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snapixel magazine

issue 5

July 2010

BLACK & White


Contents

Photo Booth 06 Sea, Sky and Surf 08 Featured Photographer: Haris Mesic 22 Pretty Eerie: Interview with Adam Moore 30 Pinhole Photography 32 Broadway Lights 36 1*4*8* 40 Upcoming Themes 48

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Contributors Snapixel Users

Feature Contributors

Donald Chandler /donaldchandler1

Katy Berry, Writer Article: Pretty Eerie Location: Tracy, CA Favorite Photographers: Dave Lachapelle Sally Mann Annie Leibovitz

Edward Guido /edweirdo Debbie Hartley /Grecian Heston Kelly /heston Fabio Pannuzzo /free fabio David L. Ponedel /Dponedel Mavourneen Strozewski /photosbyjes

Piper Robbins, Photographer Article: Night Portraits Location: San Francisco, CA Favorite Camera: Her Hasselblad, which is named Anna Bell Favorite Film: Medium format, in color Favorite F-Stop: f 45 Portfolio: http://www.piperrobbins.com/

Gerry Walden /gwpics

Other Contributors Jasmin Chang www.jasminchang.com Julia Comita www.juliacomita.com Haris Mesic www.onelifephotography.net

Miikka Skaffari, Photographer

UNNIKrishnan Raveendranathan www.unniphotography.com

Article: Pinhole Photography Location: San Francisco, CA Favorite Equipment: Canon 1D MK IV, Graflex Anniversary Speed Graphic 4 x 5 MPC v11 (Pinhole Camera v11) Portfolios: http://www.skaffari.fi/ Snapixel.com/Portfolio/MSkaffari

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Snapixel Magazine Office 330 Townsend Street Suite #115 San Francisco, CA 94107 Email support@snapixel.com Website www.snapixel.com

Editor in Chief Adam Oliver Associate Editor/ Graphic Designer: Kaitlyn Ellison Chief Operations Officer Ivan Wong Web Director/ Information Technology: Florian Cervenka

“Coke Lovers, Paris” by Gerry Walden

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photography is classic. It’s where photography originated – capturing light on film. The photo above is a perfect example, a classic B&W photo that brings back memories of old times, old loves, even classic Coke bottles.

Snapixel assumes that all work published here is original. Images published in Snapixel Magazine are the sole property of the contributing photographers and are copyrighted material. No image may be reproduced without the express written permission of its owner. ©2010 Snapixel Magazine. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of this magazine is not permitted without the written consent of Snapixel.

Our theme this month captures all of the beauty and simplicity that can be found in every kind of black and white photo: portraiture, landscapes, snapshots; shooting at night, during the day, with flash, without flash; shooting film, shooting digital, shooting with pinholes, and even with photo booths. We’re constantly striving to bring new and innovative photography to the magazine, and sometimes that means going back in time to our photographic roots. So here’s to old school, new school, and everything in-between! Cheers, The Snapixel Team

Printed on demand by: Magcloud

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The photo booth is a pop culture icon. In the cult French film Amélie, it’s a photo booth mystery that brings the protagonist and her love interest together. MTV’s TRL (Total Request Live, for those of us who didn’t grow up in the 1990s) photo booth captures celebrities in their prime, right before they head out to the stage. Andy Warhol famously photographed himself in a photo booth. It’s the place to record spontaneous moments and show off our newest romances, to be a ham. Investigate the collection on this page, you won’t be disappointed in the array of the kind of people you see and the relationships you can try and decipher in viewing only the briefest of moments captured of these peoples’ lives. (Photos courtesy of Dave X at http://startlingmoniker. wordpress.com)

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Sea, Sky and Surf Sea, Sky and Surf Snapixel User Photographers get Atmospheric Snapixel User Photographers get Atmospheric


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Sea, Sky and Surf Photos By: UFOs? by Edward Guido Snapixel Username: edweirdo “Taken on the beautiful California Highway 1 coastline. I was shooting waves and did not realize until editing that my photo had been invaded!”

