Monday, December 17, 2007

Blurs and Pixels

These images are from some of the first digital cameras I owned. The cameras were bought on clearance for about ten bucks each. One was a Polaroid "iZone," that took both low resolution digital pictures and photos that "instantly" printed on tiny stickers. The other camera, I can't remember. (They both broke within a year). What I do remember, however, is being so overjoyed at not paying for developing, I went around taking pictures of everything. It didn't take long, though, before the excitement subsided. Over time, I deleted most of the blurry images from my computer, but these are a few I liked enough to keep.

One day, I snapped a picture of bamboo sitting in front of a kitchen window. Light shone through the weave of a curtain, creating a "hatched" gray pattern behind the plant and window panes. The poor resolution really shows in the detail of the stitching, but I like the organic shapes against the hard, uniform window panes. The dark lines of the bamboo also remind me of the curves and brush strokes of Chinese cuneiform.

Another day, I went out when it was raining. I'd always liked the look of light reflecting from wet surfaces, but the sky was so cloudy and gray, nothing stood out. I looked down at the Nissan Altima (dark green) and Geo Prism (gray blue) parked in the driveway. Though the colors were drab, something about the lines of the vehicles caught my eye. Japanese automakers will be pleased the elegant curves of their automotive engineering are not going unappreciated.

One night, I found a neat trick for getting the most from of my fuzzy images. I started taking pictures that were intentionally blurry. I walked around the house--looking at everything through a drinking glass--hoping to find a background that would distorted in some weird way. My cheap digital camera didn't have a preview screen. Everything was clear through the viewfinder, but I knew if the lens was close enough, the result might be kind of crazy. I took a few shots and loaded them on the computer to see. This one had a certain symmetry to it because the rim of the glass ran from the bottom left corner to the upper right, shinning brightly and playing off the underlying shadows and colors. It's chaotic imperfections seem to complement the vague order, creating a sense of movement and wonder.

So there you have it: a few pictures from my earliest days experimenting with digital photography. Thanks for stopping by.

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