INNOCENT LANDSCAPES REVISITED: 02 / JUL / 2010
SOME NOTES ON STREET PHOTOGRAPHY CONTINUED: A GOOD WALK SPOILED
Posted by David Farrell
I have a firm dislike of labels or more accurately boxes into which people can pour all sorts of prejudices and assumptions. However I do believe that the world, like ancient Gaul, is divided into three parts. You are either a Beckett (wo)man, a Joyce (wo)man and, if you are really lucky, your own (wo)man. My literary loyalties rest firmly with Sam and on good days I also manage to be my own (wo)man. And so deliberately eschewing the ever more popular and ever more ‘scrotumtightening’ 16-06-10, I decided to make a walk on the 21-06-10 (whose numbers, for your information, individually add up to ten) and a day of what appears to be infinite daylight. Now, in the current climate, an exclamation mark rather than a question mark might be a more appropriate journey but I decided to walk in a semi-circle or hemisphere (to allow for variations) as it seemed a good idea at the time. There are of course a host of highly conceptual reasons for this decision but I won't trouble you with them now. I have always wandered the streets as an antidote, or more accurately a counterpoint, to the stillness of the land and since decommissioning my wee Leica (for now) in order to draw a line under Analogue Days 2004-2009 I have been very disciplined and it has not been removed from the bunker deep within the Irish landscape.
Recently I began this series Some Notes on Street Photography as way of moving on, but also working within, my tradition of street photography. These walks as presented are first drafts, first attempts that most likely will end up under the bed a decommissioning bunker I would recommend to all. That said, somewhat like the Princess and her problem with the Pea, this method can make for many an uncomfortable night’s sleep.What a disaster this walk turns out to be. Firstly, it’s a slab of blue-sky day so the light is hard and the photographs appear to contain too many shadows. Secondly I am using a borrowed ‘professional’ digital SLR – you know the type – really good cameras but devoid of a personality even when used in non machine gun mode, so somehow I never feel the photographs I am trying to make – maybe it’s the coitus interruptus of the mirror or possibly the fake semi-discreet motordrive sound. One way or another there is no bang or bing when I click and yet when I view the images later there not so bad (?) just unfelt in the way that lovers feel when east goes west and west goes east and the interruptus takes place and yet the coitus is continuous.Thirdly, in spite of a pocketful of ennui and a pocketful of energy my biggest mistake is to make a plan, to have a route, even if only vaguely defined. These ‘Walks’ need the possible randomness of some sort of Chaos theory, so after a while feeling fatigued and forsaken I give up and slump home to base camp for another day. Later in the week I do two more walks which feel more felt but time will tell. Fourthly even in non machine gun mode I am making too many photographs and not observing enough, there needs to be a rhythm between looking and embalming. Anyway never afraid to fail, here we go warts and all.
Walk Two, 21st June 2010, Dublin:
- Past the the panting dog who may be lost.
- Past the graffitti of the Celtic catman.
- Past the line of ants queing in the heat on their way home.
- Past the place that was frozen and is now in bloom.
- Past the notice for virus problems.
- Past the the young woman struggling to empty the flower pot.
- Past the woman with the black cat on her T-shirt, I should have clicked.
- Past the Indian family sitting on the canal bench.
- Past the the bus-man consulting his diary.
- Past the red pole.
- Past the yellow pole.
- Past the two women in his and hers.
- Past the second woman.
- Past the young woman in flat red shoes.
- Past the the young woman in tall red shoes.
- Past the miniscule plague.
- Past the swan shielding her cygnet.
- Past the anonymous shrine.
- Past the the orchids in the window of the property developer.
- Past the umpteenth discount book shop.
- Past the beauty shop called 'Heaven'.
- Past the arrangement of people and trees as the Countess looks on.
- Past the shy plastic bag swirling in the shadows.
- Past the the young man on his phone who is looking for a photographer.
- Past the window with five climates.
- Past the squared rainbows and the small white cloud.
- Past the elegant statue now trapped behind bars.
- Past the Hirstian motorbike.
- Past the text which states 'screw the bankers vote no'.
- Past the now starving cat who greets me 'meoww'.