Eat Pomegranate Photography
© Copyright 2017.

Film in Snow

January 7, 2017
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A friend of mine recently asked me about why I always mention whether a photograph was taken digitally or with film. Especially because film isn’t replacing the photographer’s skill. I thought about this a bunch and realized that film changes the process of taking a picture. Each shutter click costs so much money and film forces you to be more thoughtful about each composition; it teaches you to move on from ideas that aren’t working. I was just reading a really good blog post by a wood worker and he talks about how “few people have the ability to engage in the making of something.” When I am taking pictures with a film camera, I get more of a sense of creating something. So much has to be working in unison to get shots like these. Juggling all the technical variables in addition to working with another dynamic human being is what keeps photographers coming back to their cameras. This series is from a shoot with Sophia Brawner in one of the Detroit suburbs. We were both freezing but who could’ve passed up huge snowflakes like these.


Snow Flakes

Sometimes you wake up and everything looks absolutely perfect. I love that we get such gorgeous representations of all the seasons here in Michigan. It took me so many years to learn how to dress properly and now snowflakes like these are such a welcome sight. I hope you are getting out to enjoy the snow this winter.


Dessert Oasis

September 21, 2016
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A photograph is such a thin slice in time but a good image can leave us with feelings that extend much further beyond that one instant. When we look at an image we extrapolate a story before and after that moment. Not only that, when one person looks at a picture they have their own unique perspective and story around it. One person may look at this series of images and think about a memory of having coffee with a special person, another might think about their first job as a barista, and a third person may think of their morning ritual. These stories we assign to photographs connect us to these images. Photographers do their best to create a venue for people to establish these connections; sometimes we succeed.


film

I am always thankful when people let me take their pictures but I especially appreciate it when I am shooting film. With a film camera, I can’t give them the instant gratification of reviewing an image. So, it takes a lot of trust in a stranger to take your picture if they aren’t even going to show it to you. Thanks people.

This is another series with my mamiya 645 on Kodak Ektar 100 film.


Playlist for a Stranger

February 20, 2016
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I saw this woman taking pictures in Downtown Chicago and I made her a playlist. Check it out:

Coast to Coast

February 12, 2016
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Water

This woman traveled to the West Coast to collect a bottle of water from the ocean. She walked along the beach as that bottle clinked against her shoe. When she was ankle deep in the water, she dipped in her bottle, and then walked all the way back. This whole ritual was so simple and beautiful.

On a separate note, I couldn’t get over how perfectly these clouds registered on this film stock. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, film.

Travel

Some of my oldest memories are of laying on top of the speakers behind the back seat of my parent’s light blue 1975 Datsun 120Y. My parents would take me and my brother on long cross-country road trips using difficult/technical trucking routes. At a relatively young age we had seen every province of Pakistan. We had been to the forts of Multan, the peaks of the Himalayas, the desert of Sindh, had seen the flow of the Indus, and the beaches of Karachi. This wanderlust has been passed down to all of my siblings. Last year alone, me and my siblings visited four continents including extended stays in Africa and the Middle-East.
I really wanted to end 2015 on a strong note. I was originally going to go to Pakistan but the overlap with my sister and my mom was only two days. For the first time in years, I was left with a block of unscheduled days. I decided to go on a coast to coast adventure; from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast.

Pacific Ocean

The crashing waves of the Pacific Northwest minutes after arriving in Seaview, WA.



Film

A friend recently asked me if I am always looking at the world in terms of how I would photograph it and my answer was a resounding “no.” It is so much more important to look around and let pictures reveal themselves. If I was to look at everything through the cross hatches of a view finder, I would probably miss the all the beauty. The act of shooting without a digital viewfinder helps me slow down. For this whole trip, I only took my film camera and a few rolls of film. I hope you enjoy all of this medium format goodness.

Camera: Mamiya 645
Film:      Kodak Portra 400 and Kodak Ektar 100
Lab:      Indie Film Lab


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Looking Up

December 3, 2015
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Here are two photos from my last trip to NYC. I drove across the country with my parents and sisters to surprise my brother at his favorite restaurant. It was a really memorable trip—almost too memorable for me to be behind a camera the whole time. After we found him, I was walking through the city and came across the building on the left. I loved how the clouds were rolling over us and I knew that film would have enough dynamic range to capture the building and the bright sky. That was the last photo on that roll. Right after the exposure, I huddled down to replace the film. My next shot was the photo on the right. It wasn’t until I saw my film scans that I realized how these images perfectly mirror each other. Even the clouds in each photo seem to blend together across these frames.

The time it takes to receive your film scans from the lab is perfect for inducing deja vu. It is almost like they wait to scan the images till this tipping point just beyond a fading memory. I have been traveling with only my film photography gear for the last few trips. Film makes me shoot a lot less and I get better at remembering my environment aside from the camera’s viewfinder. Ask any film photographer and they will tell you about the joy of receiving your scans.

