Looks Good: Peak Design Backpack

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I wasn’t a backpack kind of person, up until my friend Matt nagged me into trying one. I still wasn’t convinced, but you do a lot of things in name of friendship. However, when I started going for photography trips, I started to realize the value of backpacks, except that most of the bags targeting photographers are like hiking boots — long on comfort, short on style. Being “aesthetics first” kind of person, I have settled for a Tumi Arrive backpack which is an ideal blend of rugged and aesthetically pleasing. While it is good for carrying a camera and a lens with some accessories, it isn’t really a true camera bag.  Continue reading “Looks Good: Peak Design Backpack”

A Set of Photo Books by Joshua Allen Harris

I was introduced to Joshua Allen Harris, a few years ago by friend and photography enthusiast, Bijan Sabet. I had admired Harris’ work on Instagram — his reductionist style of visual story telling was something that spoke to me at a very deep level. I went out to Brooklyn one evening to make photos with Joshua Bijan, Naveen and Chris Ozer.

Harris, during that photowalk, told me about this project he had been working on for quite sometime. He was taking photos of Broadway and wanted to chronicle that as a photo story, that he was compiling one frame of film at a time. None of these photos were shared on Instagram or any other form of social media. He only picked up a Leica M6 camera about two years.

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Earlier this month, he finally released his work – a visual narrative essay in the form of three books: Tahoma, Belmont and Broadway. This is my first acqusiton of the year and it is what I call a soul satisftying shopping spree. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of these three books — and going to cherish them for a long time.

FYI, There are only 50 copies each of these books. You can buy them from Harris’ website.

All photos by me: Lecia M-Monochrom with Leica f2/35mm lens.

Photo Essay: Backroom Faces of Filson

Filson, one of the oldest manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest, has entered the new century, thanks to its tireless devotion to quality goods. From bags to outerwear, everything that carries Filson’s brand is built to last. I have a tote bag that has seen more milk and food spills than a toddler’s lap, and yet it marches on. It is one of my most treasured possesions and I didn’t even pay full price for it — bought in at a flea market.

Filson, which was started in 1897 by a railroad conductor to outfit those showing up for the Klondike Gold Rush, is true Americana. It has made clothes for cowboys, loggers and others who work with their hands. Lately, however it has become a bit of a hipster brand and you can see Silicon Valley types carrying the classic Filson Brief. It is so big here, that Filson is opening a store in San Francisco. Soon-ish. The funding for the expansion is being funded by Bedrock Manufacturing, a buyout group that also owns Shinola and part of Steve Alan.

Earlier this year, I visited Filson’s factory — to learn how they make those “built tough” bags and other items. Obviously, I took some photos and have been looking for an occassion to publish them. Yesterday, Filson opened a brand new 6400-square foot Seattle Flagship retail store (at 1741 First Avenue South) which is stunning and has unique selection of Filson goods. The new flagship store will attract a lot of attention and media is all over the news.

Instead of trying to gush over their goods — they are gush worthy — I decided to do a photo essay on the fine folks who work in the backrooms and the factories to make these hardwearing goods. For me, their hard work is what translates into the long lasting quality that gives the ultimate value to the brand.

A Big Sur Photo Album

As part of True Ventures’ Founder Camp, I spent a couple of days this past week in Carmel Valley.  I went on two photowalks and took photos at the camp as well. Instead of my usual Leica M-P, I borrowed a friend’s Fuji X-T1 (graphite) camera with an amazing APS-C sensor. The sensor might be smaller than the full frame 35mm cameras, but it is by no means a slouch. I used two lenses to take these photos – f2/16mm (equivalent to about 24mm on full-frame cameras) and F1.2/56mm (equivalent of about 85mm on full-frame cameras.)  Here are some photos — most of them are jpeg’s right out of the camera. A handful were touched up in LightRoom.

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What do bridges mean?

I am constantly fascinated by bridges, not just because they are such a marvel of engineering, but also because they are a metaphor for so many things in life. For me they are a way to transition between the highs of life, a way to get over the valley of darkness. I have often wondered what  bridges meant to others and asked the question on Instagram and Facebook, with some interesting answers. Here is a few photos of bridges I have made over past few years and the answers of those who I often communicate with on the social networks.

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  • I love that bridges are solid yet uniquely and beautifully made.

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  • Bridges connect what nature had no intention of connecting. It’s us evolving in our environment.

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  • Progress. I think of the narrow paths and treacherous trails or long divergent roads that those who came before had to traverse. I think of the science and the sweat that went into building this permanent pathway out of a past filled with hardship. I think of the great labor and accomplishments of others today and yesterday that we take for granted–labor that gives us a safe, quick route home or onward. I think of progress.

  • The metaphorical bridge to me represents hope, opportunities, potential and healing because it is symbolic of an intentional connection only made possible by a mutual understanding between two separate entities – countries, disciplines, people.

  • Bridges mean connection.

About these photos: The first photo of the Bay Bridge was made with my Leica Q f8/28mm, ISO 200. The next photo of the Bay Bridge were made with Sony RX-1 with f11/35mm Zeiss, ISO 200. A bridge over River Seine was captured by Lecia M-P using the Zeiss 25mm lens at f11 at ISO 200. The following two photos are from a recent visit to the BigSur and were captured using a Fuji XT-1 via Fuji 16mm lens (24 mm on full frame) set at f8 and ISO of 200. As it is obvious, ISO 200 is my favorite and I prefer to do landscapes at f11. My favorite lens for landscape is Zeiss 25mm.