the new snapshot ~ the border question and more's the pity

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As I have been cruising along in my the new snapshot picture making delirium, I have been experimenting with various border types. As seen above, Polaroid Spectra border with album corners and tape (1), unadorned Polaroid Spectra border (2), SX 70 border with caption (3), and a traditional drug store processing deckled edge (4).

I was experimenting with different border treatments while operating under the assumption that I needed to find the "perfect" border and then would use that border for all of my the new snapshot pictures. However, when I was making a few 16-picture assemblage prints, I made 1 print where I mixed pictures with different borders - #s 2,3,4. I very much liked the result because it was less regimented in appearance. And .... it occurred to me (duh) that traditional snapshots were made with all kinds of camera formats so it made perfect sense to use different border types.

With that issue put to bed, I started to ruminate on the manner in which I would make prints for wall display (home, gallery, etc.). I eventually came to the conclusion that, since most modern snapshots are made and displayed on digital devices, the best way to present them - no matter which border they have - was to picture them on a screen of one kind or another. The cell phone being the most common display device, I decided to experiment with making a picture of a picture on the cell phone screen.

All of which led to another question ... on what kind of background would the cell phone sit? The anwer to that question is seen in the top most picture in this entry. I find the empty frame to be the perfect counterpoint to picture display on screen vs. as a print in a frame.

More's the pity that so few pictures made with a cell phone will ever see the light of day as a printed picture.

civilized ku # 5092-93 ~ day and night

morning light # 2 ~ made with a "real" camera (embiggenable)

morning light # 1 ~ made with iPhone camera module (embiggenable)

evening light ~ made withiPhone camera module (embiggenable)

I like this quote:

Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. ~ Paul Strand

civilized ku # 5091 / the new snapshot # 91 ~ artistic intentions

unintentional picture (embiggenable)

Sophie ~ Stone Harbor, NJ (embiggenable)

Re: my 2nd Great Awakening - the medium of photography and its apparatus.

The genesis of my recent awakening is to be found in the book, The Art of the American Snapshot ~ 1888-1978. Specifically in the following excerpt regarding the 1944 MOMA exhibition, The American Snapshot:

.... the pictures "constitute[d] the most vital, most dynamic, most interesting and worthwhile photographic exhibition ever assembled by the Museum of Modern Art" .... [P]raised as being "without artistc pretensions" and coming "nearer to achieving the stature of true art than any of the inbred preciosities in the museum's permanent collection of in any of its previous shows," the photographs were applauded as "honest, realistic, human and articulate."

When first reading these words, within the context of the snapshots presented in the book, I had absolutely no qualms accepting the idea of the pictures being "vital, dynamic, interesting, honest, realistic, human and articulate". And, I was especially taken with the notion that the pictures were made "without artistic pretensions."

The concept of making pictures "without artistic pretensions" struck a chord with me inasmuch as, for the past decade-and-a-half, I have been making pictures with artistic intentions, if not pretensions. However, that written, I do believe that those pictures are "vital, dynamic, interesting, honest, realistic, human and articulate". And, without question, many others think so as well.

All of that written, I have been acutely aware that there was a hole in the fabric of my picturing repertoire ... while my picture making was all nearly totally spontaneous, my referents were almost exclusively places and things. With very few exceptions, people as referents were not part of my artistic intentions picture making.

Consequently, I was aware that, if I wanted to create snapshots which mimiced the Traditional American Snapshot, picturing people must be the primary instigator for making snapshots. Faced with an upcoming extended family vacation at the Jersey Shore - the wife has asserted it is all about family and not so much the place - I had the opportunity to get people-based picturing into my head. Needless to write, it was not a particularly difficult paradigm to adopt. Although ....

.... try as I might, I have been unable to shed my artistic intentions picture making M.O. I am not certain that shedding it is a requirement for making snapshots - it just has to look like the pictures were made without artistic pretentions.

More on that topic to come.

civilized ku # 5090 / the new snapshot # 88-90 ~ taking a risk

hockey rink bathroom entrance ~ Canton, MA (embiggenable)

the genesis of my 2nd Great Aawakening (re: the medium of photography and its apparatus)

Now that I am back at my "real"computer I have begun to process pictures made with my "real" cameras during my recent travels.

The hockey rink bathroom entrance picture is one such picture. A picture which, as I was making it, got me a few what-the-hell-is-he-doing looks. Looks which one might expect when one is picturing the entrance to a bathroomin a hockey rink filled with kids. Sometimes you just have to take a risk to get the picture.

FYI, I have referred to my 2nd Great Awakening a couple times. Not wanting to leave my blog readers wondering, I am getting together my thoughts on the matter and will write about it within the next few days.

civilized ku # 5089 / the new snapshot (page 1-2) ~ the 2nd great awakening

Erica in window ~ Stone Harbor, NJ • iPhone camera module picture (embiggenable)

Jersey Shore snapshots (embiggenable)

Jersey Shore snapshots (embiggenable)

My time at the Jersey Shore was very productive, snapshot wise. I snapped away feeling just like an amateur snapshot picture maker while making approximately 50 pictures.

Before leaving for the shore, I played around making 24"x24" prints with 16 snapshots per page. I like the look inasmuch as the snapshots are relatively small which is in keeping with traditional printed snapshots (3 1/2" x 3 1/2"). At this point it is my intention to continue with this practice.

In addition to maintaining the traditional snapshot look, when the ganged snapshots are unified by a theme - people, places, events etc. - they also tend to have a narrative effect. As an example, the shore pictures in this entry could easily be titled, My vacation at the Jersey Shore.

My first test prints were organized by the month during which the snapshots were made which is its own kind of narrative, aka: Things I saw during the month of July. FYI, take note of the date stamp on the prints which was a common practice in the good ol' days of snapshot printing.

In case you are wondering, I am having a lot of fun with this project. In fact, I feel as though I am experiencing my 2nd Great Awakening, re: the photographic medium and its apparatus.

the new snapshot 94-97 ~ iconic stasis

From the essay, WHEN THE EARTH WAS SQUARE ~ 1960-1978, in the book, THE ART OF THE AMERICAN SNAPSHOT ~ 1888-1978:

The effect of the square format, neither portrait nor landscape, on habits of ordinary picture taking is impossible to assess, although its implicit resistance to storytelling makes it a singular choice for snapshots ... [T]he square shape supplants narrative flow with iconic stasis, and it tends to draw attention away from the picture to the object as such.

iMo, an interesting thought on the idea of the square shape as the perfect shape for snaphot pictures.