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 emotional images.
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.us here (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
640x480.net 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.
Visual Gratification – Starburst
Visual Gratification 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.