Out at the Lake by Mavourneen Strozewski Snapixel Username: theaveragelife “Fremont Island and Promontory Moutnains captured with a Canon EOS Rebel XTi during the winter of January 24th, 2010 at the Great Salt lake, which is located just past Syracuse, Utah. The cold wather produced a clear sky free of haze, which made it easy to capture the island, clouds and distant mountains in the background. I felt this was more dramatic as a deep black and white to set off the white clouds against the dark land over the water.”

No hay Agua Que Valga by Damaris Cruz Ramos Snapixel Username: lolayumyum “I don’t think there’s ever been a fire like this in Puerto Rico” “This photograph was taken during the explosion at the Caribbean Petroleum Corp. (Gulf) Oct.23,2009 It wasn’t that beautiful, what really makes it that appealing is that the accident holds all our senses at the same time. I just wanted to keep on admiring the fire and all the smoke while it rises to the sky. It was like you almost forgot what it caused it in first place.”

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Shining Through by Debbie Hartley Snapixel Username: grecian This image was taken on a recent trip to Tasmania where the scenery is just beautiful. On the morning that I took the image I was on a road trip through the countryside. It was very foggy and misty. While having a short break from driving through the fog, I was lucky enough to see and capture this image of the morning rays as they peeked through the trees. The scene did not stay for long, and I was glad I had stopped driving and had my camera on hand to capture the moment!

Fog On Mountains by Fabio Pannuzzo Snapixel Username: freefabio “Blue Mountains, the three sisters, NWS, Australia”

Reflection by Heston Kelly Snapixel Username: Heston “This picture was taken in Cologne, Germany. I lived in Cologne for over a year, and I passed this old house every day on my way to work. The most incredible thing about this place is that it’s surrounded by modern apartment blocks and tram lines. Cologne is a great city of concealed contrasts and beguiling beauty, a playground for black and white photography.”

Photographer Portfolios www.snapixel.com/portfolio/user name Snapixel.com

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s i r a H c i s E M Skater Photographer Political Philosopher

I met up with Haris Sirah, or as I now properly know him, Haris Mesic (Sirah is his online pseudonym), intending on only asking him a couple of questions for a brief behind-the-scenes of his photographs. But I found such a compelling, complicated person that I ended up staying three times as long as I meant to, discussing photography, philosophy, and politics. Haris is too many things to encompass in the short profile I’ve assembled, so we’ll stick with the photography… and the philosophy…and the skating.

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Haris was born in Bosnia, moving to the U.S. when he was very young. He maintains a strong connection to the country of his origin, which is the subject of his current work. He is creating a series focusing on Bosnia pre- and post-EU. He speaks of how the unique culture of Bosnia is being sublimated to that of the European Union, “It’s [the EU is] this big thing, all of these little countries want to join. But then culture is obliterated in two ways: first is that they become subjugated to an imperialist movement, and second they are joining and participating in a collective and now strive to live up to those standards.” His political fire has been fuelled by the recent trip he took to Bosnia for two weeks. He’s going to continue his series next May, and has an open-ended plane ticket. After that he’ll bum around Europe, make his way to the coast, and hop on a transatlantic ship to the U.S. – “they still have those ships that go all the way across the ocean, right?” he asks me. His passion for photography started in high school, following him as a hobby to college, where it became his major. He was initially studying to be a nurse, completing the coursework up until technical training. But by that point he had become so disillusioned by the way the health-care system works that he didn’t believe he could work within it and really put his heart into what he was doing. Photography, however, was something he could believe in. His website is called “One Life Photography,” and derives

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from two ideas. The first is that Haris believes that nature, the earth, and humans, are all sharing one life – “We are all cells of one big body.” The other is that each person only has ONE life. Haris wants to capture the powerful moments found in his, and others’ lives. He doesn’t want you to think about his photographs. Just to experience them and explore what they make you feel – those moments that “are like, damn.”

