I had written a thing, was all ready to post it today.

Then I realized it was all wrong, so I’ve got nothing.

Except this picture from Official Ottawa.

Parliament Hill with Leopard tank.

And, yes, I have joined Instagram.

You can follow me here, XXXX


You can support independent publishing by going to
STRAYLIGHT Press and buying stuff. It’s good.


Here’s what Colin Pantall sez about STRAYLIGHT:

Straylight Press, one of the most interesting of the new
photobook publishers. For some reason Straylight feels
a bit realer than most. . . it hits the spot and is much
more than a decorative publisher. It makes books about
things that matter. And it publishes people who don’t get
published elsewhere.


Last week I briefly touched upon how shooting projects where you have
gone right to the edge, in terms of what’s at stake, can skew what seems

Perhaps that post, brief as it was, was the best I could put it (because
it was brief). But I’ll try to (briefly) expand on those thoughts here.

Here goes . . .

After you’ve shot, been immersed in, a project that is dangerous to
your well-being, that has pushed you to the edge of sanity, where
the effects of the shooting drive, like a nail, into your brain, where
do you go from there?

My motel room, Ohio, 2004 (from American States)

In a way a project that has that effect on you is like falling in love.
You are so affected, the feelings are so powerful. You are kind of
scared but have never felt so alive. The passion and importance
cannot be denied.

Bush, 2010 (from USER)

But that first blush never lasts. Over time things settle, the passion
dissipates and the dull routine of existence once again asserts its
primacy. You can then go looking for a new love, try to feel those
feelings again (a chumps game if you ask me), or you can accept
the fact that there are always peaks and valleys in life, that you are
on an arc whose architecture must obey the demands of emotional
physics. Nature abhors a vacuum, it always seeks equilibrium. But
nature also needs chaos to create.

Site of the operation, April 6, 2011 (from LIVE THROUGH THIS)

And one thing always leads to another. If you keep working you’ll
end up with a compendium of projects. Some will matter more than
others, but each will be colored by what has come before and, in turn,
color what comes after. Unless, that is, you just keep doing the same
thing over and over and over and over. Stasis equals death, just like
thought minus action equals zero.

Juno, army mascot, 2014 (from Official Ottawa)

. . .Think now
History has many cunning passages, contrived corridors
And issues, deceives with whispering ambitions,
Guides us by vanities. Think now
She gives when our attention is distracted
And what she gives, gives with such supple confusions
That the giving famishes the craving. Gives too late
What’s not believed in, or is still believed,
In memory only, reconsidered passion. Gives too soon
Into weak hands, what’s thought can be dispensed with
Till the refusal propagates a fear. Think
Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices
Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues
Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes.
These tears are shaken from the wrath-bearing tree.

from Gerontion – T.S. Eliot


STRAYLIGHT has 2 new publications on offer . . . .

TENSION by Boreal Collective is a newsprint thing, that makes sense
when you pull it apart. It’s $4.50 (what a deal).


Page spreads

Pulled apart and pasted to a wall

I don’t speak Spanish is a booklet by yours truly . . .being a stranger
in a strange land, not really knowing, not seeing the whole picture,
walking on my way to nowhere. It’s $12.50 and comes with a swell
5×5 inch print (an out take, suitable for framing). (What a deal.)

Cover and included print


Page spreads

Go here to buy: XXXX (Tenson is in the OTHER/STUFF section, I don’t
speak Spanish


I thought long and hard about publishing the work I did while I was in Spain.

As the title of the publications says, I don’t speak Spanish, and I wasn’t there
long enough to really get a grip on what was in front of me. This, as opposed
to the kinds of projects I usually do, where I immerse myself, get close. Speak
the language, so to speak.



As well, typically my projects (and the projects STRAYLIGHT likes to bring
forward) have a social/political framework.

These facts have made me a little bit impatient with photo projects (my own,
and others) where, to use a phrase Jörg Colberg is keen on, nothing is at stake.

And, believe me, after (or: if) you have done a project where your sanity and/or
general well being is on the line, everything else pales in comparison, seems
more like a pastime than anything else.

In a way, that kind of thinking has ruined me a bit. I’m turning 60 on Tuesday and
sometimes feel a bit worn out, spent. The good-old putting-just-about-everything-
on-the-line approach can feel too daunting. But anything else just seems facile. So
I’m stuck on the horns of a dilemma.

More about this in future drools. Let’s get back to I don’t speak Spanish . . .



After thinking (long and hard) about this work, after spending a month or so doing
an edit, I have decided to print it and to stand by it, offer it for sale at STRAYLIGHT.
(Sign up for the newsletter, below, to get first notice about its availability. The thing
only costs $12.50 and there are also a couple of swell Special Editions available.)

I think the tipping point for me was when I was finally happy with the edit, which (I
believe) comes close to describing what it felt like to walk through the bits of Spain
I walked through, on my way to nowhere.

It feels like me.


Pete Brook, over at Prison Photography (a blog you should have a look
at, for sure) has some thoughts about Christina’s book. There’s also an
interview with her: good questions and honest answers.


See it here: XXXX

We thought, for a minute, that Back to me. was sold out, but Christina
has decided to sell all but one of her stash. There are now 4 copies of
this book (which Pete Brook calls “tense, honest and important”) left.

Get one of them here: XXXX


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