April, 2010

loni weholt

a re-post from jamie kripke’s blog

I was talking to my photog friend Matthew Turley a few months back about 4×5 cameras. He is a master of the format, and makes big, beautiful, pictures that I wish I had made. I’ve never owned a 4×5, but am getting more interested in them as the digital workflow accelerates and becomes closer to real time. It just seems like a great compliment to shooting everything digitally. Slow, crafty, thoughtful vs. fast, instant, loose.

At some point in our conversation I recall saying how much I’d love to hit the road with a 4×5 and shoot landscapes, one sheet at a time, but that my life just feels too hectic for that to be a reality, with two young kids, a house remodel, and trying to stay afloat in the current economy.

A week later a plain brown box shows up on my doorstep. Inside is a Graflex SpeedGraphic 4×5 camera and 10 sheets of neg film, along with detailed, hand-drawn directions on how to run the thing:
I spend literally 30 minutes just looking at it — and trying to locate the secret button that opens it. Eventually I find it and the inner workings of the SpeedGraphic are revealed. It’s a hand held camera with a focal plane shutter (up to 1/1000 sec!), rangefinder focusing, and a big piece of beautiful ground glass on the back.

To be honest it’s a bit intimidating, as if an amazing camera deserves an amazing subject. The first thing I thought to do was take a picture of it (above) b/c it was just so cool looking.

I took it along on a recent editorial shoot, but it was sleeting sideways, so it never came out. This morning, I shot two sheets at an empty car dealership by my studio. I love the handicraft and how precious the film feels. I found myself really taking extra time to study the compostion and fine tune everything. We’ll see how it turns out, or if it even turns out at all.

Thanks Matthew, that was very cool of you, and some much needed medicine….

loni weholt

I met Loni Weholt in 1994 or 1995. We developed an incredible friendship while she produced jobs for several of my photographers. She would often be gone for months at a time on assignments, but we would always get together upon her return and it was as if no time had passed. Loni is one of the most passionate human beings I have ever met. Passionate about photography, design, life, work, relationships, friendships, Stretch, you name it…

Over the past few years, our paths diverged and we were no longer in as much regular contact. Because we were not as connected on a daily basis, it made it all the more difficult to swallow the intense email I received from Loni detailing her health crisis. In July, Loni was diagnosed with neuroendocrine small cell carcinoma of the cervix and has since undergone extensive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. There is a very important fundraiser and party for Loni upcoming Thursday, April 8th, and I want to do everything in my power to make sure it is the blockbuster event it should be. There will be a live auction including prints from Nadav Kander, Lauren Greenfield, Hans Gissinger, Lis Von Hoene, Stephen Wilkes and John Midgley to name a few. Please come and support this incredible woman. For more information, go here and to purchase tickets, visit GIUFL.