Tag Archives: nikon

French, Lewis R.

[the feeding :: some lucky ducks noshing on leftover scones :: Maine]

[Lewis R. French glorious sails :: Maine]

[on my way to the cemetery, spray painted white rock :: Maine]

[a fellow schooner :: Maine]

[sky & sails :: Maine]

[graveyard tree :: Maine]

[knot :: Maine]

[not sure what this is called in ‘proper’ sailing terms, but i love it :: Maine]

i went to Maine and all i got were these damn polaroids [KIDDING]. the experience aboard the Lewis R. French was amazing and when i have a bit more money in my bank account, you’ll see all of the pictures that me and my nikon took together. it kinda felt like i was on a honey moon with my new camera. is that too weird ? not that it matters. i embrace weird. in fact, i encourage, support, and promote weird.

[Polaroid sx-70 + TZ-Artistic film c/o The Impossible Project]



1 Comment

Filed under photography

a thousand words :: one of three

my apologies. i’ve been a bit distracted of late. in four weeks time i’ve bounced from seattle to san francisco to seattle to new york to boston to maine to boston to seattle to san francisco and i will be arriving back to seattle tonight where i intend to stay put, for a little while at least (i’ve got some news to share, but it’ll have to wait until i get home and get my most recent roll of photographs developed, i’ll let them tell the whole story).

the above picture was taken roughly 20 miles east of sacramento where i visited an old horse of mine named Will (or Wilbur, as i liked to call him). it was over ninety degrees at this beautiful farm where he is now retired and living by a creek under the shade of a large tree and surrounded by peacocks (no, seriously). i hope retirement treats me that well.

and then i went sailing on an old (seriously, 1871) schooner named the Lewis R. French. the weather could have cooperated a bit better, but honestly? maine is beautiful and sailing on an old ship was absolutely amazing and i even made a few new friends while aboard. a big many thanks to Ryan for making that whole trip possible and to the crew of the L. R. French for being so darn cool.

this post is a bit out of order, which is appropriate since my life seems to be a bit out of order at the moment. words like ‘chaos’ and ‘disaster’ come to mind when i think about my life right now, but perhaps i should just get used to that. i’m not unhappy, just feeling particularly crazy, and for those of you who know me well, that’s a fairly bold statement.

[nikon 35mm + color film][polaroid sx-70 + TZ Artistic film c/o The Impossible Project]


1 Comment

Filed under photography

being professional & driving & what not

my business cards & my postcard sized business cards arrived on friday (not sure if they can be considered business cards if they are the size of a standard postcard..). as usual, the printer i used did a great job and i am totally satisfied with the results. a friend of mine even told me they look almost professional, which i find quite amusing.

i am leaving for San Francisco in the morning for the opening of the show at Kokoro Studio. one last visit to my favorite camera store in the morning and then i will be hitting the road. a stop in Portland to visit a dear friend and i’ll find a parking lot in Medford, OR to take a quick little nap (in the back of my car) before continuing on to my final destination. i have many people to see and many things to do and many pictures to take and many sketches to draw. i am stoked and tomorrow can’t come soon enough. it’s 2:30am. am heading to bed shortly, only just got “finished” getting all my stuff ready to go. i know that i’ll only be gone a few days, but there was an obscene amount of things that needed to be taken care of before my departure. you know how it goes..

here’s a shot i took of the san francisco fisherman’s wharf a few years back (think, 2006-ish). can’t wait to get some new pictures with my new camera (!!).

i’ll be m.i.a. until sunday or so. or not. we’ll see.

see ya on the flip side. xxx

[nikon 35 mm + black and white film]


Leave a comment

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

now for the [really] good news Pt. 3

i apologize for keeping you so incredibly out of the loop, but after this post, you’ll understand why.

a few weeks ago, i was asked to participate in a group show in San Francisco at Kokoro Studio. yeah, right? are you as excited as i was and still am? ok. deep breath. when i was approached with said offer i quite nearly fell off my chair in my studio. i was not expecting to be offered such an opportunity. the opening is on June 3rd. so, all of you people who reside in the ‘Bay Area’ (as they call it), had better be there for the opening. the show has yet to be named, but the concept of the show is quite clear and very specific.

