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29 November 2008 @ 02:33 pm
A Photograph  

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Current Mood: pensivepensive
Geri Sullivangerisullivan on November 29th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
I want to read the story that photo so clearly illustrates. I hope it's by a writer up to the job.
parsleighparsleigh on November 29th, 2008 11:11 pm (UTC)
What she said.
Fred A Levy Haskell: xclip- red check animatedfredcritter on November 29th, 2008 11:47 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :)
Fred A Levy Haskell: xclip- diamond grey round glass purplefredcritter on November 29th, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Fascinating. I saw an abstraction and worked very hard to emphasize the abstract qualities; to try to make it even more abstract. You look at the result and *blam*! straight down to absolute concrete—to program music. Very interesting. And of course you're right. Were I to have my druthers, I wonder who I'd ask to write it. Interesting indeed.
maruad on November 29th, 2008 11:48 pm (UTC)
oh... and I thought of what frame it would require. I like the sombre darkness of it. If I were painting it I would perhaps put in single point of colour in one of the right hand corners (probably bottom right) but that is just me, ruining a perfectly dark moment with a bit of levity.
Fred A Levy Haskell: xclip- red check animatedfredcritter on November 29th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, that is so very much the fun of sharing artwork: hearing about all the varied and interesting perspectives different people bring to it and then seeing it in those ways as well. I'm forever thankful that I stumbled into this community of observant, thoughtful, and articulate people.
lynnparkslynnparks on November 30th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC)
I've always loved your architectural compositions; the textural images that overlay common images have always been a trademark of yours; how old is this one?

Are you still using film or have you gone the digital SLR route? I have a Pentax I still love (film) and use a Canon Rebel SLR but there is still something about the film that I like better; maybe it's more reflective of my age than it is reality! I sense there is a difference in the light, but it could be wishful thinking on my part.

Fred A Levy Haskell: xclip- earthfredcritter on November 30th, 2008 04:04 pm (UTC)


As I keep saying about many of the comments/observations all you bright and perceptive friends o’ mine make about my photos, you’re absolutely right—that is one of my … yes, “trademark” is a nicer (maybe even better) word than “shtick” or “trick,” which is how I might have put it. Your description has the advantage of clarity and concision over anything I might have found to say about that … aspect … of my work and therefore lets me think about it in a new way. For me, too much thinking while I’m in the process of using the camera can be a bad thing and I try to avoid it; however, I believe that all the rest of the time it serves both me and my art if I think a whole lot about what I’m doing and what I’m trying to achieve and all that. What I think I’m trying to say here is: “thanks for the food for thought.”

This image dates back to when I was living in San Francisco, so that would put it some time around spring of 1979. Which brings up an interesting point: I do believe that if I were standing there today I’d probably take pretty much the same photo—I don’t believe my growth has moved me away from seeing and appreciating (and framing) things that way.

I’m still using film, but I finally replaced my old film scanner (which had some unfortunate traits that eventually caused me to be afraid to use it) with a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 and have developed a fresh enthusiasm about getting my work (old and new) scanned so I can work with it and get it out there for people to see. Of late I’ve been most actively working though the last version of Da Fred (A Levy) Haskell Song and Slide Show, which is where this slide was living. But I’m also doing some of my more contemporary stuff as well.

Still using film (although as I mentioned above, I do have a nice film scanner so I can digitize it after it’s been processed). My trusty old Nikkormat died a few years back, so we bought me a new F100 just before we went to Australia in 1999. Unfortunately I’ve had to buy all new lenses as well, since by the time I made my move the retrofit parts/kit for old Nikon lenses were no longer available. Or so I was told. I may just push harder sometime because my old 20mm lens was far superior to the new one. *sigh* I do believe I will eventually buy a digital Nikon, but right now my priority is to replace our old Blue & White G3 with a current Mac Pro so Photoshop processing doesn’t take so darned long. I’ll probably continue to use the F100 for black & white photography (as long as I can still get Tri-X) since I actually like b&w film artifacts—the grain and texture the film imparts—but I’ll be happy as a clam to go digital for colour, since colour photography is first and foremost about colour more than anything else and any grain can be a distraction in that context. Besides, there’s the added bonus of the “instant gratification” factor with digital.

Pentaxs (Pentaxeme?) were (are?) great cameras and their lenses were the equal to any, IMHO, so I’m not surprised you still love it. And the Canon Rebel is what I recommend to people who want something better than a point-and-shoot but don’t want to invest in a pro-level camera—everything I’ve heard about it is good.

When thinking about and comparing film with digital it’s good to remember that although preferences are subjective there are actual differences between them—each imparts its own particular artifact to the image. As I said above, it’s my opinion that you can’t beat film for b&w, but digital is just fine for colour. YMMV. Offer void where prohibited by law. Use only as directed. Do not allow knives in small children.

Peter Hentgesjbru on November 30th, 2008 11:42 am (UTC)
I like the tone, composition and texture of this photo. Even more I like the interesting juxtaposition of a spiral staircase in a square frame. I expect spirals to be round and this highlights how they are so not, but makes me feel like a round peg has been struck into a square hole.
Fred A Levy Haskell: xclip- pushpin purplefredcritter on December 1st, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)

Thank you. It probably won't surprise you to hear that I do too.

It stands to reason that not only did I very much like the spiral staircase in the square frame, it was in my mind a strong design element—in fact, had it been a more "normal" staircase, I'm not entirely sure I would have even taken the photo. As it was, I did my best to emphasize—or at least feature—it. The interesting bit (although I'm beginning to see that it's been coming up in our discussions of other photos and probably will again) is that I conceptualized it (both at the time and again whenever I select it for display in one context or another) almost entirely as an interesting juxtaposition of the three varying diagonals against the horizontals and verticals; that is, I pretty much missed the interesting round peg in square hole effect of the real, physical spiral staircase in the square framing.

Makes me wonder about the extent to which I deconstruct any photographic subject into forms and lines and angles and overlook some (many?) aspects of actual physicality when I'm doin' photography. Do I do this when I'm working with people even? Probably not so much, but… Must think.