causes. This self portrait is an attempt to show just how weak my body has become, but even this fails to truly convey the devastation caused by this terrible disease.

Efrain Bojórquez  Often times my photographic efforts suffer from being taken a step back because of the day job, or family obligations, or even my other hobbies. There are seasons in which this seems to overwhelm us, when it feels like a ball and chain from which one can only be freed by completing all that takes one spots in our schedules. I feel fortunate enough to be able to hold all of my interests very near to me, both figuratively and physically. My wife complains that my office is quite the mess, but in reality is all just designed with a purpose: to not go crazy and to remind myself that there are always other things to look at when you've had it up to your forehead in whatever the hassle of the moment might be.

Efrain Bojórquez

Often times my photographic efforts suffer from being taken a step back because of the day job, or family obligations, or even my other hobbies. There are seasons in which this seems to overwhelm us, when it feels like a ball and chain from which one can only be freed by completing all that takes one spots in our schedules. I feel fortunate enough to be able to hold all of my interests very near to me, both figuratively and physically. My wife complains that my office is quite the mess, but in reality is all just designed with a purpose: to not go crazy and to remind myself that there are always other things to look at when you've had it up to your forehead in whatever the hassle of the moment might be.

Gavin Chapman

Gavin Chapman

Gina Gorsek

Gina Gorsek

Greg Williamson

Greg Williamson

Jen Brimmage

Jen Brimmage

Jen Zehner March 2019  This self portrait project has come at a pivotal time in my life. Iʼve had so many things begin this year… a new career, a new business, new photographic adventures. Iʼve been feeling open and expansive, yet this excitement is colored by an ever present doubt: am I good enough? It hangs in the background picking away at self confidence and progress. This is my attempt to stifle that nagging voice. I used an Instax camera to capture a disjointed portrait… representing all these different facets to my current life which Iʼm still trying to weave together. I then created transparency negatives to create a cyanotype triptych of outstretched arms and a bare body, as I am probably at my most vulnerable right now, even though I try to remain optimistic and embrace life as it comes.

Jen Zehner March 2019

This self portrait project has come at a pivotal time in my life. Iʼve had so many things begin this year… a new career, a new business, new photographic adventures. Iʼve been feeling open and expansive, yet this excitement is colored by an ever present doubt: am I good enough? It hangs in the background picking away at self confidence and progress. This is my attempt to stifle that nagging voice. I used an Instax camera to capture a disjointed portrait… representing all these different facets to my current life which Iʼm still trying to weave together. I then created transparency negatives to create a cyanotype triptych of outstretched arms and a bare body, as I am probably at my most vulnerable right now, even though I try to remain optimistic and embrace life as it comes.

Jesús Joglar

Jesús Joglar

Jocelyn Mathewes

Jocelyn Mathewes

Katt Janson Merilo  “Becoming Mom”  My past 10 months have been about the transformation from an independent childless 20-something to a 30-year-old new mom. I now know that I can function on 2 hours of sleep a night for months at a time, and that the amount of work one can get done in a 24 hour period is more than double what I’d previously believed possible. In addition to the new 25-pound weight I’ve been tossing around and bouncing on my knee, I’ve started an adventure in learning roller derby, and picked up skating at about 2 months postpartum. It’s been a nonstop adventure, and juggling it all and my full time job – with increased responsibilities this year – has been a lesson in making use of every minute.

Katt Janson Merilo

“Becoming Mom”

My past 10 months have been about the transformation from an independent childless 20-something to a 30-year-old new mom. I now know that I can function on 2 hours of sleep a night for months at a time, and that the amount of work one can get done in a 24 hour period is more than double what I’d previously believed possible. In addition to the new 25-pound weight I’ve been tossing around and bouncing on my knee, I’ve started an adventure in learning roller derby, and picked up skating at about 2 months postpartum. It’s been a nonstop adventure, and juggling it all and my full time job – with increased responsibilities this year – has been a lesson in making use of every minute.

Lilly Schwartz

Lilly Schwartz

Mark Hillyer

Mark Hillyer

Michael Rennie

Michael Rennie

Rajmohan   I’m a little shy and dislike being the center of attention, hence the hat*. This self-portrait was made using Tri-X in a Canon EOS 500 (my first film camera, purchased 20 years ago); the background is a canvas print of one of my photographs.  *As an aside, this is the only hat I’ve tried which doesn’t make me look entirely ridiculous, and so it will probably reside on my head through most of the coming summer.  www.rajmohanart.com

Rajmohan

I’m a little shy and dislike being the center of attention, hence the hat*. This self-portrait was made using Tri-X in a Canon EOS 500 (my first film camera, purchased 20 years ago); the background is a canvas print of one of my photographs.

*As an aside, this is the only hat I’ve tried which doesn’t make me look entirely ridiculous, and so it will probably reside on my head through most of the coming summer.

www.rajmohanart.com

Ralph Whitehead

Ralph Whitehead

Shaun La

Shaun La

Tracey Bos

Tracey Bos

Hernando Conwi

Hernando Conwi

Lucy Wainwright

Lucy Wainwright

Amy Jasek  Sitting on the edge of more change than I really know how to handle. Trying not to overthink things. Taking life one day at a time. Taking nothing for granted; giving all that I can.

Amy Jasek

Sitting on the edge of more change than I really know how to handle. Trying not to overthink things. Taking life one day at a time. Taking nothing for granted; giving all that I can.


Submit

Inspired? Want to join in the self portrait party? Send me your self portraits - new ones, not more than two please, of who you are now, and some words if you are so inclined - submit them here by August 15 for a special article to run at the end of summer.


Connect

Most (probably all) of the members who participated in this project are on Instagram - you should look them up, connect with them there, check out their websites! If you want to know more about me, I’m on there too.

