Archive for April, 2009

Parking Lot Palimpset

Monday, April 20th, 2009

I’ve been sort of laying low, photographically, for a while. Been shooting a lot of test rolls (which is fun, don’t get me wrong), a little purely utilitarian digital, and some bird stuff just to keep in practice. A lot of great potential images I’ve been banking for sofobomo.

But I did take out my RB67 a couple times last week — just long enough to convince myself that I need to get a proper camera backpack for sofobomo (I ordered one), and to take have my eye caught by a nice piece of accidental symbolism:


They’ve been updating the painted signs on the parking lot at work, and unsurprisingly, I suppose, they’re not taking any particular care with regard to the old markings. The result is that you have opposite symbols juxtaposed, as above, or words echoed or slurred:


And signs pertaining to wholly different audiences collide:


Snap Judgment: All White People look Alike

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Oh, snap. Read the damn thing.

But at the end of the day, after we've gone to bed and have nothing better to do than think about the pictures we have taken, we will realise that the significant glances aren't so significant after all, that there is less dynamism in our pictures than there is in the bag of old socks that we photographed for our typological metaphor of our feelings of inadequacy and loss.

It doesn't really matter who our group of people are. If they are portrayed with one common, overriding feature that defines them above all else (and especially if the photographer shares that common feature), whether that feature is class, age, gender or income level, then we end up with a series of images that are no better than waxworks of stereotypes trying to look good for the camera.

Colin Pantall’s blog: How not to Photograph: All White People look Alike.

So, so tired

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Do you hate those non-posts where bloggers blog about why they aren’t blogging? Well, then, turn back now.

I haven’t been blogging, nor have I been keeping up with my daily debriefs, or even uploading very much to flickr. I was just promoted (you can call me Captain Dayjob) at work, which is nice, and my department actually hired a bunch of people (which is also nice), but we’re all very much under the gun as a result.

I am still shooting, although lately it’s been mostly running free expired slide film through my XA. (Note, I’m not going to cross-process it like some lomo douchebag. It was kept refrigerated, and I’ll be getting it developed normally.)

But for now, in lieu of anything substantive, look at this food:

Mushroom Madness

Snap Judgment: Rediscovering Film: Get Over it

Friday, April 10th, 2009

I like film. In fact, I love film. And lately, I shoot more film than digital. But it seems like a lot of folks are investing film with an absurd mystical machismo, as though by shooting film you can reclaim your freaking manhood, or something.

It’s not a vision quest, it’s not a magic wand. It’s just a tool. Just use it.

Here’s an example — not even a prime offender, just something that popped up in my google reader:

THE ZEN OF FILM vs. DIGITAL GRATIFICATION « doug menuez 2.0: go fast, don’t crash

BTW: I’m not opposed to mysticism in photography; I’m a Minor White fan, after all. But the mysticism belongs to the relationship between the photographer and the subject and the viewer — not the damn gear.

Things you discover via referrers!/Jim Sharp vs. Graffiti

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Painted Leaves

Interesting. There’s a guy in my area who goes around spraypainting over graffiti with silver paint, taking down postings and stickers, etc. I see a lot of his handiwork, and I’ve seen him in action a couple times.

The image is a particularly odd example — the graffiti was obscured by leaves, barely visible from the sidewalk; the silver paint calls far more attention to it than would have been given otherwise, not to mention the collateral damage to the shrubbery.

Anyway, I found out a little more about the fellow from this blog post, which I found via my flickr stats referrers log, since they used one of my other CC-licensed images:

The Press Never Sleeps (Portra 800:004:13)

It’s an odd sort of culture war. I don’t really have a stake in it — I seldom notice graffiti unless it’s unusually good, unusually interesting in its placement, or particularly atrocious; the vast majority of it falls well below the threshold, like most of the text that surrounds us city-dwellers.

It is an interesting story, though, and I’m glad to know a bit more about it.