Just before the new year, I had the enormous pleasure of doing a photowalk with the elusive Johnny Patience in Wiscasset, Maine. I first "met" Johnny online back in 2008 on Flickr. I happened upon a photo of his Dalmatian at the beach, shot with a 50mm lens and I fell in love with the gorgeous warm tones and smooth bokeh. Poking through his stream, I saw he shot primarily 50mm and decided this was a guy I needed to follow. The 50 and I were not friends at that stage of my photography (I was a 10mm guy on the Nikon D80 doing sunsets with Cokin Filters... ugh) and his stream filled me with inspiration - a whole fresh new look for me. Also, he was one of the few on Flickr that actually responded to inquiries. Imagine that? And basically, we've been in touch, ever since, sharing ideas and growing our photography in many similar ways.
We did an amazing project last year entitled Frame 25 (f25.co) in which we both exponentially grew our film use by shooting everyday life and stepping outside our comfort zones. And through all that, we still had never met in real life - though we had several unsuccessful attempts.
With Johnny and Rebecca being in Maine for the month, we had plenty of opportunity to hook up. (Besides this photowalk with Johnny, I also had the pleasure to meet Rebecca and Johnny over Tapas in Portsmouth, NH a week later.)
For this first meeting with Johnny, being about 4 hours away, we decided to find a spot in the middle that looked interesting to shoot. Johnny recommended Wiscasset, Maine, as it was near the middle and he said the town looked cool. Was that ever an understatement.
We met one chilly December morning at a little cafe called Sarah's Cafe (which we later learned happens to have the best Maine Blueberry Pie and Ice Cream dessert) for some breakfast and coffee before we ventured out. We just sat and chatted for the longest time - feeling like this was something we always did.
Realizing that the day was getting away from us, we hit the streets with the plan to spend a couple hours - then we'd head to the coast for a change of scenes. Well, little did we know that this small Hamlet would suck us in and keep us shooting until we ran out of light. There were so many little nooks and crannies in this picturesque New England town that we both blew through our film without effort. It seemed no matter where you pointed your camera in this town, there was something amazing to shoot.
Me, armed with a fistfull of Portra 400 and the Leica M-A and my demo Carl Zeiss Distagon T* 1.4/35 for the first roll and the Carl Zeiss C Sonnar 1.5/50 for the rest, as well as the Leica M2 armed with the Carl Zeiss C Biogon 2.8/35.
Johnny was armed with his trusty Hasselblad with Portra (of course) and Leica M-A with Tri-X.
Loaded with coffee and carbs, we hit the streets of Wiscasset and had a day (with my new best friend) I will never forget. Hands down, the best photowalk I have ever had.
Below is a small selection of shots from our day. Everything here developed and scanned, of course, by the wizards at Richard Photo Lab.