Entries in photography (6)


Holes in Things

After scoring this varsity letter at the Golden Nugget flea, I found myself sifting through a dusty box of old photographs. Nothing really struck me (it was mostly pics of Persian rugs and sculpture, perhaps from an archive at a museum) until I came across this photo.

It stopped me in my tracks. On the back, it had a big official-looking stamp: "Nuclear Tests, Nevada, 1962."

I got home, did a little research, and figured out that it's the Sedan Crater at the Nevada Test Site near Area 51. I got it for a buck.

It's terrifying and beautiful all at once. I just can't stop thinking about it.


Relationships in Need of Repair

In the summer of 2011, on the floor of a bathroom, I damaged a really good, really healthy, really important relationship.

Thing is, I'm someone who knows better. I am experienced, and I am careful, and I am considerate. I am gentle, when necessary. Someone even recently told me that I am very "present," and I believe that's true. But sometimes, like all of us, I do things that screw things up. Royally. Like jewel-in-the-crown, drape-it-in-fur, call-it-your-majesty, purple-like-Prince royal.

During a visit to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, I took a pit stop after seeing an exhibit curated by John Waters. (Said pit stop and Waters' artistic taste were not related, FYI.) Like any lady, I had my bag on me. And like me, I had my camera on me. As you do, I had to hang up both items on the single hook that a ladies' bathroom tends to provide a lady, if that lady is lucky. As luck would have it, as I was exiting the stall, the bag made it back to my shoulder. The camera, however, fell fast, bottom first, to the floor (and you know a bathroom at Walker is tiled in some hard, high-quality stuff, y'all).

Glass: everywhere. Me: panicking, and also grossed out by a bathroom floor. Quickly, though, I realized that the shards were from a filter I had affixed to the front of my (favorite) lens, and not the lens itself. Relieved but still anxious, I cleaned it up and rushed out to survey the real damage.

The camera still seemed to work. The lens was intact and reacting properly--it dragged at first, but then felt okay. The loss of the filter was no biggie. I continued to take pictures throughout the trip and through the summer.

Slowly, however, I started to notice that something was off. My camera and I weren't in sync. My photos, while acceptable, weren't totally working for me. I thought it might be the lens, and, after taking it into a repair shop, I found out I was right. The lens had been bent, but could be tweaked for a fee. I forked it over and hoped for the best.

The first several months after that were, admittedly, better. I went on a few trips, and she came too. We had fun--maybe not as much as before, but we made do. I took her exploring in the neighborhood and out to restaurants. We went to more museums. We avoided bathrooms.

Soon, though, we were struggling. The focus was shifting; things weren't so clear. It wasn't working--and it's still not. We're off and fuzzy and weird. These days, I think the problem wasn't just in her eyes; the real issue lies within her body. Her aging, tired, slightly broken body.

As a result, I avoid her like the plague. We stare down each other like bitter former lovers. I'm all, "Oh, hey, what's up" and she's like, "It all ended because you stopped touching me," and I'm like, "You weren't who I thought you were." And then she says something to the effect of, "We weren't clicking," and I openly judge her because I'm a professional writer and I don't approve of plays on words like that. (And THAT'S a lie, because I clearly do and am just being defensive.)

To try to improve my situation, I gave something else a go. I got all modern and decided to commit to the perky little camera on my iPhone. It's younger and sexier. It doesn't weigh me down. I like to show it off and introduce it to my friends. My mom likes it; my dad LOVES it. It sings me songs and helps me pay my bills. It has an app for that. And it gets the job done.

Except that it doesn't. It's not the same, and I've got to quit kidding myself. I've stopped doing things that are important to me--taking thoughtful pictures, writing lengthy posts to accompany them here on my blog--because I've let my old lady go, and the now-freelance me sort of fears the cost of what it would take to get her back. But I was more myself with her around, so I'm going to fix this mess--or at least find a way to pay someone else to. I miss the real deal something fierce, and I hope you'll stick around as we get our act together. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, follow my little fling on Instagram, won't you?



Still Reading: Paris in Color

Let's pretend like it's six months ago and I am posting regularly, being all good and talking about things that are cool and acting like I know stuff. Because I did know stuff six months ago. I was just sort of on hiatus. (You know why; let's not rehash it again today. Maybe tomorrow.)

Here's something that I DID know that I didn't get to share: my friend Nichole Robertson continues to be amazing. Back in the spring, her photos of Paris were published by Chronicle Books in a gorgeous gift of a book that's currently got a place of honor on my coffee table. Paris in Color is, to quote the back cover:

"A fresh, 'oh!'-inducing look at the palette of a city we only thought we knew. Paris in Color encourages us to think again."

(Now, if you can tell me who said that quote, I'll personally buy and send you a copy of this awesome book for YOUR coffee table. First person to leave the correct answer in my comments section wins. And if no one comments, I'm just buying another copy of the book for myself. It's that lovely.)

(Hint: It's not the quote by Holly Becker from Decor8, although she's hanging back there, too.)

Get your copy of the book here, and then be sure to take a quick stop by the Paris Print Shop. "Regarde le Ciel" is one of my favorite prints of all time!


Tuesday's Pick: Holga iPhone Lens 

— I think my head just exploded. —


Visit Photojojo

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Red Hook Really Speaks to Me

I don't know what it is about my friend Kristin, but every other time I am with her, I somehow spy cool graffiti that I just must capture on camera (case in point: she was with me when I took these photos just last month).

These latest pics are from a trip to the Brooklyn nabe of Red Hook over the long weekend. And, um, how awesome is the Hook's smarty-pants graffiti?

Preach it, Red Hook.


Carl Kleiner!

Confession #1: I am generally not a fan of blogs that just post and re-post content from other blogs. I like originality-ish! Creativity-ish! Something new-ish!

Confession #2: I totally discovered photographer Carl Kleiner this week on another site: Mirror Mirror. And as soon as I Googled his name, I realized that everyone from design*sponge to KRISATOMIC has covered him in the past few months.

But can you blame me for repurposing this inspiring work? It's so clean and cool. It feels new. And I always dig things that feel witty and weird and wonderful.

So, whatever. I'm That Blog today. But I have a feeling you'll like this stuff anyway. (-:

All images by Carl Kleiner