A slightly belated Picture
Envy this week, due, somewhat obviously, I suppose, to the convergence of
the Christmas Holiday with the weekend. It's been a busy couple of weeks, and it feels like this Holiday is the first one during which I can sit down and breath for a moment.
So, I find myself sitting at home, in my drafty office over
the garage, listening to Matthew Sweet's How
Long Until You Break while
playing around with Del.icio.us. I've been
fiddling a lot with technology lately. I
suppose it makes up for my now defunct – and likely not-to-be-replaced – palm
pilot. Still, I've moved most of my
bookmarks to my Del.icio.us page. I like the idea of not having to worry about
finding or remembering links that I made at work or home while at another
location. It took me a while to get into
this tool, but I think it's pretty neat. I've been playing with Photoshop a lot lately. Obviously, Philosophy is a Walk on a Slippery Rock is a fairly explicit example of photoshopping an image, but I've also been
working on changing the heat of an image by adding and removing color
layers. It's interesting, in the sense
that recognizing color "temperature" in photography is probably an intuitive version of
figuring out what probably would have taken psychologists a long time to do if
they studied it in line with the scientific method. Next week, I'll be doing a bunch of photos
that relate to one of my favorite subjects: statues. I take great pleasure in shooting pictures of
statues because, between the interplay of the coldness of the marble/granite
and the often-dramatic shadowing of a statues face can create powerful
To put it another way: Statues never look happy.
Joe Cunningham - Saw These
So… let's get on to the "meat" of this post, shall
we? I feel like doing for links for
picture envy this week, largely because the first one, Joe Cunningham's saw these is,
itself, actually a collection of links. Joe's photoblog includes a collection of links under the heading
"see these." Saw these is the archive of all of Joe's
favorites for 2004. It became the
inspiration for Brandon Stone's suggestion on the photoblogs.org blog regarding
the use of Del.icio.us for a
collective link list of favorite photoblog posts. As an
aside, you can also find a list of the most popular photoblog posts linked to
on Del.icio.ushere (this is a little more selective than the general photoblog posts link).
The Little Green
Suitcase - Indifference
One of the pleasures of seeing what other people find
interesting on Del.icio.us has been
finding a number of new photoblogs that interest me. The
Little Green Suitcase is one of
them. Indifference is apparently a shot from when the proprietor of The Little Green Suitcase was in high school. I like the repeating near-symmetry of the
park benches, as well as the off-kilter placement of the two young women on the
bench in the center of the frame. The
image looks a little beaten-up, and, overall, it has the air of being from thirty
or forty years ago.
640x480.net – Untitled
represents an interesting project. Developed by Michal Daniel, the site is dedicated to images taken with
the Eyemodule2 camera (the old plug-in for the Handspring PDAs). The images have a great "surveillance
camera" feel, and the untitled image I've selected for this week's Picture
Envy is especially pleasing to me because, upon viewing it, I imagined a
story of instability and suffering. The
sense of motion conveyed along the top of the subject's face and the minimal
depth of field convey an image of a startled man, perhaps unwell, being
surprised on his way home to a darkened apartment where he usually listens to
AM radio – more the commercials than the sports and commentary – while sitting
in a secondhand high-backed chair.
I know that, probably, I should be doing a sappy,
nostalgic collection of images that relate to the Yuletide, but, frankly, if
you're coming to Unbillable Hours for
a while, you've probably learned that my stock in trade is melancholia. The untitled image linked to above is heavily
perfumed with the musk of sorrow. Anyway,
melancholia is part of the Christmas spirit. Remember, one of the gifts of the Wise Men to Mary and Joseph was myrrh,
the ancient funereal scent used for the preparation of the dead. Melancholia was always intended to be part of
the holiday. It's probably a nod to
those melancholy people like me who have to endure the "comfort and
joy" parts with squinting discomfort.
Gratification – Starburst
has a particularly interesting shot, Starburst,
that is a great example of why I think light, itself, is perhaps the most
interesting subject for shooting (in fact, earlier this evening, I went out to
take some long exposure shots of the lumenaria
that has been set up by many families on my block.
