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Thursday, 03 October 2013


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A beautiful photo and a great approach – and one roll of Fuji Superia 400 is enough for a whole month!

“Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”
Walker Evans

What a lovely, evocative photograph - and such light!

Talk about cream rising! Lovely tonality and composition. The view out the window is wonderfully gauzy, but for me what turns the trick is the shadow play along the wall.

Ah, Margate.
In 1972 I helped a local Greek family set up the first (legal) casino there. Previously I'd been working at another casino called "Nero's" in nearby Ramsgate from which they head-hunted me, sorta.

The front man for the Margate operation was an intellectually challenged former world champion Graeco-Roman wrestler: I'll omit his name. Astonishingly he'd previously held a casino licence in (I think) London in the 60's before the introduction of the Gaming Act - which was initiated by the Mob's attempts to set up UK operations (imaginatively fronted by George Raft). By comparison Margate was pretty sedate. I keep meaning to revisit the place one of these days.

Unfortunately I can't think of any photographically related addition to this fascinating anecdote!

I confess to also being a Blipfoto fan, and heard about it via comments on TOP several years ago. Some days are a real struggle, not helped by hectic days at work, cycling 15 to 20 miles, and swimming - all of which apply to this rainy day in the Scottish Highlands. Or that's my excuse for another feeble snapshot this evening...

Other than the simple rules: only one photo; and it has to have been taken on the day stated, it's very much up to you how you use the site. I recently added to the challenge by managing to take 35 days (non-consecutive) "Blips" out of 37 exposures from a single roll of B&W film. Still need to scan and upload those. One is very TOP related... ;-)

I like the diary type aspect in my usage of it. Some friends and family look-in, and scarily read all my ramblings.

905 uploaded, and about four missed days so far.

The photo creates (at least to my eyes) a bit of an optical illusion. The ocean horizon is straight when I put a ruler to it, but the window frame angles and shadow and table angles all make my mind think the horizon is crooked.

Many Photography clubs offer great monthly challenges.

My favorite is the one from the Pentaxforums.com that asks you to use one lens for a month, Post a picture each day.

It can get hard if you have a real job.

Four years ago I became involved in the Solo Photo Book Month (SoFoBoMo). The aim was to produce 35 photographs in a "sliding" month (30 contiguous days from May 1 to June 30 of that year) and publish them as a PDF book on the organization's web site.
It was an exhilarating experience in that I produced more photos in that period than in any month before or since. I shot everything, and yes, there was the goal to try to make "good" pictures (whatever that means) instead of just snapshots. I thought I did pretty well (http://www.atjay.com/pages/onemonth.pdf for anyone interested) but it wasn't easy.
Unfortunately, the program ended in 2011 as the principles found maintaining the site competing with more pressing projects. But a photo a day, as it were, is such a useful exercise. Even with a full-time job.

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