Traveling Film Camera

Shot on Ektar 100

Shot on Ektar 100

I have been so busy in 2019 that I have barely taken time to write anything about anything but that needs to stop. Not only do I enjoy writing, but I also find it therapeutic to a degree. While I have been working a lot, I have found a new podcast that I love called AnalogTalk. The entire series is about shooting film and all things film related. If you keep up with me either here, or any other social media you know my adoration for shooting film so this is right up my alley. I have shot more film in the last three weeks than I have all year and that makes me happy. Shooting film is a completely different process but it also pulls from a very different place in my creative space. That is a post and Youtube video all in itself. Speaking of, who follows me on youtube? Show of hands, or comments below, please.

Ok to the meat and potatoes of this post. I have not worked out every detail of how this will work but I am starting with friends of mine that I think will enjoy the project but also make it better as a whole. Enter the traveling film camera. This, unfortunately, is not an original idea to me but one I am running with none the less. I am going to choose one of my point and shoot 35mm cameras, load it with film and mail it off. I will create a private Facebook page for those involved so we can have a place to discuss the details further. If this is something you would enjoy helping me create and would enjoy being included please email me at - info@jeremygouge.com. Once the project starts the Facebook page will be where we discuss using the camera if needed, as well as who to mail it to next. That's the exciting part. I want to start by mailing it to a good friend of mine in Cookeville, TN and then he gets to choose who to mail it to next. He will add that person to the FB group as well. I am very excited to see what we produce collectively. Once the camera gets back into my possession, I will have the film developed and prints made. I also will either make a zine or book from the images. Anyone will be allowed to purchase a copy but those who helped me create it will have first dibs on a copy. I am also in the brainstorming process of creating a Patreon page for this project or other projects going forward. Depending on how well this goes, will determine the next issue. More details found on the private FB page but you have to email me for that information. :)

I am extremely pumped to get this project on its feet, as a personal project may be exactly what I need at the moment. So let's make it happen friends.

Craggy Pinnacle 35mm

Your camera DOES matter!

What if I told you that the equipment you choose to wield actually has a direct impact on your final result? What if I told you there are tools that fit the user better than the one fits all concept? All the haters go ahead and jump to the comments and leave your opinion there. 

If you just happen to still be reading here is why I feel this way. Ok lets keep it simple.  You want to shoot some images of insects, so to do this you either need a macro lens or extension tube right? Or if you want to take photos of the moon you will need a zoom lens. What if I told you the same is true about cameras? Do I believe we can pick up any camera and make something memorable, absolutely yes, but having the camera that works the best FOR YOU will make your hit rate much higher on average.  You wont just grab any pair of shoes off of the shelf and hope they are comfortable and fit? So why do the same thing with a camera? Something that you could very well be holding and handling for hours. Wouldn’t it make more sense if that object felt great in your hand?  I am also a firm believer in making a camera work for you but if you can have a camera that you can operate seamlessly, will this not result in more confidence in the user, and thus that confidence projected to your client?  Don’t get me wrong there is no 1 camera for all. Wedding professionals, and sports shooters have different needs thus different tools are required. 

Ok now to play my own “devils advocate”, because I have said this many times in the past, the camera is simply a tool. And in the simplest form ,means I should be able to take any camera and make it work to my vision in theory but nothing is that simple. A painter doesn’t just grab a roller and paint a Mona Lisa. I know this is a very extreme example but I am willing to bet you knew exactly what I meant the second you read that sentence.  Having said that if you have read any of the past inserts or follow me on social media you understand my fascination with all things Film. I love how simple it is, and how genuine every frame developed becomes. We can shoot and pray in the digital realm but not while shooting film if we want the best results. Shooting film is methodical, or romantic in a sense to me but would I pick up one of my film cameras to shoot sports, absolutely not.   

