Herve with an Aero Ektar


Over the past few months I've gathered the pieces of a new camera kit comprising of a Graflex Speed Graphic and a Kodak Aero Ektar. Here it is, with a rollfilm back replacing the normal graflock back in this instance....



This is basically a lens ripped from old WWII reconnaissance aircraft. It's got a focal length of 178mm, and aperture of f/2.5 and it weighs a ton. With no built in shutter, you need the focal plane shutter of a Speed Graphic to make this lens usable.

Having found a suitable camera and got hold of one of these lenses, I then had to order a custom built lens board, which I got from Jo Lommen, whose site is a fantastic source of information with some very clear instructions on how to fix and adjust the Speed Graphic cameras, and I was good to go.

Here is Herve, sitting on his apartment balcony in Hoboken, New Jersey. This is the first portrait I took with this lens. If I can carry the damn thing, I'll be trying to use this combination a lot.

UPS bomb scare at Newark airport



Friday's bomb scare found me at Newark Airport, hunting for shots of the UPS plane and Emergency Services. By the time I got the call, the main event was already over. When I got to the airport it was pretty quiet, in that I mean it seemed like an ordinary day at Liberty International.

The paper ran one of my pictures on their website for a short time, before replacing it with a shot of the UAE jet and then replacing that with one of President Obama. They ran a slideshow which didn't include any of my shots, which is a shame, as I actually quite like the two above.

Anyway.

I read the articles when I got home and though I take most things with a large pinch of salt, I do wonder at why this whole bomb scare occurred a few days before the U.S. midterms and a few days after a debate in the U.K. about easing some of the security measures. Conspiracy or genuine plot? Or a mix of the two. Who can say...

As an aside, thanks to the ABC TV truck, for providing me with a fast and free internet connection to file photos from, which was way better than the nonsense I had to go through to connect with the Airport's wifi.



Nature Within Exhibit






I am pleased to announce I will be included in the NATURE WITHIN exhibition curated by Minny Lee at the 25CPW gallery.

Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, October the 15th from 6-9pm.

The exhibition runs from October the 14th to the 28th 2010.

www.naturewithinexhibit.com

www.25cpw.org

The gallery is located at 25 Central Park West. New York City.

Exhibition hours are 12-8pm Tuesday-Sunday.



Here is one of the two photographs I have in the show. For a little back story on how I came to be in this place, taking this picture, click here.



The first roll with the Shen Hao 6x17 Panoramic back

I just bought a Chinese made Shen Hao 6x17 panoramic back for my 4x5, basically because I have wanted to do panoramas for a long time, and could neither afford a Hasselblad xpan nor a Technorama.

Even if I could splash out on a second hand xpan, it's the Linhof I'd really want, and my wife already gives me grief for all the money I spend on equipment so there's no way I could justify this extravagance, especially as it's the digital camera which bring in most of the $$$ and those aren't cheap either.

Earlier this year I saw the work of Kim Young Gap and knew I absolutely had to jump on this panorama photography stuff somehow. In the house/museum which houses his work they have his studio preserved and my wife rolled her eyes as I said "Look at those beautiful cameras just sitting there not being used!".

So, when I found this Shen Hao back which works with the 4x5 and lenses I already own - and hopefully will give me similar results as the Linhof for a fraction of the price, I had to get one. I did. And it's great. A little hard to compose with, while the ground glass is pretty bright there's some massive light fall of round the edges but I'm sure I'll get used to that. Other than that it's a lot of fun, which is always important.

I took it out for a walk round my area to test it out. Here are some scans, the results from the first roll of film I ran through it. This is all of them. It takes 4 frames on a roll of 120 film. I'm loving that. I'm looking forward to doing some proper work with it...







NY Times Article - Bailing Out the Stars (Audio Slideshow)





Produced by Michael Kolomatsky
Photographs by Tom White
Additional photograph by Ruby Washington
Audio recorded by Tom White

Read the full article by John Eligon here.





NY Times Article - Minding the Store With Elizabeth Gilbert: Love, Travel, Sell


I have to confess I had never heard of Elizabeth Gilbert or her books before I googled her after I was asked to go and take her portrait. That shows you how plugged in I am to the zeitgeist doesn't it.