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.


  1. Yes you are. And they're brilliant, techno wizardry or fluke or otherwise.

  2. Oh god, apostrophe catastrophe. I hang my head in shame.

  3. I do like the last one the best. He's not looking at the storm either.

    Haha, funny Dan.

    I like the grass in the first one, it's pretty sharp! Would be curious to see a version without the filter.

    I guess I'm more for realism, however boring it may seem to be. I do like your blurbs though.

    I used to buy and enjoy Frankie for a while, but there's only so much self-aware dreamy earthy crafty forest animal stuff even I can handle.

    P.S. You should change the timezone of your blog. I keep thinking you get up super early, and I can't seem to make the conversion in my head.

  4. Kath - 'Brilliant' might be upping the flash filter on the comments section, but thank you.

    Dan - The fact that Charlie was having a tantrum in that shot makes your picture come alive.

    Looki - The non-filter version was all washed out plus I was making sure that Charlie didn't fill his shoes with too much sand. That kind reduces set up time somewhat.
    Timezone - on the To Do List!

  5. filter schmilter...I like my photos just as I take them, they're more real to me that way.


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