Despite his arguments against focusing on the aesthetics of his work, Haris has a very intentional philosophy behind how he shoots and prints his photographs. Like many of us who began studying photography before the digital age officially hit, he was originally trained in black and white film shooting. It’s something he continues to pursue, because as he quotes “We stand on the shoulder of the giants that stood before us [a saying popularized by Isaac Newton, but originally attributed to theologian John of Salisbury], back in the 1800s.” Haris is a purist, a cult-follower of film shooting and chemical prints. Film gives Harris a completely different feeling than digital does. The former is “painting with light,” whereas digital is simply measuring it, not chemically effecting anything. The light isn’t hitting the film. The guy is a print fanatic – he loves seeing the “feeling of color” in a traditional chemical print, “it’s so buttery. Printing with digital is about megapixels, so the magic is lost.” He shows me some of his photographic prints as I end the interview, and they are indeed, buttery.

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Photo Captions (Behind The Scenes) The Stories Behind the Photographs

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Top: “That’s Richard, he’s the craziest person, he’ll do anything [on a skateboard]!” Bottom: “Ivan. These guys are great, I’ve know them both for at least 10 years.”

The hill next to the skate park – covered in artists “These people know their rights, they're intellectuals, anarchists, they get revolutionary literature” The girl is Maria – a great street photographer. The guy in White, John, and behind him to the right is Andre – who is “totally intellectual.” Throughout his life Andrew was political, an anarchist who could always outargue his teachers. Currently he is education the youth of the hard area he lives in about politics, combining “city angry and political angry,” making strides toward educating the working class that Haris doesn't think gets done at all in the public school system. The kid in the middle sneezing is “Sneaks,” a great freestyler who makes videos and shoots photography. The bald one behind him, Thomas, makes beats. He’s very artistic - paints Another Adventure Once Haris was arrested for taking photographs at the state park at the end of Potrero (San Francisco). After one Christmas there was a dried up Christmas tree that someone lit on fire. Everyone was messing around, someone ollied through the fire, and of course someone ended up calling the cops. When they arrived, the ‘skater code’ kicked in and when no one would tell the police who started the fire, they went for Haris, the one with the camera. They tried to force him to show them his photographs, but he denied them the right to take his camera. They ended up arresting him for being intoxicated in public, though he wasn't. A lieutenant started to question him, and when Haris begin to talk, he got really angry: “I've been doing this for 10 years, you ain't shit to me!” Haris quotes, while he was thinking “This dude's tripping.” The policeman grabbed Haris by the arm, which had recently been broken. The photographer ended up in the drunk tank, where he met an “OG from 24th,” and got the guy to meditate for the first time in his life.

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Behind the skate park in Berkeley there are a set of train tracks, underneath it a water pipe and a bridge. That's where the boys go to throw rocks and targets and smush coins on the tracks.

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You can’t see it in the picture, but there is a ladder to the bridge that goes above the Caltrain. You aren’t allowed to climb it, but Haris made his way to the top to take a picture of his friends from above (he got a decent, but not great photo, in case you were wondering). According to Haris, within two seconds of his reaching the top, six cop cars and two FBI cars arrived (He suspects because it was after 9/11 they were worried it was connected to terrorism). Haris and his friends were all handcuffed, but when the FBI realized it was just a bunch of skater kids, they left. The local police arrested his friend who had a warrant out, but then the police started fighting amongst themselves allowing Mesic the chance to take his camera out between his legs to shoot pictures on the sly when the cops were distracted.

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Haris and his friend Tyson went to the docks at New Year. It was blocked, so of course they jumped the fence. They went to think about the year, to just sit there and ponder life. ****Follow the stars to find which photos go with which anecdote


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Jim Harris Beautiful Abandonment During a walk in the outlying areas of downtown Tuscan, Arizona, I came across several old, abandoned buildings. These old buildings have been part of Tuscan’s heritage for years, as can clearly been seen in its repair. This one struck me for it’s character and it’s beautiful contrasting colors.

