Through the square window
Thanksgiving. It pours; a menacing sky. I hope for a break in the rain so I can take pictures. That seems unlikely: it won’t clear up until Saturday. I retreat to the studio, fondling some of my medium-format cameras: a Mamiya RZ67, a Hasselblad 500 C/M, a Rolleiflex and a Fuji GW690, a monstrous rangefinder that produces exceptionally sharp photos. The beloved Hasselblad now has a prism finder and I’m eager to try it out: the glare was too much in bright sun.
A series of 6X6 photos has been on my mind for a while, maybe enough for a book. I love the square format, something inspired by the work of Vivian Maier and Robert Adams, among others. I find it easier to compose in 6X6. Medium-format images are exceedingly sharp because the negative is four- to six times larger than a 35mm negative. The general wisdom is that not even digital can match that crispness.
I lack a project, but it may be time to revisit the Rosicrucian grounds in Oceanside, a beach town in San Diego. I’ve taken pictures at the Rosicrucians (below) for years and planned a book, but the project lacked uniformity, since the images were taken in black and white and color with different cameras. I realized that I may have to retake the pictures I had taken in those four years. Most of the pictures in “The Open-Air Bookstore” (a recycling center shown below) were taken in this format, along with the pictures in the newly released “Fragments (the last five images, which were taken with a Holga, a plastic camera. Holga make for blurry, poetic images). I’m enjoying digital but am excited to resume shooting film. I will be posting more images as the adventure unfolds.
[“Fragments” is available on Blurb.]