Check out my street photography in this week’s issue of CCLaP Weekender!

My street photography has gotten its first ever feature in the online publication of the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography! Check it out here: www.cclapcenter.com

I shoot on both film and digital, although I typically lean towards film when I can afford it. I’ve shot on various cameras, including a Yashica Electro 35 (which was my first rangefinder), a Minox 35 GT (one of the smallest full frame 35mm cameras ever made), and, most recently, a Fed 5c (a Soviet-made Leica copy).

As for digital, I shoot on Micro 4/3. I prefer this format to full frame and APS-C both because of its size and the lenses this system has at its disposal. I use a Panasonic GX7 with a Leica 15/1.7 and Olympus 25/1.8.

Part of why I love film is the mentality it embodies; because of its limitations, one is forced to slow down and think. Obviously, speed is of utmost importance in street photography, so this was a hurdle I had to initially overcome. I also feel far bolder when shooting on film, as people are more often than not intrigued by my severely outdated camera and don’t mind having their picture taken with one. Many of the things I learned shooting on film, such as zone focusing, have carried over into my digital practice and have made that work even more efficient as a result.

I typically shoot with either a 50mm on my film camera and a 28mm equivalent on my digital camera. I enjoy the 50mm focal length for general photography as it’s the one I find the most natural to compose with. The 28mm, on the other hand, requires me to get very close to my subjects in order to capture the moment, something I find frightening yet exhilarating. I typically shoot from the hip when using digital, walking past my subjects and attempting to be as discreet as possible.  I also ride a bicycle while I shoot, which I admit is rather foolish, dangerous even, but it allows me to cover more ground and draw less attention to myself when I’m snapping from the bike lanes.

My trusty Fed 5c

My trusty Fed 5c

My work as a street photographer initially began as an attempt to expand my art practice as well as a form of personal therapy, and has since evolved into a passion, one that has helped alleviate my anxiety as well as enrich my work as a filmmaker and storyteller.

Follow me on Instagram (@gregstephenreigh) to see more of my work. Updated every weekday.


Watch the "El Culto De La Muerte" trailer

After what can only be described as three of the most interesting weeks of my life, the Mexican half of the narrative portion of "EL CULTO DE LA MUERTE" has wrapped, and you can now view a short teaser of what we created during that time.

I'm proud to say that I did some of my best work ever on this film, which is my first as cinematographer, a credit I share with the talented Maj Jeanne (http://www.majjeanne.com/1358333).  

Support EL CULTO DE LA MUERTE!

Director Emily Esperanza applying sugar skull makeup to Maureen Neer of Soddy Daisy, one of the bands contributing to the film's soundtrack

Director Emily Esperanza applying sugar skull makeup to Maureen Neer of Soddy Daisy, one of the bands contributing to the film's soundtrack

Some very passionate individuals need your help.

Only a few months ago I was asked to shoot a small scene for a little film that my friend Emily Esperanza was working on. Since that shoot, I was drafted on as one of the two cinematographers for the incredibly ambitious film project known as El Culto De La Muerte (The Cult of the Dead). Under Emily's direction, I was given the freedom to experiment beyond my wildest dreams (in all seriousness). The images I created for El Culto are by far the most interesting I've ever crafted.

Using a combination of vintage lenses (some of which are broken, or considered optically inferior to many of today's modern lenses), with various vintage, obsolete, screw-on filters, combined with a good helping of Dogme-inspired frenetic camerawork, I was given the freedom to craft unique images with an filmic, baked-in look that allowed my digital cinematography to take on a life of its own. No other filmmaker I've worked with has given me this level of freedom nor the inspiration to take risks with what would be normally considered imperfect and risky methods to tell stories through images.

Director Emily Esperanza as "Alex" with Aral Johnson as "Francis" in Chicago's Humboldt Park. Shot on a broken, scratched, and fungus-ridden mid-1960's Vivitar 35mm lens that I found in a broken lens bin at an old camera shop and bought for 5 dollars. 

Director Emily Esperanza as "Alex" with Aral Johnson as "Francis" in Chicago's Humboldt Park. Shot on a broken, scratched, and fungus-ridden mid-1960's Vivitar 35mm lens that I found in a broken lens bin at an old camera shop and bought for 5 dollars. 

Emily's creative vision, one that relies heavily on experimentation and improvisation, is a breath of fresh air, to say the least. Using a combination of digital video, analogue vhs, 35mm, and Super 8mm film, along a mix of documentary and narrative segments, EL CULTO DE LA MUERTE is a pastiche that spits in the face of the idea that everything has been done before. 

sugarskull2.jpg

 

The documentary portion, exploring Mexican culture's connection with death, has already been shot. The narrative portion that takes place in Chicago is currently in production. But there's one last piece of the puzzle. In order to finish the film, we need to travel to Oaxaca, Mexico, to the complete the remainder of the narrative portion. I wish it would be as simple as hopping on a plane one weekend and shooting some footage. It's not. We need to raise some money to pay for transportation, materials, crew, and everything in between needed to finish shooting this unique adventure. 

