Zach Zupancic

Zach Zupancic

Senior Designer, SolidWorks addict, AutoCAD zealot, Cyclist, Shade Tree Mechanic, & moderately tall. 

Scratch, tap, type writer.

The greatest act of theft is through photography. Through this theft, all of my wants and needs are met. Sure that may make me a selfish beast; but what human isn’t one?

Over the last 6 months I have noticed a big change in the way that both Jeg and I write or take photographs. At the start of it all there was just Jeg, his moleskin, and me. During his downtime he would use this moleskin to outline his grad school application to NYU, write down random notes and quotes, and draw sartorial zombies. During one of our "Saturday Evening Post" talks with Mo, we discussed the usefulness vs. usability of net-books and über-phones. Mo and I were dead set on how awesome life is with either the Blackberry or iPhone. Jeg, on the other hand never wanted to join in. He liked the idea of having a net-book, and that the über-phone lifestyle was just too trendy.

A few months later I had to give my Blackberry back to the company that I was working for, and I replaced it with an iPhone. Around this time I also started to look into the intricacies of photography. Since it is as simple as snap and upload to Flickr, I started to use the iPhone to take the photographs. I didn’t want to bring my Nikon around with me because I had this unsubstantiated stigma attached to people that did. So as of this point Jeg carried his moleskin around everywhere, and I had my phone; neither of us really used either of them in each other's presence, but we had them if the need ever arose.

The nerd inside of me really wanted to take the iPhone to a whole new level, this of course meant jailbreaking. It took me about a week of normal iPhone usage, and a bit of research to make sure that it wouldn’t brick the phone, and I attacked it with the speed of a northern bullet. Since then I have never wanted to revert back to the normalcy that Apple & AT&T give, and my interest in it has only grown. With this new greatness, I once again I brought up the conversation of Jeg getting an über-phone; figured that it would mix in nicely with our talks of fashion, cars, the differences between an androids and cyborgs, and art. Still it was all too trendy for him; sure there was little nibble of interest when he found out that Nike+iPhone was included, but all-in-all he still couldn’t get into it.

Months passed, and the camera phone didn’t really fill the void like I was hoping it would. Then I thought; why don’t I ever use my real camera? Once I got it back in my hands for something other than for fun, I started to really look into how to make the camera work with me; aka out of auto and into manual. Skip ahead a couple months and I was getting prepared to head off for the trip to New York; which actually did more for me than I initially thought. After I some lens choice talks with some of the better photographers that I know, the camera was no longer just a play thing; it become my expressional form. Since then it has been hard for me to go anywhere without having the camera close at hand, the unsubstantiated stigma gone.

And ironically as it may be, Jeg got a Blackberry a month-ish before I left. His reasoning behind it was something to the effect of "well it was free, so I figured why not." Even at the onset he was still hesitant about using it. The more he carried it, however, the more and more he realized its great potential. Out of necessity, or out of his recent tradition, he replaced his now filled moleskin with another one. As time went on, I noticed that he became less dependent on making sure that it was always on his person; the complete antithesis to the relationship of me and my camera. He started to use his Blackberry to write his grad essay in lieu of his moleskin; after all it is faster to just type it once and share it, rather than to write then type. It is really interesting how easily my generation takes to new technology. Yeah we may be hesitant at first, but once we get it in our itchy fingers we really can’t help but join in the fun.

One interesting conclusion to this lifestyle progression is how different we are. Jeg's writing progression is one of formality. It starts with an outline, then puts a few days of writing into it, and finally ends with couple stages of editing. Due to this, and his fantastic grasp of literary/cultural criticism, he is able to continuously write excellent work; each one out shining the last. He started with a few scratches on a paper, progressed to tapping on a Blackberry, and polished it all up on the computer.

I am a bit different. The closest thing to an outline that I have is the title itself; the rest is up to the words that fall from my fingers. I have always been one of those stream of consciousness writers, and the draft is done within one sitting. After completion I let it sit for a night, edit once for continuity and spelling, and then send it. For me this results in either a hit or glance dissertation; almost harking back to the one line wonders of my past. This is astoundingly apparent in my photography, as some of the best of them is just being in the right place at the right time. I am still developing my voice in my writing, but the more I do it the closer I come to successfully portraying who I am through this medium.

Then Thanksgiving weekend came upon us and with it a seven hour marathon of "The Genius of Photography" on the Ovation channel. Since I am newish to creating art within this art form, I was quite pleased to see a brief history of photography and its technology. They had a short segment on Henri Cartier-Bresson, my idol of the moment, and his method; patience. He would look at his surrounding area, asses what could happen, and then wait for it camera in hand. A few hours later into the program they got to the more modern photographers, and I was repulsed by it. The doctoring of photographs through Photoshop is far too rampant for my taste. Even though I haven’t been at it very long I do have a rule that is nearly unbreakable; a computer is to be used only for the transfer of photographs from the camera to the web, and for monochromatic conversions. Like my writing, I have yet to find a voice with my thefts of moments. And, I still have a bit to learn in regards to proper aperture ratings and shutter speeds to
make the images perfect, but if I rely on Photoshop then I will never improve.

As a result of the marathon I made my first self-portrait. I am not sure where this idea will take me, but one thing is for sure they will all be black and white.

watching, waiting

The greatest act of theft is through photography; because you are stealing that fraction of time from history and making it your own.

-till next time