Category Archives: photographs

Forgive me, father, for I have sinned….

That’s kind of what it feels like, cracking open the blog after a protracted absence. “And why is that, son?”

“Uh…I’ve been writing a play?”

Yeah, mostly. The thing’s called “An Actively Unoccupied House,” and it’s a two-act ghost story that I like a lot, and I hope is both funny and spooky. We shall see.

I would address politics, but the thought of it makes me want to slam my head in a dresser drawer. The bottom one. I can’t address the culture because I’ve been AWOL while writing a play. The thing I have been doing, besides scribbling, is taking pictures. Sometimes, I think I’m actually somewhat kinda sorta decent at it, or at least it’s pleasing me. It’s also been something to do while walking the dog (Dooley, our Shetland Sheepdog).

In fact, Deb and I will sometimes pick out part of the city, leash up the dog, and go on an “expedition,” checking out neighborhoods for pictures–in my case, mostly photographing old houses and buildings. (If you have any suggestions, let me know. The period that fascinates me runs from about 1850 to 1910 in Portland. I’ve been shooting a lot on the eastside, not as much in the west, excepting Downtown and Northwest Portland.) In a broad way, I am working on a series addressing Portland’s history, but it’s rather nebulous right now.

Anyway, here’s a picture taken on one of our expeditions. People seem to enjoy when I write about a photo and present it, so I’m going to go with that for awhile. You can see my portfolio, such as it is, a flickr (see the link below). Continue reading


Photographica: Storm Edge


Storm Light 2
Shot on the cusp of a massive wind and rain storm. Birds wheeling in massive flocks, trying to find stable trees to land on. The barometer dropping and dropping. That weird ozone feel to the air, like you haven’t entirely awakened…and you know it. The air takes on a slight metallic taste. At this point, the wind hasn’t really started, but it’s on the way. Shortly.

I ride the bus most workdays, but I seldom shoot from the windows. People become uneasy when you take out a camera on public transportation—it’s an artificially private zone, and a camera violates that anonymity (no matter how great Walker Evans is). This, however, I couldn’t pass up. Storms may be massively destructive—and this one did its damage—but the skies…the skies become stunning. To my eye, the thick, dirty bus windows and reflections seemed to add to that feeling of unreality. It feels like a cross between a dream memory and a frame from a Wim Wenders film—low, fast-moving clouds and the magic hour.

There’s a lot wrong with the image. A second earlier or later might have made it a better composition. The exposure’s off. But it kind of works because it’s wrong. It’s close to what my eyes saw, as they saw it. And the image has not been tweaked, other than some sharpening and clarity applied.

I’ve been through worse storms (including a couple of hurricanes), but, still, I knew I’d never see this view the same way, and I pass it five days per week: exhilarating, with just a hint of fear. Where the best pics come from.

[Shot with a Canon 70D, with a 18mm – 55mm Canon zoom.]

 


Becoming a Photographer Again

Like many, I take pictures. Or, more precisely, I make pictures: a photograph begins with capture of the image–the point at which you bring your vision (as such), your camera equipment, and your knowledge together to freeze a moment. A whole other process takes over following that.

Since I’ve been around awhile, I started out with film. It’s both a glorious and inflexible medium. For one thing, it inserts a lag: from the time you take the pictures to the time you develop them or get them back from the lab. That excepts Polaroid, which develops in your hand–which is why commercial photographers Continue reading


A Pause for Station Identification

Smile for the damned birdie.

The Internet is a strange little butterfly: you never know where it might land next. Out of all the blather I’ve poured into this blog, one of the all-time favorite posts (with the most views), is Photography + Music = Art, a handful of photographs I took in my guitar studio, marrying two of my passions, music and photography.

I don’t whether it’s the music, the photography, or the chemistry between the two, but, if it’s the photography, I should mention that splattworks has a companion blog, splattsights, which addresses my photo work. I’ve been taking photographs for years, almost as long as I’ve been writing, and had stuff published, hung in galleries, etc. If anyone wants to check out what I’ve been up to there. It need to get back to the program and put up some new stuff; like most photographers, I have an embarassing number of images in the files. (Obviously, I need to take more pictures of guitars.)

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming…tune in this evening for Bombardment: Episode 7.

thx/sp


Back from Italia…

…and still getting my sea legs, adjusting to a bunch of changes, news, weirdness. In the meantime, I have a wealth of pictures. I’m sure there’s more to come, but here’s a taste. The G10 performed magnificently.


The Other Art

Though it’s been a big writing year, I kept active as a photographer as well. Here’s some stuff I liked from 2008.

Steve