Rebel Grrrl

Girls to the front

Recently, for the umpteenth time, I rewatched “The Punk Singer”, a documentary about feminist singer Kathleen Hanna who fronted the band Bikini Kill.

Kathleen is well known for being an outspoken radical feminist, credited with launching the third-wave of feminism when she helped create the riot grrrl punk movement. At Bikini Kill concerts, Hanna would encourage and enforce that women were to move to the front of the stage. The “girls to the front” concept was symbolic in empowering women at Bikini Kill concerts. Continue reading Rebel Grrrl

Buy, Bye Bye

A hard act to swallow

Allow me, if you will, to address the plastic elephant in the room.

Numbers.

I grew up on a steady diet of mathematics as a kid. I like numbers. Numbers don’t lie. Words can be fraudulent. Current. Season. Mine. All these words have multiple meanings. But the number 3 is always the number 3; it’s not 2, it’s not 4, it’s not 3-ish. It’s 3. Continue reading Buy, Bye Bye

Subjective perspective

Subjective perspective

Get down low and go, go, whoa!

Seeing so many wonderful behind the scenes shots from the recent Seattle Toy Photographers meet-up, got me thinking about lying on the ground just to get a photo of a toy. And why most of my jeans have stained knees.

My legs are achin’
My eyes are sore
I haven’t washed my jeans
In three months or more
Dirt Jeans – Magic Dirt

I remember discovering Instagram 5 years ago and being instantly excited by how it made me look at where I was with different eyes. It challenged me to think about where I was standing and how that certain location could be viewed differently, more creatively. I wasn’t just seeing my surroundings as a “holiday snapshot” anymore. I was being dared to think how I could capture a vista in a more interesting way.

Gargoyles
Gargoyle turmoil

Long before Instagram, I was given “Nightmares in the Sky: Gargoyles and Grotesques”, a book of wonderful and disturbing photographs of gargoyles taken by avant-garde photographer f-stop Fitzgerald, by my then girlfriend, now wife. In the book Stephen King introduces us to the gargoyles as the faces we rarely see but are always watching us. In King’s text, we are told to always look up, as we never know what might be watching us from above. Ever since first reading this I crane my neck skyward whenever I’m in a city, looking for gargoyles and grotesques. And, whilst looking up for those looking down, I’ve learned to see my surroundings in another way.

Taking photos of toys has also changed the way I look at my surroundings.

Before photographing toys, I can’t think of a time I was taking a photo and wondered “what would this shot look like if I lay on the ground?” Before shooting toys, I can’t remember lying on the ground to capture that angle ever. Before toys, I don’t recollect admiring what worlds were down at my feet. Before toys, I don’t recall admiring plants or rocks for their proportionate scale. Before toys, I didn’t appreciate small-grained sand. Before toys, I don’t think I looked down, and appreciated what was down there, as much as I do now.

Taking photos of toys has made me appreciate my environment through little low altitude eyes. This low-slung viewpoint offers a new world. It opens up a completely unique experience.

Think of me.
(It’s a tiny little world)
Watch what you do. Watch what you say.
Tiny Ugly World – Alice Donut

Whilst travelling Europe many years ago, I can’t recall seeing folks in Venice’s Piazza San Marco lying on the pavement to capture a different angle of St Mark’s Basilica. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single tourist lying on their stomach to capture Sagrada Família either. Nor did I see anyone lying on the ground attempting to upskirt Michelangelo’s David in Venice. But maybe things would be different today? Maybe with the growth of toy photography and social media to share such photos, there might be more horizontal, ground-slithering photographers?

And, this is why, I somewhat pity people who don’t have some toys tucked away in their camera bags. Without a toy in their pocket, every time someone pulls out their phone to snap a photo, they’re missing out on something. It’s this small world vantage point they’re missing; a whole new way of viewing their surroundings.

It’s a whole new, tiny little world they’ll never know.

And I expect all the knees of their jeans are clean too.

I may have a case of social media fatigue

I may have a case of social media fatigue and I don’t think I am alone. Yesterday Instagram was abuzz about the upcoming change to an algorithmic curated feed, something similar to Facebook. Honestly, I couldn’t care less about this change; I think social media fatigue has set in. Continue reading I may have a case of social media fatigue

Stuck in another photographers work

In moments when I’m in search for inspiration, I usually spend some time looking through various photo books, websites or just end up on Instagram or Flickr. Often I get stuck in a particular photographers work, and in the best cases, this exercise makes me end up in an imagery world of my own, but sometimes it just becomes an exercise in procrastination. Continue reading Stuck in another photographers work

Not a Chance!

You might recall an earlier post where I wrote about going on vacation and the challenges I had with that. Well, I’m happy to report I am writing this while on previously mentioned vacation. It’s been glorious! I am not trying to kick sand in the faces of my North Atlantic Seaboard brethren, but this beats the heck outta where you’re at right now. Continue reading Not a Chance!

Congratulations…?

 

On December 18, 2015, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” was unleashed upon the planet.

On December 18, 2015, a picture of mine was featured by Instagram in their “Search and Explore” tab within the popular app. I was thrilled, right? Wrong.

Let me explain. Continue reading Congratulations…?