I was contacted by Southwest Airlines to do a shoot for the in-flight magazine Southwest Spirit. They were doing an article on “Vintage San Francisco” and they wanted it shot in B&W. It sounded like a great project and I was excited to get it. Then the Photo Editor said something I couldn’t believe… she said that it was ok to shoot digitally.
As she was describing the project I was already envisioning how I was going to shoot the project. Getting a request for a B&W shoot is rare enough now days, but a story about Vintage San Francisco that contains primarily architecture and wanting it in B&W is even rarer still. I thought there is no way I’m going to shoot this with a 35mm digital camera! (which was the equipment I had at time) Don’t get me wrong. I’m no “anti-digital” purist. I am a tech nerd through and through (yes, I got the iPhone days within release). Tech was even what I used to do in a past life before photography. I am fully digital, 35mm to Medium Format and Large Format. But if there was ever a project that called for using a large format View Camera and Polaroid Type 55 film, this was it. At the time i didn’t have a View Camera and had never used Type 55 film, but it was something that I’ve always wanted to use. So, I went out and bought the equipment and learned on this shoot. It was great traveling all around the city and looking at places I’ve seen every day in a whole new light.
The Photo Editor loved the results and I think the images were far better than a 35mm digital camera could have produced. I know its not the equipment that makes a photograph, but there is something a little more soulful to taking a picture with a View Camera and Polaroid film. For me, its like the difference between Vinyl and an MP3… sure there are pops and scratches on the vinyl but it gives a different mood and warmth that can’t be matched, even if it is just in my mind.
This week I’m shooting a series of image for San Francisco Magazine. Normally I’m hired to photograph people, but they liked my beachscapes of the Santa Cruz area. So, for this shoot I’ll be photographing Costanoa, which is just south of Pescadero. So, weather permitting I’ll be heading down the coast the next few days.
I’ve been a bit busy the last couple weeks. The most time consuming thing is my move to a new location and studio in San Francisco. I also shot a small campaign for the Franciscan winery. This image was actually the image that made them want to hire me. You can see the ad running in Esquire soon. Well, back to unpacking.