You can visit the film's Kickstarter page here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/emilyesperanza/el-culto-de-la-muerte-the-cult-of-the-dead

If funded, not only do I get a trip to Oaxaca (seriously, get me out of the city), but American independent cinema gains an eclectic, unique, and daring vision from an incredibly passionate and driven artist. We need your help. Every cent counts.

The Wretched Nobles of the Exiled Dynasty Presents: A Film Screening

I'm excited to be showing a film of mine as a part of the Wretched Nobles screening, Sunday, May 4th.

I'll be screening alongside fellow Chicago artists Emily Esperanza, and Kimo Knowles & Miya De Baker. 

The event is Sunday, May 4th, 7pm, at 2454 W Moffat.

From the event page:

“EVERYTHING HAS BEEN DONE BEFORE” IS THE BIGGEST LIE OF THE 21st CENTURY.

We are living in a world where all is antiquated, save for speedily progressing and ever-changing technology & the rapidly deteriorating environment. Everything has been experimented with; form, line, shadow, sound, attitude. We are living in a world where punk is dead. Where movements happened once, and then died and became untouchable legends. Our environment now: An urban wasteland. A cultural graveyard.

Hollywood has run out of ideas & continues to re-make the same film over and over… So much so that Hollywood has become a parody of itself. The ‘underground’ operates like a mafia, totally controlled by the distinct tropes, the characteristically experimental or the avant-garde, as defined by movements and generations past. The underground welcomes weirdness so long as it fits neatly in a pre-defined category. Enter the commercial mainstream as traditionally referenced vs. the mainstream in the underground.

BUT WHAT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE???!!! That vagueness that gets under your skin, that you don’t have a name for coz you don’t know how it makes you feel. It’s so hard to talk about something that doesn’t have a name. Do you like it? Does it make you cringe? Are you confused? GOOD. YOU ARE ABOUT TO LEARN SOMETHING.

NEW ART DOES EXIST.

The WRETCHED NOBLES provide a venue for this NEW ART, celebrating ideas of EXILE, BANISHMENT, TRANSNATIONALISM, UNPREDICTABILITY, HOMELESSNESS, FLUX, INCONSISTENCY, UNPOPULARITY, HONESTY, CHILD-LIKE SELFISHNESS, SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS, ANGST, PASSION, FLUIDITY IN IDENTITY, && MORAL PARADOX.

FEATURING FILMS BY:

GREG S. REIGH
EMILY ESPERANZA
KIMO KNOWLES
&
MIYA DEBAKER

WHEN: SUNDAY MAY 4
WHERE: 2454 W. MOFFAT (IN THE ATTIC)

7:00PM

FREE (BECAUSE ART SHOULD BE)

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/755524797820850/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Kulturpark @ Chicago Underground Film Festival, Logan Theatre, April 5

I'm rather ecstatic to announce that my latest essay film, Kulturpark, has been selected to screen at the 2014 Chicago Underground Film Festival this April. 

The process of submitting work to film festivals is never easy. It's expensive, time-consuming, and often ends in disappointment; I was told all throughout my time at art school that if you're lucky, you'll get into one out of every fifty festivals you apply for. That's a lot of money, time, and sweat just to hear that you didn't make the cut. 

I submitted Kulturpark to CUFF on a whim. I didn't apply to any others because I was low on cash and needed to eat that week. I paid the fee, sent the film their way, and went on with my life. One midnight, months later, I was about to fall asleep when I received an email with the title of my film in the header. I braced myself to hear "Thank you for your submission. Unfortunately..."

The very first word was "Congratulations". Needless to say I didn't sleep a wink that night.

I'll be posting more about the film in the next couple of days. Stay tuned.

For tickets:  https://www.facebook.com/ticketfly?v=app_179585568763105&app_data=eventId%3D506481%26source%3DfbTfly%26medium%3DampEventBuyTix%26rt%3D%26fb_action_ids%3D

Further reading:

Chicago Underground Film Festival: www.cuff.org

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/398208686989854/

 

Sleeping Pod One @ Above Market Gallery, February 1.

Catch my essay film, Sleeping Pod One, playing on loop at the Above Market Gallery, one night only, on February 1st! The film, along with other works by Chicago artists, will be part of a show called "One Night Stand". 

For more information, like Above Market Gallery on Facebook

 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/abovemarketgaller...