Saturday, September 29, 2007

Title Tempest

Are titles important? What would the impact have been on these famous works if they had used these alternate titles?

"The Bridge" by Edvard Munch
"Squiggles" by Vincent VanGogh
"The Soda Jerk" by Edward Hopper
"The Smirk" ...
and "Bad Breath" by Leonardo Da Vinci.But a photographer might snap as many pictures in an afternoon as an easel artist paints in a career. If he were to title each he might come to the agonizing realization that a lot of his pictures bear striking similarities, that he pretty much keeps taking the same half-dozen pictures over and over again.

But do we really want our works to be known as "dcr112378.jpg" or some such? What is the right approach? Hopefully you're not expecting an answer from me at this point, but I can proffer this -

Title only for good reason, and after careful consideration....

"Cosmonautics" by bONGO...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Second Sight

So this blind guy comes out of a building and his cane is bouncin around like a metranome at a polka party - bam bam bam bam he's whacking the sidewalk with these high-stick arcs, people ducking for cover. Down the block I see this guy sitting on a ledge, back turned, totally absorbed with a book - and I know these two are on a collision coarse for a SP moment. Only I'm a couple yards behind the blind swordsman, way out of position, so I scramble bobbin, weavin around parked cars and just get to the sweet spot with about a half-second to spare. I gotta fire from the hip - no time to line up just snap and ... the scene goes down exactly as predicted... but

When I get back to the homestead I see that I've chopped off the blind guy's head and torso and there's this weird dutch angle goin on and I'm bummed. That's where things sat for a few days and then slowly the fog of preconceived notions began to burn off and where I had once seen a botched attempt to capture a pratfall I now saw a complex geometry and mystery unfold. Had second sight saved me from my blind ambition - or was it just more masturbation ? I'll stop when I need glasses.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Kids R Kool

Taking pictures of kids has become such a delicate issue in our culture I even hesitated making this blog entry about them. But, then I suppose that's even more reason to do it. I sheldom take pictures of kids anymore, just 'cause of the flak potential from parents.

Outside of being as discreet and respectful as possible I don't know what to say -but then shouldn't you always try pretty much to be that way with all peeps?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Guardian Angel

He picked it up off the sidewalk and presented it to me. He didn't say a word but it was clear he wanted me to have it. A small shiney pin of a "guardian angel"...

...since that day it has served as a talisman protecting me from my tendency to see people as mere compositional elements... reminding me of the compassion inherent in the human condition... and its capacity for kindness to strangers.

The SP Guardian Angel - may it protect us from ourselves.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Know When to Fold...

I'm not particularly patient, but I am persistent - but you have to know when to cut your losses, fold, give up on a bankrupt idea... such as the idea I had about snapping an articulated bus as it rounds a corner -front and rear tires at the frame lines - ensnarling a pedestrian waiting at the curb. Something I blogged about wanting to do way back in January. The problems are manifold.
First, you have to catch two moving objects -that you have no control over- at a precise time and place. Second, to make the pic I had in mind , the bus would have to practically jackknife in order to fit a 1:1.5 aspect ratio. And third, it wouldn't really be that interesting of a pic anyway.

Another jackass idea I had was a roll-your-own custom camera bag. Nothing quite like walking around town with a $7 beer bag slung over your shoulder to attract the ladies. I finally chumped off and bought a $32. Tamrac Explorer 1. Great little bag. Sometimes all it takes to do the right thing is to stop doing the wrong thing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

SP and Shades

When you wear sunglasses people tend to look at you longer and more often. NOT because you look cool, as the advertisers would have you believe, but because your eyes are shielded so the "rules" of eye contact with strangers are circumvented somewhat. Use it to your advantage.