Sunday, January 28, 2007


Still reading Anne Lamott's "Bird By Bird". Today, I particularly liked this:

"All you can give us is what life is about from your point of view. You are not going to be able to give us the plans to the submarine. Life is not a submarine. There are no plans."

Good. Going to sleep.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

If you don't talk about the weather... (an elevator down ride)

Here's another sequence. At first I planned to follow a subject in his/her elevator ride. Then I thought it could be a bit more interesting to see things from the subject's point of view. If you don't talk about the weather with any of your fellow passengers, these are some of the things likely to happen.

You go in. You look back before the door closes. You look at the only girl in the elevator, but you pretend to be looking at the picture on the wall. Then she notices and you look up at the lights (have you noticed how many people look at the elevator's ceiling?). Another trick is to look down at your shoes (invariably, you promise yourself you'll clean them later). You also look at the little screen that tells you the floor you're on when the elevator stops. And, of course, you look at the new passengers. Someone gets out on the second floor, and you still look at the little screen. Then the ride's over and you get out, letting women and children first, of course...

As always, comments welcomed!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Predictable sequence, but a sequence

Here it is. Will try to post something different tomorrow.
Comments welcomed.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The one-inch picture frame

I've just read the second chapter of Anne Lamott's "Bird By Bird". It's been a total revelation and perfectly suits my present approach to taking pictures. She wonderfully describes the situation in which she finds herself when, wanting to write something grand, the little daily worries block her mind in such a way that she can't even start. In those moments, after struggling for a while, she notices a one-inch picture frame that she puts on her desk to remind her of short assignments.

"It reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame. This is all I have to bite off for the time being," Lamott writes.

I must admit that I shot a lot last semester. Besides staffing for the Missourian and doing weekly assignments for the "Advanced Techniques" class, two picture stories and two multimedia projects, I also shot for the J-School PR department, had a job as a photographer for a promotional campaign and got freelance gigs from time to time. At the end of the semester, I felt for the first time, that photography was becoming a JOB. A wonderful one, certainly, but a job nonetheless. I was so exhausted that I hardly took pictures over the Christmas break; just some portraits of my friend Nick's five kids.

Now, at the beginning of a new semester, with the prospect of "having" to do an in-depth picture story, I'm exactly in the situation described by Lamott. For example, for the most part of today, I've been thinking of possibilities to shoot a sequence, but I've discarded one by one because they seemed to me too dull or too predictable. I've felt mentally frozen (and not just because it's snowing quite a lot out there) and, consequently, I haven't shot anything yet.

So, the one-inch frame idea has shaken me, and I'm going out right now to shoot something, whatever. Off! to bite only what I can chew for the time being...

I'm back... After a couple of hours taking pics, I still don't have a decent sequence, but i've decided to post some of the pictures I took. Just for the fun of it. At least I had the chance to practice with my flash a lot, you know, all that blending, custom white balance and stuff like that...

Not a good start

I won't be able to post pictures of the Rodney Atkins show. My idea was to shoot a sequence: before, during and after the show. Actually I was more interested in taking pictures backstage than just the usual onstage shots. That was OK with The Blue Note's owner. It was OK with Atkins' agent too. But the singer's publicist got a little nervous: "I am sorry, sir. We never, never allow anyone to take pictures backstage. That's our policy."

I wonder what would have happened if I had told her that the photographs would appear in the next issue of Rolling Stone (or whatever its cowboy equivalent is)...

Anyway, I guess I will have to think about a less glamorous sequence, like people taking the elevator, riding up (or down) and getting out. Hopefully they won't have publicity issues.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

here we are!

Frankly, I never thought of having my own blog. No, wait, I'm lying: I had the temptation just once (that was looooong ago) and decided against it. Well, I can't avoid it any longer since I'm now obliged to have one as part of my Picture Story & Photo Essay class. Anyway, I think it's going to be funny. I promise I'll try to do my best so that this blog may not be too boring (though most likely David Rees, my professor, will be its only visitor -almost).

Tomorrow (Jan. 18, 2007) I'm going to take pictures of Rodney Atkins. He's performing at The Blue Note in Columbia, MO. For those of you who are not into country music, Rodney Atkins is a big name here these days. Two of his songs, "If You're Going Through Hell" and "Watching You" are #1 in the country charts. You can check them at So, I hope my second entry in this journal will be fun... Watch this space in the next few days!