Tools We Love – Quarzchrome Film Stock


Silky smooth transitions from dark to light and cartridges that refuse to become bound from unbalanced tension. If you can find it, then buy it. If not then no problem since you won’t know what you’re missing anyways. Ignorance is bliss.

Our experience with this dead-stock has been problem free, as has all our use of russian photographic equipment and supplies.  It’s difficult to super-hate on this Super8.  Pair this with a Canon Superzoom or even an ultra minimal windup Quarz camera and you’re living the high life.  Plus, you’ll gain instant street-cred with the Ukrainian-photophiles in your crew.

Tools We Love – M. Graham Watercolors


Some say it’s the honey in the tubes that’s the key to their quality and we believe them. Open a tube you’ve been using for years and the quality remains like the day you bought them. You can’t go wrong picking these up and they’re cheap for what you get. Forget those other national brands that pack every art store’s shelves and give these a try. Favorites in this line include their Paine’s Gray that shifts towards blue in light washes that’s perfect for solo pigment paintings and the Gamboge is about as close as you can get to the rich light we receive here in Oregon about mid August. Sunshine in a tube that never sets.

Tools We Love – Sekonic Light Meter


It’s a workhorse that has never let us down. Mechanical controls and needle tell you what’s up with an ‘always-on’ functionality that is easy to take for granted. Keeping things simple is a pleasure with this little guy and lets you spend more time taking pictures and rolling film rather than wasting your time fussing with equipment. Of course, everything has its pluses and its minuses and incident meters are great when a reflective-only device won’t do, but from a cost and durability standpoint, the Sekonic Auto-Lumi L158 is hard to beat.

Tools We Love – Hot Pressed Block


Cold pressed is cool, but we find that hot lets us work faster if you’re trying to sketch out something quick and don’t need the long work time cold pressed can afford you, like for storyboards or styleframes. Plus, the fast dry time makes it ideal for rapid scanning.

No secret about hot pressed, but seems people can get in a cold pressed rut that’s hard to escape from.

Tools We Love – Waterbrush


I’m almost angry that I wasn’t turned onto these at some point in school. I’m not even sure where I first saw them, but once you’re after them you will probably find them waiting for you on the shelves of your local art supply shop. You’ll see them hanging there, just looking at you like you’re an idiot for having not picked one up years earlier.

Watercolor is just about the most perfect mobile paint medium except for the part where you have to lug around clean water or be near a source (river/lake) if painting on location. These will change the way you work if you’ve never used them. It makes things easier, but also opens up new possibilities. We use various sizes, favoring the large. We’ve seen some people fill them with pigments, but we worry about damaging the tool. However, we do have one filled with a clear granulation-medium that works well with pigment based tube paints and after years of being filled, hasn’t shown any signs of damage to the internal seals.