Why are all the photobooths in boston slowly being erased/replaced by the crappy kind that make stickers or have some lame border around them? What happened to the old-school county fair super-saturated quality photobooths?
Its the only way I will ever accept having my photo taken.
Finally borrowed the 35mm film scanner from boss-lady, and have been sorting through old film, most from college, and most of which I've never seen until this week. Got it developed, but never printed because in college, which was hard-to-the-core, we had to do the color darkroom work ourselves. This meant that only the best of the best got printed by yours truly, who is lazy to the max, which also means that some of these photos are utterly better than ones I actually printed, it was just hard to tell squinting over a lightbox with a loupe.
So be impressed that I managed to do something productive in college between ill-advised sexual encounters and epic blow binges that would have put scarface to shame.
Well, apparently I'm good at something, and that something is making etsy treasuries. Now, other than my long-standing dream of owning a little boutique that sells art, home-goods and vintage clothing, I'm not sure how this talent is going to come in handy, but as I think it is a combination of design training, having good taste, and knowing about photographic techniques, I guess you could say that it will come in handy one day, if I ever get a GOD DAMNED JOB.
I took these photos..oh..a million years ago. I'm not a big portrait-taker, I prefer to take landscape, architecture, location-type shots. These were fun to take, though. I need to do more dressing-up these days, as a grown-up. The model in these is Leila. (I just did the color processing of these today, to try out my new Nik Color Efx software. Awesomeness.)
I wanted these to have a sort of dorothy parker, farewell my lovely, noel coward-aesthetic to them.
I became obsessed with Cindy Sherman the first time I heard about her which was, of course, my first semester of college, majoring in Photography at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. (I won't go into, here, why I think majoring in photography was a bad choice for me, just bear with me. It was.)
Cindy Sherman. I think the reason I loved her work so much is that at that point in my life my whole personality was trying desperately to shift--shift into being something that this bigger, cooler, artsier New Yorkier world could embrace. I was trying on a series of costumes. Party Girl, Uptown Intellectual, Bohemian pot-smoker, Party Girl again. Cindy Sherman's work is all about costumes. Its about non-identity at the same time that its about universal identity tropes. Somewhere in there, something rang a bell for me. I was jealous of Cindy Sherman. Artistically and personally stuck, age 19 (and 20 and 21), I connected with the idea of becoming an everywoman of some sort--a film noir actress, a perky, sex-kitten librarian, a booze-soaked Joan-Didion ex-actress rotting away in the Hollywood Hills. These are clearly defined roles, and I wanted one.
But, alas, unless you have the genius of Cindy Sherman to take yourself out of reality and into your own fantasy (or someone else's), you're stuck with you. That's why I find self-portraiture (and portraiture in general) so interesting. Its about identity, always, but it can also be about escapism, or passion, or storytelling, or emotion.
Here are 9 portraits (self and otherwise), taken by some of my favorite Etsy photographers. They speak to a universe of themes, and each one of them, beautiful.
So. Urban exploring. My favorite hobby (I don't consider photography a hobby, otherwise that would win. Obvi.) In case you've never heard of urbexing, here's a the lowdown:
Basically, it involves trespassing into creepy decaying buildings and taking photos (not everyone does the photo part--some people just do it for the thrill and to enjoy the natural beauty.) If you're a risk-taker, you don't get creeped out easily, and you're limber enough to crawl through windows/cracks/whatnot, it's a great hobby. Especially for a photographer. The only real issues one could possibly have with it are a) it involves illegal activity (aka trespassing) // b) the community as a whole is incredibly exclusive and absolutely will not share good info with new-comers, so you have to do a whole lot of research to even find a location to shoot, as well as on possible entry-points and related info (more on this later) // and c) if you watch shows like "ghost hunters" and actually get legit terrified--this is not for you. Most of the locations I've shot at have been abandoned state mental institutions, sanitoriums for tuburculosis patients, and industrial sites. Abandoned psychiatric hospitals can get pretty creepy even if you DON'T believe in ghosts, so you've gotta have a pretty thick skin. Also I've been chased by the cops on more than one occasion (and caught once--but they don't really care as long as you're not trying to tag the place or burn it down.)
So there it is.
I listed three of these photos for sale on etsy today:
I already have a few collections up, including the ones i took at the now-defunct polaroid factory. In my opinion those sets are the most 'fine-art'-ish pictures i've ever taken, and also the only one's I've ever had in gallery shows.
I need to find a new location soon--but I'm running out of places in Mass that I haven't been to, or that haven't been torn down. I'm gonna have to start traveling out of state soon. Darn.