About Blake


Just a little bit, scroll down to continue reading.

A Little Bit About Me

My origin story isn’t an original one and it is the best theme for an origin story.

I was introduced into the world of photography by my Dad, who gave me my first serious camera, a Nikon FM2. It doesn’t just end there, he set up a fully equipped darkroom as well. I still love the way a darkroom feels and smells. If you have never been in a darkroom, take a course and make a print!

So far there are 3 acts with an interlude to my photography story.

Act One

After being given my first professional level camera I went onto study photography, worked as an assistant that led to shooting professionally. I focussed on location, low and available light photography. At this time I was more excited about the gear I was shooting with over actually taking great “commercially” viable images. In other words, I kind of sucked at being a pro shooter.

Interlude

One day I packed up my photography gear, fired up a computer and logged onto the internet. This was before the browser wars and Netscape, when nobody knew what they were doing or even had an clear vision of what the internet would mean. This was fucking awesome, it was the Wild West and I did OK throughout this period. I also didn’t touch a camera for about 5 years.

Act Two

I decided to move back to the States from Australia and spent some time traveling around on a road trip. During this time I purchased my first digital camera and it changed everything. Suddenly I was no longer limited by budget (film and processing can be expensive) or access to facilities such as a darkroom. If I had to pay for film and processing I would have spent a boat load of cash. Purchasing that digital camera was the best thing I could have done as it got me back into taking photos.

During this period I worked in IT and was able to set up a decent studio and location lighting kit and related equipment. I had no clear direction in what I wanted to shoot, so I just took photos.

Act Three

“If it exists I will photograph it, if it doesn’t I will build it, then photograph it.”

After a few years of being a little aimless about the direction I wanted to head in as well as realizing that my current portfolio is rather average I stopped taking photos as I could not make a decision. Late last year (2017) it occurred to me that I liked the weird. Weird is such a good word as it can encompass everything! So now I am working on weird, abstract and just the strange. No longer will I take photographs chasing what everyone else is doing. If I find a concept amusing and weird, I will run with it. Also, one main aspect of what I am chasing is, I don’t care if the subject matter isn’t “politicly correct”, if you find my work offensive, move on to something that doesn’t offend you. In other words, fuck off.

Now I feel like I am free of what was holding me back. I can build the dioramas and tiny sets, shoot a portrait or good old fashioned white trash fashion!

As of the launch of my new site Act Three is not live. I am waiting until I build a strong collection of work focussing on portraits, my take on environmental portraiture (location), fine art nudes and erotica, urban architecture and still life. Soon, very soon it will go live.

In Conclusion

Thank you for reading this.

My Gear and Digital vs Analogue

I shoot both digital and analogue.

I love digital and Ansel Adams would have just shit himself if he saw the dynamic range that digital can capture.

I love shooting on film and still follow the Zone System when exposing film, processing and printing.

This isn’t so I can add #shotonfilm to my posts. It is because sometimes film is the right medium for what I am shooting. I have a 5″x4″ monorail camera that shoots 5″x4″ sheet film, hence the name. Sometimes this is the best camera to use, or my Mamyia 645 medium format camera.

What ever I shoot with there is a reason and it is not the add #shotonfilm to my posts. I mention this a lot as I find it amusing how many people boast about shooting “analogue”, then scan and only post the work online. Why?!?

Film is for prints, high end beautiful hand made prints, color or black and white.

This is my thoughts on film vs digital. Shooting film because it is trending is not the right reason. Getting your hands dirty in a darkroom, that is the right reason.

My Gear List

Yeah, not doing this as I don’t want to provide a thief with a shopping list. I have a nice kit that I thought about carefully that I will never outgrow or be limited by.