Mold is the enemy of photography gear and many of us will skip buying a second-hand camera or lens if it’s infested by fungus. But one optimistic seller has recently listed two really moldy Hasselblad 500 c cameras with 80mm lens and back. And I mean, really moldy!
It began in October, the numbness. The sick feeling and lack of appreciation for my photography. For all photography. I couldn’t stand looking at my social media threads. If I saw one more photograph of a pretty girl, in a fluffy dress, standing in an abandoned house, I was going to vomit. Nothing I made was right, or alive. My work felt like a boring rerun.
I was in a rut. Unfinished projects were going to stay unfinished. Unreliable models had made me question the worth of my ideas. And then my mom came to visit.
We went for a walk in the forest. She showed me what you can find in deep, dark, self-loathing rut. Fungus! Beautiful, ugly, tiny, slimy, spongy, fungus. She stopped every few feet to photograph a new one and I thought okay let me try. Click.
The total excitement I experienced photographing fungus in the woods with my mom was so unexpected and so very needed. I found a palate cleanser. Dust off those fluffy dresses, sorry if I was harsh earlier. I feel better again.
Happy creating you crazy animals.
I think you would be pretty hard-pressed to find anyone who isn’t afraid of something. For some, it’s heights; for others, it’s death…or dogs. For me, it’s fungi. I hate fungi…and spores…and weird, tiny shapes…and clusters… Granted, I love edible mushrooms more than anyone I know, it’s just all the other variations that creep me out. That’s where Australian photographer Steve Axford is doing his duty to humanity by forcing me to face my fear and capturing a treasure trove of fungus photos. These are beautiful images, despite my predisposition, and show just how awesome nature truly is.
Steve also took the time to share a little about his gear and the process he uses for capturing the images.
This is another one of those, I am not sure if this is an awesome idea or a what the heck is going on, but it seems valid so I am going to point a light at it, and see what you think.
Lebanese photographer Alexy Joffre Frangieh does extreme conditions timelapses and every once in a while he has to give his lenses a good dry-off. Instead of using silica gels (like the rest of us) he came up with an interesting spin-off. Alexy uses menstrual pads both as means of keeping his lenses dry in their cases and as a way of drying off wet or humid lenses.
While it makes sense somehow since those pads contain polyacrylate gel which absorbs liquids. But still….
Alexy uses those quite freely and you can check his site below to see how well they work for him. But still….
[Menstrual Pads For Drying Lenses | Alexy Joffre Frangieh]
Developing film is an art form that is slowly fading away. As time goes by, less labs are available for developing film, and as DIGITAL is slowly taking over the last bit image capturing, film rolls are becoming more rare. And while producing art from film and paper was not always as accurate as working with calibrated monitors and printers, I miss those days of mild imperfections.
I guess artist and photographer Seung Hwan Oh felt similarly. But his concept of imperfection involved introducing fungi into the film before exposing it in camera. Of course the fungi liked the film and so it ate it a bit. The result shared in a project called Impermanence is something a bit weird, something between portraiture and abstract.
Haily Grenet who describers the work on Seung Hwan Oh’s portfolio explains the concept:
If you ever bought a second hand lens you probably know that one of the first things to do is to look through the lens and check for fungi.
See that image above, it’s a fungi infested lens! It is there to serve the same purpose as the picture of the decaying tooth lady in the dentist’s office – Don’t let this happen to you.[Read More…]