Monday, February 5, 2024


This probably won't be a long post (and the crowd goes wild).  I've picked up a little something, probably on my night out with the boys.  Just a slightly runny nose and a little kennel cough. That might be why I didn't leave the house until it was time to go to my mother's yesterday, but probably not.  It was cloudy, rainy, and generally gloomy.  It wasn't until I had dinner with my mother and cousin that I heard my hoarseness and realized I had a cough and a runny nose.  Maybe it had just developed.  I was determined to take some antihistamine before bed, however, and so I didn't wake up until the room was well lighted.  I haven't slept that long in forever.  

However, I think, it was not the weather or this petty illness that kept me inside.  But I don't want to crack open my pretty little head right now, doc, so let's talk about something else.  

The photo is by Sarah Moon, and, as you know if you have been here for awhile, she is one of my favorite photographers.  I was surprised when I saw this image yesterday, however.  She rarely has a figure without clothing.  This immediately became one of my favorites.  

After seeing this, I went to my computer and pulled up an old image to see if I could do something Moon-like.  I had some ideas.  I worked for about an hour and got something but not "the thing."  I have to think more about it.  Of course Moon always has the most wonderful, simple but graphic sets in her photos, but it is the unreal character she gives to everything that really counts.  

I am loathe to put this into exhibit next to Moon's photo, but I do it only as illustration.  Looking now, I see that the skin tone needs to be less saturated, that it needs a bit of that Polaroid green cast to it.  I also need to figure out how to darken the outline around the figure with bold dark lines.  That may be the long exposure (which mine did not have) and the light source.  I have to keep working, you see, just to understand what she has done.  Then I can incorporate (appropriate) some of her methods with mine.  I want a studio again, of course, so I can make such interesting sets.  It is a lot of work for one person, though.  Moon had a near movie crew at her beck and call.  She didn't produce the final image, either.  They were done by a very expensive imaging group who made Fresson prints (link) of her work.  I've seen how to do it.  You need a warehouse full of equipment.  But I'm clever.  I can figure something out.  

Just before going to mother's, I put the big 135mm Leica lens and adapter back on the new medium format Fuji camera.  I have figured out how to get focus peaking with the third party lenses which means, in layman terms, that I can actually focus with a high degree of accuracy on people and objects.  I stepped out on the deck and snapped off a few "frames" of the usual suspects.  Every one of them popped.  

I am another step closer to magnificence!

To wit: I told the cinema prof at the gym that I would set up some stuff outside and do a simple shoot with him.  He was very happy about that.  He needed some new professional pictures, he said.  I will force myself to do it, but I have an ulterior motive.  I want to photograph his wife.  She wants me to as well.  I simply need people in front of my lens so I can figure out what I'm doing.  But, as always, the impetus is on me.  

BBC.  I need to get some.  

It was dark when I go back to my house last night, but the rain had stopped, the sky clearing in patches while splotches of clouds revealed lightning all about.  I lit a cheroot and poured a whiskey and went to the deck to watch the show.  It reminded me of a time long ago on the 4th of July when my companion and I mistook the lightning for fireworks until the power lines overhead began to sizzle.  "Lightningworks," we called them with frightened laughter.  I've seen such things in whiteouts during mountain climbs at 16,000 feet.  I've seen it in driving rain so hard that I couldn't see the bow of the hove-to boat from the cockpit where I huddled.  And, as I've said too many times here, probably, I have been indirectly hit by lightning strikes three times.  Lightning is scary as hell, but it still fascinates, and I live in the lightning capital of the U.S.  And so I sat and pondered and thought about antihistamines.  

I got a call from Q.  He was on his five minute drive to the grocers.  I had sent him a Vice video from YouTube on "Gravers," what they were calling old ravers.  I was poking the bear, as they say.  "You are probably intimate with all the people in this piece," I said.  As I talked, though, I realized I was transferring my misery to him. . . or attempting to.  I made some other derogatory comments about "his crowd."  When he got to the store and off the phone, I understood that I was becoming a miserable creep, not clever, nor fascinating, nor fun.  

I was getting worse.  

And yet. . . what happens when you go out and have fun with the boys?  That's right. . . you catch a cold. . . or worse.  Best to restrict yourself to a couple of square feet inside the house.  Sit still.  Don't move.  And certainly, don't answer the phone.

At least that seemed to be my philosophy this weekend.  

If I would just shut up and sit in one place and become bitter, it would be fine, but I keep talking, writing, disseminating.  I should quit all this disseminating and join the conversation of the masses--the Grammys, the Oscars, the Emmys, and any show that is on a commercial network I don't currently get.  

"So, Bob, who are you betting on in the Super Bowl?  What!?!  You got tickets!?!?  Well that should be something.  Did you see the Grammy's last night?  Wasn't that amazing?  They did such a good job televising it, I think.  And what about that Taylor Swift, huh?  Oh, yea. . . I liked the Billie Eilish thing, too.  Yea, it's The Time of Women for sure.  Even Jay Z, ya know?  I hear the groundhog didn't see his shadow this year.  I guess we'll have an early spring.  What did you think of the Oscars this year?  Yea, me, too.  Well gosh, man, it is always good to see you.  Do you have any good trips planned?  Really.  Yea, I've skied in Park City many times.  Yea, yea. . . y'all will have fun.  O.K.  I'll see you when you get back.  Say hello to Karen for me.  Give the kids my best."

It's really easy  That shit just rolls off the tongue.  Forget wit.  Forego irony.  Just be as pleasant as an orthodontic smile.  

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