Friday, June 29, 2012

Sunday, June 17, 2012


My favourite photo of 2012 is this one:

In case you can't quite see it, I will transcribe a few choice quotes. The first and most important is:

"I have no hesitation in passing this thesis at a doctoral level, with no required corrections."

And to sweeten this already delicious cake:

"I have to say that of the 15 or so HDR theses I have examined in the past five years, this would be among the top two or three in terms of both the technical standard of the creative writing, and also the cohesiveness and thoroughness of the critical arguments presented in the exegesis."

I could go on and on and on, but needless to say it was all like this. 

Mele is a bright, shining beacon of intelligence, resilience, hard-work, dedication and all-round fortitude. And this thesis proves it.

Well done and congratulations, my wonderful darling. You did it!


Getting clicky

I vaguely worry that my favourite photo on a recent trip to Melbourne was taken about an hour out of Adelaide on an unscheduled wee-break.

Actually, the above sentence is not quite accurate. My favourite photo taken on a recent trip to Melbourne wasn't even taken by me, but the admirably committed, talented Looki. I repost it here, without permission, but with a link. Go and see her photos. They is lovely.

Here is my attempt at the same sort of thing:

Similar emotion, lousy composition. I couldn't even post the one of Charlie cuddling into Dan's neck because it was blurry and boring. You might post it on Facebook. Maybe

I'm fairly certain that I take more photos than Looki, but she practices more, if that makes sense. Me, I'm still in the half-way house between the hard-living life of the happy-snapper, recording every event, finger held firmly on the shutter, and the serious amateur, who, to borrow a nice phrase from pro-photog Joe McNally, stops taking photos and starts making them. Whereas Looki actually goes out with the express purpose of taking photos, takes the photos and comes back and actually edits them. Not Photoshop, but just sorting out the good and cutting the crap. Then she bravely posts them online!
Me, I store everything. I can barely bring myself to delete any shot, ever. Hence the 140Gb or so of digital memories. Partly, it's laziness. Partly it's a nostalgic bent; every image tells me a story about the day I took it. And a small, but significant reason I don't delete photos is because I constantly imagine some Blowup-type scenario (or CSI, if you must) where my casual photography will help solve a murder.

That said, I do like some of the photos I 'made' in Melbourne. I aspire to be like Looki and post more photos, and that will start now:

I realise that I have regressed to the old art filter setting, but I think it brings out the red in the carriage.

I might have mentioned it before, but I'm a massive fan of the blurry photo. Not the fancy bokeh Looki engages in, but just straight up blurry photos. I think they can tell their own kind of story. This is my portrait of Looki the photographer, courtesy of complimentary water for the table.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

That awful moment when ...

... you're reviewing a book, and you get to the bit where normally, you would just declare the whole thing tedious and toss it to one side. But, because you're reviewing it for cash and publication, you must continue to grate your eyeballs upon each and every tedious page. You must resist the urge to accidentally drop it in the fire. You must reach the final sentence and only then will you be able to state, with utmost authority, that this is a book will waste hours of precious lives that could be better spent picking the gunge from the corner of toenails.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Target goes for the sexist prick dollar

This is the command on Mel's new socks from Target.


This range was for sale alongside the new Target cooking line 'Woman Back In Kitchen' and the outdoors/picnic collection 'Woman Make Me Sandwich'.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I know I said I wouldn't

But I can't stop using the in-camera filters. 
Damn them and their Instagram, cultural-cringe, pay-for-meaning goodness. Really, it's as though we as a generation can't actually take a photo of anything that has any heart or meaning unless it looks like something our parents would have snapped.   

Baby-boom-culture-war arguments aside, it's partly because the photos we all take now are capable of revealing so, so much. 12 is the megapixel-of-thumb in 2012. Anything less and you're Facebooking from your Samsung Galaxy. Anything more and you really should have sold at least a couple of shots to Frankie. Or Nat Geo.

So now we all tread the path of the filter d'fabulos
Picture of grass? 
Stick it on cross-process and suddenly you're skipping through Halycon Fields flashing your all access pass to a time when everything that happened mattered and everything that mattered happened. Meaning rolled like bushfire across the land, scorching everything with its indelible, etherial touch. The fire is gone, but the seeds they opened will always have the flames of Polaroid and Kodachrome to thank and remember for every particle of light they capture.

Beach shot where no one's actually looking at the camera? I used 'Dramatic Tone' and suddenly everything is significant. It's no longer just a lazy blast from the hip, half an eye on the screen. It's a savage ballet of contrasts, pulling the eternal beach through the starkness of the modern world. 
You could blow this picture up to the size of a door and it's resonance wouldn't be lost.

Remove these generation-aping filters though, and you've just got an over-exposed picture of a child not looking at the camera.

At least I'm giving it a shot.

An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32