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    surfing in black and white

    photos of surfing around san diego, shot on 35mm or 120 format black and white film

    Friday, 24 October 2014


    black and white film photos in and around san diego

    Like many photographers, I love shooting black and white film, imagining the scene in front of me washed clean of all color. Objects become stripped to their bare essence, leaving only light, shadow, and form. 

    Friday, 25 April 2014
  • Photo by Clo Vanesco

    Dan Kramer (1942-2010) lived a life for the ages. Born and raised in the French speaking town of Lausanne, Switzerland, by his early twenties Dan had achieved an advanced degree in photography, and thanks to his impeccable eye and typically Swiss attention to detail, he soon had a bustling studio business.

    One day Dan’s impeccable eye landed on Parisian actress/artist/model/singer/socialite Clo Vanesco, who would quickly become his muse, and with her young son Laurent, the three departed on a VW bus voyage across Europe, then througout the Greek islands via sailboat, and finally to Paris for the triumphant creation of KV Studio and exciting new chapters in their acclaimed careers.

    Their sphere of influence included such renowned names in the art world as Aimé Maeght, Samuel Josefowitz, François Fiedler, Raymond Moretti, César Baldaccini, Baldwin and Guggisberg, and Albert György, to name but a few. They relocated to San Diego in the late ‘90s, bringing some much needed Parisian flavor to San Diego’s art scene.

    Though Dan and Clo are no longer with us in body, their spirits live on in the lives of those they touched. Their story truly deserves a feature length film, so hopefully this exhibition will give you a brief glimpse of life as seen through their eyes.

    To honor one of Dan's last wishes, those of us who knew him well are organizing a group exhibition of artists that he admired and worked with throughout his life. We will be showcasing his photography as well as works by Clo Vanesco, Parisian non-figurative painter François Fiedler, Hungarian scluptor Albert György, painting and sculpture by San Diego's Carolee Bodie-Williams, pen and ink works by Katherine Brannock, photography by Laurent Kramer, painting and sculpture by Linda Litteral, photos by Sean McMullen, mixed media works by Glen Gorham, and photos by yours truly.

    The exhibition will open on the 5th anniversary of his passing, Thursday evening, 7pm-10pm, March 26th, at Turquoise Cellars, 5026 Cass Street, in Pacific Beach. The art works will remain on display throughout the month of April. Scroll to the bottom for map and directions.

    View the flyer for the show in PDF here.

    Here are some images of the artists and examples of their works (though not necessarily the exact works that will be in the show): 

    March 26th, 2015:

    I just found this wonderful article entitled "The Artist is the Creator of Beautiful Things" that really sums up my view of the role of art in our lives. The main theme is that life imitates art, rather than the other way around. In other words, art sets the tone for our lives, and is therefor perhaps the single most important of all human endeavors.

    Forest Night Full of Stars by Joey Clark

    This map shows the location of Turquoise Cellars. Click the map for larger view:

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    double exposures volume I

    double exposed photos on film featuring some of my friends surfing in pacific beach, including billy snyder, matt dalton, j.d. yount, mele saili, hayden frye, nico espinoza, ricky cunningham, and boot poskey. a few of them were shot at windansea, including a couple of my personal favorites: a) the barbed wire shot, and b) the dude carving up the side of a la jolla bmw motorhome with his trusty rusty. enjoy.

    Sunday, 29 November -0001


    surfing double exposures volume II

    here are a few recent shots plus many of my earlier double exposure attempts, many of which i really dig for their whacked out ethos. lots of mood in this collection; reflections and missed corrections abound. half baked swap meet camera setups and whatnot. lately i find myself going for the 'home run', and looking at these reminds me how randomness can so often jive with the subconscious to create aesthetically pleasing imagery in the constant struggle to achieve 'unconscious competence'.

    Sunday, 29 November -0001


    Johnny and the Coasters

    this series of shots were some of my first intentional double exposures. they showcase one of the most entertaining longboarders i've ever had the pleasure to watch, johnny fay, and san diego's iconic belmont park coaster. the sheer providence of these shots continues to blow my mind. look at johnny raising his hands in joy as the coaster makes its plunging descent, reaching for the sky as if to shake some coconuts from a giant palm tree, and then being seemingly blown back at terminal velocity as a jet plane roars by overhead. none of this was planned... just magic!

