AKA Abraham Bacoln

I went out and ran a roll of Fuji Velvia …
March 16, 2009, 2:30 pm
Filed under: photography | Tags:

At Broad and MLK

Originally uploaded by Brother O’Mara

… and all I got were these lousy pics.

Okay, seriously though this was a bizarre and fascinating experience. Someone in my online world recently posted a few pics taken with a Holga and some Fuji Velvia film. I’ve read several times about how Velvia has this astounding color and so I figured what the hell, I have a film body, I’ll go take some film shots.

This isn’t anything I haven’t done before, except in times previous I was shooting C41 black and white, or real B&W, but never color film. I figured, “What’s the point? If I’m going to shoot in color, well, let’s make it digital color.” Well, the colors from someone else’s Velvia shots convinced me.

The problem was that it’s very much a daylight film, so I had to find big bright sunny days on which to shoot. I definitely wanted blue sky days, because I know my Sigma 15-30mm lens has a bit of a vignetting “problem” when zoomed all the way wide, and that would only add to the richness of the skies. So yeah, I eventually abandoned my new 5D for a few days and shot only with the old crappy film Rebel that I have.

I got the slides back a few days ago and it was an experience that bordered on magical. It seriously transcended anything that has ever happened to me with regards to photography. I got a sheet of 36 miniature pictures, all of them in plastic slides in one big sleeve, and all of them radiating gorgeous color. I couldn’t begin to comprehend this one long sleeve of white squares with blues and oranges and reds and greens popping out everwhere as I held it up to the light.

If you have never shot slide film I say to you right now get off your butt and go do it. It’s been a few days now and I’m still fascinated with and transfixed by these slides. They are amazing.

Unfortunately the scanner at my new photo place of choice didn’t capture the true vibrant nature of the colors. The scans all feel a little bit flat, not as lively as the physical slides themselves. Still, I wanted to present to you the pictures as they came out of my camera, not with any post-processing in Photoshop.

So if you want to see more, here are the rest of the good ones from this roll. 17 decent pics out of 36 exposures ain’t bad.

Friends are a seriously weird thing to have
March 5, 2009, 11:11 am
Filed under: tidbit

This is going to take some explanation so bear with me.

Several months ago my Cookeville friend Sean Setters asked me to go on a photo shoot with him. I think he had some new equipment he wanted to test, I don’t remember. I know the pain of wanting to take pictures and not having a subject (see: all my self-portraits ever) so I gladly went with him.

Towards the end of the shoot we were messing around discussing lighting and I brought up the two side-lights thing that’s popular when you want something to look dramatic and maybe menacing. Well, he set it up and I played along and he produced this:

which is, to me, a very amusing photograph. I mean I don’t usually hang around dark alleys trying to look menacing and failing. Usually.

Then several weeks later Sean S. surprised me by presenting me with a print of this image, I believe 11×13 or so. Big old print. Metallic paper as well, so it was shiny and wonderful. I was very glad to receive it, and got it home, and then realized … I can’t really hang this in my house. What a strange image to present to visitors, you know? “Hey welcome to my place, I’m going to beat you up.”

So I held on to it and tried to figure out what to do with it. Shortly afterwards I started dating Casey, and after we’d been going out for a while and I knew her sense of humor I gave it to her. I said, “HERE! Here is a picture of me for you to have back home in Knoxville so you never forget me!”

Don’t worry, I mean, I knew what I was doing.

The next weekend I went to visit her in Knoxville and I said, “So, did you put that picture up anywhere?” and she told me flat-out, “No. It is too creepy.” I knew she was a smart woman.

So time passes, and we move down to New Orleans together. As we’re unpacking her stuff we came across the picture, and said, “So, should we hang this up here in our new house?” and quickly agreed that no, it’s still too creepy and weird to present to visitors.

After looking at it for a month or two, always curious what purpose it could serve, I had an idea. I know it’s too strange for me to hang up in my own house, as it is a portrait of me, but it’s not too weird for someone that’s not me. That led me to hold a contest of sorts with some of my internet friends. I told them that whichever of them could come up with the strangest thing to do with my picture (not mutilating or disfiguring it, of course) would become the proud receipient.

My internet friend Sean J., whom I have never met in real life, won the contest by popular vote by stating that he would hang it on the inside of his medicine cabinet so that snoopy jerks would get an eyeful. This, I agreed, was a grand idea. I sent the print to Sean J.

Here’s where things get a bit mixed-up. There was another contest going on at this same message board where the current challenge was:

“I want to see [one of us] standing on a non-deserted street corner holding a sign with a proposition written on it. What the proposition is doesn’t matter — don’t get yourselves arrested, folks — so long as passing traffic can ostensibly read it.”

[this is the kind of contest where the only prize for meeting the challenge is the right to declare the next challenge]

Sean J. decided to kill one and a half birds with one stone, and presented the world with this:

You can click that picture for bigger, but the important part is this:

That is some street corner in central Florida. That is some woman he does not know. He said he actually got five bucks for doing that. Somehow.

Sean J. presented this image back to the judges and the crowd went wild. A discussion ensued. Someone made a joke about “the komara fund” and then next thing you know,


was registered. Anonymously. I have no idea which of my crazy stupid internet friends did this, but apparently the joke was worth the ~$8 domain registration fee to them. I know it is to me.

This, my friends, is where the story ends. For now.

I will certainly let you know if I receive any benefit from having a fund set up in my name. And Sean S., I hope you don’t mind that I sent the picture off to a man I’ve never met. I can only imagine that the ensuing weirdness makes up for it.

EDIT: I forgot to show you this: the komara beard-o-meter showing donation progress.