BACK ON THE CORNER
I had always intended to shoot one more year of USER.
All the previous years I had gone down to the corner with a pretty
good idea of what I wanted the pictures to look like. But this year
I had no idea.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate…..I knew I wanted the images to
be less dramatic than those I’d shot before, more “straight-up”, and,
maybe, I wanted some of the new work to show bits of the narrative
of life on the corner.
But I wasn’t sure how I was going to do that, what I actually wanted
the pictures to look like. So I kept putting off returning to the corner.
Then, this past Sunday I just said “FUCKIT”, loaded my cameras
and went down.
The very first person I met there was a stranger to me and in no
mood for anything other than hitting her pipe. So I wandered
down the street some and, before you know it, old acquaintances
started to drop by, chat a bit and pose for fotos.
My shooting was all over the place. I figured I’d just make stuff
up as I went along, follow my instincts and not worry too much
about what I was doing or how I was doing it.
droolers know how I feel about allowing myself to make mistakes,
and I figured I may as well just shoot and see how the film turns out.
Hope that in there, somewhere, I’ll stumble upon some way, some
image, that shows me where I need to go.
It’s all process, baby.
Then I bumped into Star and her friend Rikki. They wanted me to
take a shot of them together and, even though I had only been
shooting one-shots, thought: “Why not?”. They sat down and
Rikki started to put on some makeup. Star helped her and,
there you go, stuff just happens. Doesn’t it?
It’s all process, baby.
Shooting Rikki and Star
Rikki and Star
Star and me after the shoot
A photo of Star from last year
HIPSTAMATIC ISN’T HIP
Hipstamatic, the iPhone app that turns snapshots into touched
snapshots, is all the rage. You’ve seen them posted online. You’ve
heard (or is that: read?) the oohs and aahs from commenters saying
how wonderful the images are.
Here’s a typical comment from a user:
I love this app. It has completely changed my photography, and
it has opened up a whole new creative avenue for me.
But drool believes that using an app to transform your snaps isn’t a
“creative avenue”, its a dead end street.
Sure, technology has its place in this post modern world of ours.
But to rely solely on an app for your “creativity” is bogus. Not to
mention that most Hipstamatic practitioners use a very heavy hand.
Kind of like they think that the more the image is manipulated and
the more nostalgic it looks, the better it becomes. I look at some of
these totally touched images and can’t help but wonder what would
be wrong with them, as snapshots, if they were just straight-up?
But the Hipstamatic creates synthetic nostalgia. Think Norman Rockwell.
Think Hallmark greeting cards. Think unearned emotion.
If you are using Hipstamatic for fun…fine. Just don’t go thinking it’s
creative. It’s not.
Let me leave you with some real snapshots. The nostalgia is a
built-in fact of the passage of time, not software.
My sister and me
My sister and me
I published a status report on Facebook that read: “enough with the Hipstamatic already”.
Made allusions to the use of this app as the end of photography and a gimmick.
That led to a few comments, all defending Hipstamatic use…..
– It’s fun
– It’s not the end of photography
– Everyone has a gimmick
Fine, yes, I agree. But only up to a point.
(Here, let me say that lately I’ve decided that drool will be more outspoken, more
opinionated, more shit disturbing. That drool will not be afraid to stir things up,
even at the risk of alienating drool‘s readers and my present and potential clients.
So tune out now if you’re sensitive. Or stick around and get wound up. Heck, some
droolers might even agree with me from time to time. But I’m tired of being reserved,
tired of pulling punches and tired of settling for just getting along. This is a blog about
photography and I have certain biases and thoughts when it comes to that. drool will
never…..well….almost never, get personal. These are just opinions and you are allowed,
even encouraged, to dissent.)
Now where was I?
drool is definitely not anti-fun, but drool has its own idea of what fun is. And letting
some software program make your fotos groovy doesn’t seem like that much fun.
When I talk about the end of photography I often think about 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Remember the computer in that film, HAL. HAL knows best and will do whatever it
takes to “live” on, to get its way. Certain practices in the foto-world these days somehow
remind me of that dynamic. Perfection-seeking, technology-based, inhuman (or synthetically
Gimmicks. All photographers have and use gimmicks, just like we all use clichés.
But let’s not mince words here. It seems to me that there must be recognition and
assessment of the quality of the gimmicks and clichés brought to bear by fotografers.
Sound elitist? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just the time in my life where I’m too tired of
the worn out, lazy look and the banal rendering of this craaaazy world of ours that
seems, these days, to be taking up so much space.
NOT SAFE FOR WORK
The Abnormals Gallery (Poznan, Poland and Berlin, Germany) has released this
video on YouTube, to publicize their upcoming ABNORMAL NUDES exhibition.
The video contains a piece of my shot: “April and Erik, stain“.
Seems like an interesting way to combine imagery, though I’m not too sure about
the swastika at the end. But, as you know….drool is anti-censorship and respects
the rights of folks to do what they want, especially in the creative realm.
Welcome to the new
and improved drool.
if you want.