Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bad Photography, also Cheese and tea

I had all my photos developed, and stuck them in a book. Now I'll enhance and annotate them at my leisure.

This is something I've been doing as long as I've had access to cameras. It used to baffle my mother, I think, when she went to have my pictures developed... I just love to take dull pictures. I take copious and pointless shots of roofs, walls, shrubbery, street corners. For some reason they fascinate me, not the places, but the actual photos. Sometimes I think of them as portraits of invisible friends.
I noticed at some point that they get even better when they are a bit blurred, oddly cropped, have light leaks... sometimes I remember what creature I imagines in a particular shot, then I might draw them in (see above).
Sometimes I just annotate them. I imagine that the reason these pictures are a bit off is that they are the best ones that were taken of this interesting thing, under less than ideal circumstances.

In any case, whatever it is that I'm doing, it doesn't work with photos that people would call "good". Those are just representations of the thing that was actually there. The "bad" pictures are ever so slightly removed from reality, and allow something new and unexpected to enter. It's a bit like rubbing your eyes until you see stars, or squinting, or turning your head upside down. The world changes when you don't see it "properly".

I also like taking "good" portrait photos which are composed and in focus, but if they come out wrong for some reason, they sometimes go into that other collection with the walls and the decapitated construction cranes.

I'll scan this Australian photo album when it's finished and blog some of it. There might also be a book in the works that is closely connected to this, but more of that later.

In other news: I had some fabulous days relaxing and writing. Melbourne is really rather stylish. My favourite thing at the moment is that it's so easy to get great tea, I guess because China is so close. They even sell lovely white tea with rose petals in the supermarkets, which is what I am drinking as I'm editing my novel.
Tomorrow I'll visit a proper tea shop and buy tins of silver needle and monkey paw and buddha's tears and whatever else smells good so I can take some of it home.

There are also some great bookshops around... I walked into one in South Melbourne to see what's up in Australian picture books, and as it turns out, this is up:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oo! Cheese belongs to the world!

That's exciting