May 2019 Studio Update

Jun 3, 2019 / Photography / experiments / progress review

Circular Water Image
Circular Water Image. Using mismatched equipment: 35mm lens on medium format camera


I spent the last two months doing storyboarding for part III of A Millions Suns trilogy. The result of all this work is an image shoot list that I aim to complete in the next 6 months:

Image Shoot List for A Million Suns
Image Shoot List for A Million Suns. As of May 2019


Now that I’m done with storyboarding, I’m switching gears.

The goal is to finish Part III this year.

It’s a daunting task. I will need to create three images per week in order to finish this project by the end of November. I quit my job because of this. This is what I’ve wanted, and now I’m actually doing it. I’m living my dream of being an full time artist.

As expected, I’m finding it hard to switch from storyboarding, which is all about writing, plotting, and planning, to actual shooting. I know the solution is to simply show up in the studio. It doesn’t matter if the resulting work is good or bad. The key is to simply do the work. That is what I believe in, and that’s what I will do.

But I’m afraid. Afraid of not creating anything. Afraid of spending this much time and creating bad work.

I remind myself that most people don’t get this opportunity to explore Maslow’s top tier of self-actualization. Everyone is focused on meeting the basic needs of food and shelter. I’m lucky in that way. I saved enough money in my first career as accountant that I don’t have to worry about these things.

It’s so funny that I don’t show photography work in process. It takes less than one second to click a shutter. Surely, I should have images to share everyday! But it’s precisely because photography can be so easy, that I don’t post work-in-progress images. I use photography as a sketchbook. Camera images are raw materials to me; they are are not finished.

Like the image I posted above.

I’ve been playing around with mismatched equipment. I always want to use incorrect settings in my work. I don’t like following the conventional route of photography. In the image above, I’m using an 18mm lens for a Nikon 35mm camera and using it on a Fuji medium format camera. The lens’ image circle is too small for the Fuji, so there’s this black void surrounding the image. I love it.

I’m wondering how this camera image raw material will end up in my work.

About the Author

Jonah Calinawan

Hello! I’m Jonah Calinawan, and I create cyanotype art that makes you think and feeds the soul. I also blog about the quest for a meaningful life using art and positivity.

When not shooting photos or writing, I teach myself piano and recommend Josh Wright’s Propractice tutorials (affiliate link).

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