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Lindsay

What a whirlwind of a summer it was with a career change and a complete uprooting  of the family from Oklahoma to Ohio.  Not much time to explore or take photos, but for a weird twisted fate it just so happened a friend I had only known through Instsgram happened to be in Dayton to visit her boyfriend Scott who plays soccer for the USL's Dayton Dutch Lions.  I've been working more and really enjoying doing portraits and on a whim asked if she'd be open to meet up and she said yes. 

So we had about an hour to shoot and decided to head downtown to this abandoned busking I've sinde learned is called the Merc(sp?).  It's a great space with some grunge and texture.  After a couple test shots I could tell this would be a fun shoot.  Lindsay was a ton of fun to shoot with and hopefully down the road we can link up again for a second shoot.  

She has such a natural expression that draws you in to each photo, it was hard to have her look off camera.  

Thanks again Lindsay, it was great meeting you and getting the chance to shot with you!  

Here's a few of my favorites from our shoot.

 

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Shooting with Blair

There's this barn I've found that is a fantastic place of light and texture and solitude.  It's well hidden and not many know where it is.  I've been many times and always wanted to capture this specific image in the upstairs attic space.   

A few weeks back I was able to work with my friend Blair who agreed to help me out and pose behind the lens and we were able to create an image so much better than I had pictured in my head.  I'm so thankful to have friends like Blair that are are more than willing to lend a hand.  

We we were also able to capture a few more while out that night.    

Thanks again Blair! 

 

The last two images are exactly what we were after and then some.

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Adventures with Film Part II

      Been asked before what's the point in shooting with film when you have a perfectly good dslr and even iPhone, and it's one I've thought about myself.  Today's technology has packed cameras with so much out of the box functionality they allow the photographer to do so much more with them.  Even today's iPhone with simple focus and exposure locks and megapixels can capture some amazing images with relative ease.  All of that being said, there is a lot more that goes into capturing great images than just equipment.  

Canon AE1 Program

Canon AE1 Program

      So seriously, why are you still shooting film with all that 'fancy' equipment?  Like most hobbyist photographers there's an interest in the history and process of making images, and I'm sure most of us around my age started shooting with film, even if it was a 35mm point and shoot of family vacations.  There's a nostalgic tie to the past in all of us.  Remembering how we used to do things brings some relevance to where we are today.  

      Another reason to shoot with film, learning to slow down.  Not sure if it's a byproduct of today's cameras but there is a tendency to just shoot shoot shoot and fix it later in post, for me anyway.  I was noticing that instead of slowing down and trying to capture the best image I could, I was taking shots and previewing then adjusting settings to retake if needed.  I wasn't really learning or teaching myself how to produce better results, I was relying on the camera.  With film you learn real quick you are in charge of your results and  the camera is just a tool at your artistic mercy.  It was starting to feel the other way around.  

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    My favorite subject to shoot is the natural landscape of Oklahoma and the rich history embedded throughout this great state.  This means most of my hobbyist photography is spent with subjects that don't move and are outdoors in natural light.  A perfect combination for a newbie to film like me where I can slow down and setup, compose, and enjoy the process in making a photograph.  Part of that process is another reason I absolutely love working with film, the anticipation.  When I'm out exploring and my eye catches something my mind starts doing cartwheels all the way up until I fire the shutter, then at that moment I get that feeling.... man I hope that shot turns out.  One of those feelings that binds you to each image, a feeling for me that's hard to get with today's instant reminiscing. 

     Part of the emotion in film photography is development, something I'd still like to learn how to do but right now am at the mercy of labs.  The anticipation of waiting to pick up scans and see the results of what I shot brings back memories for me to the one hour photo days.  

    With all that being said I've still so much to learn and many more rolls to try out and experiment with.  And whether I ruin a completely good roll of film or nail every exposure I'm in love with the process of shooting film.   

    Here are some shots partly from a recent trip with my friend Thomas Perez and some just around town.  Thomas is a film enthusiast with a mean Pentax 67 Medium Format camera, the color shot of him is with his camera he let me use that day.  Gives me a bit of camera envy, the natural lens vignette and sharpness in that Pentax are so good.