I just tried to use the Typepad "Quickpost" bookmarklet feature to put up
a quick blurb about Brandon Stone's suggestion on the photoblogs.org blog regarding the use of Del.icio.us (hereinafter "Delicious") for the creating of a
master list regarding "hot" photoblog posts. Unfortunately, Quickpost, like most of the
new "improvements" made to Typepad by Movable Type, sucks. The post I had written was mysteriously deleted; I spent five minutes
sending frustrated help ticket messages to Movable Type; cursed, gave up, and decided to
start all over again using MS Word as a text editor rather than Typepad's
internal text editor. I am pretty sure
that I am not going to stick with Typepad for very long. I am getting more and more unhappy with this
service the more I use it. And, well, if
Movable Type doesn't like that I post messages like this on the service it operates,
it should consider ways in which it can keep its early adopters happy.
breath. Let go of the anger.
Brandon Stone, the mastermind (sorry; I'm keen on masterminds,
having finally seen The Incredibles
last night) behind the Photoblogs.org
group of websites, made the following suggestion regarding the use of Delicious for the purposes of creating a
RSS feed-adaptable, collaborative list of those photoblog posts that the
photoblogging community considers "hot."
The recent post
from Joe Cunningham about the Ten Links section on his
site really got me thinking. Mainly, it got me thinking about how a person
could use del.icio.us to create such a list.
In fact, it looks like Heather Champ is
doing just that for the "Fabulous Elsewhere" section on her homepage.
Now, this really got me to
thinking... If we all did something similar using
del.icio.us, we could create our own collaborative feed of noteworthy photoblog
I'm not necessarily technology-oriented. I've learned enough of HTML and the like to
maintain my blog on the Typepad site (for now, Movable Type, for now…), and
I've basically ignored all of the other technological advancements other than Bloglines. Delicious
included. Still, I think this is a good
idea. However, I don't think that the
Delicious method proposed by Stone can be a final solution for the posting of
noteworthy images for me. To some extent,
it's useful because it shows the collective's view on what is noteworthy, but
it doesn't provide the sort of in depth reaction to an image that I would want to
use my Picture Envy posts for (or
Heather Champ's Fabulous Elsewhere
link list); in other words, don't expect that feature of Unbillable Hours to go anywhere. Even if Unbillable Hours goes
somewhere beyond Typepad. (Can you tell
how ticked off I am with Movable Type today?)
Here's the methodology suggested by Stone for using Delicious to effect this collaborative
noteworthy image collection:
Bookmark noteworthy images using an identical tagging system within Delicious (Stone suggests, and I use, "photoblog-posts").
Consider using the photoblog-posts feed that Delicious automatically creates to see what everyone has linked to in that category.
Of course, the downside to this is that there may be such a
mass jumble of posts that the photoblog-posts
feed becomes useless, an overwhelming list of links that no one will go through
in its entirety. However, I still think
it's worth giving this idea a shot. I'll continue to create my formal Picture Envy posts, because I like the idea of actively pointing people to posts I like, rather than merely creating a link list. Still, the link list acts as a working notebook, which is valuable as well.
Update: Formatting fixed after cutting and pasting from MS Word. Typepad misunderstood the spaces between words as Tabs.
Update 2: (12/20/04) Okay, I am officially addicted to using Delicious. It's probably precisely the sort of thing I should not use, being a compulsive link aggregator. Once again, here's the link to my Delicious page.
Since last week was focused, to some extent, on New York, I figured I'd stick to a more Jersey-centric Picture Envy this week. So, let me give you a list of the active NJ photobloggers I've been able to find. I've skipped those that appear to have not posted within two months, and I haven't picked favorites (as encouraging NJ photoblogging would be enough for me), but this list is a good start:
The next time you feel compelled to analyze the political meaning of music, just consider this: how many people must hide their secret embarassment that, in the eighties, they tried to engage in discourse over After the Fire's Der Komissar?
The freedom to criticise ideas, any ideas - even if they are
sincerely held beliefs - is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.
A law which attempts to say you can criticise and ridicule ideas as
long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed.