Wide Eyed in India: Pt. X


After many days of activity, this day of unwinding was thoroughly welcome. 

Cold showers & 30's jazz & a blessedly present breeze soothed my mind into quiet reflection.

I found myself in Hyderabad once more, in an apartment high enough up in the hills to catch a little of the breeze that proved so elusive in the lowlands. 

The neighborhood was one of the wealthiest in Hyderabad...which is to say that four story palaces found themselves competing with tiny, tarp-roofed shacks & apartment buildings for supremacy. 

Midday came with North Indian style Thali shared with my incredible host Sean at a nice place in the neighborhood...and even finished off the meal with a milkshake! ....Or....well...a scoop of ice cream in some milk. Basically the same thing I suppose. 

With rather more food than I was accustomed to in my belly, we headed out for an afternoon of right proper tourism at the seven tombs of the Mughal Dynasty that once ruled Hyderabad....

Along the way I befriended a really sweet family that timidly came up and asked for a photo...after a quick snap and a bit of conversation, we went our separate ways. It's a shame though, they seem to have forgotten to write me about it... 
Shortly after two rambunctious middle-schoolers proceeded to do the same thing, but with much less veiled enthusiasm!

I went back up into Sean's neighborhood for the latter half of the afternoon,
 ending up wandering until dusk; making portraits and taking pleasure in the simple act of moving. 

Wide Eyed in India: Part IV

....Woken by birds and undulating voices calling worshipers to services as the Sunday sun bathed my bed in a shaft of gold..

I rode out to a small church in a village just outside of Hyderabad, listening to gentle voices rising and falling, a moment or and hour passing to reach a final crescendo of song.

 This was a reunion of sorts, as a number of men and women who had grown up the children's home which had once been housed within the church came to see my traveling companions, Janey & Louis DeMeo, the founders of Orphans First.


The reunion stretched into the afternoon, and I ended up filming interviews with each and every one of the alumni.



As the afternoon wore on, people filtered away, leaving behind the building many had grown up in. The old home had been empty for some time, but the lightest of impressions of the life once held within remained.


Product Photography on a Shoestring Budget

A week or so ago I decided to put a bit more effort into the product photos I take for my ebay listings. I've observed how, within my own purchasing habits, I'm more likely to bid on an item with great photos, as I feel much more confident that I'll be getting exactly what I anticipate. Also, it (to me) shows that the seller cares more than usual about the item he or she is selling, which is always a big confidence booster. 

Having essentially no budget to put towards the setup, I went and grabbed a roll of aluminum foil and a piece of cardboard and fashioned two reflectors.



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As you can see, I'm using the two reflectors for fill light, the flash (which ended up being pointed at the ceiling) as key, and my smartphone (used to take the photo) was used up very close as a catchlight. Despite appearances, the setup actually looks quite nice, though a less confused background would have been better




Not bad! Then again, I'm  a fan of the more organic sorts of product shots, so this suits me. A few more examples below...

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Postcript: As a proof of concept, I listed the Lexicon interface on ebay where it competed for bids against two other identical units. It sold it for $25 higher than my competitors. I'd say that's a success!

- Additionally, the Leica D-Lux 4 shown here sold for $50-75 more than competing units. You can't afford not to do this!!

To Begin Anew...

Over the past few months, the idea of some sort of creative renewal came into my mind. In the end, I decided to go "back to the basics" and shoot a good portion of my work on medium format film, as I feel it provides an aesthetic very well suited to my style of shooting, particularly with portraits. So from now on, I'll be shooting a portion of every portrait shoot I do on my recently acquired Bronica ETRS. 
I'm incredibly excited for this slight shift in approach, and think it will help me further my quest for making impact-filled images.