I am  not writing this to convince you to sell everything you own and start over, not by any means. I have came to a crossroads in my approach to my work and the equipment I use. I adore holding and shooting all things FujiFilm and have for a few years now. Even writing this I am sleepless contemplating my choices. I have considered staying with Fuji and adding a newer camera body but I am at a point where my final images aren’t meeting my vision while shooting Fuji and that hurts to say out loud.  So the past 2 weeks I have tried several cameras to see what feels right in my hand, but more importantly what produces a final image like the one playing in my mind. I have shot a Canon 5diii and coming from a Canon background I thought this might be the correct choice especially since we are adding video to our services. I shot it for a few days but came away unimpressed. Don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing camera with amazing image quality but it wasn’t “RIGHT” for me. I also shot a Nikon d810 and I had never even pressed a shutter on a Nikon camera before but  I wanted to rule out all options to make sure it wasn’t just me, and not my camera being the issue. To my utter surprise, the RAW images from this camera were stunning. Not in comparison to anything else but in line with my vision for my work. Loving my Ricoh GRii files so much I even considered the new Pentax FF line but I think the only Pentax for me is my 645n and 120 film :)

The only other viable option to me and my rationale ( which can be questioned regularly lol ) was another Sony mirrorless body. I have owned the a7ii prior and did enjoy it very much but was lucky to stumble across a YouTube video comparing the new Nikon Z6 and Sony A7iii and they were gracious enough to include raw files. I was quick to download them both and edit the way I love to edit and to see how it pans out. To my surprise the Nikon files were my favorite once again. The Sony was not far behind but I found the dynamic range much more suited to my shooting style from the Nikon camera for a second time. This and the fact that I love shooting off camera flash  once again has me leaning toward a Nikon setup. So at the end of the day especially if you are new to photography and wanting to learn more, find a camera that feels right in your hand, offers the features you need ( Not always want )and you can bend to meet your artistic vision. I would love to know your opinion but more importantly I would love to hear what works best for you!

Lastly here is a link to his video mentioned above to not get lost in my thought process. VIDEO

#nikon, #d810 #d750

First Hike of 2019!

Atlas soaking up the magnitude of the waterfall.

Atlas soaking up the magnitude of the waterfall.

Today just happens to be Monday the 7th of January and that is only important because it marks the first hike of the year for us. Today is the last day of Christmas break for Atlas and Austin while Jaryn had to start back last week. Atlas and I decided to take advantage of the uncommon warm weather and our itch for adventure and put left foot over right in nature. His growing adoration for hiking and exploring excites me and I love watching him see the world for himself. We wanted to discover somewhere new to us so after a few minutes of searching, we landed on Sills Branch Falls. We packed our bags, his with waters, snacks, his GoPro, and first aid kit; mine with all things camera related and we were off. The directions we used were terrible and led us to the end of Bumpus Cove in Erwin, TN. I was quick to grab my phone and dig unit I found another site with better descriptive directions. It took us longer than we preferred but it was nice to have the morning on the road with Atlas, singing songs and asking questions. This hike is quick and easy. Only has one real climb and even it was short and sweet. You will find yourself at a fork in the trail just before this climb where you bare left, and cross a small stream and up you go. Once you top the hill, you are rewarded by a magical waterfall. The canyon walls are almost round cut out above the fall walls and feels so other-worldly. The walk is short, not even a mile in according to my Apple watch. Almost every step you take from the parking lot at the trail head ( left side of the road ) is accompanied by the melody of the stream that flows from the feet of the waterfall above.

A rare selfie with my hiking buddy. Hes growing up to quickly.

A rare selfie with my hiking buddy. Hes growing up to quickly.

We made our way pretty quickly to the top where we had our snacks that Atlas prepared. We then took some time to enjoy the spoils of our short walk among the trees. I took photos as this is what I do, and he explored our surroundings. I brought the Pentax 645n and shot the last of the pre loaded Ilford Hp5 BW film. I also finished up a roll of 35mm film in the Minolta. The only digital shots I took are below and all shot on my Ricoh GRii. I have a few on the phone as well but I rarely share those the same way.

Last shoot of 2018

#sunrise #wataugalake #later2018

Well its been a few months since I have made the time to come and write and while I want to say something poetic, like this is the year for more of this or that, I prefer to stay quite and grind. I was lucky enough that my great friend John was in town over the weekend, although not for a good reason, but we took the advantage to get together. John has grown an interest in photography which is awesome for me, because he’s one more person I can talk shop with now. He asked if I would be interested in getting up early on his last day in Johnson City and catch sunrise with him and our cameras. Long story short, Atlas and I woke at 5 am and headed out to get John. We decided to try to find a spot on Watauga Lake in Hampton. I chose this spot hoping to give us the view we needed. It was a cold start but a beautiful morning was awaking before us.

