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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just Mellow Here

"Being a photographer is making people look at what I want them to look at." ~ Ruth Orkin


I'm working on my book about the Mission (damn, gotta love that blurb!), listening to my Aimee Mann CD again (and hoping some of you will make me a mix CD of your favorite smart girls). Smelling the marijuana that comes through the vent next to my desk, from the guy upstairs. (He must have a hydroponic farm up there--this is a nightly occurrence.)

And I'm sitting here, kinda laughing, because if you never looked at any other photos of San Francisco except for mine, you'd think that the city was completely decrepit and falling to pieces.

I guess maybe it is (or at least the parts of the city I happen to take photos in).


"All photography is propaganda." - Martin Parr

This urban decay sure fascinates me. Lucky this book is not a scratch-n-sniff though. Some of these places look cool on paper, but in real life, the smells could knock you over. The "nicer" parts of town don't have the urine smells, but they also don't make for very interesting photos, either.


The other day, Amber and I were just beside ourselves discovering battered doors, peeling paint layers and general disintegration. I told her about a favorite ancient keyhole I found, backlit perfectly to show the myriad of spiderwebs inside, and she shared her love of rust and how she befriended all of the graffiti artists in Salt Lake City.

Who knew that taking a bunch of photos would lead to such bizarre admiration?


Also, I found a really fantastic site for photography quotes, which might be inspiring to some of you, my fellow photography mavens.
That's all. Nitey nite.


OH! I remember what I wanted to tell you. Those of you who preordered your Chinatown book with me, the shipment came in! So now I'm just working on your special thank you prints to send, and then I'll be popping your books in the mail.

I can't believe I forgot. It must be the second-hand pot smoke.


Christina October 16, 2008 at 7:35 AM  

Maybe you should listen to some Bob Marley while you're working on your book! : ) Yikes!

I am so excited to get my book! The mail man is starting to look at me as though I am crazy!

Anonymous October 16, 2008 at 7:54 AM  

You are just sooooo focused, except when you're not. And even then you're just flippin' brilliant.


smith kaich jones October 16, 2008 at 8:04 AM  

I keep the following Ansel Adams quote right here - yes - right there!! - on the wall in front of me where I can always see it & it keeps me humble. Plus I deal with photographers all day long & it helps me to just keep my mouth shut when my brain is thinking all sorts of bad things. It's from an interview he gave to some magazine a zillion years ago & I have had it up ever since.

"Photography (and photographers) are infected by the cheap, the tawdry, the superficial, and the easy to a degree impossible in any other art form." ~ Ansel Adams

I figure he should know!

:) Debi

paris parfait October 16, 2008 at 3:25 PM  

I just think things that aren't perfect are the most interesting. They have history and character - and often integrity -that even brand-new buildings can't match. Am looking forward to that book! xoxox

tangobaby October 16, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

Hi christina,

Bob Marley! LOL. That's all I need. No wonder I keep craving popcorn.

I have to mail it first, honey. Don't scare your mailman!


Hi johanna,

I just see me as a person in old sweats, eating popcorn and screwing around on the computer. Thank you for seeing me in a different light!


Hi debi,

That is a fantastic quote. I can see where I'm certainly overtaken with my own "talent" at times. I will try to remember this too.

ps. Ansel Adams childhood house is nearby in the Seacliff neighborhood of SF. The boy took me to see the house once. He called it "my little pilgrammage."


Hi paris parfait,

Yes, defects, quirks and imperfections all make a photo subject much more interesting to me. Now why can't I find that appealing in real life?

smith kaich jones October 16, 2008 at 4:05 PM  

Tango - my nearest neighbor/landlord was Ansel's personal assistant for a couple of years, as he was studying photography his ownself. He has a a signed model's release from Ansel for a photo he took of him. It's framed & hanging right next to Ansel's portrait. Very cool.