This evening marked the kick-off of Long Shot, the Photo Centers NW annual fundraiser in which hundreds of photographers from around the world shoot for 24 hours, and later the prints are auctioned off.
I had grand plans for the 24 hours when I signed up a month ago, but my life seems to have run away from me again and I am spending the 24 hours of Long Shot with my in-laws. and so I grabbed my iphone with it’s toy camera app, and my wife’s camera with the hipstamatic app and the Holga lens filter/ adapter for the iphone, and am spending the next 24 hours taking photos of my 24 hours with the in-laws.
First stop? The comic book store. Where I got some fun shots, and picked up Kick-Ass 2 while I was there. Lesson learned? Find inspiration where ever you can.
I’ve been taking a class on photo books for the last three months, and while I have been working on a hand-bound hardcover accordion book (more on that later) I became inspired and made two small paperback photo books.
The first title, The Cartography of Farmers’ Wives: Photography from 1915-1976, is a short paper-back book with sampling of photography from my great-grandmother and my grandmother. Many of the photographs are landscapes from eastern Washington, although there are a few portraits as well in this contemplative story of one families relationship with the land. I look at this book as a small meditation on a much larger project that I think will probably take me the next 2-3 years to complete. Now that I know I can complete a small project with some of the information and items I have in this collection of family history that has been handed to me, I feel ready to embark on the larger journey.
The second book, A Traveling Song is a small paper-back of Hipstamiatic images I took on my phone on the road-trip my wife and I took when we moved across the country from Washington, D.C., to Seattle, Washington, in 2009. We pretty much drove straight through, and most of the images were taken from the car window while passing through middle America.
A friend and I just had a whirlwind trip in Chicago. I always thought I wouldn’t really like Chicago. I have no explanation for why, exactly, I thought this, but I know I’ve felt this way for a long time. Even when I was in high school and was offered a partial scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, I had absolutely no interest in even visiting. Ever. But circumstances led me there this past weekend, and turns out I was wrong all along. I love Chicago. Even though I was only there for 2 days and most of the time I spent at a conference, I just fell in love with the city. I want to go back just as soon as possible, and this time actually have time to explore and to take my damn camera out of my bag and take a few pictures. But for now, my few Hipstamatic shots I took will have to suffice.
I love the packed atmosphere of the city: apartments and houses almost stacked on top of each other, creating a beautiful jagged skyline. Tiny back porches and fire escapes, riding past Wrigley field every day while listening to the clickity clack of the train, cafe signs with flashing lights and 1950’s lettering, and just the hum of the city’s soundtrack were all things that made me fall instantly in love. And yet there seemed to be a soft quietness underlying the bustle of the city, which made me swoon even more. And I hope I get to go back some day.
Taking the passenger only ferry from Vashon to Seattle in the early morning fog. An overall feeling of isolation and quietness overtook me on this chilly foggy morning (which actually happens to be my favorite kind of morning in the PNW), and a minutes after i took this photo, we passed a scene that was almost the same, but there were dozens of birds resting on the water. Alas, I missed that shot, but still very much like the one i ended up with.
Like all digital medium in photography, I continuously feel cheated by the fact there’s no analog control or hands on work that goes into the final product, and I love, love, LOVE the darkroom. But as a friend reminded me the other day “Don’t be so hard on it, or yourself. It is, after all, just another tool”. In an attempt to remember that, here’s one of my favorite shots from the Hipstamatic app I’ve taken in the last few months.
While walking through Occidental Park in Pioneer Square the other day, I noticed something Seuss-ical among the usually naked trees, light posts, and various other metal structures among the park. The whole damned thing has been yarn-bombed. Of course I grabbed my phone and started snapping, and to my initial disappointment, my phone was apparently on crack: double exposing, mirroring, and splitting all the images I took. But perhaps it just added to the mystical wonder of standing in an urban forest covered with brightly coloured sweaters.