Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bottomless

There are quite a lot things I am not saying about photography these days. I should have probably kept it that way, but. . .

Most everything I didn’t know technically about photography is clearly documented herein over the years. It is a funny type of honesty. For what it is worth, I write about lenses, cameras, and other technical crap only because that is how people find my blogs and photographs, as well as access those details I’ve cared to collect. But not necessarily because I like to.

In the noisy, detail-obsessed culture in place, we are asked to keep track of it all. As Heinrich Zimmer said, “The best things can’t be told. The next best things are misunderstood.” This has to do with the substitution of the next best things for the best things, to which words fail. The creative impulse is in that realm beyond words, so we talk about things: cameras, sensors, lenses, megapixels, news, instead of say, the act of photography. Furthermore, the creative impulse is a private journey. Our motives for doing what we do can come from a lot of places, but when they come from within ourselves, it is difficult to communicate to someone else. Even if they are of a similar slant. So that is where I mostly leave it all out and hope that the photographs themselves reach a few in that realm beyond words.

Though there is a lot of noise out there, there is also a lot of freedom and resources to find and follow passions. It is the age, the time, the whatever, of pulling up your boots, doing what you love, and to borrow bumper sticker philosophy, remember who you wanted to become. Film photography makes me think of this passage from Thomas Mann:

Very deep is the well of the past. Should we not call it bottomless?
Descent into Hell, Joseph and His Brothers, 1934.

This idea from Confucius is in stark contrast to much of our modern cultural condition:

Reviewing the old as a means of realizing the new—such a person can be considered a teacher.
Analects of Confucius, 2.11

It isn’t about what someone else is doing. It is about what you are doing. None of it matters. And all of it matters a great deal, if you catch my drift. It seems to me that each time we find a foothold into ourselves and what we are all about, there is a sea of distractions to send our thoughts elsewhere. The razor’s edge of following your bliss. Today it is clear, but it won’t be for long. To do what I do and love what I love and understand it is this very act that is magnetic.
The sea from Cape Sebastian, Andrew D. Barron©1/1/12
A favorite Gold Beach cypress tree, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
These first three film shots are from four months ago. Around New Years I picked up a funky Petri 7S fixed focus camera for $5 and put some 2003 expired Fuji Astia 100. Incident metering was done with a Gossen Luna Pro F.
The port of Gold Beach and the Patterson Bridge, Andrew D. Barron©12/30/11
I really love film photography, wow.


Now, to catch up to the last week or so. Instax 210, baby!
New leaves at Otter Point, Andrew D. Barron©4/5/12
This was a cold sunset night with the IR camera. I tried a partial b+w, and swapped the red and blue channels for the sky.
From the dead end, Andrew D. Barron©4/5/12
Myrtle Creek overtopped the banks and flooded the road beneath the 101 Bridge at Arizona Beach. Walk in access was possible.
Myrtle creek trees, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
No access: Arizona Beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
Fence out to sea: Arizona Beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12
I will have to get to another post about how I broke my Fuji Instax 210 by taping filters to the front. If you do this, be sure to remove the tape before the camera shuts itself off. The plastic lens retraction mechanism is very fragile.
Humbug and beach grass, Andrew D. Barron©4/7/12
Humbug and beach grass, Andrew D. Barron©4/7/12
6x7 format from three infrared shots, inspired by a flickr contact who shoots with a Fuji GF670.
Humbug from Port Orford, Andrew D. Barron©4/9/12
At the last minute I headed up the trail during a break in the rain.
Up the Humbug trail with only my cameraphone, Andrew D. Barron©4/10/12
Sound as ever,
Andrew
Andrew Dale Barron: Arizona beach, Andrew D. Barron©4/6/12

3 comments:

  1. Just wanted to say that you take amazing photos! Came across your website when I was reading reviews for the Fujifilm Instax 210. I'm considering buying it, especially after viewing the photos you took with it! Definitely helps when someone posts photos. =)

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  2. Hello!
    Beautiful images, absolutely beautiful. I as well found you trying to figure out how to focus the Instax 210 I recently purchased for fun. I must admit, it has been quite frustrating. I agree with all your comments regarding capture and admire your perseverance...that is what it takes. I'm happy to have found you and your amazing body of work. peace

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  3. Thank you for the kind comments. The Instax 210 is definitely a fun camera and indeed, has taken perseverance. It is a curiously gratifying stack of prints. The digital stack is a small record of the ~500 shots I took before I broke the camera.

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