Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beautiful Boring

Let's just take a nice moment and meditate on this simple view - an undusted slide, no edits, just another suburban neighbourhood. But imagine the smell of the air, the low hum of activity in back yards, doors closing, cars starting, a peaceful quiet, a brisk breeze - ahhh beautiful boring!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Edmonton, July 1961

It's funny how you'll find solid little gems in the strangest places! I bought a pile o' slides from somewhere I've never heard of in Ontario, and lo and behold there are some wonderful shots of my hometown in it. There are some other magnificent finds in this lot too, and I'll share those sooner than later, but these come first. Most of these are downtown Edmonton, but you'll recognize some other locations too. So fresh, so young, so fabulously 1961.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My favourite photographer: Anonymous.

I don't particularly like to post stuff that doesn't belong to me, but this trailer for the very exciting upcoming documentary "Finding Vivian Maier" really sums up my drive for buying slides and albums. The beauty of snapshot photography is anyone can get lucky - and in every bag of crap I buy there's always at least one shot that makes me say, "this is why I bought these." In this case, Vivian Maier was genuinely good - but until very recently, she was just another homemade photographer doing it for the love of snapping away. I think it makes us a better person: to look for beauty in the absence of a label.To judge for ourselves.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dreaming of Summer

Hello! And a frosty good afternoon to all. For us in Canada, the hardest part of the winter is the second half, all the city rabbits are getting a little leaner and the weather tends to take a turn for the worse before the sun goes back to being a source of heat as well as light and melts all this infernal snow. So let's just dwell on one brief summer moment somewhere rustic some time ago where a boy and a raccoon hung out long enough for someone to take a couple snaps:

It's not about focus or artistic intention - a good photo has "feel".

Friday, October 12, 2012

Time and Travel!

Well hello my lovelies! It`s that time of year again, when we put down our empty cocktail glasses, put on a scarf, and retreat into the indoors to spend quality time with our photo collections. Mother nature may be telling us to go fuck ourselves with every falling leaf but we have scarves and photos to prevent us from falling into seasonal depression. Right? Right? 

We do. We also have some nice travel pics from our summer holidays that included a little photo tourism. I loved this facet of our little trip to England this year, and the feeling of holding up an image that is 65 years old and observing all the differences and spooky similarities first-hand is the kind of tourism I highly recommend. There are so many reasons travel is immeasurably beneficial, but for someone like me who has a collection or an appreciation for photography specifically - it's a dimension of pleasure most hobbies aren't privileged to have. The ability to experience a location in person, with all your senses, builds an experience you can re-experience every time you go back to the original image that took you to that location. How wonderful it is to remember vividly how the cobbles felt under my flip-flops on this very passageway and how the flowers smelled just around the corner to the left. Fabulous. You have to try it.

Rye 1937. Here is the streetview for your wandering fingers.
Here I am enjoying the brief possession of that boy's ghost.
We'll start with Rye. Nice town. In the mess of excellent Dufay Colour glass slide photos I recently picked up, there were two from Rye. The friends we were visiting while over there recommended Rye as somewhere we'd like (before I received the photos in fact) and another friend John, was very enthusiastic when I said we would be there. He is a big fan of the Mapp & Lucia series, which mentions the very same crooked chimney seen here now and in the past (which I was utterly oblivious to until we got home).
Behind the Mermaid, Rye 1937 (foreground lady looking somewhat unimpressed and somewhat like a cross dresser).

Bad photoshopping notwithstanding, here am I in place of those two "ladies".
Quite a lot has changed at the Mermaid. I'll be more suspicious of that plaster and beam look from now on - I think I preferred the original bricks.
Ramsgate! 1937. 
Had a hard time matching this one with current reality so I thought it wasn't Ramsgate - but upon review, it is the same. Look at all those smartly dressed folks. 

Ramsgate! 1937.
Loved Ramsgate. There's a really nice patina on everything there. 

Ramsgate! 2012.
Note to the current boat owners in Ramsgate - need more flags. Otherwise everything looks pretty good.

Whitstable. 1937.
No boats today? 
Yep. Went to Whitstable. Saw the sights, got poisoned (Neil knocked a couple days off his holiday in favour of extreme illness. To each his own).

And of course, we remember the wonderful discovery of the Kings Arms (see here, March 2011). Since we were in the neighbourhood again, we had to do a re-do.

Man with "sandwich".

Me with picture of man with "sandwich".

Photo-tourism! Do it!