Been thinking about what I’m going to call the project I’m currently working on. I’ve been referring to it as The Future, but as I develop the project and my thinking about it advances, that title seems too descriptive, too prescriptive. And it has nothing to do with the fact that you (obviously) can’t photograph the future. That doesn’t matter because, after all, this project was conceived as a work of fiction. (Not that all photos aren’t some kind of fiction, but that’s a topic for another post.)
Then, out of the blue, on my way to complete some mundane chore, a new title came to me. Just like that. And so far it seems to be holding up to my scrutiny and to my ambitions for the project.
And you know what? I’m not going to tell you what it is. I will, however, show you a few pix from the project formerly known as The Future. (Click on images to enlarge.)
And thinking of this project in light of this new title has subtly shifted how I’m seeing the pictures, changed in some small way the things I’m looking for and photographing.
Funny how titles can do that, frame a thing.
WAITING FOR A TRAIN
The photos I shot in Barrhaven last year are about to be exhibited. I’ll hype the show/opening here on drool as the show (Suburb) approaches
(Sept 8). Today, though, I want to talk about planning, waiting and preconception (which are my least favorite ways of photographing).
One of the first times I went to Barrhaven I stumbled upon a passing train. I didn’t even know a train went through the place. (BTW, stumbling and not knowing are two of my favorite photo-taking techniques.) Anyway, I snapped a shot and kind of liked it but thought, well, trains run on schedules, why don’t I scope out the tracks, find a better spot and lay in wait, get a better shot. So I did that. A few times.
Here’s a selfie of me missing the train, and the accompanying Instagram caption:
Went to Barrhaven to photo the train going by . . . picked out the perfect spot, then, because I was kind of early, bopped around and snapped some other pix. Figured I had lots of time to get back to the spot to catch the train. Lo and behold, as I was shooting elsewhere there I heard that lonesome whistle blow in the distance. The train was early. I comfort myself by telling myself that a/ I didn’t like the light anyway and b/ there’s always another train.
Anyway, without getting bogged down in details . . .
-I eventually did catch the train.
-Ended up liking the first, stumbled upon, photo best.
-All the train photos ended up on the cutting-room floor.
So much for planning, waiting and preconception.
Here are the Barrhaven train shots, all out-takes, in the order I shot them. (Click on images to enlarge.)
I was scrounging around looking for something in the heap I call my archives (analogue archives, that is) and happened upon this little book-thing I made in 1994. (I’ve got a ton of these one-off books, all produced in different ways.) This one’s called London Calling.
It’s sorta crude. Xerox had just come out with a copier that turned B&W photos into sort of halftone images, and I was taken with that and liked the whole DYI aesthetic and that it was so cheap. I just make ’em for myself, anyway. I guess you could call it research and development or, maybe, just a pastime.
I welcome your comments. No vitriol please, but contrary opinions and insights are welcome.
Thank you for your time.