Friday, December 2, 2016

photographing the wind

The wind was strong today - the Santa Ana winds always get (metaphorically) under the tails of cats and humans and drive everyone marginally crazy - like the melemi, like the fohn, like the sirocco.  Think "the wind was in from Africa, and last night I couldn't sleep," which always played on a loop in my head in my now long-ago mid September vacations in Greece, the windows open and rattling, the waves crashing outside.  Here, though, and unlike these other winds, the Santa Anas, today, were cold, blowing straight down from Alaska.  I went outside intending to take a photo of the wind chimes blowing noisily sideways, but was distracted by a self-destructing gate, that had already knocked over the flower-pot designed to keep it in place ...

Thursday, December 1, 2016

going, going ...

Going, going ... this is like an auctioneer's nightmare; stuck in the groove, never letting the gavel drop on the desk, never reaching Gone (stenciled on the side of an empty store in Silver Lake ...).

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

campus, late fall

On campus today for various reasons, some of them very pleasant - and my thanks to all of you who were there too!  It was one of those still, sunny late fall days when everything looked golden and tranquil (that's a complete illusion, since it's the last week of classes, and students everywhere are saying I Am So Tired or moaning quietly with their heads in their hands).  I meant just to take a quick picture of the studious ladies on the fountain, and hadn't been paying attention to other elements - hence the statue that appears to be holding up the top of the picture frame - but in the end, the unintended elements seemed to work as a compositional whole.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

morning shower

Yes, you're right: that's Walter Gomez inside the shower cubicle, on the shelf at the back.  He has a thing - shall we call it a fetish? - about licking my damp feet and ankles.  That's all you need to know.

I realize, of course, that very little - well, no - incisive political commentary accompanies my pictures of cats, or flowers, or berries.  In part, that's because of a sense of overwhelming inadequacy.  In part, it's because it would be a far stretch to get from Walter in the shower to Tom Price and Obamacare. But there is a way in which I see FTBL's deliberate, recurrent emphasis on the ordinary, and on attentive looking, as political, in the widest sense.  That is, it shouldn't be interpreted as escapism, but as a reminder not to take the everyday for granted.  We need to use it as a continual spur to recognizing the precarity of the environment, and of the daily lives of some of the people whom we live among and care about (and, yes, of our own).

And immediately - here's the problem.  I don't have the knack of writing about this, however deeply I care about it - because I care so deeply about it? - without sounding sanctimonious.  But know that feelings of anger, of apprehension, of fear, of a desire to fight, lie behind every apparently innocent picture of a fluffy grey cat.

Monday, November 28, 2016

lilies; test-tubes

Our neighbors in Santa Fe have a particularly attractive vase made out of test-tubes.  This times last year, I was trying my hardest to find a very similar one for part of Alice's Christmas present.  Mssion wasn't quite accomplished - this was the closest that I could manage.  One can, however, put it in a straight line (not advisable, with cats ...), or make a zig-zag, or various other shapes, or clump it all together ... it's most versatile.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

winter berries

- at least, there's a whole bush of these looking pretty seasonal at the bottom of the garden.  It's the time of the year when I start to look through the year's photographic production for a Christmas card pick, and for calendar photographs.  This is never an easy task - the calendar, in particular - given the number of different factors in play (i) my own favorite images (ii) not having too many of the same type or the same place (iii) finding stuff that's vaguely seasonly appropriate for each month (iv) finding stuff that I hope all recipients will like - I know, I could tailor-make each calendar, at no extra cost, for each person, but I like the idea of having an annual artifact that's uniform (v) not including pictures that my father, in particular, will sniff at, and say " what's that?" "why?"  My arty pretensions slam up, head-on, against the taste of recipients ...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Los Angeles street art

This is a particularly endearing juxtaposition - a hipster wearing a hoodie, and apparently texting (or chasing Pokemon, or whatever); some gang lettering with a vaguely-cherub-like small boy sitting on top, head miserably in hands, and then some old-style images and lettering on Cheetahs, a club that (I quote its website) has been offering Adult Entertainment since 1994.  The same website shows a lot of pole dancing, women in glittery underwear and thin chains, and one woman apparently holding a margarita tightly between her buttocks.  I can think of other and far more savory places where I would choose to put mine.  We were coming back from brunch at Go Get 'Em Tiger - recently a pop-up much closer to us, and now a permanent coffee house in Los Feliz on Hollywood, and very much recommended.