The road is bleak and punishing, filled with people who are forced onto it or left there by forces bigger than themselves. But it also has a seductive draw. Garry Winogrand, driving out of New York in a 1957 Ford Fairlane, went in search of America and found a vast emptiness, even when people filled the frame. The residents of the towns he passes through are as uprooted as he is, held tenuously to the earth by plastic and false faith.
Cars swim this road like great, graceful sharks – lethal, amoral, consuming one kind of poison and spitting out another. It’s their road, not ours; they just need us to buy the gas.
Hi Patrick! Big fan of your work, your pictures talk to me in a way I cannot really explain but that's what art is all about! I had a question concerning your scanning process, I believe you are using an Epson V700, are you doing something special, I mean my night shots scan are coming out very grainy especially in dark areas, just wanted to know if you would share your workflow, I understand if you don't ;) Cheers! Anthony
Thanks for your nice words about my photos!
When I scan medium format film, I usually have it set at 24bit and 1600 to 2000 dpi with digital ICE on. Like you, I’ve found scanning night shots to be difficult. E-6 isn’t a problem, but c-41 tends to get over exposed on the V700. It always takes me a lot longer to scan night shots taken on c-41 because I’m always playing with the exposure settings and other things to try and get the right scan. One thing I sometimes do, when manually selecting frames to scan, is put the frame well outside the actual image. This will change the scanner’s auto exposure setting and often makes it darker overall and usually closer to what I think is the correct exposure. If this doesn’t work, I’ll adjust the exposure setting manually. Even when I do this, I often scan the same frame 4 or 5 times, under different settings, in order to have a few options to work with. I might delete some of those later, when I run them through Light Room, where I make further adjustments as needed.
Another issue that comes up sometimes are streaks and marks that appear during development that show up in dark areas. Unfortunately every lab I’ve used sometimes has this problem. Some rolls will be completely clean and others will have these marks. Sometimes I’ll increase the “darks” to try and mask this, but it doesn’t always work.
I think I’ve gotten much better at scanning, but I still feel somewhat inadequate. I love shooting e-6 for its own sake, but it’s also refreshing to scan it and receive “what you see is what you get” results. Of course c-41 has better exposure latitude, so it’s always a trade off. I have a bunch of older frames I’d like to rescan because I can see how I might improve on them, but it’s hard to find the time.
I don’t know how helpful this is, but you’re not alone in your scanning woes. I wish it could be easier. Since most people shoot their film in daylight, I don’t think it comes up as an issue as much.
“I think the camera is something of a nuisance in a way. It’s recalcitrant. It’s determined to do one thing and you may want to do something else. You have to fuse what you want and what the camera wants. It’s like a horse. Well, that’s a bad comparison because I’m not much of a horseback rider, but I mean you get to learn what it will do. I’ve worked with a couple of them. One will be terrific in certain situations, or I can make it be terrific. Another will be very dumb but sometimes I kind of like that dumbness. It’ll do, you know. I get a great sense that they’re different from me. I don’t feel that total identity with the machine. I mean I can work it fine, although I’m not so great actually. Sometimes when I’m winding it, It’ll get stuck or something will go wrong and I just start clicking everything and suddenly very often it’s all right again. That’s my feeling about machines. If one sort of looks the other way, they’ll get fixed. Except for certain ones.”—Diane Arbus
“The Internet threatens final confirmation of Adorno and Horkheimer’s dictum that the culture industry allows the “freedom to choose what is always the same.” Champions of online life promised a utopia of infinite availability: a “long tail” of perpetually in-stock products would revive interest in non-mainstream culture. One need not have read Astra Taylor and other critics to sense that this utopia has been slow in arriving. Culture appears more monolithic than ever, with a few gigantic corporations—Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon—presiding over unprecedented monopolies. Internet discourse has become tighter, more coercive. Search engines guide you away from peculiar words. (“Did you mean … ?”) Headlines have an authoritarian bark (“This Map of Planes in the Air Right Now Will Blow Your Mind”). “Most Read” lists at the top of Web sites imply that you should read the same stories everyone else is reading. Technology conspires with populism to create an ideologically vacant dictatorship of likes.”—Alex Ross (via conscientious)
Have you ever been threatened when out taking pictures of folks, or worse?
Indirectly. There was a guy who threatened to sick his chow on my friends Bryan and Josh while I was out with them one night last year. I wrote about that incident here. Nothing very serious though. I try and avoid any conflict and any situation that seems dangerous from the start. I’ve had the most trouble in the suburbs from bored homeowners threatening to call the police. Of course I always try and explain what I’m up to to anyone who asks. Most people get it or at least realize that I’m not likely a threat. Some don’t, unfortunately.