Pedestrian Photographs: The Walk to Poetry Scores


Last Friday, as some of you know already, was the Poetry Scores Art Invitational at The Luminary Arts Center here in St. Louis and it was a lotta fun and productive, stimulating, educational, etc., etc. ... but I hadn't arranged a ride to the show or anything, so I grabbed Julie's camera and walked.

Now, normally, I'd have taken Grand to Arsenal and gone through Tower Grove Park, but I had already covered much of that territory in the last round of Pedestrian Photographs, So I went the back way - Bates to Kingshighway and northward to the thing.

The pickins, at least to my eye, were a little slimmer than usual that evening and what with these recent early sunsets, the auto-flash kept... you know, auto-flashing. I normally never use a flash regardless of the light, you see, but I couldn't figure out how to disable that function on this camera. Whatever. I harvested a few good things on the way and had intended to shoot the goings-on all night but, about five minutes after I walked in the gallery, the battery died.


Yup. It's autumn. The surface there is one of those big, metal doors that opens up outta the sidewalk and into someone's basement. A lot of the buildings in my neighborhood have these. Here's an example of a shot I might've normally just ignored cause, let's face it, it's just a bit too precious. The whole nature vs. industry theme is pretty played out and, I don't know, it's just to obvious, too predictable. But I went for it anyway. I was just a few minutes out the door when I came upon this composition and I wasn't yet sure of my objectives for this outing so I thought, "What the hell." That's the thing with digital vs. film. With film you need to be really deliberate, really decisive. Every time you expose a frame, it's money outta your pocket. with digital, you just shoot and shoot and shoot with no real consequence to you but the time you spend in editing.

Did I take pictures of the sides of buildings? Why, sure I did. Six of em. The more I look at these, the more I like these blocky compositions. I'll be doing more of these, I think.

Up, up! Parking lot arrows, of course. I could shoot these all day.

And more text frags. A pretty lively arrangement.

"No way would I ever dream of photoshopping the sky! How dare you even suggest such a thing!" is how I captioned this over at the facebook. It's an issue I struggle with a lot, as I'm sure many, many artists do - whether to go wet or stay dry. Every time I bring an image into Photoshop I am tempted to really pretty it up with all those crazy filters I have at my disposal. I do have a standard routine I like and you'll see that employed on all these images but sometimes I feel compelled to do more and, I'll tell you, it's almost never a good idea. Here I've added extra drama to an already fading sky by adding a transparent gradient. It seemed like the thing to do at the time but now I look at it and say to myself, "Too wet."

Another circle hunt. I like giving myself this assignment. It always satisfies, never disappoints, though I think this is the least of them so far. For some reason, on Bates, it's all about drainage.

Awwww! Someone fingered a heart into the wet cement just outside the gates of the Concordia Cemetery on Bates. Read into it what you like. I think it's precious!

On the South end of Kingshighway, it's pretty much storefront after storefront and one of them is a Progressive Insurance office where, in the window, they had this lit up sign with this girl on it, Flo, their current spokesbitch. Actually, no, I shouldn't talk like that 'cause I'm really kinda into Flo. Don't ask me why. She just sorta does it for me. In fact, she's super way cute. I sometimes fantasize about us getting married in that big, white store of hers that sells boxes of air. The ceremony would be ever so dreamy, shot with Vaseline on the lens and very, very sterile except that we'd have the Geico Caveman officiate. He's ordained, right? Sure he is. Then we'd throw a huge reception and get the FreeCreditReport.Com band to play.

As I mentioned, just a few minutes into the show, the camera was useless. So this is the only piece of art I was able to shoot. This is Daniel Shown's inclusion. They're all these 4"x4" photographs, I think, and, of course, it's no mystery why I like this arrangement, though it is a shame about the glare from the flash. (Fucking flash.) But despite their lovely unity, each print got auctioned off separately. The photograph below is of the diagram sheet that Daniel had nearby to indicate to the bidder which image s/he was bidding on.

The only other thing I shot at the show was this cool, old printing press that Eric Woods had brought in from Firecracker Press and set up to print bookmarks, which was his piece in the show. He'd chosen a line from the poem and was printing it up on bookmarks live at two bucks a pop. Very neat. And if you don't already know about The Firecracker Press you should. Everything Eric and his people do is excellent, just amazing work. Check out what I mean here or fan up on facebook here.

1 comment:

jrab said...

yup. Flo is hot.