Lightroom duty, day 883

I recently had a brief period of change where I decided to stray from the usual camera/lens/film combination. It was nice and fresh, but can I please have the original set back already?

(APX is unusable. Tri-X curls like a hurt child. Neopan is black-and-white with nothing in between. Delta is usable if you aim for 100% midtones and weird grain that reminds me of awkward virgin sex. And don’t get me started on lens that are too sharp… now I get why some are deliberately undercorrected: to prevent the world from looking too creepy.)

Lightroom duty, day 857

The scanner was acting wacky so I took it apart… turns out the mirrors were covered in a thick layer of grime and the focus plane was tilted. I fixed everything, put it back together… and now it feels wrong. Too sharp.

I ran out of HP5+ (wasn’t supposed to happen; I’m broke) and though, what the hell, I’ll shoot whatever expired film there is in the fridge. Picked a roll or two of PAN F+. Sure, it’s ISO 25-50, but the quality! Yes, you guessed it: too good.

I’m disappointed. The photos are sharper than ever – but it’s not a style I’m used to. I want my crappy, grainy, blurry snaps back.

PS. You don’t appreciate a good workflow until some part of it gets replaced with an alien artifact and suddenly your style is gone until you figure out how to get it back. It’s always around a corner: scanner breaking, film being discontinued, lens falling on the floor, developer formula getting changed… anything.

Joryj Kłoc

Today’s music recommendation corner: Joryj Kłoc. Five crazy modern Cossacks from Ukraine play what can only be described as psychedelic pop-folk-rock. They play really energetic tunes and are not shy of incorporating the lead motive from Barbra Streisand (yes, THAT pop song) into their first hit; also, their use of a hurdy-gurdy should probably be considered illegal in most Slavic countries. The outcome balances right between outright kitsch and outright fabulous – which means you’ll either love them or hate them. You decide. The entire first album is available for listening on Soundcloud.


As if life wasn’t hard enough as-is: I decided to quit smoking, for good. Fortunately I have experience in doing this kind of things; unfortunately, the withdrawal is real nonetheless. Makes me wanna kill anyone who crosses my path.

Lightroom duty, day 554

After each batch of processed & scanned film I tend to stop photographing for a while. The raw scans look so bland and uninspiring that I don’t see the point anymore. They’re flat, gray, grainy, underexposed and ugly. They don’t seem beautiful to me at all.

I shot over 250 rolls of b&w film to date; they always came out pretty good, if not great – yet it’s still hard to have faith in myself; it’s still hard to believe that I will deliver results like I did every time so far. And so today I’m back on Lightroom duty. Time to make these ugly ducklings really shine.

Auto-sync +1.0 exposure on every frame, please.


My walls are covered with photos found on the internet; beautiful photos. I’ve been trying to replicate whatever they convey, without much success. No matter what I do, my photos never carry the usual glamour, happiness and perfection that surrounds most pretty views found on Tumblr and elsewhere.

That’s a good thing, for I’ve come to realize that my photos always reflect reality, unaltered. They might not be representing the perfect moment, but they represent a moment.

Day #13

A friend came by yesterday and we had a little improvised gig at my house yesterday. I’ve got no idea where this is going – if and how are we going to record anything “serious” – but I don’t worry about it either.

Life is good if you just let it.

Day #5

Six hours and half a pack of fags later and I’ve recorded a rough sketch of the damn thing. The vocals are crap – I really can’t sing – and the piano has to be redone, but as a whole it’s the song I imagined.

I’m hooked.

Day #3

I seem to have an unfortunate association in my head between musicmaking and smoking. After an afternoon of literally nothing I got through a writer’s block with a cigarette and finished the lyrics in about 15 minutes. Apparently I need to be shaking slightly from the nicotine kick to get just in the right vibe.

Cigarettes and strong black tea. It’s a small price to pay.