Found photographs, and a hipster dilemma.

August 20, 2008

I randomly found this link & clicked through to discover this found photoset of a woman with Down syndrome, dressed in fashionable clothing and grinning while being photographed in her back garden, at the seaside, etc, throughout the 1970s. And I really liked it.

And then I looked to see what site I was on, and it was Vice Magazine, and suddenly I liked the photoset way less. And I didn’t really understand why. And then I thought about Vice for 20 seconds and remembered how excited I’d be back in the day, when a new one came out (I remember how subversive it felt to read it years ago, when I was wee, back when email addresses, if you had one, were meaningless jumbles, back before Vice was even printed on glossy). And now I don’t really read Vice any more because I avoid Queen West like it’s got cooties, and where the heck else do you find Vice. But historically, I’ve usually liked the style & content of the articles. And then I decided to think some more about Vice.

And then I realized that it’s 3:30 am and I’m too tired to close my mouth, let alone think, and mouth-breathing in the dry, dry mountain air of Banff makes you feel, in the words of a very eloquent woman I’m working with here, as though there’s a suede sock stuffed in your oral cavity. So instead, I ask you, friends, to ponder my new-found prejudice against Vice and the perhaps-exploitative nature of these photos. Why did their being posted on Vice make me like them less, and is that wrong?

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Olympic record holders, photographed from above

August 20, 2008

Here’s a fantastic, detailed, beautifully-illustrated blog post by a Newsweek photographer on how he gets overhead and remotely-triggered shots at the Olympics. If you imagine a whole herd of geared-up, world-class photogs (what do you call a group of photographers? a shutter of photographers? a composition of photographers? an exposure of photographers? sheesh, get back on track) — all climbing a 20-foot ladder to stand on a catwalk above elite athletes having the biggest day of their lives, you can see the potential for problems. Those long telephoto lenses are right heavy when you’re stuck holding them for hours. What if you dropped a lens cap into the ring? What if you had to pee? Ah, but it’s all worth it for shots like this.

Natalie Coughlin, photographed by Vincent Laforet

Natalie Coughlin, photographed by Vincent Laforet