Falsies

Edgeware Road, London (C)2003 Kevin Bjorke Almost Monday and time for another Streetphoto Salon. This week I actually had a photo at the ready, shot just a day or two before the announced theme: Reflection.

I must admit to feeling a bit awkward, having approached the theme in what looks like a straightforward, literal manner. Still this one does contain a bit of the layering of images and images of images that I seem to like these days, not far from the “palindrome of indirectness” I made for John B’s Shell Game.

Honestly, the photo isn’t entirely made of reflections. It’s a multiple exposure of different reflections. No intrusive Photoshopping — it’s all there on the negative — but not as it appears at first glance.

And no, it’s not the photo on the right. Surprising myself, it’s yet another color shot. You’d think this ambiguity schtick would always lends itself to black and white….


Tip of the week: Yevgeny Mokhorev

~1 min read

Money or Goodwill? Choose Money

So FOXNews.com is deflating another Big Story, namely the Keanu Reeves “big giveaway,” which they claim was simply an invention of the British tabloid press.

Guess we can all go back thinking Keanu’s an overpaid block of wood masquerading as an actor, rather than a misguided but bighearted benevolent force.

~1 min read

X’d

As usual I’m late to the party when it comes to seeing the Big Release films. No, I’m not about to talk about The Matrix but the latest XMen movie, X2, which we watched yesterday. Since the movie has been out for weeks I’ll be quite happy to issue a single

Spoiler Alert

and get on with things.

7 min read

Gated Community

Golden Gate, May 2003 (C)2003 Kevin Bjorke Three rolls Delta 400, 11.5 mins @ 20C Xtol 1::1. Mixed at 24C, brought the temperature down by tossing some ice cubes in a baggie and floating it in the already-diluted Xtol.

Yesterday afternoon I spooled about 20 rolls of Delta from a 100’ bulkroll — as I was cranking along, I read the Ilford label for the box, which recommended Xtol 1::1 for Delta 400 at no speed slower than ISO 500… 13 mins @ 20C. Hmmm, wonder why they don’t like Xtol?</i>

When I was living in Marin, I started work on a collection of photos of the Golden Gate bridge. Shot quite a few. My thought was to do something faintly echoing Hiroshige’s 36 Views of Fuji. One or two “straight” shots of the bridge itself, and all the rest photos of the city and countryside surrounding it, with the bridge merely a constant presence. The I moved to Hawaii and had to set this project aside.

In the meantime, what appears in the bookstores but Golden Gate by Richard Misrach. For a while, I feared that his book (and show) were exactly what I had planned — I’ve since discovered differently, even as I’ve returned to Northern California.

It’s natural to want to complete this project, though my photography is now in a very different ideological place. The greatest change w.r.t. my initial charter has been the growth of a deeper understanding (or belief that I have one, anyway) in the way Hiroshige was able to use Fuji-yama as a universal symbol of Japanese-ness. I began to see, in a less-than-superficial way, that Hiroshige’s illustrations were not of Fuji, but under the eye of Fuji.

I also came to question the role the Gate has. While physically imposing, a common iconographic symbol for the bay, what does the Gate represent? A tourist attraction, a real estate boon to Southern Marin, a tax harbor and absurd privilege to members of the bridge commission, tempting terrorist target? Is that what I want to accomplish, to celebrate, to reveal?

I’m still interested in the idea of this project, but even as the questions become sharper the answers recede.

1 min read