odd salon explore

Three weeks ago, I had the pleasure and privilege of speaking at Odd Salon for the second time. The theme for the night was Explore, and there was an emphasis on non-white-western-male explorers, and different kinds of explorers. My talk was on the surface a classic sea-fairing tale, “40,000 miles and a century early: The treasure Voyages of Zheng He.” There’s a video online here which I refuse to watch on the grounds that I went through it once already. Someone tell me if it’s okay to look. The main thrust of the argument wasn’t just that he was a great admiral that went all that way, but that he also exercised this continual escalation, from one thing to the next in his life, to see how much he could do.

You’ll notice I’m slipping towards three weeks of backlog (almost back up to the traditional month) and that means I’m almost back to the place where I feel guilty enough about the size of the backlog that it puts me off blogging because who wants to confront all of those pictures? And all the writing and such that also needs to happen with them? But I’m also in a bit of a slump shooting the last week, not terribly well rested and been missing my walks. So, I don’t have much beyond a new gimmick to report (put on a super wide rectilinear lens on, and point it straight up). So, all that to say I’m going to keep on putting up images, trying for a post a day.

I had some thoughts about this slump I’m having today, too. This is a thing that always happens with a new camera: get the thing, be very excited about it, and go out and make a bunch of good pictures with it over the first couple weeks. I even had a honeymoon period like that with the GoPro (an otherwise not very good camera for the sorts of photos I take), where I really just played with the thing and had fun. Then, about a month in, a slump hits. I can’t maintain that energy forever, and I find myself falling into old patterns of working, which means I don’t get as much energy from shooting, and feel kinda meh about the whole thing.

So, the insight I had today was that I need to figure out how to break those patterns of working, see things from new perspectives, etc. I might break out The Photographer’s Playbook and have some fun. I also need to start getting up early to shoot more San Pablo. Right now it’s not in a place where it’s a book, except maybe one of those boring art books that go with exhibitions and don’t sell out their first printings. It might be good as individual large prints, and I need to buy some paper to start playing with that too… so! There’s work to be done.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-24 06:12:32 +0000

street photos on a tuesday

Nothing profound to say this time, except that I’m running on 4 hours of sleep and I’m going to bed right now. Good night.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-20 06:18:00 +0000

brunch and the lockpicking gospel

So this was definitely also Labor day, I think; or maybe the day before. It was just before my odd salon talk. MaryAlice hit us up and asked if we wanted to brunch, and I happened to be awake and said yes, and got Sophie up, and away we went to Oakland Grill.

After that we went to Merchants, as you do, because it’s the third day of a three day weekend, and what else is there? Certainly nothing responsible is happening.

So, what about that gospel the title promised? Well, I was at the gym, and my buddy was looking at one of the smaller locks on someone’s locker, and speculated that you would need an especially small tension wrench to open it, and I responded “Yeah, and a small half diamond rake and it’ll come right open, the way God intended.” We laughed, and then I started thinking, in that weird post-gym slighly hypoxic high on endorphins way, and thought, you know, you could make half a case for that. John chapter 8, You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (don’t ask me why I remembered what book that was in). God wants all their children to be free. So all the locks must be opened. Makes about as much sense as prosperity gospel or the quiver-full people.

Anyway, here’s today.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-18 05:45:38 +0000

new baby fiadh flynn-curran

Last weekend? Last week sometime? no, I remember, it was labor day, and we went to the only open sushi joint in greater oakland to pick up a meal and take it to the folks with the weeks-old baby. They’re still in the thick of it, with the baby not sleeping through the night, or really for more than a couple hours at a stretch. Sounds miserable if you ask me.

Anyway, it was good to see them and catch up, at least for a couple hours. It’s the silly season, one of those times when everything happens all at once and all I can do is try to show up and do my thing as well as I can.

I’m way behind on posting photos; this is from almost two weeks ago and I have a pretty big backlog. The Leica (which might need a name, come to think of it) has really got me producing a lot of photos. I’m not sure why, except it feels like I’ve got some skin in the game again, out there in the world with this camera. Like it’s a big hunk of responsibility, and I need to be using it to make it worthwhile? I dunno. It helps that it’s so freakin’ awesome to work with, and the files that come out of it are so good. It’s the same size / number of pixels as my other cameras, but it just feels more refined.

Posted by Matt on 2018-09-14 07:26:33 +0000