Thursday, November 20, 2008

Self Portrait with my favorite dentist

I brought my handy dandy little red point-and-shoot Kodak to the dentist where I captured another Self Portrait just as Doctor Johnson loaded me up with novocaine. 

In fact, I bring Little Red everywhere these days. It's small and it's close at hand. Easy to draw from its holster when I want to shoot a picture of just about any thing.

out of my mind today

I can't get Seward Johnson's "Unconditional Surrender" sculpture out of my mind today. 

The original Eisenstaedt photograph has been a sacred icon in the lore of great photojournalism. So, why is this giant couple provoking me and is that good?

In the first place, they annoy me because they're so prominent, yet so inaccessible.  Like a gigantic tease. They are a narcissistic, cartoonish giant and they pray on the iconic memories of all passers bye. I feel victimized by their hijacked heat.

The scale is wrong. They make me want what I can't get from here. Who doesn't want to participate in the ardor of that original moment again and again and again? Freedom! Victory! That original Moment was so monumental. These cartoonish lips are so high!

In the second place, the cute title, "Unconditional Surrender", bothers me because, in this context, it suggests sexual domination. It carries subtleties of association that smell like victor's rights. And that kind of thinking just leads to trouble.

In the third place, this huge couple reminds me that I have more work to on myself as a resident of this circus city. But that's OK; it's what I need in order to keep reinventing myself here on the left coast of Florida.

Apparently perceptual shifting happens when nearly sacred art works leave two-dimensional space and enter the 3-D world. I suppose we feel it getting closer to us in our safe realms. And it moves us. Provocative art can really heat up an atmosphere.       

How could life get so good?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Unconditional Surrender"

So Vincent (that's what I call my ear) and I are heading home from an ear surgery when we come upon this humongous  sculpture. It must be thirty feet high, painted steel.

You know the moment this sculpture is praising; it's a bigger than life moment; the moment of V Day, 1945 and the kiss that was popularized by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

I don't know what to think of it. It's immensely popular with the tourists who stop to have their pictures taken in matched poses. Yet something bothers me.

It's not that Sarasota is a pretentious circus town, I know that. The giant Swabbie and Nurse with their cartoonish glamour really do fit in here. Kind of corny, kind of fun.

Living the Metaphor

So, here I am living in my blog's metaphor again. What is the trick here? 

Am I designing my future to fit a Self-Portrait yoke?

So it's "ears that see and eyes that hear".  Some times a little extra stimulation will bring one to the point of recognizing their photo moment. This picture coming immediately after a little tip-of-the-ear surgery. 

And the show goes on.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Chemotherapy extracts a toll from each of its mates. The period of uncertainty surrounding chemo treatments has a way of turning hearts to stone and setting souls adrift.

We are grateful for all  survivors.

Lady in the Pool

From the series entitled "Pool Work" which began five years ago after my wife started chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. This series of photographs served to convince Pamela that "bald is beautiful". She has survived the critical five year test and has avoided any renewals of the cancer. Hooray!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

prepping for the shoot

i'm trying to remember who said the best photographs are made with eyes that hear and ears that see. i may find the source again, soon, since i'm cleaning my garage-office-studio this week, but i'm not counting on it. 
the important thing about the eyes and ears idea, it seems to me,  is that two-dimensional space can only be transformed into a great photograph through extraordinary means. 20/20 vision is not enough to produce a great photograph, otherwise all photos belonging to the f.64 club of photographers would be fantastic to behold.
setting forth to begin a new photographic project, i routinely engage in a meditation based on the eyes and ears thesis, oftentimes while in the shower. i scrub my senses to the ready by emptying my mind of preconceived notions. i prepare for a tai chi experience. i relax so that i can respond to light and form and sound and smell with all of my senses. 
when all my senses are working in unison i know that a great photographic opportunity will present itself.