(All images made with a Hasselblad 503cw on Kodak Tri-X 400 film. Developed and scanned by FW Photos in Texas).
Yesterday, I drove my son to school and went for a run with my wife. After my shower, I looked at my schedule and saw an afternoon of back to back video calls. I found it hard to fire up the home iMac and get going.
So instead, I made the last minute decision to head to my Spark office in downtown Boston. I’ve been there a total of 3 times since the pandemic started. It took me fifteen minutes just to find my temporarily misplaced office key fob. By the time I stepped off the elevator on the 8th floor, I had a wave of mixed emotions. I missed the noise of an office environment with conference rooms filled with colleagues and entrepreneurs. I missed my office. I missed seeing all the familiar faces.
But at the same time, it was nice to be back at my work desk. I made myself a cup of tea as I used to. I turned up my chill playlist on my headphones, I made my video calls, I took care of email and Slack — in between I went out for a coffee and took a walk around the block.
I am grateful for my privilege and the ability to do my work from home. But I really miss the office and all that it brings. Clearly, I didn’t appreciate that enough.
Last night Lauren and I watched 42. It came out in 2013 but truth be told we didn’t get around to watching it until the untimely and very sad passing of the great Chadwick Boseman.
The film is a powerful account of the Jackie Robinson story. Boseman is tremendous and you can’t but feel a sense of anger, shame, frustration, and inspiration after watching this movie. It’s absolutely the best baseball movie ever made and likely one of the best overall movies ever made.
I highly highly recommend it. I am just sorry it took me this long.
Colin Meloy from the Decemberists recently played this new song on NPR. Lovely.
I had a lot of plans for 2020. Along with a sense of optimism and a list of things I wanted to accomplish.
One of the things on my list was to begin selling prints of my photographs. I had always wanted to do this but it was easy to put off. Mostly due to deep insecurity about my work along with a serious case of imposter syndrome. But eight months later and with some gentle nudging, I took the leap and yesterday opened my little store on the internet.
As you can see, my shop only has a small selection of prints. And for now they are limited in size to either 8×8 or 8×10 depending on the camera that made the photograph. All of the prints came from old analog cameras and Kodak films. All are open edition inkjet prints made with archival inks on Canson Infinity Baryta Prestige paper, an acid-free paper made with alpha-cellulose and cotton with a 1/4″ border. All of them are the same price, $50. I’m likely going to rotate them every few months or so.
Yesterday, eight people bought my prints. Some bought more than one. I can’t tell you how happy this made me inside. I’m honored and proud. Much more than any “like” on a social app, that’s for sure.
It’s too early how this little shop will last. But for now, I’m glad I took this step.
Here’s a little story behind this photograph of my wife and Joe Biden
During the Democratic primary season my wife and I attended a number of events to see the various politicians that sought the highest office in our nation. All of them were quite compelling for a variety of reasons.
Last summer there was a Joe Biden event down the road from our house in Nantucket and so we went. At one point, we are introduced and my wife says, “Hi, I’m Lauren Regan (her maiden name) I think you knew my dad”
Literally, in less than second the Vice President beamed, held Lauren’s hands and said “Oh my god, your Denny’s daughter”. Then he went on to say he recently drove by their old family home in Wilmington and asked about Lauren’s mom. I grabbed my phone and took this photo.
Now Lauren’s dad was the former police chief in Wilmington, Delaware. But he died suddenly and much too early at age 50 back in 1993. A long time ago. The VP knew it was a tragic loss for Lauren and her family. You could see it in his eyes.
We only had a few moments with Joe Biden as a line was forming behind us with various folks that wanted his attention. But it was a moment I won’t forget.
The man is all heart.
Bright Eyes songs, especially when you’re a certain age, sound as grandiose and all-consuming as your first heartbreak, and they work in good times and bad. Heartache hurts when you’re 22 and when you’re 42. A Bright Eyes song will age with you~Bringing Back Bright Eyes
I stumbled across this fantastic video on YouTube this summer, produced by Ilford (makers of photographic films) and highlighting the film photography of Jason Lee. For those not familiar, Jason was a professional skateboarder before becoming an actor. About 15 years ago, he discovered photography, and like so many of us, photography became a passion. The video itself is a work of art, and I have watched it a few times now.
I became a bit curious about his work, which led me to this podcast with Jason and the folks at Kodak about a photography book he created called, A Plain View. The book is out of print, but the images on his website of the book are simply beautiful. I hope I can track down this book in the secondary market at some point, but for now, it’s unavailable to me.
Few things that stand out with Jason photography:
-He doesn’t have a social media presence at all. He doesn’t collect likes or followers on Instagram or Facebook. His work is in books, short films, fine art prints and his own website. How refreshing.
-You can tell from his work that he loves the beauty of film photography, from exposing the film to printing the image. He mentions his use of old lenses not because they give him a photographic look that he seeks that cannot be matched by new gear or digital manipulation.
-His curiosity leads to experimentation. Jason’s work is across 35mm, medium format and large format. You get a sense that each format is intentional and also the photographer on a self exploration of the unknown.
As you can tell, I am quite taken with Jason’s approach to the craft and the final output. I highly recommend checking out Jason’s work on his website.
Yesterday we turned on the mic and recorded another episode. In 40 minutes or so we chatted about stuff we would talk about about over coffee or in the hallway on any given day. No agenda, no script. Mics on and go.
And this day we discussed investing during a pandemic (ie 2020 vs 2019), how we are working from home (technology and daily schedule), some likely controversial thoughts about remote work, AirPods woes, and a few memorable moments at Postmates.
Thanks for listening and as always tweet us (@bijan and @nabeel) with comments/questions/suggestions.
You can listen to our podcast on Soundcloud or with your favorite podcast app.
You can also add the RSS link to your player or browser :)
“I’m just going to disconnect, I can’t follow the news anymore”
I’m hearing this with increased frequency from various folks in my life.
And I get it. The daily news coming from various parts of this country can be intensely stressful, depressing and angering. That plus our own addition to our phones can be an tough combination.
Disconnecting for a few hours, a few days, or even a few weeks at a time can be enormously helpful and healthy. A great opportunity to spend time with your loved ones or to pursue personal creative projects. Or just to relax.
But I would also encourage you to use the time offline to reflect on what you can do to help change the situation that made you disconnect in the first place.
Does the endless corruption from this administration make you sick? Does the systemic racism and inequality in this country make you heart break? Does the lack of leadership with the Covid19 pandemic frustrate you? What are you going to do when you come reenter the community and the world. It can be big or small but be intentional about it.
It is a privilege to be able to disconnect from the daily – so use and cherish the time for all its worth.
When you come back, make it count.