Labor Day & Autumn on the Way

Early Autumn Sun Grass Backlight Nature Details

It’s Labor Day in the US and a busy Monday morning at the Bu household.

College football season’s here and with it my ideal autumn morning weather today – nice and cool and sunny, I’ve got my favorite hoodie sweatshirt on and a rather well-made coffee to start the week.

This weather always reminds me of autumn in Scandinavia when I spent a school year there from autumn 1999 to early summer 2000. My first experience living abroad, first away from home, cool weather, writing on paper, watercolor painting for a while even. A small fortune on film photography processing and postage. Walking and wandering. Coffee and the Swedish art / custom of fika. Warm clothes and wonderful gatherings with new friends.

Autumn makes me nostalgic for time in Sweden. I’ll get my head out of the clouds once I finish this coffee.

Kodak Instamatic 104 – Monday Morning Redemption

Kodak INstamatic 104 outfit box set 1975

My dad’s habit of finding quirky gifts strikes again. A crisp $1 bill got him this nifty Kodak Instamatic 104 Outfit box set at a garage sale. Sweet yellow Kodak box contains an Instamatic camera, unused flash cube, old AAA batteries and box from the last 126 cartridge that expired in May 1975 all stored inside. Now I’ve just got to find a 126 film cartridge to reload and get snapping with this camera!

The surprise gift just sucker-punched this sluggish Monday. It was his original find of a manual Minolta 35mm camera that got me hooked on photography way back in the teenage years. A Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, Agfa folding bellows camera, this Instamatic 104, and a handful of garage sale and auction treasures have been great surprise gifts since then!

Can’t wait to try out some Instamatic 35mm photos!

Monday reminder: go shoot some photos today! -eB

Love Like Crazy – Susie & Billy’s 35th Anniversary

Sue and Bill's 35th Anniversary - Dance collage

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

On a sunny afternoon at Bendix Woods park, between the E and the R* of the pine trees that spell out “Studebaker,” my parents were married 35 years ago today.

Mom had a lovely dress and a bouquet of white and yellow flowers. Dad and the groomsmen had a snazzy white tuxedo, mom picked light yellow dresses and matching giant yellow sun hats for the bridesmaids. (Gonna have to get a bonus post to show off those stylish looks!)

Not sure if the next photo qualifies as their 1970s engagement portrait or not, but it’s still worth sharing.

Bill Sue dating photo from the 70s

* Fun fact – years later when I was born they gave me the same first and middle name initials as the tree letters they were married between – E.R. Also fun fact, Dad still tells that same story just about every time we drive by the park.

Happy anniversary! Here’s to 35 more and then some!

Thank You

Thank you to the men and women, and their families, who serve and have served for our country’s freedom.

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Six Years! Happy Anniverary Rachelle and Josh!

What a great day to close out April, sun shining again after what felt like weeks of April showers in Indiana. Today marks the 6th wedding anniversary for one of my friends I’ve known since kindergarten and her husband! Congrats Rachelle and Josh!

Morris Farms Chapel Niles Michigan Wedding Bride
Bride and bridesmaids leaving the old country schoolhouse to walk to the chapel.

Morris Farms Chapel Niles Michigan Wedding

Morris Farms Chapel Niles Michigan spring Wedding
Josh and Rachelle, details of her mother’s wedding dress she wore for the big day.

Outdoor wedding groomsmen portrait

Morris Farms Wedding Couple country road Portrait

Excellent day for a stroll down the country road outside the chapel – both back then in 2005 and today in 2011. Congrats newlyweds! 🙂

Wedding Day photography at the Morris Estate Chapel

Home Office CFO Adrian – Creative Fun Officer

While finishing up some paperwork and scanning something for the Previously Unpublished category, my son Adrian dropped by to visit / play / shuffle through desk drawers. He loves seeing what miscellaneous hardware parts he can fit together with other parts, cameras, or his toys. “Hmm that gives me an idea!”

Home office toddler fun break with Adrian

Last night while rummaging the desk we discovered a real treat for playtime fun: sticky tack putty!

After demonstrating how it could be used Adrian decided it was more fun rolled into a ball. And from there that it should be flattened out. His imagination already in high gear, he ran out to get something. “George!” he shouted while running to the playroom. He came back with one of the Thomas the Tank Engine characters, George the Steamroller, to help with his brainstorm. I grabbed a camera almost as fast as he jumped back up to the desk!

Thomas the Train's friend Steamroller George versus sticky tack putty

Go George!

Steamroller George versus sticky tack putty

George (and Adrian) did it!

Steamroller George flattened the putty!

After an exhausting office playtime Adrian was ready to sleep, grabbed a blanket and laid down all by himself. I tucked him in and we called it a day, a very fun day all around! These little breaks for fun are some of the best parts of the home office work!

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Geek details: Shots made from top to bottom with iPhone 3G, wide shots with Nikon D700 at ISO1600 and Sigma 14mm F/2.8 lens wide open & hoping “closest subject” autofocus picked up the steamroller. Last shot with Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro.

What are you (am I) waiting for? Shoot.

