Stars and Stripes in Black and White

american flag black and white photo
Creative Commons License
Stars and Stripes in Black and White by Paul Ottaviano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://www.ascribe.io/app/pieces/46464.

Basketball court. Forest Grove, OR USA. March 2018.

Nikon FE2 50mm. Ferrania P30 Panchro 80 ASA black and white film. Fiber darkroom print.

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Touristes de Notre-Dame

street travel film photography Holga camera
Notre Dame, Montréal. Holga toy camera, 120 TriX film. Darkroom print.

In addition to alternative process, lately I’ve been interested in unique perspectives. I want to take the camera and photo development, and use both to see common things in a new way. Reshaping form and twisting context into new layers, I let go of conventional ideas for beauty and what’s generally acceptable. What I seek is food for the imagination.

Working Man

Portland Oregon black and white film street photography by Paul Ottaviano
Andrew, assistant for Baseline Surveying. Nikon FE2, TriX 400 Film. Portland, OR.

 

Andrew came across as one really good person. We met shortly before I snapped this street portrait of him, working as a surveyor assistant in NW Portland.

He found my old Nikon FE2 camera fascinating. I was delighted by his surveying equipment. There are many different photographies, a lot of ways to use light to make a picture. So, in a way, we were two comrades in photography outside working for the day.

Andrew is new in town. He moved to PDX from Austin, TX. He likes it a lot better here. The pace suits him and he thinks people are friendlier. Interestingly, he had no problem finding a job.

“There are A LOT of jobs here (in comparison to Austin),” said Andrew. “The south is just getting too damn hard to find work.”

Contextually, his statement was a curiosity to me. We hear a lot about how Oregon is allegedly a bad place for business and jobs.

In PDX, so many people relocate here for either a tech job in the Silicon Forest or to pursue something creative. The pickings for the creatives is often slim. Portland is a tough job market, in some respects, particularly for professional endeavors. Like most everywhere, we do have an underemployment and homeless problem.

Gentrification is also an issue in Portland. Andrew surveying – presumably for an architecture firm – in NW Portland, a place he unlikely can afford to live in, was irony not lost on me.

But, Andrew is right. There are jobs around, if a person is willing to work a trade. It might not pay the most or lead to a swanky downtown apartment. But, for something like surveying, it’s an honest living and for Andrew this is more than okay. I was reminded of honor in labor. It was refreshing to meet someone like him.