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ooking at Adam Moore’s photography may instill viewers with a twinge of paranoia. His subjects are often shadowy landscapes, empty warehouses and dusty corners; each possess an air of abandonment but still echo with hints of activity, as if snapped by a ghost. His black and white photos appear antiquated, dark and distorted. Though Moore says he enjoys taking creepy photos, he hopes to also extract authentic, albeit unconventional beauty from their eerie nature - provoking second glances by mixing the mundane with the mysterious

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oore’s appreciation for the darker side of life is something he’s possessed since youth. One of his favorite memories is of breaking into an abandoned grain silo in Washington when he was about fourteen years old. He recalls feeling simultaneous fear and enthrallment upon d i s c o v e ring the dark and empty space, holding only dusty furniture and a broken sink. More had found something he liked and instantly felt and affinity for the old silo. But Moore’s first experiences with photography were hardly as strange or spooky. “My dad was a hobby photographer, so we had cameras around my whole childhood. I took a darkroom class with him when I was 11 or so, but I was never that interested in it. Partly because I didn’t like my dad’s photography. He was a classicist, so when I tried to do experimental things he would tell me a number of reasons why I couldn’t.”

a dead end job, and eventually succumbing to boredom. That was when he decided to pick up a camera once again. Around the same time, Moore also discovered the work of Michael Kenna, whose desolate and ethereal landscapes helped validate his non-traditional tastes. “I saw people going out and doing something completely different from what my dad did and I instantly discovered that there was photography I liked. And I never looked back.” The work of James Fee also contributed to Moore’s renewed confidence. Having found it only two days after his first experimentation with dumping chemicals, turning on lights, scratching, and splattering. “I walked into San Francisco Camera Works and saw a signed edition of Road by James Fee, and it was exactly what I had done the day before. On one hand, my heart sank because I found out someone did it before me, but at the same time it was exactly what I wanted to be doing. It was so incredibly cool.”

“Darkness is a great vehicle. Whether it’s literal because the sun is gone, or it’s been introduced in the print. It can make you wonder, ‘what’s over there?”

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nable to discover photography on his own terms, Moore was repelled by his father’s by-the-book principles, and eventually quit taking pictures all together. He didn’t return to photography until the nineties when, after plans to earn a PhD in history failed to pan out, he fell into the typical 20-something situation; living in San Francisco, working 30

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inally dispelling his father’s classical principles, Moore went on to travel through Germany and Russia, playing with photojournalism, traditional landscape, and documentary styles. His work continued to evolve, becoming progressively more experimental. “I’ve never been a person who really liked things that were benign. Darkness is a great vehicle. Whether it’s literal because the sun is gone, or it’s been introduced in the print. It can make you wonder, ‘what’s over there?’ ...I’ve always been drawn to the dark, mysterious, creepy places...but I still want things to be beautiful.” Throughout his growth as a photographer, the bulk of Moore’s work retained his dramatic signature style, and despite his experimentation with color, black and white photography seems to be his niche. “We’re used to seeing things in color, it’s what we know. I think that 99.9% of our time is pent looking at the world around us in

color, so black and white is different and potentially more mysterious.” Moore is also a member of the Nocturnes, a photography group based in San Francisco specializing in night photography. Moore finds that taking pictures after dark “pulls the viewer away from a sense of normalcy” because film interprets light differently than our eyes do. So while most people know what it’s like to walk down a street at night, film provides a completely alternative view of the experience, one we’re unable to have on our own. According to Moore, “shooting at night is an easy way to force people to look at what you’ve done more closely and think about it.”

