film

A Portrait of Colombian Coffee Farmers

I recently had a chance to visit various coffee farms in Colombia with Pagpropina, a social impact company that’s creating a pension fund for Colombian farmers and coffee pickers. Because of extremely low coffee prices on the international markets, many Colombian farmers are struggling to make a living. Compared to the large-scale mechanized farms in Brazil and Vietnam, most Colombian farms are small-scale and family owned. Additionally, most of Colombian coffee is hand-picked, which leads to its high-quality specialty status. We met many farmers that were trapped in a debt cycle as they relied on bank loans to keep their farms running. Savings are non-existent.

Pagpropina wanted to create images and a video to tell the story of these farmers to end-consumers of coffee in developed countries like the USA. The idea was to encourage people to leave a tip after watching the video (and viewing the images). The tip would then be aggregated into a pension fund for the coffee farmers and pickers, and eventually be disbursed through the public pension fund of Colombia, Colpensiones.

For this project, I shot on a combination of the Sony A7R III for video and digital photos, as well as the Pentax67 for some film portraits. For video, I mounted my Sony A7R III with a 24-70mm GM on a smallrig, with a Rode NTG4 (and a deadcat) and most footage was shot handheld. All footage was shot in S-Log 2. I would toggle from video to photo for digital photos if there was time for shots. On top of that, I had my Pentax67 (loaded with Portra 400) slung around my neck so that I could grab film photos whenever a good chance presented itself. Needless to say it was a lot of work but it ended up being a setup that worked!

The areas we ended up visiting were Pereira, Santa Rosa, Manizales, Chinchina, Neiva, San Agustin and Gigante. View the full set here.

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YOSEMITE ON FILM

I had heard so much about Yosemite that I had such high expectations going into the trip. I'd seen photos of Half Dome and El Capitan everywhere on the internet and wondered how just a slab of rock could look that good. Well, it can. Not just good, but awe-inspiring and sublime. On the many occasions when I went to the edge of the various cliffs of the surrounding mountains, I would feel my lets shaking and breath quivering. People talk about the grandeur of mountains and I experienced that firsthand. 

My photography at Yosemite was split 50/50 digital and film. I'd initially planned to use film only on portraits of friends that I was traveling with. But over time, switching between my Canon 5DM4 and my film camera proved too much so I decided to focus on film for the majority of my later shoots. Digital images of nature are all too pervasive so I decided to mix it up and shoot more on my film. Here are the results:

Melody @ Taft Point (Portra 400)

Melody @ Taft Point (Portra 400)

A girl, her camera, and a tree (Portra 400)

A girl, her camera, and a tree (Portra 400)

A girl and her red cape (Portra 400)

A girl and her red cape (Portra 400)

Stop & Stare (& Pose) (Ektar 100)

Stop & Stare (& Pose) (Ektar 100)

I love the cool tones of Ektar 100 (Ektar 100)

I love the cool tones of Ektar 100 (Ektar 100)

Intermittent Sun (Ektar 100)

Intermittent Sun (Ektar 100)

Melody @ Tunnel View (Ektar 100)

Melody @ Tunnel View (Ektar 100)

(Portra 400)

(Portra 400)

Glacier Point at Blue Hour (Ektar 100)

Glacier Point at Blue Hour (Ektar 100)

David  (Portra 400)

David (Portra 400)

"Yosemite Falls" (Portra 400)

"Yosemite Falls" (Portra 400)

(Portra 400)

(Portra 400)

Half Dome (Ektar 100)

Half Dome (Ektar 100)

#visitcalifornia (Portra 400)

#visitcalifornia (Portra 400)

Upper Yosemite Falls (Ektar 100)

Upper Yosemite Falls (Ektar 100)

Tunnel View (Ektar 100)

Tunnel View (Ektar 100)

(Portra 400)

(Portra 400)

Half Dome @ Glacier Point (Portra 400)

Half Dome @ Glacier Point (Portra 400)

Self (Portra 400)

Self (Portra 400)