No Real Secret


Three rolls of Tri-X rated ISO 3200 in Xtol 1+1; two rolls of Portra 400UC.

I keep wanting to stop mentioning Henry Rankin Poore so here’s a last (?) chance to diss his opinions just a little more (not that he deserves it in general).

In Poore’s later books he keeps hammering on his own little drum “art is thought passed through emotion and frozen into form.” As opposed to emotion passed through thought and frozen into form, or most any other handy definition.

For a long time I’ve been answering the question “what is art?” with a line told me by the late Nick England (there is a memorial concert for Nick this weekend at CalArts, BTW):

~1 min read


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Hey, everyone loves to see cold people.

In high school I read that perceptually, the human eye sees at around 30fps. This has a big ramification not just on movies and TV (where 1/60th of a second is perceptually “smooth” because it’s within the Nyquist of the optic nerve’s sensory rate) but also photos and sculpture and painting and maybe even music because that 1/30-ish number represents what we humans perceive as “momentary.” It defines our distinction between moving and still, both in images and life (and everything in between, like video games).

A kid once asked: How long does it take to become a photographer? To which the smartass wise man replied: 1/125th of a second, kid.

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Rambling Under the Radar

Contax G2, 45mm Planar, Kodak 400UC, Vuescan, Minolta Scan Dual II, XnView, Photoshop 7, Honcad P3, Windows XP (C) 2005 K Bjorke

Over on Coincidences, Robert has occasionally sung the praises of ContaxG.Com. It’s one of a few sites centered around equipment that actually seems to function well not as a site of LUG-like arguments over esoteric attachments and SKU numbers, but as a site about pictures, which just happen to have been made with a particular kind of camera.

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I-35W, Minneapolis, Dec 2004

I finally got around to setting up a news aggregator that I intend to actually maintain in just one place, on one machine (NetNewsWire, on my desk mac at home). Too many recent crashes and disparate bookmark lists on different computers under vaying OS’s.

I also did a keyword search on Photoblogs.Org looking around for… well, stuff, and came across what looks like a fairly-recent blog belonging to Gordon Stettinius, who for a while had been publishing a magazine called EyeCaramba. I’d recently been digging through Gordo’s website anyway, while looking for interesting work done in 6x6 format. Some of it was familiar – maybe because of a Minneapolis connection, or his collection on — even without this new blog his website would have rated a mention here some time soon.

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Moving On

Shanghai (C) 2004-2005 K Bjorke

A few days ago on PhotoPermit.Org I posted about Matthias Bruggman’s run-in with El-Al over their refusal to let him fly while carrying a big, scary, Canon 1Ds.

As a pleasant surprise, Matthias’s blog entry from yesterday, “on the way back,” is a fine slice of topnotch photo ranting about images, their potential for meaning and perception (whether it was there in the moment of photographing or not), on violence, romanticism, and Sebastaio Salgado. No wonder people are afraid of his sharp lenses and perceptively hi-res sensor.