Here are some longer pieces I wrote for the Don’s Photo Blog this summer.
Those that can’t… write tutorials about how to do it.
Speaking of photography, I finally went out last night with my new Pentax K-3. It was dark before Wendy and I left the house so using a new camera with only the light of street lights was fun but I was happy with the results… you know the results that I could see.
The New York Times Magazine profiles Robert Frank, one of the world’s most influential photographers.
Frank left his family behind in 1955 and went off to see Miami, Los Angeles and 10,000 miles in between through the windshield of a black Ford Business Coupe. He packed two cameras, many boxes of film (kept in a bag to protect them from the sun), trunks, French brandy (‘‘Sometimes you need a little drink; it changes your attitude’’), AAA road atlases and one book, which was really a map of another kind, Evans’s ‘‘American Photographs.’’ Evans and others had suggested destinations like the Gullah communities of the south Atlantic coast, but Frank was often spontaneous.
The first destination was Michigan. ‘‘I went to Detroit to photograph the Ford factories, and then it was clear to me I wanted to do this. It was summer and so loud. So much noise. So much heat. It was hell. So much screaming.’’
As Frank searched for pictures, he stayed in cheap motels: ‘‘You’d always find them down by the river.’’ The first stop in a new town was usually a Woolworth’s department store. His favored shooting settings were public — sidewalks, political rallies, drive-ins, churches, parks. He wanted to find the men and women others would consider unremarkable, as well as the symbols and objects that defined them. Falling into a place-to-place rhythm, he took pictures of bystanders, vagrants, newlyweds, Christian crosses, jukeboxes, mailboxes, coffins, televisions, many cars, and those many flags.
It was an investigation, and in every frame there is pent-up atmosphere, pressure in the air, a sense of somebody’s impending exposure — maybe Frank’s. ‘‘Photography can reveal so much. It’s the invasion of the privacy of the people.’’ Accordingly, there was an element of tradecraft. ‘‘I felt like a detective or a spy. Yes! Often I had uncomfortable moments. Nobody gave me a hard time, because I had a talent for not being noticed.’’
It’s a great profile, you will want to read the entire piece.
The weekend that was: On Sunday everyone wanted to do something so I told them to get into the car, we drove to Costco and then I told them that we were going to Moose Jaw. Instead I drove north to Prince Albert (and no one got it until the turn off just outside of Prince Albert). We refuelled there and then went to Waskesiu before heading to the Grey Owl’s Cabin trailhead.
It was eerily free of wild life but then a ruffled grouse wandered across my path and managed to stay deep enough in the shadows that I couldn’t get a good photo. As soon as it was just about to wander into site, Wendy and Mark came down the trail noisy enough that people in Prince Albert complained. The grouse was gone.
On the way back home we noticed a large herd of elk chilling out on the Waskesiu Golf Course. Their first round of the year?
We then were stared down by some whitetail deer at the park entrance. It was a great day.
The only bad thing was that we bought a bag of stale Cheezies at the Shell gas station in Prince Albert. Disgusting
On my to-do list this week: Off to Winnipeg on Tuesday. If you see me at 5:00 a.m. in the Saskatoon Airport and I don’t say hi, it’s because I am still asleep.
Book I’m in the midst of: Hidden Cities by Moses Gates
How I’m feeling about this week: Can’t wait for the nicer weather so we can get the hike to Grey Owl’s completed.
I took this photo while walking with Wendy through Mount Royal Park near Howard Coad School. Â After uploading it to Flickr, it was was viewed by a couple of thousand people and selected by Flickr to be a part of Explore.Â
Weird thing is that I donâ€™t think that highly of it but Flickr disagrees. Â
For those of you who care about these kind of things, it was taken with my Pentax K-30 and the smc Pentax 35mm DA f/2.4 lens.