There’s a scene in my favorite movie, Glengarry Glen Ross, in which Alec Baldwin discloses the “ABC’s” of sales.
I’ve revised this sentiment for photography. In photography I believe that it should be Alawys. Be. Ready.
And before we get too far, I’ll ask for your forgiveness because today’s blog is entirely about photography. If this doesn’t interest you, skip to the comments and start your own thread for the day. I’ll be working a career fair all day, so I’ll be powerless to retaliate.
Take A Picture, It’d Last Longer
It’s rare that I pre-visualize photographs. Well, I guess I know the look that I’m trying to achieve with each photo, but rarely do I see a scene and automatically know how I’d use it in a photograph; which is what makes this story poignant.
On my commute in to work I drive along Highland Avenue and get stopped by the four-way stop at Elizabeth Street. Across from Fritti / Soto Soto stands a building which I believe is mostly apartment space. In the Winter months when the mornings were dark I’d stop and look at this building. The entry way to this building had a name above it, a name which current escapes me but had a 1940’s sense about it, and a single light which illuminated it.
I saw it. That shot. One person. Leaning against the entry way. Trench coat. Fedora. Lighting a cigarette. Lit with small strobes to strategically highlight his face.
And then it was gone. The building still exists, but the entry way has been altered. On yesterday’s commute I noticed that the cool looking signage with the name is gone. The whole “feel” of the scene has been destroyed. Dangen!
Life is funny. Life is frustrating. And for some of God’s creatures Life comes to a tragic end.
Yesterday I was looking at my vegetable garden and saw this group of red insects hanging out on a leaf (look closely and you’ll see that one is larger than the rest). Excitedly, I bounded back into the house for my camera. As I fumbled about failing mightily with my shots, changing lenses, and repositioning my camera in an attempt to get a shot in perfect focus, something amazing happened — this spider performed a sneak attack on the group.
I continued to shoot and frustratingly I was not able to get anything to rival that found in National Geographic (and those of you who follow me on Twitter or are one of my friends on Facebook now understand my "a good photographer never blames his equipment" statement). However, if you look at the photo on the right you can kind of make out the one insect who lost to the spider, and the others who are scampering away as fast as their six legs can move them.
Take A Picture, It’d Last Longer — Part 2
If you are a photography enthusiast like me then you know that since 9/11 and the “threat of terrorism” there has been a swelling war against photographers. I’ve been told not to shoot in Marta stations, I’ve read stories of people being harassed shooting public utilities and train yards, and have read many a conflict between police and photographers trying to shoot on the streets of England. It’s completely fucked up and out of hand.
What brought this to mind again was the news of the recent fire at the Georgia Theatre in Athens. I had heard that the fire was rather large and envisioned that the structure was completely engulfed in flames and gone forever (which having seen a few shots of the exterior since the fire does not appear to be the case). I started to think about all of the buildings we consider landmarks in our lives, even though the Georgia Theatre is not one for me, and how sad it is that we don’t have photos of all of them and how great it is that we have photos of some.
By nature we are a society driven by change, what will become of the world if we are not allowed to document our history through photography? Not all photographers are terrorists. Can we please return to using our common sense and back off? It’s just photography dammit!
And while we’re at it, I’d like to not have to take my shoes off, be able to carry liquids greater than three ounces, and not have to place all of my toiletries into a plastic bag in order to board an airplane.
Stats & Goals
Current Mood – okay I guess
Current Music – silence
Website Of The Day – While I believe that he can rather polarizing Thomas Hawke takes many great photos and “fights the good fight” for photographers’ rights.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – nothing
Foot Mileage – 4 miles, Wheel Mileage – 0 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 23 (23)
Vegetarian Days – 0, Carnivorous Days – 22
Marta Rides – 0
– lose four pounds… plain and simple (not going to happen)
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalapeño Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem