"I’ve been fascinated with light and the mechanics of photography for a long time. This collection of photos was about trying to capture the flow of natural light, using the southern coasts of Cape Town, South Africa, as a subject. I wanted to try and capture the mood of the environment in Cape Town in winter: cold, rainy, brooding and wet. The exposures were long enough that the ocean ended up looking almost like clouds, smoky and flowing, rather than the crispness that comes with regular exposures.
I prefer the process of taking landscapes on film and the texture that comes with the medium. Taking long exposures on film without any reference about the results is always a bit unnerving, but it’s also more exciting when you finally get back the images. Shooting with film also forces me to really slow down and carefully focus on the frame I want, as looking at the image I took and doing a quick correction of course isn’t possible. Every shot becomes more tangible. The way light moves is never really predictable, so getting back the negatives is, for me, a more interesting process than getting immediate feedback from a digital screen and then snapping off tons of pictures till you eventually get what you want. I’ve learnt to embrace the imperfections rather than dwell on them."
"I'm primarily a writer. With my writing, I am sometimes inspired and write what comes, but more often than not, I craft something -- I work it. I want to make it so and I work until I get it so.
Not so with my art. My art is about play. I don't know very much about what I'm doing, and I am all right with that. I'm also all right if viewers don't know either. Not knowing is all right.
My art starts out as a photograph. Most of what I photograph is found (I see a possibility within an object) or created (I mix some shit up and see what happens). I then play with the photographs -- manipulate them is probably the more technical term -- but I prefer play. I try, I play. Sometimes I like the result, but I always like the play.
Color is important to me, and so are shapes, particularly round ones. Round, colorful shapes really do it for me."
Christine Brandel is a writer and photographer. In 2013, she published the chapbook, Tell This To Girls: The Panic Annie Poems, which the IndieReader described as a "well-crafted, heartbreakingly vivid set of poems, well worth a read by anyone whose heart can bear it." To balance that, she also writes a column on comedy for PopMatters and rights the world's wrongs via her character Agatha Whitt-Wellington (Miss) at Everyone Needs An Algonquin.
1. Pick a photo you've taken that represents you best. Why did you choose it?
That's a very tough question. I'd like to think there is one photograph that instantly gives you an idea of what all my pictures will be like, but I take such a variety of photographs, so it's difficult to pick one that truly represents me. If I had to pick one, it would be the green camper van with the red scooter in the foreground (top row, far right). The reason being that it's instantly familiar, because everyone knows a vw camper van when they see it, but it's very unfamiliar at the same time; the road, pavement and trees that frame it all look very tropical. I suppose it's a bit of a metaphor for how it feels to arrive in a new country.
2. What are the two most influential experiences you've had while taking photos?
3. What's your favourite camera? Why?
My Canon AE-1. Firstly, it looks beautiful; it has a very classy design that I love and it’s weight gives it an extremely good quality feel. It has survived quite a few drops, bumps and bashes over the last couple of years and still works perfectly. There are a number of good quality lenses available for it, which makes it really versatile, so it's always my go-to camera. On top of all that, it can make some wonderful photographs. Even the bad ones sometimes have a bit of hidden magic in them that you don't get from other cameras. Oh, and the “CHICKA” it makes when you take a photograph is very satisfying.
4. Do you find that it's easier to find different perspectives while specializing in travel photography because you're constantly immersed in unfamiliar environments?
Most definitely. It's easy to get comfortable in a familiar environment and take the features around you for granted, no matter how astonishing they may be. I live in Edinburgh, one of the most picturesque cities in the world, but I often have to remind myself to actually take photographs when I'm here. Although when I visit a generic small town, I suddenly have the urge to capture everything in my sights. The moment your brain registers something for the first time is the best time to get creative with it.
5. Some of your photography is fairly abstract. Do you have an idea of what these images are going to look like while you're shooting them or is developing the roll just sort of a pleasant surprise?
I suppose the beauty of film photography is that you never really know exactly what you're going to get, whether you're searching for the abstract or not. I will plan some of the shots to a degree and the more I experiment, the more I learn what to expect.