Once in a while, those scans reveal correlations like this one. I couldn’t resist sharing it with you.

If you want to hang these prints on your wall, check out the Eat Pomegranate Market.

P.S. I am writing this blog post from a coffee shop in Portland, OR. Just as you start forgetting about this post, I will upload photos from my current trip to the Pacific Northwest.

Pink and Blue

November 11, 2015
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hands

I always go after hands in shoots because they tell so much of a story.

When I take pictures I am thinking about how that set of images will look hung up a wall. People are usually looking for patterns and we are stringing together a story from a series of images. I take pictures with the hope that my audience will piece together a story or maybe let their imagination take them beyond the images. Here is a mini photo series with Alexa.

Bow

I loved this moment and I was even more excited to see it captured when I got the film scans back.

A note on film

Film captures color better than the majority of digital cameras. I really love picking the right camera and the right film for each shoot. Even the process of shooting an image is more thoughtful and intentional. All these things combined make up for when photographers say “there is just something special about film.”
These images were shot with a Mamiya 645 film camera using Kodak Ektar 100 film.


Blue and Pink

Most times the simplest photographs become my favorites. This image is a perfect example.

look

I keep looking at how well Alexa’s eye color registered on film

Aaron # 26

July 22, 2015
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Aaron

Meet Aaron, he is #26 in a series of 100 strangers.

A Stranger on Film

I am always amazed by all the wonderful people I meet with my camera. Last month, I was on a photo walk with my friend Joe and we came across a group of people hanging out near the Lansing City Market. I asked if I could take a portrait of each of them; I had ~6 exposures left on my camera. This photo was the last exposure on the roll.

Aaron’s friends were surprised that he had let me photographed him. As always, I am honored that people let me take their picutre, especially because being in front of a huge medium format camera must be intimidating. Thanks Aaron

Check out Aaron’s Instagram account because he is an incredible photographer.


Kodak Ektar might be my new favorite film. I just got scans back of a few rolls and I am in love with each exposure. The contrasty saturated results of this film also makes it perfect for a Spring shoot.

Lately, I have only been taking one roll with me to shoots and limiting myself to 15 exposures. This is a shoot with Alexa in a little garden.

Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro
Film: Kodak Ektar 100
Lab: Indie Film Lab


Bench

When I am working with the 645 aspect ratio, I automatically hunt for symmetry. This bench was exactly what I was looking for.



Film in Detroit

April 21, 2015
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Red

I am always on a lookout for cool doors. We found this one a few blocks away from the Guardian Building.

If you time it right parts of Detroit can feel like you are all alone in the city. Early weekend mornings and some weekday evenings in this make it feel like you have the whole city to yourself. I could spend days shooting along the urban landscape of Detroit’s buildings. The symmetry of all these structures are one of my favorite backdrops. A few weeks ago, I met up with Shannon in Downtown with a few rolls of my favorite film and my medium format camera. We shot a total of 30 photos and I love each and every one of them. This film registers color so artfully. I always see such a wider spectrum of color when I am using this film and camera combination. Getting film processed and scanned is like meeting a long lost friend after years of being apart. I hope you enjoy these.


Look

This might be my favorite photos from this series because of Shannon’s expression; she is so fierce. I intentionally overexposed this roll to mute the buildings in the back while keeping Shannon as the main focal point.  
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Lines



Camera: Mamiya 645 Pro tl

Film: Kodak Portra 400

Lab: Indie Film Lab

Freedom is selfish – and let me tell you why.

Autonomy and independence allow people to roam; they allow people to wander.  Wanderlust is good though, and inspiring, right?

Wrong.

Having freedom, and having too many choices, allows people to miss things.  These choices pass by people and just go unnoticed.  People quit seeing things when they’re faced with insurmountable decisions every day like billboards and television commercials.  This jadedness changes though when people see something new, something remarkable, and sometimes challenges can provide people with just that; something remarkable.

Allowing yourself to have choices is selfish because you don’t get to challenge yourself to produce something ingenious, resourceful, or imaginative that will then inspire others.

Consequently, I’ve decided that I’m not going to be selfish.  I want to inspire others, and myself. As a result, I’ve been seeking blues.  Blues and angled lines.  Restricting myself to such few characteristics has forced me to look at things in a different way.  I now seek out structure in an otherwise unstructured world.  Interesting, huh?

Some photographers abide by photo challenges.  Some photographers restrict their tools.  Some photographers shoot specific details.  These are all trials which test our abilities to craft something extraordinary.  Something that people will notice.

Because of the limitations I’ve begun putting on myself, I’ve found myself in new places; places that even wanderlust couldn’t have lead me to.

Yes, freedom is selfish.  It’s selfish because of what you can’t produce when you’re free.  Sometimes, placing yourself in a box means having to get creative in order to escape, and creativity is the fiber of a unique and beautiful world; the world that we all live in.