Reflection – January 2013



Leica M6TTL 0.58 | Summicron 50/2 | Ilford Delta 3200

Today’s shot is from my last trip to England. I really love the composition–it’s one of my favorite shots I took while over there this year. The converging lines, different angles, and slight tilt to the frame all contribute to a sense of something being not quite right. The hand on the left being cut off from the person also make the viewer seems slightly uneasy. The pigeon in the center of the frame, seemingly the subject, is doing nothing of interest, but is the key to the composition of the entire shot. The more I look at this, the more I like it.

I also have to say that I really like the look of this Ilford Delta 3200 (though I exposed it at 1600) a lot. It isn’t nearly as muddy an soft as some people said it would be, but part of that has to do with exposing it in decent light. Most of the time this fast film gets used in light so low that it makes the film look worse than it ought to…if that makes sense.

Just a quick post today, since blogging has been tough lately. I have been ridiculously busy with work, and living in a hotel room on my own has meant that I’ve spent a lot of time away from the computer, traveling around the East Coast area when I can. I’ve been to Washington, DC, twice now, and took a day trip to Gettysburg, PA, just this past weekend. I plan to get out to Baltimore, DC, and hopefully New York City, Philadelphia, and the Atlantic Coast. Additionally, I’m hoping to get to see some more Civil War battlefields as well–there are a lot in this area–since I enjoyed Gettysburg so much. I’m going to head out this weekend and see a few more if I can.

I’ve been in the DC-area now for a month almost. I didn’t bring any digital cameras along, and I don’t have the means to process or scan film while I’m here; that means that I won’t have any new shots to show until this summer. I’ll be back home at the end of May, so there won’t be anything new to show until June sometime. I know that seems a long way away, but I really prefer to let my work sit for a while before looking at it anyway. In fact, this enforced break might actually be good for me in the long run.

I’m not as obsessive about leaving film untouched after exposing it as Gerry Winogrand, who famously would let film sit for a year or more before processing it, and left hundreds of rolls behind after he died suddenly at an early age. I like to leave shots for a few months, as I have said before. It allows me to get a distance from my images so that I can more objectively view them.

England 12/13: Football

“Craven Cottage” – London, England

Recently, I returned from my (now annual) trip to England with my father to watch football. ¬†Over the past 6 years, this has become sort of a tradition, and I figured I’d make a blog post about one of the biggest reasons for the trips: football.

As regular readers know, my father and I have something in common in terms of the clubs we support–the borough of Fulham. ¬†My father supports Fulham FC, and I have been supporting Chelsea FC. ¬†Over the past year my loyalties have been wavering, however. ¬†The outrageous ticket prices charged at Stamford Bridge, as well as some decisions taken by the club, have turned me off a bit. ¬†The atmosphere at Craven Cottage is excellent, prices are reasonable, and the club is run with some semblance of a long-term strategy rather than the whims of a billionaire. ¬†As Simon Kuper (the author of the book Soccernomics) explains very well, clubs are no longer community-based clubs; they have virtually no connections to the local area, and we are not supporters, but rather consumers. ¬†As a consumer, I can choose to follow or unfollow any team I wish (and the author argues that this is even more the case with Americans, who have been trained to not have strong allegiances in the same way many Europeans have a history of supporting clubs).

“Away Supporters” – West Bromwich, England

Back to the matches we saw this year. ¬†As always, a Fulham-heavy schedule beckoned. This year we saw two games at Craven Cottage, one road game at the Hawthorns, and we went to Stamford Bridge to see the European champions take on the league-worst Queen’s Park Rangers. ¬†Last year, we saw an amazing string of results for the Cottagers–at home and away–and this year’s team couldn’t match it. ¬†The squad is weaker than last year’s iteration, and the games we saw bore that out.

The games were no less enjoyable. ¬†The atmosphere was as good as ever, and traveling with the away fans on the team coach was a really good experience too. ¬†Both of us agreed that this was the way we’d travel to future away games as well. ¬†It’s easy, fast, and affordable. ¬†If anyone else is interested in traveling that way, I can recommend it–at least with Fulham.

“Laugh” – West Bromwich, England

For the second year in a row we saw a series of successive games with Fulham. ¬†Last year we both enjoyed seeing several games in a row–this gave us a better view into the first eleven, the squad rotation, team tactics, etc. ¬†After doing it this way last year, we opted to do it again and were both glad to have done so.

The big star of this year was the new addition Dimitar Berbatov. ¬†By any standard of measure, he has been Fulham’s central player this season, and it showed on the field. ¬†He is pure class, although also incredibly frustrating for fans. ¬†It’s not hard to see sometimes how previous clubs’ fans might have tired of him, however. ¬†He can be aloof and can wear on the fans’ patience at times. He gets easily frustrated with his teammates–sadly, it’s often easy to see why.

“Closing Time” – London, England

Another year, and another great set of matches.  The final tally was:

26 Dec 12: Fulham 1-1 Southampton

29 Dec 12: Fulham 1-2 Swansea City

01 Jan 13: West Brom 1-2 Fulham

02 Jan 13: Chelsea 0-1 QPR

Next year, we can only hope that the trip and the matches are as good as they were this year. ¬†One thing is for sure–the company never disappoints.