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Shoot the Singer - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Shoot the Singer
I mentioned a few days ago how I was trying to relax my control of the camera. One benefit, I hope, is that I'll appear in more of the shots in my archive. When Skylar has the camera, though, as she did for a few minutes near the end of our long drive through the Rockies in Idaho, the primary consideration is giving her a chance to redeploy her prodigious artistic talents in a medium she has, until now, only briefly explored.

We had stopped to take in the slant-light view of the area we'd just come from. Since we had been listening to Skylar's favorite Marilyn Monroe songs for hours, she suggested that I document her performing "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." I got some good shots. But then she had the idea of photographing me doing my version. And I can say, with no exaggeration, that her results surpassed mine by a large margin.

The previous week, her last at Art Camp, she had a photography class in which much of the work involved taking pictures of one's classmates doing strange poses. I think that practice paid off in the series you see reflected here. For one thing, she grasped the idea that you have to keep shooting. For another, she became more aware of the margins of the frame, a development that I naturally applaud.

I especially like the way these two shots make the landscape look like a screen onto which my image has been superimposed. The contrast between foreground and background alone is enough to make me laugh.

Although the foreground makes the photo -- I'm willing to look silly if it makes for a good shot -- my longings are directed into the distance. As I wrote on our trip, many of the sights I saw in Idaho reminded me of California. I know that homesickness -- or adopted homesickness, I suppose -- is a big reason for that impression, but it isn't all self-delusion. This vista reminds me a great deal of the sort you see crossing the Coast Range from the Upper Sacramento Valley on the way to the Pacific. I miss the strange emptiness of that region. I would love to take Skylar there sometime soon.

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Comments
flw From: flw Date: August 14th, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Time Traveler

It is neat, the atmospheric effect. What is happening is that the light hitting you is traveling through 2 meters of air, and the light from the background is going through 1000 meters, so... there's some neat atmospheric filtering on the background. In Tucson, the air is sometimes so dry and so clear that you can see the atmosphere's natural sort of golden tone. I don't know how it works. It makes palm trees look really creepy when they are in the sunset while you, down on the ground are somehow 15 minutes in the future... you know? They catch the last rays of light.

That's the neat effect you have here. You look you're in the background's near future.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 14th, 2008 04:43 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Time Traveler

You're right! That's a great way of describing what's going on. Also, it explains why my Orphic longings are projected into the background. The angel of history never faces forward.
flw From: flw Date: August 16th, 2008 12:27 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Time Traveler

Have you heard of This Guy?
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: August 14th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
:-D It's nice to see you playful.

And great shots by Skylar, by the way! The first is particularly good.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 15th, 2008 09:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I agree. That first shot is pretty impressive. "I wanted to forshorten you, Dad," is what she said after taking it.

Also, it's nice for me to see my playful. I have suppressed that side of myself.
celebrian_3 From: celebrian_3 Date: August 16th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

oops. that was me again, forgetting to be logged in when i comment

heh. just goes to show her extensive artistic training :-). not many nine year olds i know who know what foreshortening is, much less how to accomplish it.

feel free to show us when you're playful again. and perhaps in future i may be playful again and show it to everyone. it's been a long while.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 16th, 2008 08:50 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: oops. that was me again, forgetting to be logged in when i comment

I'll try. I've been feeling hemmed in of late. But something has to give soon.

Encourage me by example!
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: August 15th, 2008 07:39 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
These are great! And filling in the soundtrack in my head only makes them better :) She really does have a great sense of the frame and proportion--of the added force, in this case, of what's gained by having only the top half of your body in these pictures. Even though I like to think it's entirely possible your legs are doing something equally parodically Marilyn and thus equally interesting visually, the relationship between body and background would have changed utterly if there was ground in the foreground. Props to Bean! And props to you for such a stunning debut performance! And--of course--props to the slant-light. Just for being.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: August 15th, 2008 09:04 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Props to the slant-light always!

I'm glad you enjoyed the shots. And I share your sense of what makes them so good.
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