Thursday, August 28, 2008
Realizing now that I should have mentioned this earlier, but the awesome self-portraitist Katie West is having what she swears is her LAST online print sale, and it's been extended to Friday August 29. Visit her journal to see what photos she's offering, and take advantage of the absurdly low price of $10 a print, plus postage. Seems like a great investment to me.
Katie's book, Low Self-Esteem, is out now, too, and it's full of her trademark images -- moody, playful, dreamy, but always beautiful.
You won't find the image at the top of this entry for sale in her journal, or in her book. It's one that I shot of her last year when I had the opportunity to work with her. Hoping to make that happen again soon!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Events and conversations of the past few days, weeks, months have led me to question almost every aspect of myself as a photographer, and as a person.
There was a song by Joe Jackson a number of years back (I'd probably be shocked if I looked up just how long ago... jeez, 1988?) called "You Can't Get What You Want 'Til You Know What You Want" which was an unwieldy title for a pop song, and at the time, it seemed kind of stupidly obvious. I was just out of college at the time, so of course, I knew everything back then.
Nowadays I'm not so sure.
Seems lately people have been asking "what do you want?" in the sense of what direction do I want to take with my life, and what I want to get out of it, and I guess what do I want to leave as a legacy, if such a thing is possible. I remember my Dad talking about how "values clarification" was the key to everything, in the sense that figuring out what's important to you is the first step to pursuing that.
At the same time, I'm having trouble figuring "what do I want?" in more immediate situations, too. What do I want to achieve this year? Where do I want to live? Do I want to attend this event, or take part in that? Where do I want my work seen? What do I want to sell it for? Do I want to be a photographer for hire? What do I want to achieve with tonight's shoot? Even a simple question of "what do I want for lunch?" is rarely clear cut.
I'm also one to immediately dismiss my wants as either stupid, impractical or unattainable, which doesn't help in achieving them.
Recently, I stumbled onto a reference to the concept of the Fox and the Hedgehog, taken from the Greek poet Archilochus. It contends "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Do I want to be a fox or a hedgehog? I guess at this point, I'd have to say I'm a fox, in that my life is so divided and various aspects rise and fall in importance and influence. Or maybe that's just being a dilettante. But maybe I need to figure out what that one big thing is for me. (You can also refer to Curly's "One thing" from the City Slickers movies.)
At 45, I'm probably past the midpoint of my life, and may be at a good time to sort it out and chart a course. And also in my photography... I guess I've been something of a "fox" in that regard, dividing my time between studio and location work, nudes and portraits and even glamourish, color and black and white, and a variety of stylistic approaches. Looking around, it seems that the "hedgehogs" may be on the right track... photographers who have developed a readily identifiable "signature style" and to an extent staked their claim to that style -- although it sometimes seems to me like they've put all their eggs in that one basket, so to speak. Or I have established that style and don't recognize it because I'm so close to it?
All of this aimless pondering is newly complicated by a situation that happened recently, in that a couple of friends of mine were put in something of a bad situation, indirectly triggered by me taking pictures in their home. I don't want my friends to deal with that kind of fallout in return for being generous to me.
I don't want drama, but I don't want to be clueless about my personal surroundings nor oblivious to situations that may concern me. So, where do I go from here?
What do I want?
Friday, August 22, 2008
Listening to the audiobook of The Wrecking Crew by Thomas Frank, which is just a staggering account of how the "conservative" movement has been working from within to destroy the functions of the US government so they could be privatized and plundered. Really worth checking out if you're political at ALL, especially if you consider yourself a conservative -- you can see what's being done in your name.
We've seen various huge, obvious examples of it over the past few years -- huge tasks the military used to do itself have been outsourced to private contractors, the effort to divert social security funds into the stock market, dismantling FEMA from being a highly efficient operation to a blundering bunch of criminal sub-sub-contractors, with nobody accountable to anyone. Frank's book shows how it's happening throughout the government.
It occurred to me at one point, and Franks later confirmed it, that some of these "conservatives" have such hatred of the government and are SO far to the right, they are wrapping around the spectrum to practically being anarchists. It's a really grim prospect. Seems my best option for surviving it is to create some bogus non-profit "foundation" like the "Free Americans United for Freedom" or something and start sending out urgent fund-raising letters, promising contributors that the foundation is dedicated to "uniting free Americans in the defense of freedom" which is obviously something that is frail and under attack. Care to contribute? Simply click here.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The friends of Katie Reider who are running the 500Kin365.org tribute site posted this video montage that was played at Katie's memorial service. Bittersweet would be the word for it...