Some of my favourite abstract pieces were entirely accidental and I have no recollection of taking them at all.
6. Lastly, why is photography important (both to you and as a general art form)?
Photography is important to me because it gives me an opportunity to capture my own perspective and share it with others, I also appreciate other people's photography as it gives me the chance to see their unique perspective. It is endlessly interesting to me that different people can capture the exact same thing in so many different ways. That's what it all boils down to for me.
Manuel is a photographer hailing from Edinburgh, Scotland. Favouring 35mm film, he takes his camera anywhere he thinks may be interesting and is recognized for his travel photography, particularly around South East Asia and Australia. His photographs are not always clear, crisp and easy to decipher; he chases the abstract by using bizarre development and exposure techniques, and has a love for expired film.
Manuel's photographs have been featured in two recent exhibitions:
Analogue Photography Exhibition (Scottish Fashion Creative Network) July 2015 @ The Biscuit Factory, Edinburgh
Life: only happening once, February 2016 @ Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh
Find Manuel on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram.
Check out his photozine here!
We can build cathedrals, we can build palaces
for kings and temples for gods, mighty buildings
cutting the heavens, invading that sacred cloud
space like we do with aeroplanes and shuttles
and probes. We can look around and say, wow,
we did a good job. It’s big. It’s impressive. It’ll
last a long time. It makes us all look clever and
talented. Then we look up at the stars on a clear
night in a black sky, cold and wise. We think,
He left behind a half pack
of Reds in my glove compartment
from the night before.
I’m 20 years old on
a lunch break.
In film class,
we’re at the scene
in Blue Velvet
when Jeffrey and I are sneaking
into a lounge singer’s apartment,
and now I’m worried that Frank
is going to smell the tobacco
on my hands.
He’s 22 years old and we’re
in his room watching the beginning
of Phantom of the Opera
for the third time.
He’s running his fingers
down my bare back
and it feels like water
that could be holy water,
but we lack the energy
I’m on the third full glass of wine.
The chandelier falls,
the mask comes off,
the sun greets that sweet spot
of the windowpane,
and I’m not surprised when we miss
I’m six years old,
pouring out the pack
of Pabst Blue Ribbon down
the kitchen sink.
On the counter, there’s
a glass half empty
and I rinse it out clean.
The stone white moon,
always mocking from the window,
makes shadow crosses down my empty chest,
tells me it’s 3am.
Beside wooden table legs,
I am praying,
with knees pressed to
that maybe this will
(glo worm press published this piece first & we really love them a lot)
francesca mary jane received her first camera 6 years ago (at age 14). she is fairly new to film photography, having only really put the digital camera down to snap some disposables at summer festivals in the past, but recently, francesca inherited her dad's old film camera, fell in love with it, then found a vintage Olympus OM10 SLR to add to her collection. she started using expired rolls for practice, intending to use in-date film later on, but she never made the switch. it's hard not to grow fond of the intensified colour and grain of old film (also, the price). here's a look at francesca's first year in manchester and some insight into her life and work:
"My photographs are of my day-to-day surroundings and the people I spend time with. Some of my favourite photos feature the friends I’ve made since moving to Manchester. Moving away from home is a pretty scary experience and the process of making new friends can be difficult but I’ve been lucky enough to meet some amazing people (some of whom I've even traveled abroad and to different cities across the UK with). I’ve tried to capture us exploring and just the general experiences we've shared, both inside and outside of Manchester."
"When I go out, I usually try to take my camera. The content and location of my photographs are rarely planned. My first year halls are very central, so I’m within walking distance of some great places in Manchester. My favourite place is, without a doubt, a random car park I came across one day. I always manage to take some breathtaking photographs from the top floor - particularly of sunsets. There’s something about a city skyline that can make a simple sunset photograph so much more interesting."
"It’s hard to get away from the fact that my photographs have a common theme of urban lifestyle. Whether I’m at university or at home, I’m always in a big city. I think it's an advantage, as I love the things you can capture and experience in this environment. Art, music, different cultures - I’m always inspired, no matter what city I’m in. So, with summer starting and another two years of University ahead, I’m excited for the new experiences I'll have, the new people I'll meet and capturing these progressions in my photography."
