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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Subway,New York

Kid on Subway

Tomorrow should be fun.  I'm going to B&H to pick up some large paper.  But that's not the fun part.  While I'm there, I'll finally get a chance to handle the 20D.  I can't afford to buy it right now - but I'm most curious to hear what it sounds like.  There are some styles of photography where the sound of the camera is no big deal, and other situations where it is.  In this shot, the kid is looking at me, not at the camera which is on my lap.  The stomach on the right belongs to his mother.

And then there are shots which are closer to portraits, where the person is putting on their face for you: usually smiling, sometimes glaring at you - but this is a different style altogether.

8:04:17 PM    

"Few subjects lend themselves to both black-and-white and color image concepts.  Years ago, at a Yosemite Workshop, Marie Cosindas agreed with me that she was seeing photographs as compositions in color; her camera visualizations were often inappropriate to black-and-white imagery.  I believe this experience favorably influenced her great career in color photography.  Such experiences, perhaps not fully understood at the time, may create or confirm controlling lifetime concepts and skills." - Ansel Adams

Still haven't been able to make a color print that moves me.  I was trying to figure out why this was.  I have seen plenty of color movies where the photography adds some aesthetic feeling.  And then I was thinking about the control that you have over the costumes, the scenery.  Want some fog, call in the fog machine.  I always have this desire to apply some painter type filter to the color shots.  It is puzzling to me.  An example, I printed the tumbler shot as an 8 x 10.  The red trunks were annoying to me.  The blue sky was distracting.  So I put the thing into monochrome, and the forms suddenly stood out.  The glare and the sweat on the clenched arm stood out.

But most of all, the sense of motion became more pronounced.  There was a smooth transition of tones.  So what I was thinking, was that maybe color made the shot too real.  Less abstract.  And by having these arbitrary colors, just like in real life, the sense of the image as art - was gone.  I wanted to repaint the trunks.  I didn't care for the color of the trees.

But I have seen color images that have feeling in them.  But very rarely of street scenes, and even more rarely of people. 

I was looking at some beautiful color shots this morning on a safari site.  Very exotic to me.  Maybe because these are things I've never seen, I'm more distanced from them.

I guess I'm throwing out a lot of possible explanations - and there is one more - that I'm just not much good at color photography.  This is also a reasonable explanation since I've spent so many years looking at the world through a monochromatic prism. I'll post the monchromatic version of this shot after I've fine-tuned it a bit.

10:54:01 AM    

Now that was a weird dream: I dreamed that I was pregnant.  Not only that I was pregnant but that the time had come to give birth and I was on a luxury liner at the time and that everybody knew about it and that the operation was going to take place on a roulette table.  The room was filled with doctors, but they weren't in white coats, they were in business suits, and they asked me if I was ready and I said I was.  But just as I was about to climb onto the table - I noticed a bunch of onlookers.  People with cameras were hovering around the doorways to the Casino waiting to take pictures of the event.  I told the doctors that this was not acceptable.  How could they have all these onlookers walking around, some still with chips in their hands.  They apologized to me but said there was nothing they could do about it.  So even though I was already on the table, I got up, and walked around through the great hallway shouting at the gaping crowds - Out! Out! Everybody out!  And they began to scurry.

I went from door to door, with my stomach protruding - in a hospital gown - shooing people away. 

When the room was cleared, I walked slowly back to the table.  I think, in the dream, I had already named the baby - and this is where it gets a little foggy, but I think I had named him Daniel.

Around this time, the cat jumps up on the bed and wakes me so I can't really tell you much more than that, and even if I could, I'm not sure that I should.

5:07:09 AM