Before the break of day, we spent some time in the dark, watching the waves of the lake crash over the parking lot as water was extremely high. I was happy to find this street light to use to paint the scene before the sky was turned to fire! Sunrise is always such a peaceful and magical moment. It can be such a powerful moment if you allow it to be and surrender to what your gifted. No devices, no distractions. Only patience and acceptance. You clearly know by now that the camera’s were out but when you are not distracted by the settings and menus because you are accustom to where everything is, this allows you to be more present than ever before.

s always, I will end this with more and more photos. I also want to let everyone know that the Youtube channel is about to get an edition. A challenge to start off the new year! A huge thank you to everyone who followed along last year and to “Tater” aka John for being so supportive and just around great example to society. If your on IG check him out @thebearded_mover

Fall Break Adventures

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Chimney Rock, North Carolina

Life never hesitates to throw complications and we have two choices. We can roll over and hope it passes soon, or we step up and push threw. This summer has had many highs and lows but so far, this fall break with Natasha and the boys, has been one of my favorite adventures yet! We love to hike as a family, and I long to complete the entire AT someday. This love for nature, and wonder I am blessed to share with my family, so when we stated talking and planning our trip it only made sense to include a trip outside. Natasha and I have backpacked alone, and I have taken Jaryn on a one night trip as well, but Austin and Atlas had never been. More importantly we have never been all together, so it was time to change that. Upon lots of options weighed, tents borrowed ( thanks Simerly ), we had a plan. We decided to hike the Appalachian Trail from Indian Grave Gap, to Uncle Johnny’s Hostile in Erwin. Speaking of Uncle Johnny’s this is were we started our adventure. We hired them to shuttle us up to the trail head. We ended up hiking in to the shelter which was a double decker beauty and was about 4.2 miles in. The boys did incredible, considering the weather was dreary and they were toting their own bags and belongings for the trip. Once we found the shelter we quickly went to work setting up camp for dinner, and searching for dry firewood. An hour later, we have fire, and the jet boil was up and running cooking a much needed hot meal for the day. We were greeted by a Thru Hiker names Patrick, his trail name I unfortunately cant recall as of writing this, and was happy to share the space. He is headed South to Georgia from his home town in PA. Day 2 was much nicer to hike and we easily completed the 4.1 miles out and to our car. We quickly loaded up Valak and grabbed some lunch. Then our adventure continued to Hickory Nut Gap, North Carolina were we planned to visit Hickory Nut Falls, and Chimney Rock State Park. The weather was dark, and power lines were down, and after some driving around we found a place to stay for the rest of the week. The boys were quick to hit up the arcade were we played way to much air hockey per Atlas’ request. Jaryn and Austin shot pool and the pinball machine was a classic. The small town was very close to being flooded and washed away but luckily it was only a scare. We had some hick up’s but we are tough and unified so on the last day we took the boys to the Park for the views and Waterfalls. The rest you can see below. I didn’t take a camera on this trip so everything is a cell phone shot and I feel that needs to be stated. Thanks for reading

PS. Atlas even pulled a tooth on this trip as seen in the photo below, and I apologize for how random some images fell.

Boone NC with Bex Sunglasses


So as I have happily mentioned many times, I love sunglasses. It might be the only thing I truly collect. So when the opportunity presented itself to work with a new company out of Las Vegas, NV called Bex Sunglasses, I was pumped. I had worked with the newly sponsored model, Miss Olivia prior and when they asked who she preferred to use, well I was lucky enough to be that person.  After speaking with the company over the phone and introducing myself a plan was in motion. I spoke to them about their vision and how I can accommodate it but stay true to who I am and how I work. They were quick to mention I am only 1 of 3 photographers ever to work with them which I take as a compliment in itself. After talking with Olivia and Lorie ( her mom ) we had a decision to meet in Boone, NC to give them an urban look for our first outing. I mentioned it to Wes, and he was quick to agree to join us for the session. This was cool for me for a few reasons. One he has had a session with me in the past but has never really seen my work on the other side of the lens, and I was happy to have the company for the long ride over and back. We met the ladies at Mast General store and we were off.  Unfortunately, I can't share the images from the session as they haven't seen them yet but trust me when I say, I'm excited about how well it went. The Fuji Xpro2 did exactly what I needed it to as it always does.  We spent the better part of 2 hours walking around downtown trying to keep it casual, unposed, and genuine. The company also voiced branching out to the outdoors sports world ( yes please ) so we were also on alert for anything that may tie those together. Unfortunately, the climbing wall I envisioned was closed, but we had about 60 seconds inside Magic Cycle after hours to try a few shots. I admit those will not make the cut. I felt like we were imposing and rushed more than I should have to not wear out our welcome. We used any and everything we could think of or stumble upon. I have 1 more session to knock out prior to starting in on these but then its on. I guess you will have to follow us on IG @throatpunchproductions and follow them @bexsunglasses to see Olivia rocking their gear! Until then, head up and keep clicking that shutter button.
P.S. Coming soon to IG is images from another sunglass company that has reached out to us called @southernmostshades as well as some incredible spices ( for you foodies ) from @thespicebeast. 
 

Sunday Small Talk

black and white bombshell

Its currently Sunday, August 5th and I am waiting on my friend /client to show up for our session and thought I would take the time to write and catch up. I have been beyond busy in the last month or so and beyond grateful for that and August is looking to be my busiest month to date. I say that to remind anyone wanting a session, that there are only 4 months left in the calendar year. I'm saying that because I am shooting today, and every day next weekend. Next weekend I will be in Elizabethton, Grayson Highlands VA, Kingsport, and one session yet to determine location.   That is just Friday - Sunday btw. I was this busy last weekend shooting Sat, Sun, and Monday and have edited and delivered all of those except one. ( soon, very soon ) Tomorrow 3 of the 4 kids have their first day back at school and a busy week of normal life as a parent and small business owner. 
I am writing today though to also discuss some opportunities that we over at Throat Punch Productions have coming up. Last weekend, while I was busting my ass and driving all over the place so, was Wes. He represented us by driving to Nashville and shooting a video for Allen for the 2018 NPC Tennesee State Show. You should go and check that out now, right HERE. 
He also made the intro video that I recently posted to my IG. We are currently in the works to shoot for a new company out of New York called SpiceBeast, a new sunglass company called SouthernMost Shades, and my friend/ model Olivia also hooked me up to shoot her new campaign with Bex Sunglasses! It's taking some time, some sleepless nights, and lots of work but we are slowly starting to move forward. We are starting to put our stamp on the market. Keeping this one short, but remember to book your session while there is still some time to do so and see how we separate ourselves from the masses. We love collaborating, so if you are someone wanting to work with us, please let us know. We are still taking on some small business to capture their product for advertising purposes as well. What are you waiting on? This is your sign, this is us saying HEY, let's create something together. You get one shot at this life, let's live it up and remember those times!
Go check out our updated site at www.throatpunchpros.com and let us know what you like, and what you would prefer to see differently. 

All images are samples and teasers from the session I shot after writing this 2 days ago!
 

Cant let big sis have all the fun! lol

Cant let big sis have all the fun! lol

I love how much this feels like film

I love how much this feels like film

No Fluff

A sample from the session I refer to later in my ramblings. 

A sample from the session I refer to later in my ramblings. 

I want to try and write more freely and more regularly but hey, life happens.  We are currently preparing for court in the morning where we make the adoption of Austin official and we couldn't be happier about it.  I have just sat down and decided now is the best time to try and get my thoughts into print.  First thing first though. I shoot mirrorless and since switching over ( best decision ever ) I find myself shooting much less in general.  Normally because I like the system and it works exactly how I like to shoot so getting the shot I want is easier to capture. Thus leading me to shoot less for the desired result. That is what I am talking about in this article. I volunteer at our church and I am on the Photography Crew that helps capture moments and events. We recently had a team meeting and while conversing someone asked why I shoot mirrorless, and I explained like I did above and they responded, " I bet you shoot light huh?"  On an average wedding day, this person said they shoot between 2000 and 3000 images, while I shoot between 500-800.  I explained I don't have a need to exhaust my equipment, clients, and self to have multiple images of the same moments from the day. He then replied " well I prefer to shoot for the emotion and not a perfect moment", where I replied Yep me too.  I completely understand what he's saying. It's easy to see a moment and snap with proper exposure and compensation but miss a feeling.  It is easy to assume you have it and move on to something else but I do not do that. I strive for feelings in my work, not perfection. I strive for unique moments in time, not the average posed imagery. I'm in no way saying he does this and it was a great talk and I was happy to discuss it and still am.  There were no "church league softball fist fights" over the topic LOL
I love everything related to photography, and I am finding a new passion for shooting video even though it makes me want to smash my fist through my monitor every single time I try to edit one. Why is that crap so friggin hard?
Speaking of I am working, with much-needed help from Wes, on a new BTS video from my latest session now. I love shooting video while I shoot stills, and I think the video editing may need to be left to the pros.  While they are doing that I am going to keep on shooting, throwing light at people, rewinding time by shooting film, and making my clients feel like the Rock Stars they are! Thanks for reading and as always be sure and follow all of our Social media accounts. I did the legwork so just click the link below you lazy bum.  

