See the movie “Into The Wild” (2007), the true story of Christopher McCandless. DPI’s “Into The Wild” was taken in Calexico, California (August 18, 2002). Bus appears to be adjacent to the border wall. License plate is from 1983 so the bus has been out of service for some time.
If this blog would have been entitled “Texture” would it have received more views? But this is all about including texture in your photos. Me, I love it. Can’t give me too much texture in a photo. It gives a clearer sense of reality. Provides almost three dimensional quality to a photo. In “Horsepower“; U. S. c.1918 the low angle allows us to be close to the earth that has just been turned over. At a higher angle all of this texture would have been lost. So whether the photo contains weathered wood slats of a building, a brick wall or a cobblestone street this is all to the good. My advice is to incorporate texture into your photos wherever possible. I think you will realize its benefit in your work.
Our condolences go out to the families of the victims of all the mass murder incidents. Now it’s El Paso and Dayton. When will it end? Will it ever end? As a veteran and resident of New York as well as a member of the American Legion and a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars I cannot justify a need for automatic weapons in the hands of civilians. Military style weapons in the hands of civilians. No veteran that I have spoken with disagrees with me on this point. As a retired Social Studies teacher though I would argue that the gun culture in the United States is just part of who we are and predates our republic. To think that we can completely eliminate hand guns and long guns is naive. Background checks and the elimination of automatic weapons would be a good starting point. I think that a constitutional amendment would meet the same fate as Prohibition in the end. We find ourselves in uncharted territory at this moment in time. Speaking as a teacher, the need for toleration among all people is paramount. Education is the key.
As the lead photo we present “I Ain’T Got Time To Bleed“; California (January 15, 1980). The quote of course is from the film “Predator” (1987). Boys with toys.
We begin our August blogs with this rare image: “Street Peddler“; New Orleans, Louisiana c.1895.
In calmer times pedestrians crossing the bridge from Nuevo Larado, Mexico into Larado Texas. Hotel Hamilton in the distance. “Streets of Larado” (July 1959). “As I walked out on the streets of Larado…” – Johnny Cash.
In composition theory the use of diagonal lines is imperative. A diagonal line in a photograph creates interest. It creates a certain tension. It draws the viewer’s interest into the image as we try to see what is just beyond our sight. In “Railroad Crossing” c.1949 a normal scene becomes transformed into a far more interesting depiction of a track crew at work with the use of diagonal lines whether intentional or not on the part of the photographer. Sometimes diagonal lines are obvious, but more often than you might suppose it is the unconscious, invisible diagonal that connects objects in a photo that is more important. Such might be the gaze created by a parent looking at his/her child and the child’s gaze back to the parent. Our brains try to make sense of it all and in so doing a more memorable image is created. In “Railroad Crossing” the eye is drawn to a vanishing point as the telephone poles diminish in relative perspective as does the road turning to the right far in the distance. How many diagonal lines can you find in “Railroad Crossing”? I suspect many more than you might imagine at first glance.
Here’s something that DPI does not present too often. To start off your work week, “Last of the Buffalo Hunters“, c.1881. It is not too often that we showcase a 140 year old photo, but there are always exceptions. They were actually bison, of course, but the name “buffalo hunters” just stuck.
With respect to the conversation regarding immigration at our southern border we present “Immigrants: The New Americans“, c.1915. Taken somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean let us not forget that many of our ancestors who came here were escaping from discrimination and worse over a century ago. Also, let us not forget the contributions they made to our country in helping it to become what we all enjoy today. For many their next stop would be Ellis Island. At the height of the wave of European immigration more than 5,000 people were processed daily at Ellis Island.
It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I agree. There is perhaps an unconscious quest at DPI to locate images that are similar to those taken by the great masters. I admit that I am not particularly moved by paintings except in very special cases. One painting that has touched my soul is “Lady of Shalott” by Waterhouse (1888). I could look at it all day and feel a certain calmness and admiration for the artist. “Lady of Shalott” was based on a poem by Tennyson (1832) and it is shown below.
With all eyes focused on the current humanitarian crisis on our southern border let us not forget that U. S. citizens were once also migrants living in squalor in relocation camps during the Great Depression. The power of the still photograph is clearly evident and on display with the recent, tragic photo of the migrant Oscar Alberto Martinez Ramirez and his daughter Valeria who drowned in the Rio Grande at Matamoros while seeking asylum in the United States. I think that it is fair to say that that image will clearly be in the running for the next Pulitizer Prize.