Having somebody stare at you everywhere you go would really get old fast, would it not? I live in China, and certainly receive my fair share of “socket lock”, especially since my wife and I live in a rural town. I would imagine, though, anyone who travels enough endures the same treatment (depending completely on where you travel). So, I have a little homebrew photographic psychology to help prevent unnecessary mental anguish.
From truly frieghtening to innocent babes, from Don Knotts to Danny Glover, I found one of the most evocative collections of portraits that I have seen in a long time. Bruce Jackson found and printed photographs from the Arkansas State Prison between 1915 and 1937, calling the collection “Mirrors”. And indeed they are if you look through them. There is an incredible amount of character that flows through these faces. Save the prison ID number tagged on their chests, you might think some of these faces were average house wives. And some of the photos make you wonder how a…
Quick Answer: “Film Safe” is a lie!
Here is the perfect example to explain a photographic tip that will hopefully save many of you from the five years of torturous distortion I had to endure with my own photographs.
You will need to imagine the inside of your camera as you load your film for this. The particular section of film (Kodak 35mm EliteChrome 100) shown at left, was half way out of the metal film container after finishing a previous shoot, but itself was still an unexposed (no picture taken) section of film when I passed it through a “Film Safe” x-ray machine. In other words, it does not matter whether you have taken a photograph with your film yet or not:
After my first few years in China and bearing with the constant need to communicate with those back home, I started a website. These past few years of having the website, though, have made one thing clear: people want to see the photos. That works: I love taking them and others like viewing them. Therefore, this third version of the ChinaCoop.net website (what I call the “PhotoCoop” version) has now come into being. And what is with this “photosophy” stuff? Well, I will have many other categories, some focused on simple photography how-tos, some how we average folks can make…
Never have word and beauty so combined,
Saying what neither could if said alone;
Eyes hold me fixed from their first loving touch.
Your words of patience slay my hardened heart,
A sacrifice for love you have yet gained;
Aroma sweet burns off the dross of years.
Sweet small insignificant are the memories that hold you most. Innocent they lead me to my most desired place, Child-like, clinging to the waist of the one they most love. An even pastel, the pleasant and soothing setting, Smoothing edges, preparing for friends to come in peace. Simplest of fabrics, drawing no attention but in serving, Bringing to each their wants with reward only in joy. Thus, the gentle night breeze guides my mind to thoughts of home.
From day’s beginning, I could feel spring infecting me. The rainy season is full of energy: it is the worst of travel, it is the best of travel. With it come the rains, floods, and landslides that epitomize the very worst of China travel. It is also vibrant China at its best. The mountains are green, the paddies are freshly sprouted with new rice, and the rain keeps everything brilliantly colored all day. I had always avoided travel for the negatives, but now find the beauty tucked behind the foreboding veil.
I had assumed until now that China was more conducive to producing laughable stories than my homeland, but I have been shown how foolish a thought that was. After a week and half of being home, traveling here and there, seeing friends and family, I headed down to visit the home of my brother and sister-in-law down in Waco. The week before we, the family, had all been on vacation together at a lake where we have vacationed for years. This is where the story begins.
Though the air is still damp and cool, necessity is the mother of laundry. My first priority after class was to bundle up some whites and take them down to the laundry room.
Now, before the story really starts becoming another humorous China story, the laundry room alone deserves an honorable mention. I would be greatly exaggerating to simply say we have two washing machines. That alone would conjure images that do not belong anywhere near our modern washboards. These are the good old-and yes, they are supposed to be old and outdated even in China-manual washers. I know, I am not going to draw any sympathy from those of you that actually used washboards and washers with names like Beaver Creek. However, here is the process for a load of laundry: turn on the faucet to fill the tub and insert clothes, turn on the spin cycle timer, turn knob to drain tub, take out clothes and place them in the spin tub (taking up the right third of the washer), send them for a spin, then do it all again. This is no marvel of modern laundering electronics, but beats the boards.
Anders, a new foreign student in town, asked me to show him to the disc market. By disc market, I mean a market for anything that comes on a disc: DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, and lots of other acronyms I know not of. We found hundreds of movie and music discs, but did not see any computer software. If it is going to be anywhere, it is here.