Katie Reider Through the Years
You can still go to the site and contribute a buck or so to help out... thanks.
Here's Alkemie Jane, by the stove in her kitchen. Is it a gas stove? I don't recall.
Read more about political gaslighting in "State of Confusion"... heard a great interview with the author on the Jeff Farius Show. If you want to give it a listen, right click here to download a free MP3 of the July 13 episode of the show, then jump to about 1 hour 28 minutes into it. To read more about "gaslighting" in general, check the Wiki.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I'd just aimlessly picked up the book at the library, but have found it fascinating reading, so if you're of that certain age and music scene, I'd suggest picking it up yourself. It's also prompted me to revisit my Galaxie 500 and Luna records, and I've had part of the song "Slide" in my head for a couple weeks now... enjoy.
But you know, hidden thoughts
Poison life, poison life.
But you know, hidden feelings
You steal from yourself.
-- Luna "Slide"
Friday, August 15, 2008
Anyway, I chose this image because I'm still considering if the idea of an erotic blog or specific erotic MM portfolio would be a good idea, make it easier to communicate with models regarding that kind of project without "scaring away" those who would not be open to it.
Any thoughts kind readers? Anyone actually reading? "Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?"
Posted by Gary M Photo at 2:38 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ask anyone who's spent the night in the same BUILDING as me, and they'll tell you I snore like a man possessed by demons. Recently had a model stay overnight on the couch at the opposite end of the house, with me behind a closed door, and she still opted to sleep with her iPod earbuds in, quietly playing classical music to drown me out.
Posted by Gary M Photo at 1:42 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
A nice muted color shot of Tiana Hunter... something about her seems to cry out for subdued tones... I guess it's that sort of classic vintage look she has to her.
Thanks again, Tiana, for the shoot!
By the way, the Flickr experiment (posting 5 new shots a day) is not generating the results I'd hoped... I believe you need a free membership to view anything containing nudity though. If you want to see a consistent flow of new images from me, do go there, join if you need to, and leave a comment "hey, I read your blog" or something. If I don't get at least a few of those this week, I may not bother with uploading there.
See you there!
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
CuCu Ca Choo... Here's Sarah and Cole again, looking lovely as always.
Just got back from purchasing a "new" car to replace the one that replaced the other one. It's a black Honda Accord about 6 years old, with a ton of miles but it rides like new, and apart from a few minor blemishes, it looks like new, too. Has almost all of the bells and whistles, although I'm hard pressed to figure out how I'll get by without heated mirrors. The salesman did a good job of appearing sincere and helpful and seemed to have a good streak of "screw the man" in him. The price painted on the windshield was quite a bit less than the one on the tag in the window, which he said is because the car had been on the lot a while, and they were going to sell it this weekend, or send it off for auction. Makes me wonder a bit about why it hadn't sold, but I'm guessing the high-ish miles (120K) gave some people second thoughts. So, got it for about 60% of what I was prepared to pay for a new Fit, and it feels like a more substantial car. In some ways, it's really similar to the one I drove for years, but I guess it's hard to improve on perfection. Honda knows how to do it right.
Gotta get new plates, so have to decide if I want my old vanity plate back, a generic plate, or some clever new vanity plate. It's tempting to get something photographic, but that just seems like advertising to thieves that there may be pricey camera gear in the trunk. Guess I'll see what's simplest once I get to the DMV... wonder if they'd actually let me have ARTNUDE? Or is that a little too much like getting a plate that says FREECAN D?
Posted by Gary M Photo at 4:12 PM
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Again, feeling the writer's block. Well, not so much blocked as silenced and stifled. So, here's the always unabashed Italian Kitten.
Oh, Flickr decided my account is "unsafe" which means the little widgets won't work, and that the pictures won't be seen by anyone, but I wilI continue adding shots to the page for the time being. Check it out... it's a mix of stuff -- new and old, favorites and previously unseen images.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
More later... housekeeping has arrived, and I should be heading off to the shoot.