Always a rough draft…
October 17, 2010
A walk in process
A walk in process
I walk my dog everyday…sometimes 4 times, at least 2. While I’m walking her I think about life and about taking pictures. All of the pictures I’ve taken seem to gang up on me in my mind, each of them in a circle, shouting “NO! Pick me, I’m great” or “why the fuck did you take me, I suck,…I didn’t ask to be born.” Pictures are like babies, there are already too many. I take pictures anyways and then don’t know what to do with them.
Moving forward, on my daily walks, each step I take on the cruddy sidewalk, I get closer to the next moment, the next thing I see. My dog stops to pee. When she’s done I say “good girl.” Several times on each block we stop to do the obedience drill, “Nova, sit!, no, sit!, good girl!, now down, no, down, all the way down, good girl…heal” then we keep walking. She knows I’m in charge now. I reflect about the pictures I took over the summer on the way to Kansas City and how most of them I don’t like; the ones I shot with the Pentax. The 4×5 pictures are better. My Mamiya 7 was in the shop and it hurt me both financially and on the documentation of my road trip. The Mamiya7 changed the way I shoot entirely. I shot good pictures with my Pentax 6×7 too at one time. I loved that camera. It was annoying when I would meet other photographers and they would ask me what I shot with and when I responded, “Oh, a Pentax 6×7,” some would shnarkily say, “oh, I shoot with a Mamiya.” Pretentious fuckers. I hate photographers…some of them. I know some I like too… but, anyways…now I also have a Mamiya . It was by accident though. A good friend and artist friend gave me a killer deal on his Mamiya 7 with a lens and that camera has helped me shoot better, for how I shoot now.
I was walking with Nova near my home in Bed-stuy the other day and had my camera. It was about a half an hour before dusk. There was the most beautiful light hitting this tree. I can’t remember what street on off Bedford I was, but the sunlit tree and silvery sky caught my eye and I walked down the street to photograph the electric tree. Some old dude was scowling at me from behind his fence. I don’t know if it was because he didn’t like my dog or if I just looked like another trendy fucker with a camera. Maybe it was neither or both. I often have great conversations and am treated well in my neighborhood so I try not to take it too hard when the opposite happens. Doesn’t matter what he thinks. I asked him if he noticed the light on the tree. I don’t know why…maybe I just wanted to explain what I was doing. He stared at me blankly as I walked away.
I just keep walking, and even if I walk down the same block every day, nothing ever stays the same. I think about all the pictures I’m going to show for critique next week and what they mean. Viscerally the images mean so much to me, but how do I tell others. I’m not trying to think of something smart do to so I can further the “conversation.” Although, I was told that I do have a responsibility to advance something. I’m trying to think of a way to convey some thing sincere and almost intangible, something that I don’t even know if I’m allowed to talk about even if I knew exactly how. I’m tired of people trying to make the perfect picture….it’s so tiring. Pictures like life are always in transformation.How can a picture stay the same?…the color, the size, it’s meaning as perception is always changing. I liked the part in the John Cage writing, “Lecture on Nothing” where he just went on and on about how we are getting nowhere, slowly getting no where. I found this page on the internet where he is quoted as saying, “There is poetry as soon as we realize we possess nothing.” I feel like I try to possess so much.
I’m have to write more later…I have too much crap to do……