the guidelines: create a self portrait, include a background of your choosing (real or imaginary), make sure said portrait is somehow directed at the viewer so as to appear that ‘you’ are looking through a window into the gallery space at the viewer, mail it down in 2.5-3 weeks, and wait for further instructions. sounds easy enough, right? well, it wasn’t exactly easy, but it was a blast. it took one hell-of-an-all-nighter for me to complete it, but here’s the final product. and to be honest? i’m actually quite satisfied with it. it came from a good place inside of me and i always work best under deadlines (a.k.a. all nighters):


i must give props to Keiko Kuramoto at Kokoro Studio. she is an amazingly talented painter and artist and i am beyond flattered that she would invite me to participate in a group show at her gallery. i am going to do my very best to drive down for the opening and stay a day or two in San Francisco. this all depends on expenses, of course.. but i would feel like a d*mn fool not showing up for the opening of a show in which i am a participant. i’m stoked. i’m happy. and i can’t wait to spend a little time in ‘Frisco, it’s one of my favorite cities.

speaking of self portraits, cameras, and voyeurism.. i took this photograph in my studio. a dear friend mentioned i ought to share my own face on this here site. i disagreed with him, so this is all you are going to get:

so now you know i wear ugly over-sized sweaters and smoke cigarettes. but have you admired the camera? that’s my new baby. if you stare at nothing else, let it be my Nikon that steals the show.

alright, it is now 4:36am and i have to be at work by 11:00am tomorrow, er, today, er, this morning. if i weren’t wearing my massive headphones, i have a feeling i would be listening to the birds singing and chirping. a sound that i love when i am awoken by it, but a sound i despise when i am greeted by it after no sleep. so with that, i hereby sign off.

[acrylic and ink on canvas]


1 Comment

Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

bad news + follow up good news Pt. 2

i purchased a camera [Nikon 35mm FM] off e-bay.

i am aware that there is a lot wrong with that sentence in and of itself. i have never thought it to be all too wise to purchase electronics or things of the like from e-bay. i have stuck mostly (or perhaps only?) to sunglasses. vintage sunglasses (oh, and i once purchased a pair of suspenders – impulse buy – please forgive me). sunglasses are an addiction and obsession for me – i’ll be the first to admit this. some people abuse alcohol/drugs, i abuse sunglasses:

this photo represents a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of my collection (ask family and or friends, they can confirm this). many pairs have broken. many pairs are in my glove compartment. many pairs are scattered around my apartment because they are being used on a daily basis. i wear sunglasses when it’s raining. i particularly enjoy wearing sunglasses when i drive through tunnels. don’t ask me why because i refuse to go into detail: it’s just what i do and have been doing for years. so, deal with it.

that said, the camera arrived. i squealed with delight when i opened up the USPS box that it arrived in. i wound the lever once and then no more, it was stuck. if you know anything about these cameras – this should not happen. i’d attached the lens from my old camera (same model, make, and year). i had assumed at this point that i’d done something wrong (which was fairly unlikely because i’d owned that same camera for 7+ years..). regardless, i wanted to confirm whether it was the man or the machine, so i took it to my favorite-most-awesome camera shop in Seattle, ‘Glazer’s.’ i had not one, but two, technicians inspect it and both of them said that i’d “been had” by an e-bay seller. i’d love to share said seller’s name on here, but i’d rather not be a complete tattle. if you want to know his name and/or the ‘business name’ he operates under – go ahead and email me personally so i can save you some grief.

so i was back to square one. my previous Nikon 35mm FM had died, quite sadly, after a brisk walk in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. this was back in March. i had been waiting until my tax rebate kicked in (mid to late April) to purchase a replacement. i was so excited about this replacement and then it was confirmed that said replacement was kaput.

after my visit to Glazer’s, they informed me that they do, once in a while, receive used Nikon 35mm FM cameras that they refurbish and re-sell. had i known this to begin with i’d have avoided the whole e-bay thing. regardless, no time like the present, eh? to make a long story short, the next day, i called Glazer’s to learn that they’d just received the perfect camera for me. it was a Nikon 35mm (except this one had CHROME), my lens would fit it, and it was a measly $100.00 – which is quite a price reduction from the $450-$500 that this camera, in new condition, would go for. once again, i squealed with delight and bolted into Glazer’s. and there she was, a beauty.. my beauty:

[insert tears of happiness]

so, there you have it. that’s my story and i’m sticking to it. i have yet to take a photograph with my new camera (did i mention they threw in an old 60’s camera strap for free? so yeah, it’s basically the best camera ever). i have been admiring it from a-far and intend to load it up with film tomorrow and take it for a test drive. it sounds like i just purchased a new car and in many ways i feel that i have. i’ll keep you posted on the new edition to the Kempin Camera family – but i have a pretty strong feeling it’s not going to disappoint and will perhaps [most likely] rise to stardom status among my camera collection – which is starting to become just as excessive as my sunglasses collection.

wish me luck RE getting my money back from Mr. Bad E-Bay Seller, i’ve yet to hear back from him and will be pursuing further action(s) tomorrow.