      The Black and White images were taken with the Canon AE1 Program using Kodak T-MAX 100 B&W film and a 50mm 1.8 lens.  Thomas told me about this app called Analogger that is like a notepad and organizer to keep track of in camera settings. So I have been using that to record and help me slow down and learn from my shooting. It's helpful and definitely keeps me organized.

    Hope you enjoy the photos as much as had making them.

 

 

 

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Pentax 67

Pentax 67

waited and waited for a mountain biker to zip through the trail.

waited and waited for a mountain biker to zip through the trail.


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Adventures with Film

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     Decided to load up some film (and iPhone of course) and hit the country roads with my friend Thomas Perez. Thomas is a film enthusiast and does amazing portraits so it was great to learn some key techniques in exposure not only with film but with portraits in general.  Today's dslr's have built in metering than make life a little easier and come with the ability to preview instantly.

      The great thing about slowing down and using film is it forces you to use the old noggin and focus on the key aspects of portraiture, and for me exposure is at the top.  And after a few blown rolls of film it'll make you want to learn real quick.

     We headed out and found some really great locations.  By chance we ran into a fellow who knew of an old place he thought we should check out, doesn't get much better than that.  We also found some great open fields that were being used as monitor locations for seismic activity.    Interestingly enough there was a VW Beatle keeping watch over us in the field while we snapped photos like we were in Area 51.  Cue the X-Files music.

    We ended the day at an abandoned house Thomas had been to before and man is it ever the perfect spot for some natural light and textured backdrops.  Just the kind of place that brings you back wanting to see more.

    Here are some iPhone shots from our explorations, hopefully I can finish the roll of Kodak TMAX 100 B&W Negative I shot.  Really anxious to see what I learned after blowing a roll of Portra previously. 

    Also, if you are still reading this  you are very patient, the patient kind of person who'd like to roam the back country roads and model for some photos?  I'm looking to make more portraits and looking for people willing to go into some of these dusty and dirty spots so if you're interested shoot me an email by going to the contact section of this website and fill out the form and just let me know if you're interested and maybe what days/times are best for ya.  You got some big shoes to fill though, Thomas is pretty darn good.

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exploreOK: Red Rock State Park

Took Dolan this past Sunday to Red Rock Canton State Park in Hinton, OK. We were hoping to climb around some if the rocks and trails but with the winter blast we've had here in Oklahoma it wasn't thawing out all the ice and snow like it had here in the city. We did find a pretty flat trail near the first turnout so we took a little stroll before out feet froze out from all the snow.

Can't wait to get back when it warms up and we can climb around like find all the nooks and cranny's.

Here's a few iPhone and Canon photos from our shirt trip.

For more info about he park you can visit
http://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.6275


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Instameet August 24

Instameet up Saturday August 24 in one of the most scenic settings in Oklahoma, the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge at Mount Scott. Meet time is 10am. Great chance to meet fellow instagramers, photographers, friends, all at an amazing place.

Angela Cordes from Cordes Photography will be our tour guide in her back yard.

Here is a link to the hiking trail map.
You may have to copy paste into your browser.
http://www.fws.gov/uploadedfiles/map-trails.pdf#a

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Furlough Friday

Another day off due to the government furloughs. Spent the day doing CAD work for my dad at their business. It's been great being able to spend the day with him and my son helping out around the shop and eating donuts bigger than frisbees. Been awhile since I've used AutoCAD so it's nice to go back and visit the old friend that started with me on my career path long ago.

Spent a little bit walking around the shop and enjoying the texture and light. Much different than my little cubicle world.

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Prints for Sale

Since there doesn't seem to be a cost effective means for an online 'print on demand service' and recently had more requests for prints, finally decided to put together a short list of photos for sale.

These prints are right to your door at the following sizes and prices and will be printed through Miller's Lab on Fuji Pearl paper. All prices include shipping.

