Tuesday, March 23

Carving A Bone

Nothing is Easy

About Carving a Bone.

R.I.P. - The Canon is Dead

Canon PowerShot SD400 - 5.0 MegaPixel
[Taken with the camera on my phone.]

Haiku Upon the Death of My Camera

Morning walk with the dog
Pine branch against the blue blue sky
I dropped my camera

Funeral Blues - W. H. Auden

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Thursday, March 18

The Story of A Bone: A Short Experiment in Narrative

A primitive attempt to tell a story with images. It is the simplest story that I know that retains meaning even through my coarse renderings. The experience made it all too clear, once again, that I have miles to go before I sleep.

Thursday, March 11

The Mechanics of Nostalgia: Little Hope Cemetery

Experienced Present

Remembered Past

A Google Buzz post from my friend Staci sent me to a recent Boing Boing post on Through a Plastic Lens: Toy Camera Photography. This led to me to a search for toy camera actions for use in Photoshop. I found a link off of a Flickr page from Dave Ward Photography (see below) that produced outstanding results. When the final image came through, I laughed out loud. Makes me want to find an old toy camera and get deep into the darkroom alchemies of actual film.

The "Old Toy Camera" action gives photos a look similar to an aged print shot on a toy camera (like the Diana or Holga), or on an antique camera. This particular action is not intended to imitate any one camera's particular look, but rather to simply add some of the general elements which make aged photos and images shot on toy and antique cameras so beautiful.

The file also includes two additional actions which imitate the borders often found on vintage and toy camera images.

The action was created on a Mac using Photoshop 7.0, but should work on a PC and on later versions of Photoshop.

Download the Old Toy Camera action for Photoshop
This action is also available at the Adobe Studio Exchange

How a specific time is represented photographically is fascinating to me. I sense that this is going to become a moot point in the digital age, but not long ago you could "tell" the time period of a photograph by a wide variety of semiotic markers extraterritorial to the subject of the photograph. Types of camera, film stock, developing processes, etc. all marked or "dated" the image quite specifically.

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Tuesday, March 9

The Bone's Prayer to Death its God - The Dry Salvages, Section II

Where is there an end of it, the soundless wailing,
The silent withering of autumn flowers
Dropping their petals and remaining motionless;
Where is there and end to the drifting wreckage,
The prayer of the bone on the beach, the unprayable
Prayer at the calamitous annunciation?

There is no end, but addition: the trailing
Consequence of further days and hours,
While emotion takes to itself the emotionless
Years of living among the breakage
Of what was believed in as the most reliable—
And therefore the fittest for renunciation.

There is the final addition, the failing
Pride or resentment at failing powers,
The unattached devotion which might pass for devotionless,
In a drifting boat with a slow leakage,
The silent listening to the undeniable
Clamour of the bell of the last annunciation.

Where is the end of them, the fishermen sailing
Into the wind's tail, where the fog cowers?
We cannot think of a time that is oceanless
Or of an ocean not littered with wastage
Or of a future that is not liable
Like the past, to have no destination.

We have to think of them as forever bailing,
Setting and hauling, while the North East lowers
Over shallow banks unchanging and erosionless
Or drawing their money, drying sails at dockage;
Not as making a trip that will be unpayable
For a haul that will not bear examination.

There is no end of it, the voiceless wailing,
No end to the withering of withered flowers,
To the movement of pain that is painless and motionless,
To the drift of the sea and the drifting wreckage,
The bone's prayer to Death its God. Only the hardly, barely prayable
Prayer of the one Annunciation.

It seems, as one becomes older,
That the past has another pattern, and ceases to be a mere sequence—
Or even development: the latter a partial fallacy
Encouraged by superficial notions of evolution,
Which becomes, in the popular mind, a means of disowning the past.
The moments of happiness—not the sense of well-being,
Fruition, fulfilment, security or affection,
Or even a very good dinner, but the sudden illumination—

We had the experience but missed the meaning,
And approach to the meaning restores the experience
In a different form, beyond any meaning
We can assign to happiness. I have said before
That the past experience revived in the meaning
Is not the experience of one life only
But of many generations—not forgetting
Something that is probably quite ineffable:

The backward look behind the assurance
Of recorded history, the backward half-look
Over the shoulder, towards the primitive terror.

Now, we come to discover that the moments of agony
(Whether, or not, due to misunderstanding,
Having hoped for the wrong things or dreaded the wrong things,
Is not in question) are likewise permanent
With such permanence as time has. We appreciate this better
In the agony of others, nearly experienced,
Involving ourselves, than in our own.

For our own past is covered by the currents of action,
But the torment of others remains an experience
Unqualified, unworn by subsequent attrition.
People change, and smile: but the agony abides.

Time the destroyer is time the preserver,
Like the river with its cargo of dead negroes, cows and chicken coops,
The bitter apple, and the bite in the apple.

And the ragged rock in the restless waters,
Waves wash over it, fogs conceal it;
On a halcyon day it is merely a monument,
In navigable weather it is always a seamark
To lay a course by: but in the sombre season
Or the sudden fury, is what it always was.

Dry Salvages from The Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot

Response to Shelton Walsmith's Hamden Series