Film Ain’t Dead, Buddy

It just smells… y’know, chemical.

Aaron Siskind in a self-portrait.

http://longnoserob.tumblr.com/post/10400770419/darkroomsetup

Lastly, http://petapixel.com/2014/12/18/comparing-image-quality-film-digital/ is interesting as well, though it tends to mix up economy, ease, and image quality.

Gifts Must Always Move

If you are not in the habit of bestowing year-round (prints, food, cash, lottery tickets), this is the season in which to do so. Some of the following are real and practical for photographers, and some, well… let’s think outside the continuum.

Consider acquiring a durable syringe, powered by one’s own grip, for your (or your beloved’s) darkroom. It’s a better way to remove dust from negatives and condensers than a pressurized can with warnings about accidental inhalation (until it’s empty, and you throw it away). Here’s the medium size:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000L9OIQC/ref=pe_62860_128743720_em_1p_1_ti

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Film cases are neat and convenient for carrying 5 or 10 rolls of film in one’s bag or pocket. http://www.freestylephoto.biz/103581-35mm-Film-Hard-Case-White-Holds-10-rolls-of-film

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An Instax would be very cool. We’re not kidding.

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http://instax.com/mini90/en/

For one’s rough-and-tumble lifestyle, consider a construction site camera!

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Make someone one of only 25 to own a Hexomniscope, the six-sided, six-“lens” roll film pinhole camera (it may be on back order).

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http://www.abelsonscopeworks.com

See if you can locate (on *bay) a Dental-Eye camera, originally made for dentists, with a sort of a macro lens that cannot (doesn’t need to) focus out to infinity.

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Everyone wants to read The Photographer’s Playbook as much as you do; weve gone through it to save you the time and effort, and we recommend the following twenty-four assignments/projects over the rest of the 307 suggestions: those on pages 4, 5, 14, 18, 19, 33, 54, 59, 60, 61, 67, 70, 72, 73, 125, 156, 158, 173, 198, 200, 267, 283, 324, and 343. As well, page 131 is a prompt to show work, and on page 126 begins the best advice in the entire book.

The rest of these “gift ideas” are from a long gone periodical. If anyone can identify the magazine or the photographer, so much the better, but it was a different time, and most of the piece is politically incorrect today (or not funny enough to reproduce).

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Art Sinsabaugh

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“My collection has a nice, utilitarian use, or a cross-discipline use. In many respects, these photographs can’t be done again, because the landscape has changed. The way it looked in the past doesn’t exist anymore, except in someone’s memory. To show you where I am, I like it when retired people want to buy prints to take with them when they leave the Midwest. People send my book out like a postcard. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

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“The attitude that considers photography ‘art’ is wrong to me. I’d really rather call myself a photographer than an ‘artist.’ I don’t know the difference, except I have the term ‘arty-farty’ in mind. I’m not rejecting the fact that my photographs are in art museum collections, but I’m not pursuing my work for that reason. I do it for myself.”

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Footnotes:

1. As always, click on the images to enlarge.

2. This is post #800. Yay.

Alison R., Meet Ray K.

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http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/667?autoplay=true

…in which Alison Rossiter develops outdated photo paper to see whether its physical developing out works as a picture. Compare with Ray Metzker’s also-cameraless photograms (and collages) of the late 1990s, the “Singular Sensations.”

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Why Should I Write? I’m A Photographer, Dammit.

Joerg Colberg tells you why.

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“Unless I told you you’re looking at my mother, I’d be foolish to assume you’d know that. Seen that way, photography actually is a very limited and problematic medium, which is, I’d argue, the only reason why it can be art: it looks like it is telling you a lot, but in reality, it isn’t.”

http://onwardphoto.org/blog/how-to-write-about-your-photographs-q-a-with-jorg-colberg/?utm_campaign=cs_howtowrite&utm_medium=forum&utm_source=large_format&hvid=2AZ6Uq

“Don’t approach writing about your photographs by making them first, and then getting to writing about them. That’s not a good idea. Instead, take photographs and write. Look at what you have, both in terms of pictures and of writing, and see what works. Constantly re-evaluate what you have.”

http://cphmag.com/how-to-write/

 

Vijay Iyer

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“I’m not balanced; I’m imbalanced. It’s a scramble being an artist in America. I guess in my case, I’ve taken on more challenges than necessary. It’s probably because as an artist you want to keep growing and keep learning and transforming. What all these things do for me is they lead me somewhere outside of myself, and that’s nourishing. Because otherwise, I’ll just be spiraling in the same area forever—and that sounds, to me, terrifying. Not to say that you can’t stay with one thing and go deeper in; that’s also very enriching.”

Black Box

This is a promotional post. I (we) know one of the people behind this new online publication, even though the thing appears to be anonymous, and we (I) wish it well, Suzanne. Here is text from a couple of its pages (and my proofreading compulsion kicked in a bit).

“If we consider a black box that can not be opened or examined inside, we can only make a guess as to how it works, and what happens when something interacts with it and what happens in result of that. If we put a ball in one side and a ball fell out the other side, it’s possible that the box is full of balls. Or there could be a broken Dyson vacuum inside. Or the gravitational pull outside the box is greater than inside the box. In the end, all we can do is hypothesize.”

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“Black Box is a bi-annual literary zine focusing on nonfiction, poetry, and illustration. Our concentration is on experimental and short form writing in an attempt to explore the power of a single word and its relation to the whole. We’re drawn to pieces that focus on the economy of words used to convey the greater ecosystem they take part in. Illustrations should mirror this concept in visual language, consisting of simple images and minimalist use of color.

“Each issue is printed entirely in black and white, focused on the theme of a singular color. The color is meant to serve as a backdrop, a diving board or a negative space. It does not dictate. It is the black box, and in the end, all we can do is hypothesize.

“Black Box is currently accepting submissions for our Spring 2015 issue. The issue’s theme is Blue and we are looking for short form, experimental creative nonfiction and poetry as well as black & white illustrations. We will be accepting pieces until 2/01/15. To submit email your work (no longer than one page per piece) to blackboxlit@gmail.com.”

This sounds as though photography is not (yet) welcome, but that it could fit into their guidelines with ease. Perhaps an editor’s personal taste does not happen to include photos at this time; send some in anyway and see what happens.

P.S. I get a kick out of how long the “economy of words” sentence is.

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