Process 058 ☼ 30 Days of Walking in Amsterdam (New Project)
GIVEAWAY: Kodak Gold 200 for 120 x 3
This week’s letter is about a brand new project: The World Today — 30 Days of Walking in Amsterdam which was inspired by the biggest commission I’ve had the chance to work on alongside some of my favorite photographers in the world.
Note: This issue is long and your email program may cut it off. To read in full go HERE.
For this week’s GIVEAWAY: 3 rolls of Kodak Gold 120 courtesy of BuyMoreFilm.
Before we dig into this issue, a quick celebration to share with you. Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool dedicated an entire page to NOTICE last Thursday. Het Parool was at the top of my goal list that I wrote out 950 days before being blessed with this feature. I wanted to share that to remind everyone things take time, trust the process.
A Big Commission from Obscura
A few months ago I was invited to take part in what has been one of the largest commissions I’ve worked on. The invite came from the team at Obscura, a funding collective that focuses on empowering photographers to create dream projects.
They told me about an ambitious project called The World Today, which was inspired by one of my favorite bodies of work from photography history: legendary 1955 MoMA exhibit and iconic photo book The Family of Man. I was immediately interested.
Where The Family of Man exhibit included 503 photographs from 68 countries to take a snapshop of the world in 1955, The World Today invited a group of 138 photographers to make 100 images each in their city and create a visual time stamp of March 2022.
The group of 138 includes some of my favorite photographers including Magnum’s Christopher Anderson, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Jim Goldberg, and Gregory Halpern, but also Mark Steinmetz and Alejandro Cartagena. It’s been a real honor to work alongside this much talent as both a photographer and curator.
Below is the first preview of what I made as part of The World Today, all shot in Amsterdam during the month of March on my daily photo walks.
TWT: 30 Days of Walking In Amsterdam
This series is an extension of the work I made in Vancouver for my book NOTICE, in the sense that it’s a set of 100 short stories expressed in a two-photo diptych format.
Where this project is different is the process of creating it. NOTICE was shot as many thousands of individual photos that were later paired and sequenced into a meditative narrative full of echoing of shapes and compositions.
For this new body of work I placed a serious restriction on myself by shooting it all on a 1964 Olympus Pen-F half-frame camera, meaning that all images are paired in-camera and not afterwards in Photoshop. What I shoot is what I get, which means sometimes it’s a perfect little narrative story in two images like below.
Another restriction I placed on myself was working with just one film stock: bulk-rolled Kodak Double-X cinema film created in 1959 and best-known from films like Scorsese’s Raging Bull, Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, and Tarantino’s Kill Bill.
Every day I walked around different neighborhoods in Amsterdam, shooting fast, sometimes as many as 5 rolls, or 360 photos, a day. Documenting the city in all it’s visual diversity, hunting for short stories in diptych form.
Shooting this in half-frame format meant I was embracing a certain level of luck and uncertainty. I wasn’t counting my frames so the way images fell together wasn’t fully under my control. Sometimes they ended up being perfectly as intended (see above), other times it was an exciting surprise find once I got my scans back (see below).
The World Today will walk an ambitious path culminating in exhibits around the world and a photo book, but it will first be released as a massive 10,000+ NFT collection by Obscura to create a permanent record on the blockchain to be unveiled on May 8th.
Below are a few more preview images. For more information and details on The World Today and how to take part in minting and owning this work visit the Obscura website.
I can't wait to unveil the full body of work of 100 diptychs in May and see what the other 137 photographers have created in 90+ cities across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
This is an ambitious project that’s being built for long-term impact beyond the initial digital release and since the NFT aspect is so new for us all, myself included, I will explain that more next week.
Update: Here is an overview of the full set up 100 diptychs.
I also plan to release a small number of these images as limited edition art prints in the next month. I am still deciding which diptychs but it’ll be two or three different ones in a very small run beautifully printed on museum quality archival paper.
All film was developed and scanned by my friends at Carmencita Film Lab, unless otherwise noted. Use code “PROCESS” at check out to get a free size upgrade for your scans. I love working with Team CFL and can highly recommend them.
That’s it for this week! If you’re not already subscribed to Process just click here:
Keep shooting and take good care of yourselves and others.
BuyMoreFilm is back for another giveaway. Stephan is a gem in the community and runs one of my favorite online shops for used cameras and expired and fresh film including the new Kodak Gold 200 for 120 of which you can win three rolls this week.
To enter email me at firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line PROCESS GIVEAWAY 058 before 11pm EST on April 27 and answer the following question:
Which self-imposed restriction has benefited your photography?
(My answer: Not being able to change the image pairing in my series for The World Today has led to some suprising beautiful pairings I wouldn’t have thought of, plus it reduced my sequencing time by a lot, which means more time for shooting.)
The winner will be randomly drawn and notified. This giveaway is for Process subscribers only. Subscribe by clicking the button below:
Make sure to show BuyMoreFilm some love and check out the absolutely massive anniversary giveaway he’s running full of film and photo books.
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