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oore’s most passionate work can be found in his collection called Dark Lands. To achieve it’s appearance, he experimented with exhausted chemicals, an enlarger to blur and move the images, and the selective application of different chemicals in daylight either by pouring, spraying, or painting them on with a brush to obscure the image in a controlled manner. “I sort of went on this journey to see how much I could destroy the image that I had photographed, yet sill come up with something that resembled it. Because the outcome is so dark, the results are murmurs of the living world, barely alight.” Moore uses darkness more intensely than ever to draw the viewer in, forcing them to peer into the photo to uncover it’s faint scene. Each photo contains it’s own mystery, inspiring a sense of vulnerability, and perhaps even slight exhilaration.

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or now, the future of Moore’s work remains to be seen. Currently, his personal projects are taking a backseat to his successful digital studio, Sugar Digital in San Francisco, and his growing family - which includes two demanding toddlers. “When I work in the dark room it’s an eight-to-ten hour commitment. I can’t go in for two or three hours and get anything done. At this points, ti’s either go to my darkroom or see my kids. I still miss it. At the worst, it eats me up and I try to think about something else.” When Moore does return to the darkroom, he’ll have plenty to work with, as he still has untouched film from his last trip to Russia in 2005. Until then, his work can be viewed on his website, www.adammoore.com, where prints are available for purchase.


Pretty Eerie

The Dark Work of Adam Moore

Interview by Katy Berry

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Pinh le Photography

Miikka Scafarri

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How it’s Done I build my pinhole cameras myself. The latest one I made is based on Polaroid 550 pack film holder and Fuji FP instant film. This gives me flexibility with my workflow as I don't have to go to darkroom to change film after each shot and I also get immediate results. I build the "body" of the camera from black foam core. The distance from film plane is approximately the same as the diagonal of the film. With this kind of construction I get similar angle of view as I would get with "normal" lens, 50mm lens on 35mm film. The pinhole "lens" is made from aluminium from a soda can. I make an impression with ball point pen, sandpaper the material thinner on the impression and puncture as small hole as I can with a needle. Smaller and rounder hole produces sharper images. Small hole also guarantees nearly infinite depth-of-field for the images. The first order of business after the construction is to figure out the needed amount of light for the camera and film chosen. Since I can't adjust the aperture of the lens I can only affect the exposure by extending the time I let light through the opening. After experiments I found out that my current camera exposes 100 ISO film correctly in 4 seconds in bright sunlight. This makes the aperture of the camera about f/362. Based on this I calculate approximate exposure times for different lighting conditions. Taking the picture is simple. First I position the camera on a steady surface and cover the pinhole with museum putty or even my finger. Since the camera doesn't have a finder the framing of the shot is somewhat approximate . I try to position the subject directly in front of the camera and approximate the distance to that the subject will fit into the shot. Then I remove dark slide from the film holder and open up the pinhole for the appropriate time based on my calculations. One of the benefits of working with instant film is that I can check the exposure immediately after the shot. If everything went good I have a beautiful pinhole photograph in my hand. If not, I adjust the position of the camera and/or exposure time and have another go. -Miika Scafarri

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By the dazzling lights of San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, and with the help of her handy Holga and ring flash, photographer

Piper Robbins shows us a whole new side of portraiture.

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1* 4* 8* storytelling in series

Photographs share stories. We have selected three photographers to demonstrate extraordinary story telling in three different formats: Short (1 photo), medium (4 images), and long (8 images)

Photos by Julia Comita, Jasmin Chang, and Unnikrishnan Raveendranathan


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“Northshore Retirement Home,” series by Jasmin Chang


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“She,” series by Unnikrishnan Raveendranathan


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Upcoming Themes: Action, Sports, Motion Architecture Documentary Fashion Long-Exposure Monochrome Music Portraiture Sequence/Series World Wide Moment

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Last Look

“War Veteran” by Donald Chandler

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Issue 5: Black and White E2  

Renounce color and get inspired by photography’s B&W roots in the fifth issue of Snapixel Magazine!

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