Filed under photography

thank you, tax rebate

i apologize for my missing-in-action-ness. my life went from busy to really busy to ridiculously busy. burning the candle at both ends is an understatement, but i am not complaining, trust me. there’s something quite liberating about chaos.

so, that said, i’ve got a few projects a-brewing and i’ve also got some happy news for Year of the Pig Studio. in fact, over the last few weeks, i have a few good pieces of news for my little studio. the first is the following and an explanation for why i might be thanking my tax rebate (though, i’m sure we’re all quite thankful when we receive money back from the government):

just a few months ago i was devasted to learn of Polaroid’s demise, i even made a post chock full of complaints about it. as some of you may know, i own a very beautiful sx-70 Polaroid camera. i purchased it on ebay back in 2007 and it works like a charm (it’s from the 70’s and is, in my opinion, the most beautifully designed camera i’ve ever encountered). it was within the week i purchased that camera i learned that film for that specific camera was discontinued. needless to say, i was just a little bit angry. in any case, a wonderful site called Lord of the Lens (now defunct) came through for me just weeks later and supplied me with sx-70 specific film. at the time, there was such an uproar from sx-70 owners over the discontinuation of (our) precious film, a few distributors came out of the wood works with specially made film for sx-70 cameras. it was a beautiful thing. i’m so proud to be a part of the sx-70 club.

this film, my friends, is not cheap. it costs about $2.00 – $3.00 per picture depending on the type of film you purchase (there are a handful of different ‘blends’). so, if you want to stock up on some film – it’s gonna cost ya – believe you me. why do i insist on having such demanding and high maintenance cameras? (rhetorical question, please don’t answer).

hence, i seldom stock up on film for my camera because of the expense, which may sound sad, but to be honest? there’s something really nice about having such pricey film in your camera. much thought goes into every picture i take because you’ve got $2.00 at stake everytime you click that button. i do not own a digital camera, but i have used a few over the years. i have always hated the concept of taking a picture, disliking it, “deleting” it from the camera, and trying again to get the right shot. sure, it’s economical and convenient yadda yadda yadda, but whatever happened to the days of suspense, spontaneity, and the unknown? this is why i am doubtful i will ever own a digital camera – i love the not knowing what you’re going to get factor with good old film cameras. i’ll get off my soapbox, now.

in any case, when i once again thought that Polaroid film for sx-70’s was discontinued – i really thought that was it. my camera would now be considered an antique and my future children would wonder what the word “film” meant when speaking about cameras. thanks to the Impossible Project, i’ve been spared that fate – for now at least.

thanks to my tax rebate, it afforded me to do a little bit of shopping. my film (pictured above) arrived yesterday. i was so happy i squealed. true story.

and guess what arrives thursday? my new camera. yes, you heard me right. i went sifting through ebay and found the exact same model Nikon 35mm that i owned before (which suffered its demise in March)(and yes, i still own my old one – don’t worry, it now sits proudly on my shelf at home next to some other old cameras i’ve collected).

isn’t she a beauty?

and completely unrelated, but just as exciting, guess what arrives wednesday? my three disc ‘Bowie at the Beeb’ box set.

thanks, Tax Rebate. none of the above would have been possible without you.


1 Comment

Filed under photography

r.i.p. Nikon 35mm

today is a dark day for me and my beloved Nikon 35mm. i received the following email (see below) this afternoon, just moments ago. sigh. i’ll be picking up the corpse this week and it will receive a proud place on my mantle.

so begins my search for a “replacement.” but nothing will ever compare to the original. at least i know we had a d*mn good run and it was well loved. that camera hit the grave looking like it had had quite the life, i only hope i can say the same for myself when i expire.