IG @jeremy.gouge

    @wes_mckeehan 

    @Throatpunchproductions

 

Asheville, NC with Throat Punch Pros and a Throat Tattoo

City Porn

 As always every adventure starts with planning, but when Wes and I are involved, planning is an afterthought. We are currently Asheville bound to hang out, take some photos, let the video roll, and create new content. We will do this all while our contest is running over on Facebook that you should be checking out already.  We have big plans and the days we can get together and combine our efforts it truly shows whats coming. It's reassuring that we are so like-minded and hungry for more than we have. We are gonna hit up Asheville, fill our guts and hopefully find some interesting shit to shoot. Food first though. Maybe Farm Burger? Maybe The Vault on Rankin? Why cant Biscuit Head be open?? The horror. Well, we just had small heart attacks as Wes' BMW started acting like it hated us.. all is well though. Onward! For the record, we definitely had Farm Burger and it never disappoints. 
By the time you will have read this, there should have been plenty of shenanigans and nonsense and photos to prove it. The sun will be setting on us soon, but Throat Punch Pros are not afraid of what lies in the dark. We live for it! Matter of fact we spent a lot of time in the shadows and watching as the light leaked into the viewfinders of our always in hand Fuji Series cameras. 
I write about Asheville often, and since Wes is driving I was attempting to write but its time to do what I do. camera 30.

Side note, I am not specifying who took what photos below. I did edit them all but that is all you get! We just ran our first contest over on our Throat Punch Productions Facebook page HERE and have a new one coming soon. Go check us out, and follow our IG HERE. Like Comment and check out the video on Youtube.

 

Now it's 9:30 pm, we are on 26 driving into the endless rain that somehow we were lucky enough to avoid the entire time we were over the mountain. We shot video and still almost every minute we stepped foot out of the car and no regrets. Too many images never equal a bad day in my world. The rain is dancing on the 5 series windshield and my keys type in sync as the radio plays our outro headed into the dark leaving Asheville lights in the rearview. We will definitely be back soon and maybe with a plan this time, but probably now. -TPx2

Imagination Mountain and being outnumbered

home for the weekend

It is currently Tuesday and we are back from another weekend in nature. This was back to back weekends of camping with friends. The weekend before last was spent in Hot Springs, NC with Wes and his family, and this past weekend was spent in Cosby, TN at Imagination Mountain with the Terry's. We stumbled upon this campground a few years ago and Natasha and I loaded up our 2 boys at the time for the weekend. It rained most of the time then but we still had a great time. Since then our family dynamic has changed for lack of a better word. We are foster parents if you didn't know and currently are only days away from adopting Austin who is 17 and currently annoying me by playing Fortnight. Garbage game in my opinion LOL.  We also have a 10-year-old girl and I know nadda about raising a girl.
But this isn't about that.  This is about spending every second of the weekend with friends and cramming as many activities as physically possible into 3 days.  We have known Brittney forever, and Derek and their boys are more like family than friends. I could probably write an entire blog about knowing Brittany but I'll save that for another time maybe.  Between our groups, we were 4 adults vs 6 kids plus we ran into one of Atlas' best pals from school, Aiden. He was allowed to hang out with us most of the day as well. So the kids played in the creek, made friends with neighbors, terrorized the playgrounds, heated up the b-ball court, played putt putt, watched a movie, played chess, swam, had ice cream, and even visited the arcade. I'm still tired.  So tired in fact that I will stop writing and do what I do. Tell our story via imagery. Hope you enjoy and as always feel free to comment below your thoughts. All images below shot with my Fuji Xpro 2,  my xf16mm, xf 90mm, and vintage Minolta lenses.