Tuesday, May 26, 2020
I took this photo a long time ago. I came across it going through some old files. Why I am struggling with making pictures like this now is a mystery to me. I think I've looked at too many photos of similar things made by other people now. Maybe I'm trying too hard. I don't know.
I made the image with one of the first ever good digital cameras. By today's standards, they would be extremely low res and slow. I made a lot of good photos, though, with the Olympus E-10 (4mp) and the Leica Digilux 2 (5mp).
Maybe it was the lower resolution that made the images appealing.
After looking at the scans of NYC from back in the oughts, I starting wishing to make some smeary black and white images again. I pulled out my Leica R5 and snapped some photos around the house. Ooo, the click of the shutter and slap of the mirror felt nice. Shooting Tri-X indoors, you get slow shutter speeds and a little camera shake. I find the smear nice. It relaxes me. Focusing is manual, so even in good light, sometimes it is just a little off. Again, I find it appealing. New digital cameras are precise. They are scientific tools. A little less, I think, might be more.
Is that why I am obsessed with buying a medium format digital camera? That's a joke. Those things are crazily detailed. But I want one.
I am very inconsistent.
Last night, rather than watch television, I pulled out a Robert Frank book, "Looking In." It contains every contact sheet from his epic tour of America. I wanted to look at those blurry, imprecise images. I love looking at his contact sheets and deciding what I would have printed. His exposures were mostly off, and there are many blurry images. One looks and feels his pain at having just missed what could have been an epic shot.
I can only look at a few at a time, though, before I get overwhelmed. I've yet to get through them all.
I wish I had a story, kids. It rained all day yesterday. I ate leftover pizza from dinner with my mother the night before for breakfast. The rain slackened a bit, and I decided to go do a little workout and a bit of running in the park. I came home wet and tired and took a long, hot shower. I ate more pizza. The rain continued. I was cozy. I put beans and pork loin chops into the pressure cooker and filled it with wine and spices. The house soon smelled wonderfully of it, Before my usual hour, I called my mother and begged off going over. I was too comfortable, I said. I didn't want to go out into the rain. I poured a glass of wine and read essays by Wayne Koestenbaum, a book gifted to me over the weekend. I found one that reminded me of C.C. and wanted him to read it. Since it was an essay, I thought there might be a minimal chance that it was on the internet, and holy smokes, it was (link). I sent it to him right away. As the cool blue light falling through the windows grew dim, the yellow incandescent lamplight prevailed. I cooked some rice, poured more wine, and sat down to a lone but delicious meal. Outside, dusk lingered. The night stretched out before me like a puzzle. The usual whiskey, bed still some hours away, the promise of some sweets sitting on the dining room table, these were my veiling of the void. There is no story, only a quiet lyric, focused missed, slightly blurry.
I wait for the story's return.