povanice asked: What lens did you use to shoot your recent portraits?
Anything you see here is either iPhone + VSCO or Canon 5D + 50mm 1.4.
Love these two images next to each other. Taken in SF.
Elton Veals, songwriter/musician
You’re laying in bed, tap-tap-swiping through Instagram, and somehow your hand slips and your phone is hurled down at your face. First world problems? It’s kind of funny how well we know this situation.
If anyone overuses their phone while in bed, it’s me. I wear it out. Abuse it. And honestly, it’s kind of sucked the life out of me.
I was talking to my friend Allie the other day when she asked me what the first thing I do when I wake up is. I said, without hesitation, that I check my phone. It’s become an instinct. And immediately after answering her question - I noticed something. I don’t wanna be that guy anymore.
This rad dude named Bob Goff wrote about how he quits something every Thursday. Ever since reading that, I’ve been intrigued by the idea - our lives have a lot of fluff…things we don’t need or could be better off without. Personally, I could be better off without using my phone in bed. There are nights when I’m on my phone for two or three hours before I actually go to sleep. And there are mornings that I wake up, spend as much time as possible on my phone, and end up rushing to school or work.
The truth is, the time I spend on my phone is eating away at time that could hold much more value. I don’t value my sleep as much as I should, and I too often fail to realize that what I give my time to at the beginning of the day matters.
The truth is, my phone doesn’t matter that much.
Time to start using that nifty ‘do not disturb’ switch? I think so. Tonight, I quit sleeping with my phone. In the words of Propaganda, “I guess you could say I’ve been through a divorce now. Me and my phone are no longer married. I think I’m ready to be here, now.”
And it’s not even about parting from my phone, truth be told. It goes along the lines of “wherever you are, be all there”. If I’m going to bed, I’m going to bed to sleep. Not to scroll through Instagram.
I read an article a few weeks ago about this idea. The idea that people are much more efficient and even satisfied when they give their whole selves to the task at hand. In quitting sleeping with my phone, I follow that line of thinking. Again, in the words of Propaganda,
Multitasking is a myth. You ain’t doin’ anyone anything - just everything mediocre. Time begged me to stop stretching her so thin and stuffing her so full, stop being so concerned with the old her and the future her. But love her - now.
Last week I was interviewed by my photographer friend, Kristen. I wanted to upload the interview here, too. A lot of you might have already read it, but here’s a snippet:
I first met Michael in passing while he was working for Max Zoghbi (his showcase here). Months later, I remember seeing a familiar face walk through a local coffee shop, but not being able to pinpoint exactly who he was, and then it hit me - that’s him - Michael Tucker, the extraordinary artist I follow on Instagram. This guy has mad talent for capturing a moment. What makes his talent so special is the fact that he does it all with his iPhone. I was able to sit down with Michael and learn about his three year journey with the all too famous app, Instagram.
K: How do you think IG has changed your perspective on creative outlets?
M: It’s changed my perspective on people, more than anything. People are awesome - and when they see something that’s awesome, they jump into it. For that reason, people can be very willing to dive into the IG community. As far as creativity goes, I don’t think I’ve ever had a restrained outlook on creativity. My view of creativity and how you can be creative was never limited. Hence, it was pretty easy for me to jump into photography as art - even mobile photography.
K:I always wonder what Ansel Adams or other trailblazers of photography would think about the world (of photography) these days…
(then Michael pointed me to this quote by Ansel Adams)
“The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.”
The interview with Kristen was a blast. Afterwards, portraits were taken and we said our goodbyes. But ultimately, I’m posting this because the interview got me thinking about my creative process. I’ve never given it much consideration - and when I was asked some of the questions she asked me, I wasn’t sure how to respond. Which led me to do some more thinking and come to the conclusion that there are a lot of questions I need to answer for myself.
More to come!
Somewhere along the line, I’ve come to find out that a Tumblr does not function well as a portfolio. I suppose it’s a good way to spread stuff across the internet. Like Pinterest. Or Reddit. But I don’t think that’s why I’m here. So - I’ll keep my photos posted, but I’m moving in a new direction. More writing, less photos. And truthfully, I don’t know that Tumblr functions very well as a legitimate blogging platform - Tumblr even admits to being a “micro”-blogging platform. So there’s that.
Most of you don’t know this, but before a couple of years ago I was writing almost every day or so on another blog, also hosted on Tumblr. After seven years of content and a relatively large following, I saved the posts to a Dropbox folder and deleted the blog. Most of the content was intensely personal and needn’t be shared with everyone. People were drawn to my vulnerability; but I think there are better ways to be vulnerable and a better way to attract an audience.
If there was ever a time to start things up again, I think that time is now. I’m in a significant transition season in my life - two semesters of college left, opportunities knocking at every other door, and a lot of thoughts that would probably go to waste if they weren’t written down somewhere.
I’ve been thinking a lot. About school, about photography, about what I’m going to do once I graduate. Especially that.
I’ve been dreaming a lot, too. About traveling, about spending time with friends near and far, about making art that causes change. Especially that.
There’s a part of me that says my thoughts aren’t worth sharing - but the part of me that wants to share, it speaks a bit louder. So I think it’s important that I do.
Command + Control + Power Button.