Spring Polaroid Week Roundup | Urizen Freaza

Dear FSC friends, this is Urizen Freaza.

Instant film is magic. Plain and simple. What you see turns into something that you are touching. An image turned into an object. How crazy is that? I'm still amazed every single time this happens in front of my eyes.

And Roid Week is the celebration of this magic. In my opinion, it's about sharing that amazement with others, but that's me. I once heard someone say “everyone is looking for a tribe.” In that case, I guess the people on Roid Week are mine!

Here's a roundup of the photos submitted to Film Shooters Collective and the ones tagged as #fscpolaroid on Instagram. Please go check the artists’ profiles, and if you like, follow them and show them love. And more importantly, check the Polaroid Week pool on Flickr , on Twitter , and on Instagram .

And if these polaroids speak to you... the next Polaroid Week is in October! Grab your favorite instant camera and join us! I tell you, it's fun.


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Urizen Freaza was born in Tenerife in 1982 and is since 2010 based in Berlin. He's a self-taught photographer and film-maker. Self-taught meaning that this is a path he's still walking, while hoping there is always more path to walk. He's a member of the Film Shooters Collective and part of the team behind the analogueNOW! festival in Berlin. See more of his work on his website and on Instagram.

The Voigtlander Bessaflex TM | Brad Lechner

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As a videographer by trade, I prefer using vintage lenses with manual focus and aperture. They often have a nice tactile feel in the hand, render very pleasing out of focus areas, and are ubiquitous and affordable online.

Ektar 2016

Ektar 2016

M42 mount lenses, or sometimes called Pentax screw mount (or even Thread Mount, as in TM), were made by a variety of manufacturers, notable brands include Zeiss Jena and Pentax Takumar. Matching them onto a modern camera body, I can get great high definition video with a lot of character.

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As my collection and appreciation of m42 lenses increased, I thought it would be nice to have a suitable film camera to go with them for stills. After a few sessions on ebay, I had acquired a Practika LTL3 as well as a Spotmatic, both of which I enjoy using very much.

However, as is the case with many ebay purchases, I took a chance on these without knowing if the meters worked, and alas, neither did. I've done sunny 16 before, but mostly, I prefer having a meter. I could probably have found a shop to fix them, or perhaps even tried to do it myself, but having spent next to nothing on those, I kept looking, hoping to find a body that was in better shape, or just hadn't been used so much...something newer.

And that's when I discovered the Voigtlander Bessflex TM. An m42-mount SLR with a battery powered TTL meter (1600 max), but otherwise a fully mechanical camera with a split-image prism finder, and maybe the best part - this thing was manufactured from 2003-2007! That's practically brand new by film camera standards. At a glance, I would think it was made in the 60s or 70s. There's a all-black version, but mine is silver with black grips, all metal body, eye level pentaprism...very simple and straightforward layout, classic SLR style.

I love this camera. I often shoot wide open so the split image finder is very helpful.

Bessaflex VIEWFINDER still BACKUP.jpg
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I wish it was 45 degree as opposed to horizontal, but the finder itself is quite bright, and also includes a circular microprism, so sometimes I don't even need the split. The meter is activated by pushing up on a switch located next to lens. My left thumb is naturally there anyway so activating it is a breeze. The meter readings are a simple red plus-minus if you're off, or a green dot if you're on. The button will deactivate itself after a few minutes, or when the shutter fires, to prevent excess battery use.

+ / - meter readings

+ / - meter readings

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It has a 1/2000 copal shutter, and includes a bulb setting for long exposures. The sound of the shutter and mirror is soft and springy... similar to, but less loud than the Praktica. There is mechanical self-timer, which also doubles as a mirror-up. For flash, there is a pc connection on the side, but no hot shoe on top. Apparently there is an available accessory shoe that mounts to the viewfinder, but I have not seen one anywhere online. I don't do a lot of spontaneous flash, so for me this is not really an issue. You could always use a bracket. Flash sync goes up to 1/125.

dials

dials

A protruded rubber grip on the back provides nice traction for my right thumb when shooting or holding it. The shutter button is perfectly positioned and very smooth, and is also fitted with a standard remote thread if you want to use a plunger.

BESSAFLEX BRANDING.jpg

As I mentioned, other than the meter this thing is fully mechanical. To load/remove film, you pull the winder up out of the iso dial and tug it up further to pop the door open. The film counter is on top next to the shutter and there's also a window on the back to see what you're shooting. I do find this helpful especially because the iso dial is just a wee bit loose. It hasn't been a problem while shooting, but it has been bumped in my bag a few times, so I double check it against the window when I pull it out.

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voigtlander_v200_22.jpg

So, what's wrong with the Bessaflex TM? This is very basic camera, and compares closely to the Spotmatic in design and handling. Prices for a good condition Spotmatic today? $20-$80 US. Prices for a Bessaflex? $450-$600. Wow! For such a simple camera (and for me), that's a lot. For that money you could get a nice Nikon F5...if that's what you want.

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Like much of my camera stuff, the Spotmatic and the LTL3 probably get lonely sitting on the shelf unused most of the time. Occasionally I take them out for a spin, but it's rare, because the Bessaflex TM is the the perfect camera for my 35mm film shooting: modern enough to be convenient and reliable, simple enough to keep me grounded in the basics, compatible with my favorite prime lenses from a variety of manufacturers. I love the build quality of this thing, and although it wasn't a bargain, it's decades newer than most of my other cameras. When I'm shooting 35, I'm shooting the Bessaflex.

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Brad Lechner is an image-making, story-telling, problem-solving dad & husband who produces and edits videos by trade. Otherwise, he’s likely playing soccer, daydreaming about the next family vacation, or scouring ebay for old cameras. Visit bradlechner.com to see some of his work.