Friday, April 5, 2019
Monday, June 11, 2018
I once again enlisted myself as a volunteer photographer for this year's True/False Film Festival, and I was fortunate enough to be able to cover some of the evening music lineup at Cafe Berlin. One of the acts that nearly brought down the house was New Creations Brass Band, from New Orleans. They also didn't seem to mind that I like to get close when photographing musicians.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
This image is from a few winters back, when we still had snowfall. It was taken on a bitterly cold night during the Sochi Winter Olympics. I set up a tripod in the bedroom and opened the window during the exposure. The colors may seem a bit fantastic, but strange things happen to color and atmosphere on single-digit degree nights in February, especially during long camera exposures. At first I had intended to seamlessly stitch the images together into a long, continuous panorama, but at the moment I like the effect of the white spaces between the singular images...it gives it the look of a vintage contact sheet. I had long been considering a panoramic image of this particular portion of my neighborhood, and only in winter, when the trees are bare and darkness comes early, is this possible. Inspired in part by Russian literature, where winter seems to be constantly in season.
Friday, July 28, 2017
Friday, July 21, 2017
Friday, April 1, 2016
To the regular followers of this irregularly-posted blog, I must offer one apology and one correction. The apology is offered for the severe breech of protocol in posting a photograph of Columbia in the daytime. That is not supposed to happen on this blog. Ever. But here it is. In my defense, it was late evening in the summer, so it just looks bright out. It really was more of an early dusk than a daylight. And the correction? In my last post I lamented the fact that Columbia's architecture seems hellbent on a course towards the bland, corporate, and unenjoyable. That much is true. However, in my short list of existing things that are still interesting to look at downtown, I believe I left this building out. And it should very much be in. This is the rear portion of the Cycle Extreme building, on Sixth Street. This building has an original beauty and style that stands in remarkable contrast to the blandness darkening the blocks to its east. It is difficult to get a photograph of this building by night, so here, I offer a daytime image. I promise, this will never happen again.
I was downtown to photograph for a couple reasons this week. It was spring break, so downtown Columbia was relatively unpopulated, and parking was easy to come by. I was also down there for another reason, that being the rumor that more buildings are going to disappear. I was hanging around this corner when I decided to make a few more photos of the Tiger Cleaners establishment. I have photographed this business off and on since 1997. I think when I first started photographing in Columbia they called themselves Sudden Service Cleaners, and there was an old neon sign on the corner that appeared to no longer work. That was one of the arcane secrets of Columbia in the 90s, I suppose...that neon sign did work if you waited until around 2:30 a.m., at which time a few of the letters mysteriously lit up and did their advertising duty to very few witnesses. Anyway, this dry cleaning complex seems to me to be one of the few remaining things that inspire visual interest downtown, along with Adams Books and maybe Booche's. This random assortment of buildings and doorways and vehicles and fonts and light sources reminds me of the set to a mid-century noir film; randomly assembled and yet beautiful in its randomness. I can't say the same for the manner in which the rest of downtown Columbia is developing.