aperturethirdeye

mer·cu·ri·al

adjective 1. (of a person) subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind

Final verdict of my favorite black and white film stocks:

1. Tmax 100 / 400 (The contrast is so good and the grain is smooth)
2. Fujifilm Neopan 100 Acros II (Beautiful)
3. Kentmere 400 (Always pretty reliable)

I did put Ilford HP5, but honestly I tried it once and never again…I don’t really understand why so many people like this film stock. Although I do plan on trying Kodak Tri-X 400 next. 


earthing

Remember how we used to run bare-foot as kids and felt connected to the Earth, nature and the universe? It seems as we get older, we forget our natural and instinctive connection to the the soil, the Earth. Being disconnected to nature might seem like a small loss to us when we have so many other things to worry about like making money, taking care of our family, etc. Our modern day and society has disconnected us from our most basic human instinct – to connect and ground back with nature and Earth. Didn’t our ancestors use to sleep on the ground and walk on the ground? Everything was natural, everything was healing. They were never disconnected from nature, day and night they grew with Mother Earth. Beneath our artificial exterior, we are just electrical beings that needs to recharge our energy fields. We need to recalibrate our bodies and energy by putting our feet or body on the ground, the refreshing grass…the healing phenomenon that is Mother Earth. 

Perhaps I am at a point in my life where I feel out of balance and ungrounded. Interestingly this documentary showed up on my YouTube feed recently and my intuition told me that I should watch it. So I watched it…and this documentary really resonated with me. 

From a young age, I always felt connected with nature and life. However I lost part of it during my 20’s. Now I am in my late 20’s and I realized that I need to reconnect back to nature. Especially during this pandemic, life has completely slowed down for me and inevitably I had to rethink my life path. Instinctively I’ve been longing for nature and to take walks in gardens. I think I will start again by doing weekend meditations on the grass, barefoot, in my shorts, soaking up the sun and the healing energy of the soil. 

I truly recommend whoever stumbles upon this post, to watch the documentary. It not only talks about the healing properties of reconnecting back to the Earth, but touches on the spiritual aspects of grounding, as well as the epidemic of disease and pain. Please keep an open mind about this-it does not have to be something political / pharmaceutical, it is simply about taking the time to spend outdoors, barefoot and touch the Earth. 

So yeah, moms were right when they said, “Go outside and play! Get some fresh air!”


edge of nowhere

Do you ever just wake up one day and think to yourself, “Damn I am feeling some kind of end-of-the-world vibes”? Then drive 3+ hours south of California, past San Diego through Calexico to the Mexicali Border? Yup, this is what I did just out of pure impulse and curiosity. I ended up at Salton Sea, in the Imperial County and Coachella Valley. 

This “sea” out in the desert was a man-made sea in which engineers dug irrigation canals to divert water from the Colorado River into the Salton Sink (once a dry lake bed). For at least 2 years, the Salton Sea was fertile and filled with fresh water. During the 1950’s Salton Sea was a popular vacation / resort destination in the desert for celebrities and musicians. Unfortunately over time the sea became increasingly filled with pollution, agriculture waste and salinity. Some have described the smell of the “sea” as “toxic”, like decay and “dead fish”. On top of the rising temperatures over the years in Imperial County, clouds of toxic dust adds another element of pollution to the sea. 

Eventually Salton Sea and the nearby town of Bombay Beach was abandoned and forgotten, until 2011 Bombay Beach became a destination for “desert art” and installations. So if you are ever looking for an abandoned and apocalyptic escape at the edge of nowhere, mixed with a bit of Burning Man, definitely drive out to Salton Sea and Bombay Beach.

Also shout out to my dad for joining me on this random adventure. Only he can put up with my spontaneous and impulsive…bursts of curiosity. Granted he was probably did not want me to drive out to the desert alone, in 100 degree weather…to the edge of nowhere. 

Lastly, it was my first time shooting E-6 film, not bad if I do say so myself. Of course I went with Fuji Velvia 100, with 1 stop underexposed. Might try more E-6 in the future.

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