Macro Photography

I recently got a 100mm macro lens and have had a blast playing with it. It was one of my very first “wants”, but with my filmmaking needs, it kept getting pushed back on the list. I finally made the purchase.

I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s very difficult to get subjects in focus, but I’m enjoying the challenge. Thankfully, my years of shooting at 1.4f have conditioned me for getting the focus right. Most of the time. After just one day of shooting, I realized I want to get even closer to the action so I purchased a 1.4x extender from Canon. I’m looking forward to many years of shooting with this.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that it’s hard finding good information about how to shoot macro and/or getting closer to the subject. If anyone has any tips they’d like to share, please do.

Here are some of my first photos from it:

Portrait photography

I want to get into portrait photography, but I just don’t like the results. I think it may be the studio setting where no one can relax and it feels more like a business than for fun. Whenever I’m out and about, I see perfect portrait opportunities, but I’m always too shy to ask someone to take their picture. I don’t like when my space is invaded and I don’t want to invade other’s. I may just have to say screw it and go for it, because there is immense pleasure from getting that perfect photo. And recently while I was shooting a short film for my friend Jason Pierce, I took a snapshot of actor Phillip Ward while he was waiting for me to get my camera ready. It was a complete accident as I was taking the photo to check the histogram, but when I got home I knew I had lucked out. Now if I could only get this kind of result every time.

Go to this page and you’ll see it looks very similar to the grand prize winner’s photo. A happy accident.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

It was an adventurous weekend. So adventurous, I wrote a short story. The short story was so good, I’ve decided to try and get it published. It needs another pass or two and to be trimmed to an accepted length, but I’m pretty excited about it.

I went on Playboy to see about publishing it. I remember they publish a short story every month in their magazine and I think this story would fit well in their pages. While I was on Playboy, I noticed a 20Q article about Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his new movie. It was a refreshing article because it talked about a couple of things. The first thing was when he said,

    “I love when someone approaches me and tells me they’ve seen me in something that made them feel something and that they connected to it. That’s part of why I do it. The other interaction is with people who really don’t care about the movies or anything like that. They just sort of buy into the fame thing, and that feels icky to me.”

That’s good, because when I ran into him at The National concert and blabbed about how much I loved The Lookout and thought he was fantastic in Mysterious Skin, I worried he was thinking, “oh, great, another douchebag that’s not going to leave me alone.” But I think he understood I was a true fan of his work. I hate the fame thing as well. People are famous for being horrible vain selfish people and it creeps me out.

The other thing he talked about was his character on 500 Days of Summer:

    “The (500) Days of Summer attitude of “He wants you so bad” seems attractive to some women and men, especially younger ones, but I would encourage anyone who has a crush on my character to watch it again and examine how selfish he is. He develops a mildly delusional obsession over a girl onto whom he projects all these fantasies. He thinks she’ll give his life meaning because he doesn’t care about much else going on in his life. A lot of boys and girls think their lives will have meaning if they find a partner who wants nothing else in life but them. That’s not healthy. That’s falling in love with the idea of a person, not the actual person.”

I’m glad he recognized it because that’s why I hated the movie and couldn’t finish it. He was a horrible character and I didn’t enjoy it.

Also, he talks about why right now is so exciting. I have lots of friends that live in the past and they love 80s music and 80s movies and I think if they could, they’d live their whole lives in the 80s. I agree with Joseph that with the power of the Internet and computers, you can create anything and find an audience. No one is beholden to anything. We’re all free to do what we want and that is extremely exciting. Sure, politicians suck and corporations suck, but when have they not? Wall Street was just as evil and greedy in the 80s as it is today.

And last, he talks about cars. I’m from Detroit. My father greatly benefited from GM as well as most of my friends. My girlfriend works in the car industry. I used to as well. I hate cars. I look at them and see giant vacuums sucking money out of my pocket. I just want a cheap car that gets me from A to B without breaking down. The fetish of muscle cars and classic cars and luxury cars and all that crap is completely lost on me as well. Money could go into so many more useful things.

I’m done ranting. I recommend reading the entire article.

Off to see about getting published.