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Tony | August 3, 2014

drool is thinking about, well . . . drool. And the future of the good-old fotoblog
in general.

I won’t flesh this out here, because I’m not sure yet what I think. And while that,
not knowing, hasn’t stopped me in the past from spewing here, I’m gonna take
a few weeks to ponder.

Back with news the first Sunday in September. Until them . . . enjoy your summer.

Mom, me (holding a movie camera) and my sis, Geri. 52 years ago

I wonder if fotos from now will look as other-worldly in 52 years as this one does


Tony | July 27, 2014

Fotos. You take them, but what do you do with them?

These days you probably throw them up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
And you probably throw them up just about as they happen. Those singles add
up over time, give the folks following you a non-verbal insight into your insight.
If you’re more ambitious you’ll have a Tumblr, an actual concise, consecutive
flow of images.

But if you’re serious about fotografy you’ll edit them, edit in the old-fashioned
sense of choosing the ones that best move forward your thesis (you do have a
thesis, don’t you?) and put them in a sequence that provokes thought and/or
reaction. Of course, you’ll never be able to predict or control how any viewers
will think or react, but that’s beside the point. The point is to take your practice
to a conclusion.

And we all know that conclusions are tricky.

The reason I’m thinking about this today (well, there are a bunch of reasons),
but the main reason is: I have 7 sheets of 4×5 film left and when that’s gone
I’m calling OFFICIAL OTTAWA done. Or at least shot . . . it won’t be done until
its been edited and sequenced. Pushed and pulled into a final shape.

7 sheets of 4×5 film

Some Official Ottawa

Possible page spread: Jeffery Simpson, nat’l affairs columnist; Banners celebrating the War of 1812

Possible layout, Official Ottawa

Some Official Ottawa. Prints for the editing wall

The fotos are the nuts and bolts of the thing. But nuts and bolts are only really
useful for assembling a larger thing. And that’s what an edit is, something that
is larger than its component parts, something that sums another thing up. And,
if you ask me, something any serious fotografer must spend time and emotion

And while I’m contemplating the end and the final shape and look and feel of
OFFICIAL OTTAWA , we at STRAYLIGHT are whipping the next book into shape.
SadCity, by Scot Sothern.

Possible cover

We’re waiting for some bound, blank, pages to see if the look and the binding
will work. At the same time we’re figuring ways to combine the fotos and the
stories into a book.

Nuts and bolts. But it’s definitely not like assembling some Ikea thing. There
are no instructions.




Tony | July 20, 2014

drool’s back after a 3 week (World Cup, etc.) layoff. Just bits of news
(if that’s what you want to call it) here today.

I suppose these (below) could have been Facebook posts, some of them
even tweets (those kind of annoying 3 or 4 or 5 part tweets). The social
media world has been atomized, we have more and more choices with
most “advances” leading to compression, to more bite-sized bits of info,
stuff we (you) can stuff into our (your) busy schedules. We (I) fall for it,
adapt to each new medium. Our brains (I suppose) adapting faster than
our souls and we become (somehow) stranger and less interesting.


STRAYLIGHT is working on a new book . . . SadCity, by Scot Sothern.
Look for it this fall.

A series of photos with texts. Some of the writing directly relates to
the associated image, some doesn’t . . .


One night when I was fifteen this older guy I knew picked me up
at home and drove us to a gas station where we filled up two big
red cans of regular for about a dollar and a quarter. From there
we drove out to to an abandoned farm house on a rocky road. It
was two-story white with a big front porch. We checked all the
rooms for people or anything of value then we doused the walls
top to bottom. I stood on the front porch and threw two lit matches
into a gasoline pool in the center of the living room and then a third
before it caught. It went up in an incredible whoosh and singed
my eyebrows. I wish I had taken pictures.


Still working on my Instagram feed. Kind of settling in and finding
what seems, for me, suitable. Go have a look and follow if you want.





When do you end a project? I could keep shooting OFFICIAL OTTAWA
for a long time, but I have 13 sheets of film left and when that’s gone
I’m gonna call it done.

Arbitrary, but so what? So’s life.

Once it’s finally shot I’ll be editing and sequencing and looking to
commission some essays for the final product. I have always seen
OFFICIAL OTTAWA as a newspaper, so it’s final form will be as a
newsprint publication.

Hunger strike, Ottawa, 2013


Tony | June 29, 2014

drool will be closed for a couple of weeks.

Gettin’ some stuff done, summer, World Cup and stuff.

Check in later, will ya.