WPPD – Selfie! and a little venting.

Photography, Thoughts and Opinions

I suppose I might as well continue with my pinholday pinhole photos. This is the 4th photo from that day that I liked. It has become a habit to make the last roll on my Terrapin* an arms length selfie and I like to grab whoever is with me to play along. In this case we have my buddies (clockwise from myself on the left) Remko, Brendan, and Inge . What a fun day that was! Looking forward to next year’s meetup in San Francisco!

Geeky Bits:

Camera: Terrapin Bijou, Incher configuration
Film: Ektar 100
Exposure time: 5 seconds


Mini rant:

So yesterday I made the mistakes of reading the comments on a Petapixel post that compared a film photo and a digital photo (I know, I know. Don’t read the comments). There was the inevitable “Who shoots film these days” comment, and there were several people defending the use of film with the “who uses film these days” guy brushing off the arguments and not listening. Typical online argument.

I found myself in a similar predicament in real life a few months ago. I was explaining my pinhole photography to someone and mentioned that I used film (“You can still buy film?!?”) and she couldn’t understand why I would use film. She then proceeded to list all of the ways film fails to digital and I found myself in a discussion where I had to defend my use of film. It kind of sucked. And I didn’t feel like having this kind of discussion so I changed the subject. But I think about it a lot, especially when the film vs. digital topic comes up. Here is what I have to say to people who are so vehemently against the use of film photography:

  1. Why do you care? What does it matter if I use film or if I don’t use film? What does my creative medium of choice matter so much to you? Why can’t you focus on your creative medium of choice and I will focus on mine and we can respect each other’s work, instead of nitpick the way we approach it.
  2. Artists in other mediums don’t have this heated debate, so why should photographers? People who draw digitally don’t disparage those who draw with a paper and a pencil and vice versa.  People who write using a computer don’t care if someone is writing a manuscript using a pen and paper. I mean, seriously, who fucking cares what medium is used to produce the art? What matters is the outcome. And why should one artist waste their time worrying about how another artist produces their creation.

The Digital Vs. Film argument is stupid. Just stop it already.

/end rant

*Incidentally, the first photo I took with this camera was an arms length selfie!

Self On Lake Shore


self on lake shore (pinhole)

Today’s photoblog is a pinhole self portrait I took a few weeks ago at Trillium Lake. It is my first paper negative. I have since made several more images using photographic paper and I’m really enjoying learning how to do this. I will post more about this in a future blog post.

I might have mentioned that I really love doing pinhole self portraits. I don’t know why, but the why is not really important I guess.* The point is that I am drawn to this kind of photography.

I have been reading The Diary Of Anaïs Nin and am very much inspired by it. It reminds me that I used to write more about myself and my life on this blog and I miss it. I might return to that kind of writing here (in addition to the photography, of course).

And, while we are on the subject of self reflection, I think that this will be the first of a series of pinhole self portraits for awhile on my photo blog.


Geeky bits
Camera: Zero Image 4×5 25mm configuration
Paper: Illford RC glossy (I think?)
Development: Illford multigrade developer 1 minute 20 seconds.

A Rant about cancer “awareness” on Facebook

Pink Ribbon chocolate lollipops for Breast Can...

Image via Wikipedia

Every so often (Well, more than that. Like every other day) a status update will pop up on my Facebook feed that says something like this:

Please do me a favor. Only some of you will do this and you know who you are. If you or anyone you know has battled (or died of) cancer put this up as your status update for an hour (or some other bullshit time limit). I hope all of my friends will post this, but most of you won’t.

Or something to that effect.

OR, even worse, I will see a vague message from my female friends, a secret code that only “we” are supposed to know about and that is supposed to make the men wonder what the fuck drug we are all on. Example:

I am eleventy billion weeks and craving Tootsie Rolls

Or what have you. I still don’t know what THAT one is all about. I was told this was supposed to be about Breast Cancer awareness. But how does this make anyone aware of anything? Except how fucking inane my Facebook feed is?

And let’s talk about cancer awareness. I don’t know about you but I could spend a great deal of time counting how many people in my life – directly or indirectly connected to me,   have died of cancer. As you know (if you read this blog) I watched somebody I love die of this horrific disease. I saw it completely ravage his body in the year before he succumbed to it. I fucking am VERY AWARE of cancer. Thank you very much.

