A new year dawns: not, judging by this light, with a great deal of optimism. But it's Year 9 of Forms Traced By Light, so I'm wishing my blog a happy birthday. I'm committed to keeping it going for this year and next - after that, who knows? But I certainly want to write about the daily practice of taking a photograph and writing about it - it's a compulsion, a duty (to myself), a pleasure ... and today, for once, a source of insight ... I'm putting the finishing touches to Flash!, and one of my arguments about flash's unique quality is that when one sees it reflected back - from a window pane, or shiny car or police van (I was sourcing a picture of a mob arrest in the late 1920s in the Chicago Tribune, this morning), it's quite unlike regular photography, in which one doesn't really expect that the light used to take the picture will ever become self-referentially visible. Well, what about the sun? Er, duh? And the sunspots that one gets through a lens, when one doesn't have a lens hood on. I think I need to do a bit of rephrasing - I'm surprised no one has pointed out this fallacy in my argument before.