creativity personal photos

Settling The Horizon

settled-horizon After some somewhat urgent dentistry, I walked through a growing storm. Even though I really can’t take pictures when it gets this dark, I ended up taking a lot of pictures. None of them turned out.

Still, a large number of bad photos is appropriate to now. I’ve been trying to imagine myself as so many things lately that I’ve neglected a bit of who I am. My goals need settling before they can be seen.


Seeing A Bit Deeper

I feel pretty confident of my ability to frame a snapshot of a flat snapshot. I’m back to trying to understand how deeper things flatten in the camera. I suppose at some point I should learn how to represent depth well, but for now, I’m just trying to flatten more and more. In this case, I think I took it to an absurd degree. This is a light fixture on a pipe sticking out of a wall about a foot below a medallion.

photos walking

A Collapsible World

What Is A Corner FlattenedAll of photography is a flattening, and that’s probably true of all memory, perception and expression. I lack a lot of skill in photography — I keep my camera on its auto settings. Though I have professional-grade photo manipulation skills and software, I don’t even crop my snapshots, adjust levels, or even brighten/darken, even in the worst cases. They are what I saw or they are deleted.

I wish I could say that I do this as a way of artistically confining my expression, like a poet choosing meter or a musician using only a single octave and key. I just haven’t learned to see yet. At least, I haven’t learned to see well enough to move on to some other level of expression or moment.

I usually photograph flat surfaces, stuff that is already so close to 2D that I needn’t worry at all about how its light will collapse onto the sensor. I see it, I point the camera at it, and I push a button knowing now that about half the time I get what I see on a tidy SD card. When I started that was less than once in a hundred photo. Yay me!

I’m moving on a bit, but I don’t like it. I love this photo, though. It’s a wall, freshly-painted blue, meeting a sidewalk that was poorly masked. It flattened perfectly, deceptively simply. Only by looking closer is the other dimension apparent. On that unseasonably cold morning, with a head full of hate and a yawning spirit, that is what this wall gave me. A fantastic unfolding world, comforting in its smooth complexity.

interpretation photos walking

Gloves and Me

The low bow of the lowI’ve been taking a hell of a lot of glove pictures.  I can find more than a dozen gloves in a single walk.  I take pictures of about four out of every five I see.  I have thousands of glove pictures.  I find the postures of fallen gloves extremely expressive.  More than any other type of trash I see, they have much to say.

In describing this habit to a friend recently, I recalled when I used to work in direct mail.  Change of address requests were sometimes fulfilled by someone or something placing the correction label on a catalog, and then some postalhand samples worker copying the catalog onto cardstock.  I guess the difference in weight made up for the extra labor and materials.  I would get stacks of these cardstock returns mixed in with returned catalogs.  Every twenty or so of these copies had a part of the hand holding the catalog down on the copier glass.  Sometimes it was a fingertip, a chipped nail, a watch band, or sometimes the whole hand hovering in the darkness above image.  I collected those too.  Some of them can be seen in the include nixon treatment.  I did alot of stuff with these hand images: I included them in letters and gifts, left them around my desk and house, scattered them around town.

I haven’t done anything with the glove photos yet.  Any ideas?