Sailing ship Jacksonville Florida 2001

“I need a newer/older / film/digital / manual/automatic camera/lens/computer first.”

This new year has been 3 days -and a few leading up to it last year- of kicks in the pants to get a camera and use it. Not a new one – one within reach. A phone if I have to. Create already. Reminders I find in old film photo prints I keep running into that I had no idea what I was doing when I took most of the shots, but I tried an idea anyway. Reminders I find in the photos of friends very new to photography who are trying their ideas wildly and doing so with great creativity.

The shot above is flawed, flared, and yet is a favorite (from film photography follies in Florida if we’re going to go on with the alliteration). My job at the time relocated me to live on a ship in a tiny town marina outside Jacksonville, Florida. In what has been a trend since my elementary school days I am up awake into the morning hours writing, and did so often in my travels. I had a pair of 35mm Minolta SLRs, a compact tripod, and hours of the night to think. For my first eBay purchase I picked up a light meter to help me judge nighttime and long exposures and began to photograph the ships, marina, and town around me after dark.

I had an idea of how to set the film camera to get correct lighting where I wanted it. I knew a few tips. Most of all I knew that if I wanted to take a photo I’d have to press the shutter release. I’d have to just try.

When I got the prints back from my evening shoot around Jacksonville I was a bit let down that I had been blasted with lens flare. I liked the way the street light looked in the foreground but forgot altogether what might happen with a light source right in the frame shining my way. I shot for 15-30 seconds to soak up more background light and let the lines of people going by blur. This much had worked as planned.

What surprised me was that behind the moving crowd sat a couple along the walkway’s railing. They sat still enough to remain sharp in contrast to the crowd in motion that now appear as streaks. If I had arranged the shot I could have recreated this look easily. They are a happy discovery from a photo made while just tinkering with ideas and playing to motion blur during long exposures, reminders that you never know what you’ll find unless you try.

Go create something.

Shot by Eric Bucholtz with Minolta 7000i and 35-105 lens on the cheapest ISO 400 or 800 35mm film in bulk packs, summer 2001 in Jacksonville, Florida

First dream of 2011

Minolta X-370 35mm film SLR manual focus camera

Woke up with a laugh at the first dream of the new year – I was shooting 35mm film with my first SLR camera, the Minolta X-370. Nerd alert. Manual focus, manual exposure, thumb lever winder style. Vaguely remember I was shooting some outdoor wedding stuff and keeping up with the action just fine winding after each shot.

I’ll take that as a sign and shoot some film today, see what a little suspense to see the photo can do again.

Go have fun with whatever camera you can find!

Dance Performance Photography – Caught at LangLab

Reiterated confession: I’m a live performance & visual media junkie.

The anticipation, nervous energy before the stage comes to life, and one-shot no retakes atmosphere gets my creativity charged up. I absolutely love the countdown to go time. Troubleshooting in a pinch to make it work and look flawless. Fast paced action all around! (These all translate just fine to wedding photography moments too… but that’s another post.)

Caught performance at LangLab December 2010

Earlier this month I joined the production of Caught – a senior thesis turned full out dance production by Hannabeth Fischer. A brief excerpt from the show’s event page goes like this:

Artistically acclaimed “mesmerizing”, “enthralling”, and “beautiful the whole way through,” Caught is up for it’s second run in South Bend, IN. Choreography and film: Hannahbeth Fischer. After a highly successful debut at Saint Mary’s College in November, Caught has grown. Adding two musicians to the original sound artist, Patrick Quigley, the Analecta trio is complete. Analecta is a group of rising local musicians: indie, progressive, classical. http://www.myspace.com/analectaband

Experience a cross-platform performance with digital film and dance, playing on the borders of Dance Theater. Live sound engulfs the entire audience, the entire building. This performance, while beautiful on camera, cannot be experienced anywhere but live. Fischer’s statements about movement, duality, tension, architecture, desire, and interaction permeate the multiple channels.

Audience members should look forward to an exciting new space at LangLab. The truly unique space, conducive to incubation and artist musings, will shock many that it exists in South Bend.

Fischer shot some of the film for the projection in the space, adding a unique parallelism to this run of the piece. This is LangLab’s first full length dance performance. Neither South Bend nor LL have experienced a full kinesphere performance such as Caught, and should make it out to LangLab on December 10. Fischer and collaborators welcome conversation in the post-show hang time.

Aside from the usual available light performance photography I also worked with a great crew to provide video and multitrack audio recording for the performance portfolio DVD project. This was a first to go a huge step past mics-mixer-camera to allow for precise audio postproduction mixing of the single-take recording. Translation: geeking out.

Caught LangLab Dance Photography

Shots made with Nikon D700 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens in existing light / video projection.

Technical challenges outside of the recording side included adapting a theatrical stage performance at Saint Mary’s College to the LangLab warehouse art venue (very cool feel!). Full theatrical lighting and dimming control was simplified to fit the intimate space. I do enjoy a good brainstorm and improvisation!

Congrats Hannabeth and the cast of Caught on a wonderful 2nd performance! Glad to have been part of it!

 

UPDATE! Jan 2011 – Check out the LIVE recording album the band made from the audio tracks from the show.