Ben Brackin Photography





March 26 2013

Discoveries and Shenanigan

I still shooting film, I love the image quality and color, and I love shooting my Mamiya AF645. As much as I love film I love trying our new film, which is why I couldn't wait to get my hands on Rollei's Agfa films. I ordered two rolls of Rollei/Agfa DigiBase CR200 from Freestyle Photographic Supplies, what I got was two rolls of Lomography X-Pro 200 Cross Process Color Film stuck in Rollei/Agfa Digibase CR200 canisters. This is exactly the kind of shenanigans that piss me off completely, but before I swore off shopping at Freestyle entirely I did some research and found our that both the Rollei/Agfa and the Lomography films rebranded versions of Agfa's RSX II slide film. This is great news for fans of Agfa film, myself included. I'm excited to see my results.

My other photo related discoveries today where that Nikon has been using the same lens mount since 1977 when they came out with their first AI lenses. This means that old Nikon manual focus on Nikon's newer auto focus SLR and Digital SLR cameras. These lenses work in manual focus mode only (obviously), if you are using a Nikon DSLR 300/700 or D3/D4 series cameras you have to enter the lens's maximum aperture and focal length into your camera's Non-CPU Lens Database (SetUp Menu ->Non-CPU data) this took me all of 30 seconds. This is great news for me because my very cool Nikkor AI Micro (or Nikonian for "macro") 55mm f/3.5 lens has been collecting dust for years. This is extremely awesome.

May 1 2012

I Walked into a Protest Today

On Monday, May 1st, I walked into the middle of the May Day demonstrations here in Seattle. I stepped off my bus downtown, just as the demonstration crossed my path. Being the prepared professional that I am, I had my my camera on me, I always have my camera on me.

There were an easy 20 photographers there when I got there, a couple of TV camera crews, and hundreds of idiots with smart phone held over their heads following from the side lines. I got myself into the middle of the demonstrators marching backward to keep up to capture the intense faces around me.

The Demonstrators were frenetic, righteous, many picking a the police ready to be a martyr, ready to show off the black eye, the cut, the stitches they got from the police. The cops were steady, restrained, a rubber band ready to snap, ready to restore order with force if needed.

I respect cops, I respect protesters, I respect nonviolence, I respect the necessity for insurrection. I walked backwards quickly to keep up to capture the protesters, to capture the cops in their riot gear. I shot until my memory card was full, then my feet said to run, run from the noise, from the chanting protesters from the chanting cops:

"Fuck the police!"

"Keep Moving!"

"Fuck the police!"

"Keep Moving!"

As I walked away from the protest, I walked past a team of undercover police. Three youths stepped from a plain, black SUV, in protester uniforms, black hoodies, black pants, black backpacks, undercover cops if I had ever seen them. Clothes too new, faces too clean. It was not until I got home that I found that earlier in the day group of black clad vandals dressed just like the undercover cops I had seen had trashed some store fronts and beat down a TV reporter. Witnesses said uniformed cops were nowhere to be seen.