In your bag No: 1204, Mike Murrow
Today we have something special. This could well be one of my favourite bag posts ever! This shows a dedication to the craft, even whilst doing a demanding job, and adapting to the situation. And it has a monkey wrench in it too. This is awesome! Check it out.
My name is Mike Murrow.
I’m a plumber by trade. As a plumber I get to see all different parts of our little town and county and meet lots of interesting people. When I’m not working I try to get out as often as I can to work on a couple of long term photography projects. But 60 – 80 hours of my week are spent on the job, so I keep a little Olympus XA and a couple of rolls of film in my truck just in case I see something that I want to take pictures of. So what you see here is my “bag” I have with me at work. It consists of my hand tools and my XA and some film that I rolled myself.
I only shoot with film, and most of that is black and white, with the exception of my latest project titled “#work” which is just that, images from work shot on my cell phone. Shooting film for me is about the process. Its a very tangible, hands on experience, just like plumbing. I roll my own film mostly, I do my own developing in my garage. Just like plumbing, photography is both an art and a craft for me. I’ve recently begun doing semi-stand development with a little formula I came up with after lots of trial and error.
Most of what I do as a plumber will never be seen by anyone. Its hidden in walls, buried in the ground, or under a home. Yet, as an tradesmen I still take pride in my work. Its enough for me to know that my work looks good. Its the same with my photography. Sure, its nice when someone mentions how they like my work, but I don’t do it for them. I take pictures because, like plumbing, its something that should be done. Just as civilization needs the water to run, and the gas to flow, and their furnaces to work, the civilization needs to have a mirror held up to it and have its image reflected back to it.
I use an XA because they are relatively cheap. The lens is phenomenal. Its really an ideal “street” shooter because it is compact, fast, and quiet. The only downside is I prefer to rate my film at 1600 and the XA only lets you go up to 800.
I currently have three projects, “Dirt Mall” which is about our local flea market, “Surf City” which is a collection of images in our little beach town, and “#work” shot on my cell phone.
Thanks for sharing your bag (or perhaps toolbox) with us, Mike. It is cool to see someone really always ready to shoot, no matter what.
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