A few days before I failed to go to the show at the SF Legion of Honor, Garrison Kiellor ran the following poem on his daily radio show, which I only heard via podcast later. By further concidence the poet, Howard Nemerov, is the brother of photographer Diane Arbus and uncle of Amy.

(Republished here without permission but with great admiration. Buy the book!)


Unable to get into the Monet show,
Too many people there, too many cars,
We spent the Sunday morning at Bowl Pond
A mile from the Museum, where no one was,
And walked an hour or so around the rim
Beside five acres of flowering waterlilies
Lifting three feet above their floating pads
Huge yellow flowers heavy on bending stems
In various phases of array and disarray
Of Petals packed, unfolded, opening to show
The meaty orange centers that become,
When the ruined flags fall away, green shower heads
Spilling their wealth of seed at summer’s end
Into the filthy water among small fish
Mud-colored and duck moving explorative
Through jungle pathways opened among the fronds
Upon whose surface water drops behave
Like mercury, collecting in heavy silver coins
Instead of bubbles; some few redwinged blackbirds
Whistling above all this once in a while,
The silence else unbroken all about.

What You Choose to See

(C)2006 K Bjorke

I’ve been trying to come up with the best workflow to accomodate both B&W and color digital work.

I think I’ve managed somewhat to come to terms with a seeming paradox in working with B&W: when you’re snapping a pic, obviously the world in front of you — and visible through your viewfinder — is in color. When I work digitally, and of all color photos, I only occasionally feel the urge to remove the color. Yet when I shoot B&W film, I never feel as if the color is somehow “missing.”

My conclusion so far is that the paradox is illusory, a byproduct of the work process and the fact that neither the color photograph or the B&W photograph are the things being photographed. As the old Winogrand saw goes: they’re new facts. Once you see a color photograph, already made, it’s harder to think of it as anything else. Seeing the photograph is a new experience, one that is like seeing the things photographed while photographing, but… not the same. And that this surely has an influence on the way photographs are redacted from contact sheets and so forth. If they start B&W, they are B&W. Color, color.

3 min read

Big Negativity


Part of my weekend was spent scanning the 645 negatives shown here (and the rest of the 220 roll — these are frames 17-20) — somehow they’d fallen through the cracks in my workflow. I found the processed roll sitting in a box atop my monitor, where it had probably been resting since March. Oops.

I just received a new ANR glass for my MFHolder, so it was a good time to try it. The glass mount is a huge improvement over the little “T” holders.

I haven’t run any color neg in quite a while, and have been slowly working-through my stockpile of Ektachrome. Not sure why I bought some NPH back in February, but here it is. I think maybe because I believed it would have better latitude in the snow. Frustratingly, since Calypso stopped running C-41 the closest lab that will take it (and not send it away) is Keeble & Shuchat, half an hour from here.

I think I prefer the E100 after all, but I’ve picked up a couple of rolls of the current Fuji 400 just in case it’s better than the NPH.



A couple of days back I was part of an informal web conversation about “Creative Commons” copyrights (spurred by a publisher who had grabbed CC-marked images off the web and republished them for a profit without clear notification to the owner). A predictable pro-CC argument came up: that somehow using a CC notice, rather than the traditionally-restrictive “All Rights Reserved,” would encourage the publication of images from artists who might otherwise never get a venue (The takeaway: one should be honored when their otherwise-unknown creations have been found worth stealing?).

1 min read