Friday, February 24, 2012


People are often heard saying that "time flies as you get older". We know it's not that they believe that time is actually accelerating as they age, but that our perception of the passage of time changes.

The more things that you are forced to cram into one day, the less time it leaves for each. That's math! Likewise, the less time that you are devoting to each project, task or activity, the more likely that the quality of that endeavor is going to suffer.

Vintage Ferris Wheel. Parking lot carnival. Fullerton, CA. © Mike Vega 2011
Kodak 400 ISO B/W film

I know full well, that we are all adding things to our daily agenda (without the balance of dropping other things), as a matter of necessity. But what as a result is being squeezed so hard that it breaks? 

"Space Invader" (France) piece. Los Angeles, CA. © Mike Vega 2012
Canon AE-1 Redscale 100 ISO 35mm film

I think that for a lot of people I know, it ends up being creative things. Art projects for example. Things that you are inspired to do, but that are not a "necessity". I think that if you reflect even on a single year, the things that will stand out as particularly important, will be the things that weren't necessities in the traditional sense of the word, but that in hindsight are actually the most necessary of all.

The "Art Deco" Olive Motel. Los Angeles, CA. © Mike Vega
Canon AE-1 Redscale 100 ISO 35mm film

Things that capture your imagination, be it a concert, a painting that you created, a trip to a museum exhibit, a road-trip with friends, something that full-filled the notion of "doing something", and not just the necessity of doing what needs done.

Mid-Century Tahiti Motel. Anaheim, CA. © Mike Vega
Kodak 400 ISO B/W film

The photographs in this update are all images or scenes that I happend upon while doing something else, and by having a camera with me I was able to make the most of these small opportunities and capture something that I found unique, inspiring, or at the least, interesting.
One of the joys (and frustrations) of choosing to shoot film over digital images, is the delay between when an image is captured, and when it is finally revealed through processing. Sometimes the developed image looks nothing like what you were trying to capture... sometimes, you see the image and get an amazing feeling of realizing that you managed to capture exactly what is was that made you lift your camera to your eye that day (or night). These moments are the ones that become the something, they are what is necessary to keep you shooting, or painting, or printing, or writing, or creating...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


having grown up in southern california, but also having traveled the U.S. quite a bit i have come to realize that commercialism and franchising is quickly taking a toll on the individuality of the cities of this country.

when i am out, shooting or otherwise, i always take notice of the unique. be it architecture, signage (I love unique signage!), landscapes, found objects, what have you.

Sandy Vitale Dance Studio Gardena, CA.
© Mike Vega 2012

it is these things that i am attracted to, and what i choose to photograph. not merely to capture them, but to preserve them in some small way because they are rapidly disappearing. the quirky diner down the street is razed to build a mc donald's, the mid-century apartment building with 1,000 square ft. units is bull dozed to build a boring modern structure with "living" spaces 1/2 the size, at 2x the rent...

Preston and Simons Mortuary Riverside, CA.
© Mike Vega 2012

so i try to capture what interests me, in the way that i perceive it. this, to me, means using film photography.  for several reasons -- it's warmth, it's flaws, and the tactile experience of it. loading, composing, "metering" (more on that later...) adjusting, selecting cameras, lenses, film types, etc. i love all of it.

Preston and Simons Mortuary Riverside, CA.
© Mike Vega 2012

so, if any of this makes sense to you, welcome. if it does not, maybe someday it will, when every corner of every city in the country looks exactly like the next or last.