    Tuesday, 12 August 2014


    dbvm2 - mattson 2

    I shot these in 2012 when the Mattson 2 were playing a gig in support of the San Diego Surf Film Festival. Someone told me that Andy Davis is lurking behind the flowers in one of them, is it true? In any case, there's a certain synchronicity to double exposing twins, right?

    Tuesday, 12 August 2014
  • Ferdie is one cool cat, and he actually paid for some photos I took of him surfing. How cool is that?!!
    (He's also known for 4-5 hour sessions and insane balance and style on any board he rides.)

  • It is the highest of compliments to say that someone's style is uniquely all their own, and who's got more style than G? Everything he does has pizzazz, with a double dose of panache.

  • I have been blessed with a third brother in Laurent. I can say this without hesitation, considering the bond all of us felt with his dad Dan in the (much too short) time he was with us. Laurent is warm hearted by nature, cool as a cucumber when necessary, and his eye for beauty is second to none. 
  • I love him like a brother, and not just because he is one. He shoots people as well as anyone I've ever seen, and that is not all. Need some extra special web goodies for your outpost on the Information Superhighway? Give him a shout, you won't be sorry!

  • "Why film?" you might ask... 

    There are a number of reasons, in no particular order:

    • The image is real •

    When I click the shutter button, I love knowing that I have just created a physical likeness of the scene in front of me on the film surface, with no need for fancy electronic gadgets to make it visible to the human eye (just a darkroom bulb and some chemicals). Computer technology, on the other hand, develops so rapidly that there is no guarantee that the 1's and 0's created by today's digital cameras will have any relevance 100 years from now. And as a long time computer geek, I've seen too many photo collections lost into the ether, never to return. 

    • Anticipation •

    I've never been the type to secretly open my Christmas gifts early and then carefully tape them back shut. I like surprises. It can be anywhere from days to months before I have shot enough film to take it in for processing, and by that time I've often forgotten what I shot. Sur-pri-ise!!!

    • Focus, Focus, Focus •

    Not in the literal sense - some of my favorite shots are not exactly razor sharp - but with film I must really want to shoot something before I click the shutter button. With digital it's just too easy to fire away at will, and I spend enough time on the computer as it is; the last thing I want to do is edit a bejillion digital photos.

    • Double Exposures are Fun! •

    Sure, you can do it with some digital cameras, but only one at a time. And yeah, you can fake it with Photoshop, but it's... well, fake. And I love that I can sell a photo and include the negative as proof that it's a one of kind work of art. The sheer providence of some of the shots that have been given to me by the Heavens has never ceased to amaze me. See the Mattson 2 series or the Johnny Fay roller coaster shots for example; I had no idea what was already on the roll on the second pass through the camera - let alone that the images would jive like they did. Faking it in Photoshop just isn't the same.

    • I love old things •

    And all things mechanical. You just can't beat the sound of an old 35mm camera, especially if there's a monster motor drive attached. Many of my cameras were in need of repair when I got them, and I love fixing them. And when they need more attention than I can deliver, I love supporting local businesses who can fix them for me, just like people used to support me by letting me fix their Lambrettas.

    • I'm not into metadata, but I am into privacy •

    In our crazy modern world where your every move is tracked whenever you use a cell phone, computer, or toaster, I love that my old cameras don't store geo location, time stamps, have facial recognition, wi-fi, etc. Call me a crazy paranoid tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, I don't care. If I want any such data attached to my photos, I'll do it myself, thanks! It's having a choice that matters.

    • Cameras and surfing grew up together •

    Since most of my photography is centered around the world of surfing, I get a certain satisfaction in using equipment from the golden age of camera development that happened to coincide with the golden age of surfing.

    Anyhow, thanks for looking at my work, and I hope you enjoy viewing it as much as I did creating it!



    the cameras

    Sunday, 12 October 2014