Random thoughts on a Sunday

While drinking coffee this morning, I came across an interesting quote and now I have some thinking to do.

We could define it as sculpting in time. Just as a sculptor takes a lump of marble, and, inwardly conscious of the features of his finished piece, removes everything that is not part of it—so the film-maker, from a ‘lump of time’ made up of an enormous, solid cluster of living facts, cuts off and discards whatever he does not need, leaving only what is to be an element of the finished film, what will prove to be integral to the cinematic image.

Andrei Tarkovsky – Sculpting in Time

Tarkovsky is talking about the role of a director here, but in my mind he could be defining a photographer as well. I haven’t read the book and now I need to. I feel the only difference between Tarkovsky’s vision of a director and mine of a photographer is the length of the narrative. A photographer has to be infinitely more concise, and impart more mystery. A photographer is not afforded the luxury of being too exact in their intent.

I think this may be why I feel compelled to sometimes document what I am seeing further with a paragraph. Which in some ways also means I have failed to impart all the meaning to the photo I intended when I took it. Makes me think about what I can do to change that.

It is always interesting when I find a gap in my knowledge and have the pleasure of filling it in.

The holidays are upon us, like some mixture of a creeping dread and an immersion in a stream of nostalgia. I often find the days are given significance that they do not warrant, in that change can happen whenever the choice is made for it to. I think that’s why I didn’t really realize the changes I am experiencing while they were happening.

Since the film community has fragmented online interaction has all but halted and I feel in some ways photography is returning to what it used to be for me, a largely solitary pursuit.

Twitter is a dumpster fire but I go back to see some people who have not left it. I am having a bad user experience on Mastodon. Many things simply do not work, from images not loading in apps to having to find and re-follow people I follow over and over again. The topics I follow are starting to actually be about those topics. Initially they were all posts about how morally superior someone was for leaving Twitter or how the influx of Twitter users is ruining everything. Flickr seems to be more like an abandoned town, with groups I used to be a member of having no new posts for years. Still searching for some folks and hoping to find them active. The local photography group I am part of turned toward street photography, which I am not much on. Grainery is far better than Insta, and I like it a lot. I’ll stay on there.

So it seems I’ll be returning to forays in to new spaces on foot, in 4Runner, on bicycle (when I get back in shape) or by train, with the most beautiful woman in the world by my side. There is no real downside to that.

6 Comments

  1. December 11, 2022
    Reply

    In my limited time of being back into film (just about three years), it seems like blogs are where it’s at when it comes to online interaction. This is quite interesting, since blogging in all other areas has dried up. But it’s hard to get nerdy about a particular camera in the 2,200 character limit of an Instagram post.

    I’m pretty ambivalent about IG. I use it mostly for social media (I don’t do Twitter or FB) and realize that true, meaningful interaction can happen, but is fleeting.

    I see that you have gotten back onto flickr. I urge you to give it a bit more time and search out the new, not the old. Yes, there are plenty of groups that are barely active or haven’t been active in years, likewise with individual users. But there are plenty of users that are active, especially with film. Every day my flickr feed has hundreds of photos posted to it. So don’t just try to find people you knew, but new people. And flickr still is the most useful photo sharing app when it comes to things like groups or making albums of photos.

    I’ve heard about Grainery. I need to check it out.

    P.S. Did you get my letter?

    • Andrew
      December 17, 2022
      Reply

      I’ve been hunting folks on Flickr, not much success yet but still working on it. Check Grainery out! So much better than Insta!

      I did get your letter! One day I will improve my penmanship enough to send a legible one back. Illegible letters kind of miss the mark.

  2. You’ve got some good thoughts going in here. In the past, I’ve found myself compelled to explain my photos with some length of text. When I look back on my best photos, though, they seem to function just fine without any words at all. Getting out more with my camera is a high priority for me in 2023.

    I’m on Flickr, but only as a matter of habit. The community just isn’t there anymore, although I do find some compelling photos and worthwhile conversation on a regular basis. I like Vero’s platform but have been using it inconsistently. Same with Grainery. I haven’t engaged in Twitter in any meaningful way in quite a while now. Last time I did, I found myself getting caught up in a worthless pissing match over something completely irrelevant. That’s just not me. My time on there is probably coming to a close.

    And finally, I also share your sentiments on the holidays. I find myself wishing they could be about something more meaningful than pressure to keep up with traditions and conform to expectations. That’s a tall order sometimes.

    • Andrew
      December 17, 2022
      Reply

      Here’s to more images and less words in the coming year!

  3. December 17, 2022
    Reply

    As my mom or someone equivalent once said: “It’s the thought that counts.” An illegible letter is better than no letter at all.

    And there are other ways one can compose a letter, even without the use of computers: A typewriter, for instance. Since you are part of the 1%, I’m sure you can afford one. 😉 (Or get “vintage-digital” and type it out on Applesoft Word and print it via dot matrix printer.)

    • Andrew
      December 25, 2022
      Reply

      I haven’t had a typewriter in a long time. Used to have a vintage Royal manual I should have held on to. I’m working on my embarrassing penmanship, and I just was gifted some nice pens, so I should put them to use. Happy xmas!

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