So may I suggest, instead of posting vague status updates and inane copy and paste messages, that you actually DO SOMETHING worthwhile about it? Like maybe donate to cancer research? Here is a good place to start:

National Lung Cancer Partnership

And if Lung Cancer isn’t your thing here is a list of other cancer charities that might be:

Runners World: Cancer Charities with a Running Connection

On being a cog in the machine

Tina Weymouth playing bass guitar with Talking...

Image via Wikipedia

Did I mention that I really like Natalie Goldberg? I do. Today I read about how she has dozens of notebooks filled with crap from when she lived in Taos and felt like she had nothing to write about but she wrote anyway because somewhere under that surface ennui there is something that needs to come out. That is exactly how I feel at the moment. I feel like I am supposed to write. I’m a frustrated writer working as a librarian. I am not doing the job I feel I was put on this earth to do. But I am so out of practice that I don’t know even where to begin. So I am going to just write crap until it becomes natural. Until good stuff comes out.

So lets talk about that ennui. I feel numb on the surface. I feel like I’m just drifting through life like a ghost. I am a cog in the machine. And I don’t like it at all. I want to be doing something. Anything. Traveling. Inventing. Coming up with brilliant things to say. But I’m not doing that. I’m just a cog. I’m a nobody. Just a worker bee. A rat in a cage.

What the hell happened with my life? “how did I get here,” to quote Talking Heads. How? When I was in my early twenties I had big dreams. I had things to say. I had something inside of me that wanted to come out. I felt creative. Somewhere along the way that feeling was deadened inside of me. I’m 40 now and I have become like everyone else. A working stiff. A zombie. How does this happen? How dare society take those dreams away from me! I am bitter about this.

Why have I let societal pressure decide my fate? It’s like the whole buying a house thing. I thought, for years, that I had to buy a house. My dream was to buy a house. I wasn’t a human being until I bought a house. So I bought a house. I moved away from my favorite fucking place in the whole world, moved back to a place that I loathe, so that I could buy a fucking house. And what did I learn? That a house is not the be all and end all. A house is not, by any stretch of the imagination, going to make me happy at all. And it doesn’t. In fact, it kind of causes me more pain than pleasure. It feels like a ball and chain. I don’t care about the security. I would rather not have to deal with all of the responsibility of owning a house. Now I’m stuck in Spokane because I bought my fucking house. BFD. So, yeah, that so-called “American dream” is a piece of shit. I was totally duped into that. that’s for sure.

Note from the future (9.9.2011): post goes on, venting and blathering. We’ll just delete and end it here. There. All better. 

The man in the bathroom


Last night right before we closed the library a man was found, collapsed, in the Mens bathroom. The fire department were called. The Paramedics came. Apparently the man wouldn’t let them help him. He kept pushing them away. My co-worker had to unscrew the door to the stall he was in to get to him. As he was propping the guy up he started to lunge at my coworker. There was a bottle of Whiskey sitting next to him. It looked like it was unopened.

As we were closing I noticed that there was a jacket, gloves, and a bike helmet sitting on one of the chairs next to the window. After some discussion, we thought it might belong to the man, who was now being put on a gurney. So I went out to them and asked a Fireman if these could be his things. He said, “they probably are” and then took the things from me.

I looked at the man. He was probably about my age. In his late 30s, early 40s. He looked like anyone. He didn’t look like someone I would associate with being a drunk. He didn’t look homeless. He just looked like a normal. guy.

I felt really bad for him. He was hurting bad enough to do this to himself and I just felt really bad. The Policeman who was there, on the other hand, was less than compassionate. He laughed at him and joked about it with the Fireman. Treated the guy like a loser. I just thought it was really cruel, the way the man was treated by the “authorities.” Clearly the man is sick and needs help. Treating him like he’s not a human being doesn’t help. Granted the man was fighting any attempt at help but that doesn’t matter.

This is what I hate about the cops in this town, and maybe in general. It’s this general lack of compassion. It seems kind of common around here with people. There is a news site that allows comments on their stories and the things that are said about vicitms are utterly horrifiying. Blame the victim. It’s the victim’s fault for being out that early in the morning (in response to someone getting mowed down by a car, dragged for a mile, and dying), The man who committed suicide is a self righteous asshole for killing himself. I’m so sick of this attitude.