The April void


My last entry here was on the final day of March.  It is now the beginning of May, and I am left utterly flabbergasted at how April warped by so damn fast.  Where the bloody hell did the time go?!

Only recently have I had a chance to catch my breath so to speak.  With that comes introspection, which in my case can be a mixed blessing.  I find myself on the eve of concluding my third year of law school; this would have been my final semester and year but for a streak of masochism that has compelled me to continue onwards to earn a Master in Laws (LLM) in addition to a Juris Doctor (JD).  And so for me, the war is not yet over.  I cannot help but to feel somewhat left behind as my classmates who entered with me three years ago are now moving onwards both professionally and personally.  In three years, I have seen my peers progress so much, and I find myself questioning where I myself stand.  Have I done enough?  I wish I can adamantly affirm, but I am not sure if I can.  I will just leave it at that.


One thing, at least, that I do have confidence and certainty over has been my photographic work.  My weakness in this respect, however, and especially lately, is that I have been spending a disproportionate amount of time shooting and not devoting enough time at my desk processing and editing.  While I very much prefer to be out in the street and field with a camera in hand rather than sitting in front of a display adjusting highlights and shadows, the editing process is all so vital that the time spent for such can be at a factor of two to three times that of actual shooting.  It is a grueling job, but one that must be done.

I took an accounting today of the various projects I have yet to complete in my work queue.  These are:

-A coffee table book of a fencer whose parents approached me a while ago to create.


I have been photographing Oliver Shindler from Windy City Fencing since 2012 at least. This autumn, he will be studying and fencing at Ohio State Univeristy.


-A boudoir/pin-up portrait session from the end of March, of which I am in the final stages of editing this project.  While this set has taken much more time than I had originally anticipated, this has been one of the more awe inspiring projects I have undertook.  Being primarily a documentary photographer looking for decisive moments to capture, it was quite exciting to venture into the realm of conceptual and finer art photography.


One of the scenes I used to photograph my two lovely subjects. Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but out of respect for their privacy, I am making these photographs available for viewing offline only!


-A “digital-to-analogue” conversion in which I create 35mm slide transparencies using digital images.  While not exactly a true digital-to-analogue conversion, which would have required actual chemical film, this process involves taking a JPEG that I made using the X100 and its colour reversal film simulations such as Fujichrome Astia, sizing it at 36x24mm (the dimensions of 35mm film), and printing it on an inkjet transparency film.  I would subsequently mount these transparencies onto slide mounts to be viewed either through an old-fashion projector or, my preferred method, through loupes on a light-table.  This project stems mostly from my obsession over Kodak Kodachrome film.

Photo on 4-5-15 at 01.13 Sun 5

This was how I spent a Saturday evening four weeks ago, doing a test-run of making colour transparencies from digital files.


-The NCAA fencing qualifiers at Northwestern Univeristy in the beginning of March.


Yes, that is Olympic foilist Lee Kiefer.


-The April North American Cup fencing tournament up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin over a fortnight ago.


I do regret not being able to go to NACs more often.


-The Dominick Epee Challenge fencing tournament in Mount Prospect last weekend.


Dim lighting: a curse all too common for fencing photographers.


-Various street and event photographs, including from this past weekend at the NFL Draft.





It is quite apparent that I have my work cut out for me.  “So let it be written.  So let it be done.”  —Yul Brenner in The Ten Commandments (1956).