As a creative, making it to the end of 2020 felt like a literal Sysiphus myth — pushing a giant boulder uphill all year to stay creative, make money, stay healthy and not lose hope. It required a lot of patience, determination, and self-care. I made the move to LA in the midst of the pandemic and passed the time by exploring my new neighborhood and shooting street photos. It helped keep me sane and creative.

Near the end of the year I finally bought a lens for an old green-label G1 body that I’d picked up on tour a few years ago from Craigslist. I had to sell my beloved Contax T2 as a result of the pandemic, so finally being able to use the G1 was a return to a system I loved for its portability and image quality, despite the annoying rise in ‘trendiness’ of the Contax ecosystem.

My Contax G1 + Carl Zeiss 90mm f/2.8 Sonnar T* with Kodak Ektar 100, Brenton Giesey

Street photography has become an interesting challenge in the pandemic — people are staying more physically distant in public (at least they should be!) as well as masked and on high alert, thus making photographing them a bit more awkward and difficult than usual. For that reason, I chose the 90mm f/2.8 Zeiss Sonnar lens. It’s allowed me to have a further reach and get some really unique photographs. I’m loving the change. The G1 is a really interesting camera and I’m quickly figuring out its quirks! Loading film can be a pain and metering is a bit confusing but I’m eager to keep shooting with it.

For my last roll of the year, I chose to use my favorite color negative stock, Ektar 100 to capture the muted colors of Los Angeles on a quiet New Years’ Eve day. One of my favorites is the panorama – I could see the clouds rolling in over the mountains and had to sneak onto the rooftop of my former apartment building and make some photographs. I’m extremely pleased with the results!

~ Brenton

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About the author

Avatar - Brenton Giesey

Brenton Giesey

Los Angeles-based music and portrait photographer passionate about creating timeless, emotional visuals.

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