Tiegan Dakin is a teenage writer and artist. Her work of many varieties appears or is forthcoming in After the Pause and Up the Staircase Quarterly, among others. She is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Drowning Gull, an associate editor for Zoetic Press, and an interview contributor for cahoodaloodaling. Tiegan enjoys writing poetry and also reading the works of Brenda Shaughnessy, one book of whose she has reviewed on her book and TV blog, Heart, what art are you? . You can find out more about her at her personal blog.
"These images represent an insecurity of vanity within my poems, and how female artists often feel pressured to be 'hot' while also making good work. I want to critique how impersonal reading a poem can be. The text interrupts the selfie, (and vice versa), as an inner dialogue, but also so that the reader is forced to look at my face while reading the poem. When the poet is revealed, the wall obstructed, the poem can be seen as more real. Poetry's stereotype is that it's 'hard to understand' - historically, only a small group of academic, elite people hold the knowledge to 'get' poetry. This is changing, though. Through the internet, personal texts and personal pictures are accessible to everyone, constantly whirling around - people feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts, with this barrier. The poem/selfie project acknowledges that - by posting fractions of my face and my words, I am reaching out for someone to understand, while aware that no one ever really can."
Delia Rainey is a writer, artist, and musician living in St. Louis, MO. Her band is called Dubb Nubb. She loves lemons. Her poetry has been featured or forthcoming in Spy Kids Review, Pleiades, Potluck Magazine, Sweet: A Literary Confection, Cactus Heart, The Sensation Feelings Journal, Pajama Party Zine, and Western Humanities Review.
Oh Color Milks is a collaboration project between Elise Mesner and PAX Ceramics.
Sea Foam Thoughts
We love Elise Mesner's work. It's luminous and it's whimsical. It manages to be glamorous without a hint of pretension. Her photography has a distinct energy, which translates into fixed scenes and objects radiating life / effervescence / enchantment. Colours rule her projects, somehow carrying airs of being both expertly curated and wildly carefree. Filled with interesting perspectives, pallettes and compositions, her lens dusts people, landscapes and articles with some sort of rare magic.
And the subjects of Oh Color Milk? Well, we have a strong affinity for ceramics in general. There's a history, process and tangible result. We have nothing but praise for those who use their hands and minds for creation. Speaking about PAX specifically, we love the application of modern colour gradients to minimal, artifact-like structures in the "breakfast club" (debut line, pictured below). Seeing traditional mediums combined with a fine eye for design and quality product is always a delight. Kitchens rejoice! Also, let's be honest - we'd probably set these all over our houses and not just in our kitchens because they're really pretty.
Detroit native Elise Mesner (now based in Los Angeles) is an eclectic-minded painter, illustrator, fashion/costume designer, stylist, taste maker, cross-media artist, singer-songwriter and fine art photographer working and dipping into all arty media. Creamy colors, plants, fresh air, and drops of neon rule her world. With whimsy forever as her guide, she's known for creating idyllic dreamscapes, both in front of and behind the camera, as well as on the canvas. Mesner's artwork has garnered solo and group shows at local galleries, including the Detroit Institute of Arts. Her photography has been featured in several print publications and in other incarnations, including album covers and recipe books. You can visit her website at elisemesner.com and find her on Instagram @lellopepper.
PAX Ceramics (California)
PAX combines contemporary design methods with time-honored production techniques. Our process starts with hand-sketching and wheel throwing, refining forms in CAD programs and 3D-printing prototypes. The pieces are then handmade in Los Angeles. Creative references for the debut line—titled the “breakfast club”—include the forms of Japanese, Scandinavian and Bauhaus master ceramicists. The beauty found where simplicity meets usefulness. Closer to home, we are in constant awe of California’s natural environment, particularly during the golden hour, which inspired our gradient glaze. PAX was founded by Mia Herron Kantor in 2015 based on a lifelong love of ceramics and exceptional design. Available for purchase exclusively at www.paxceramics.com. You can also find PAX on Instagram @pax.la.