[moment of silence][dropping the flag to half-mast]

[nikon 35mm + color film]


Leave a comment

Filed under photography

the great white buffalo

i feel so silly. i haven’t even introduced you to The Great White Buffalo. i’m sorry you haven’t met sooner because it is a most magnificent thing:

are you with me on this? on how awesome this is? we (a few friends and i) found this when we were walking around a neighborhood in seattle. we had decided to take this little side street we’d never even noticed before and there it was.

this beauty (or beast, depending on how you feel about it) was just parked there. i was tempted to knock on the door to the house and force the owner of this hog to tell me its story. and then i was even more tempted to just jump into the driver’s seat and take off with it, so i could have it all to myself. my friends deterred me from doing all of the above, so i forced them to wait for me while i took pictures. winding the film slowly so as to make them wait even longer, i was being childish. i really wanted (and still do) The Great White Buffalo.

remember being a kid in a toy store? and you’d pick up a toy (in my case, it was usually a My Little Pony) and you’d ask your mom and/or dad for it? and when they said NO, you got a little more pleading and may have even whipped out a pair of puppy dog eyes? in general, i was not too difficult in toy stores, if I got the “NO, put that down” response – I’d listen. However, there were a few times where I’d have my heart set on some toy and it felt like if I didn’t bring this one tiny little toy home with me my life might, in fact, just end. well, that’s how i felt (and still do) about The Great White Buffalo. and i’ve never seen it again (trust me, i went looking for it). one day, we will be reunited, i just know it.

[nikon 35mm + color film]


Leave a comment

Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt)


1. highshool photo class 2. corvester’s grass filled mouth 3. Alice’s revenge on the white rabbit

i’ve had a strange week and i’ve barely seen my studio or computer, so this is all i have to share at the moment.

trust me, this post would make sense if you were me. since you’re not me, just enjoy the random factor.

many works in progress right now, many emails to reply to, phone calls to make, people to see, and hours at my day job i have committed to.

a real post to come in the near future, just as soon as the dust in my life begins to settle.

[nikon 35 mm + black and white film + color film][acrylic and pen on paper]


Leave a comment

Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

tipping my hat, a Nikon Tribute

i’ve officially dropped my Nikon off at the doctors office where it will be airlifted to a local camera hospital. the technician gave me a few funny looks as i described its symptoms problems. it’s never easy to explain that you dropped your camera 1.5 years ago, continued to use it (regardless of the dent and another broken part), took it around the US on tour with a band where the lever that winds the film started to show serious signs of fatigue, and then packed it onto a train to New York where, finally, it breathed its last breath of life after a lovely long walk in Prospect Park with me.

it’s a good thing they can’t call social services on me for being a negligent camera parent. it’s not that i didn’t care about the camera (i love this camera and it’s treated me SO well – seriously, if i have it on me it’s the first thing i make sure to check i still have on me; wallet, cell phone, keys are all second priorities after this camera), i was just so full of pride and believed we it could make it through its somewhat epic fall onto some concrete. i’ve owned this camera for seven years. it’s not just like a blender sitting in my kitchen. it feels like a family member at this point and i feel terribly guilty for having not taken it in sooner.

they told me 4-6 weeks was the usual waiting time for repairs. i scoffed at them when they told me it might be more cost effective to just go buy a new one – they don’t produce manual Nikon cameras anymore (sniffle) so you can find one in mint condition for under $200 on ebay (roughly the cost of the repairs), but i’m sentimental. and stubborn. and i want my camera back. life wouldn’t be the same without it. i just hope the repair time is closer to 4 weeks because i leave in about 4 weeks for Geneva.

have you ever been to Geneva? i have not. well, technically i haven’t. i may or may not have google-street-map-viewed Geneva today and taken a virtual “tour” of the city. i’m really not as pathetic as i sound. i’m just excited and wanted a sneak preview – seriously, i promise. i don’t actually have a lot of spare time on my hands, i just let my oh-my-word-i’m-going-to-Geneva enthusiasm get the best of me. if you’ve ever been there: tips, suggestions, etc. are welcome. i’ll need all the help i can get since i’m traveling alone – i’m just grateful they speak English over there. it might be more of an adventure if they didn’t, but i have things to do and places to go and eliminating the whole i-don’t-speak-your-language thing would be convenient. oh boy, i need to learn some other languages. pronto. too bad a Rosetta Stone costs approximately 10,000$ ‘jessi’ dollars. until then, i’ve got google translator – classy right?

[Nikon 35 mm + color film]



Filed under photography