Tuesday, July 14, 2009

As seen in The New York Times

As a person who grew up delivering, reading, working in and then leaving newspapers, I'm more than guilty of a certain reverance toward the paper of record -- The New York Times. But I only get the print edition on Sundays and I confess that much of what I love about the paper now is what I see of it online. And their Lens blog is among the content i love.

Recently, Lens put out a call to readers to submit their personal cell phone images for a planned gallery. I was never a big fan of cell phone photos and always sort of mocked people who I saw on the street trying to capture meaningful moments with an inferior piece of technology. A lot of that changed after I got an iPhone and started playing with some of the "cameras" available in assorted apps.

So I when I saw the Lens call-out, I looked through my iPhone set on flickr and picked out four images that I liked and sent them off to the New York Times through the wonder of the Internets. Several days later I received an email telling me that my work had been selected to run in a gallery going live online the next morning.

Friday, July 10, I couldn't wait to look at the site and see what was used. Lens received 1,500 submissions for its cell phone project, and the editors cut that crop to 350 images. Two of my photos were selected. There's some very good work in here and some very mediocre work in here. And the comments are kind of interesting because some people have a real problem with iPhones and iPhone apps, especially.

I'm just happy to have had something published by the New York Times. It would be cool to have had it be in print, but those days are gone, I imagine.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Film in the digital age

I think little kids are spoiled by the digital age and are definitely not taking the time to understand what photography is -- the process, activity and art of creating still or moving pictures by recording radiation on a sensitive medium, such as a photographic film, or an electronic sensor (thanks wikipedia!). Kids look at images on the backs of cameras now and assume that's how they've always been made. Parents don't make prints or fill photo albums, they fill memory cards and flickr pages.

But Polaroid, in its last gasp on earth, is showing me that some kids still find wonder in the taking of photographs on film. And seeing those photos develop over a few minutes rather than instantaneously is a magical experience. They love to pose in a trance when they know the white piece of paper is going to shoot out of the blocky camera with all kinds of associated noise.

Dig these pictures of Henry, Ella and Calvin, mesmerized by a 40-year-old photographic process unfolding before their eyes in the digital age.