4x6 - $15
5x5 - $17
5x7 - $20
6x9 - $23
8x8 - $25
8x10 - $25
11x14 - $40

Just send an email with the Title, Size, and Address to darrenisreal at gmail dotcom.

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Lunch time stroll

Decided with my soreness to slip the gym and go for a quick little photo walk. Was the perfect break I needed to get outside and enjoy this amazing summer weather we are having. Even had the chance to see some Prairie Dodder which you'll see in one of the photos. It's a spiderweb like vine that attaches itself to certain types of wildflowers. Really amazing to see. Anyway, here's a few photos from my little walk.

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Summer afternoon exploring

Normally when I go exploring some place we've never been we tend to set aside quite a bit of time in a weekend so that we can have plenty of driving time as well as time to walk around and find as much as we can. The beauty being able to lay eyes on things we've never seen.

So what happens when you have a couple hours of free time on a Tuesday afternoon in Oklahoma? You can stay inside and edit photos or you can take your son and a few cameras and go drive. So we decided to do just that. No plan just get in the car and go find stuff and have fun. You just never know what you're gonna find.

Wasn't able to get a good photo of it because of distance, but in the middle of nowhere in the fields of Oklahoma was a house. Not just any old house, a house built like a castle. My son asked if we could go inside and look around. I had to explain this isn't England or Ireland where they are museums now and that somebody actually lived in there.

Well to some up our little two hour excursion we were able to jump hay bales, chase grasshoppers, drive through mud, walk through an abandoned barn, feed some horses, drive some roads we've never been, and most importantly make some father son memories. Hopefully he'll look back on days like these as I do thankful we have something in common that we can enjoy together.

Here are a some photos I captured on my iPhone using the VSCOCAM app. By far my favorite app.

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Maud (Part 2)

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Maud (Part 2)

Wanted to add a few of the DSLR shots I took on the first trip down to Maud.  Dolan and I had such a great time exploring the town and the O'Daniel Market.  He has such an inquisitive nature and is always searching.  An excellent quality.  I tried to focus on items in the store at places or things that would spark memories.  Having not had the opportunity to see the Market until now it was hard to determine what I should capture. 

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Maud (Part 1)

So me and my boy loaded up the car yesterday morning and set out to explore the town of Maud and take some photos of the grocery store before its sold off. We stopped first at the donut shop to get a little fuel for the day. Ok, it may have been a little bribe to help with the long drive, whatever works.

Once we picked up the key and drove down Main Street where the store was we noticed all kinds of abandoned buildings and dilapidated alleyways. A visual delight for me as a photographer. It was a bit cold and dreary with a little rain, but we set out around the alleys first and looped around to the old O'Daniel grocery store.

So many roofs and walls have caved in and collapsed it was like walking through a man made forest of bricks and siding. It was so much fun to walk through with my son and see the history if this town and wonder what it was like in its prime. He had the chance to climb up old fire escapes and walls, search through buildings, and take lots of photos.

We made it finally inside the old grocery store and found how neglected the place has been. The dust and debris now cover the history of a once thriving store for the family. It was so dark inside that it was hard to take photos with my phone. So I am breaking this up into a few parts on the blog. Don't know how many there will be, but for the one I wanted to post up some of the photos I shot with my iPhone around the town. I want to download and spend some time editing the dslr shots that I tool from inside the grocery store before I post them.

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Maud

This weekend will be bittersweet in the small town of Maud, OK. My wife's family is originally from here and they owned many buildings and property in Maud. The main building and business being the town grocery store. It has been closed down for sometime, but I have heard many a story from my wife and family about the good times they had in that grocery store and how they will miss it dearly as if it was a second home.

We have been down to Maud for Thanksgivings and such, but I've never spent the day just down there shooting. The family recently decided to sell the old O'Daniel grocery store. I know it must be tough for them to do as it is has been such a big part of their family bond.

So I have decided this weekend I am going to head down and take photos of as much O'Daniel history as I can. The buildings and property may not stand, but I hope I can help keep their memories alive.

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