Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Concrete Muse, Week of 02/18/2013

Location: 22nd and South
Camera:    Canon SD600 Digital Elph
Image Size: 9” x 12” @240 dpi
Conversion from color jpeg done in Photoshop
Proof: Quadtone Rip, Epson 3880 on Canon Pixma II paper,

The essential question this week has been how many layers can I put on, still move, and maintain an ongoing concentration? I really enjoy studying the subject and considering the options. Its not unusual for me to use my fingers to make a frame to see what kind of composition something might make, or I casually raise the camera to my eye just to see how the lens frames things, but not necessarily to snap an image. However, sometimes working quickly, impulsively and without conscious mediation is an advantage. In this case it was. I saw the Leonardo, the gargoyle and the reflections in the window of an oriental carpet store that is in my neighborhood. I pulled out the point-n-shoot digital I sometimes carry, took a quick shot and headed home. I had been out for hours and was blind to my subject, at least consciously. 

When I made the print, I was both intrigued and put a bit on edge. I kept on telling myself I should have shot it with more care and consideration and I should have pulled out the superior film camera. Even though I think most modern photographs are over-sharp, I always want more depth and detail in my images. Attempts to revisit the “crime” scene proved fruitless; what I had captured was a one-time event.

I think there are many lessons to be learned from this. For one, anything worth photographing is worth doing with best instrument possible. I have since banished the little point-n-shoot from my camera bag. Photographs are, for the most part, moments of convergence that are not repeatable. This is a large reason why they interest me. Too, one has to learn to let go and move forward. Philadelphia is full of fascinating things that await a visual conversation.

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