Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cats Space People Cup d-oeil Bangkok 2012

Part One

They came right up to me, no matter how street worn or how much experience, they came up to me, some of them got on their bellies, while others, fresh from flesh-demanding fights just looked at me, not afraid. They let me scratch their necks, they closed their eyes and purred.

I thought of stray cats in Fresno, how they ran way from me, afraid for their lives, and I remembered when I was 13 years old, my friend Walter, how one night we were walking behind the grocery store and a cat came up to us. 

Walter cooed it, and the cat cautiously came to him, but then he picked it up and threw it against the back wall of the grocery store, almost killing it, the cat wobbling away to Walter’s laughter. 

“How could you??" I cried, in tears.

"What’s wrong with you?" he said.

These cats in Bangkok made me think of love.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two Days with the New Cool Pix

Okay, after having crashed my hard drive, where I stored all my summer pictures, I finally cracked the code and accessed the photos.

And here’s some shots in Paris with a Coolpix S910.

I lost my other Coolpix in Italy, somewhere in Tuscany, so when I got to Paris I bought another one.

Out of the hundreds of shots I took on the first few days with it, I cut them down to less than a hundred, but I won’t post a hundred photos in one entry, that would be too much like an unfocused essay.

If a collection of photos is an essay, too many photos make the essay long and boring and maybe unfocused.

But these photos in this entry are not really an essay.

There is no unfolding theme other than getting a new camera in a new city.

This is more like a free verse poem, as the images make their own meaning, their own connections, with a little help from the choices I made on what to show and what not to show, based more on intuition that vision.
I’m an amateur.

But I think the key to sharing one’s photos is not sharing too many.

Pick out a few, even from the few that you picked out from the rest.

I’m not sure how I made the choices here, why I chose some over the others, but as I went the shots the first time, I stopped on what struck me, starred it, and kept
going through the thousands of others.

Out of the hundred or so that struck me, that I starred, I forced myself to pick even less.

No more than 20 shots per blog, I told myself.

An arbitrary number, or perhaps an anthropological choice, 20 having symmetry, seeming like a meaningful number.

Or maybe 22.

I’ve always liked that number, for no reason at all, so 22.

Here’s the first 22 photos from the first 2 days of the new Coolpix.

Friday, July 6, 2012

So Much for the Coolpix Challenge. Well….Maybe not.

I lost my Coolpix 9100 somewhere in Italy, I think in Tuscany, between Florence and Sienna.

For the first several days in Rome I took it everywhere, shot whatever stuck me, but the S9100 I found has so many limitations. 

I often became frustrated, especially at  night when the demands of shutter spend and aperture become more pressing.

What I wanted to capture and what the Coolpix was able to capture were so different. Rome is beautiful at night.

After four, five days, I took out my DSLR and snapped a bunch of shots (none of which are featured here, not now).

It felt so much more comfortable, and I was happy to  have control over how much light I could let in. In fact, when I discovered that my Coolpix S9100 was lost somewhere in Tuscany, I didn’t feel too bad. Felt, in fact, kind of relieved.

I wondered if on some level I had lost the camera on purpose, although I don’t think I did.

In fact, I remember telling myself, “Do not lose the camera just so you can buy a better one.”

These shots of Italy are done with the S9100.

There are hundreds of more, of course, but these particular ones I felt came closet to capturing what I wanted to capture, or to seeing the way I wanted to see.

Also, taking photos is like writing poetry. You could write thousands of lines, and if you come up with just one or two good ones, well then you’re doing all right.

I’m  not sure if I found a photographic voice yet, but I like shooting people better than things., although I must admit an attraction to empty chairs and old doors. 

Like paintings, I enjoy those that have people in them over landscapes, although I can certainly appreciate beauty in those as well.

Before I lost the camera, I knew that there were superior point-and-shoots, so when I got to Paris I bought a Coolpix 310.  It’s great. 

It has manual capability, wherein I can choose my own shutter speed and aperture, something the S9100 wouldn’t allow.

The only weakness is that it doesn’t shoot in raw. 

Still, I feel so much more freedom with the new point-and-shoot, and it’s small enough to put it in my pocket and pull it out when the spirit moves me.
Surprised to see so many tourists using their iPads to shoot.

Here are some shots that I took in here Paris.

Yesterday I walked for hours, and whenever a little voice inside of me said, take this picture, I did. Even when I thought the little voice was wrong.

So the challenge is on.

Will I find that this new point-and-shoot lives up to the DSLR?

Next I’ll post some Italy pictures I took with the DSLR.