AKA Abraham Bacoln

How interesting
May 5, 2009, 5:37 pm
Filed under: photography

Flickr gives some clandestine and arcane attribution called Interestingness to the photographs on its site. Every user is given a list of their most Interesting photographs. I figured I would show you mine and give you some idea of what went into each of them, why not?

10.) Game not available in all locations

Game not available in all locations

I had some small chess pieces that I was going to throw away, as I had no chess board and was in the middle of getting rid of a lot of useless stuff. I figured they might be useful one last time. I spent what seemed like hours one night running around the university trying to find a good black and white tile floor and finally I located one in the bathroom in the basement of South Hall. I got the picture and just as I finished packing away the last of my gear the cleaning lady came. I can only assume she was surprised to find two tiny armies in the trash.

9.) Sunset flowers

Sunset flowers

I’m always surprised to see this one on my list. You see that barn in the background? That’s what I had gone out to photograph, and this was the second time I had tried to get the shot. I was unable both times to find the image I wanted – I just couldn’t make it work. On my way back to the car I stopped to shoot the flowers instead as a kind of throwaway image, and next thing I know people are adding it to their favorites like crazy.

8.) Did I ever tell you that when I lived in New Orleans I used to practice card magic?

Did I ever tell you that when I lived in New Orleans I used to practice card magic?

I can’t remember what inspired this photo, but I remember the fun I had setting it up. I tried using string and blue-tac to levitate the card but the results were difficult to edit out in Photoshop. Finally I settled on straightening a wire hanger, sticking the card on top (again with blue-tac) and removing the wire in post-production. The most important thing I learned because of this image is that people find my mad-dog eye abilities unusual and impressive.

7.) I feel kind of bad

I feel kind of bad

When I went to remove my burned-out light bulb from my outside fixture I found it like this with the glass separated from the sleeve. I set it on the kitchen counter, knowing that eventually I’d figure out what to do with it. All it took was talking to myself one day while looking around the kitchen, being silly, saying, “Awww, poor light bulb, broken and bleeding and useless on the counter …”

6.) Indifferent


I went to Fido in Nashville with Trey one day. It started raining buckets and I got my camera out to shoot (from the safe dry indoors) some of the gallons upon gallons of water cascading down the street and into the gutter. Then this guy, soaked to the skin, wandered up and looked in through all the windows, apparently searching for someone and acting like he hadn’t a care in the world. I think of this picture as proof that if you sit with your camera in your hands long enough something strange will happen in front of you.

5.) Perimeter breach

Perimeter breach

One day the idea of Army men being threatened by a stuffed bear just appeared in my head, fully-formed. I went to K-Mart to buy the ingredients, then drove out to Sheep Bluff Road because I knew from our rock climbing excursions that I could find the right location out there. Twenty minutes later I was done, looking at a bag of Army men and a spent bear thinking, “What in the world is wrong with me?”

4.) There is a perfectly valid reason for me having done this

There is a perfectly valid reason for me having done this

Seeing this image included on my Interestingness list is always startling to me. It’s not very well-composed and I really rushed the post-processing as I was getting bored with it before I even finished. And yet, well, apparently I need to learn to separate my opinion from everyone else’s, because it got a lot of attention. Oh, yes, the image itself is documentation of an aborted make-up attempt.

3.) Bananadog


I don’t even have this one on klophoto because I’m not that pleased with it. The imagery is fine: striking, unusual, etc. The technical aspects of the photography are atrocious though, and so I usually try to forget about this one. Apparently Flickr won’t let me do so.



This picture was created from a combination of two different motives. One was me visiting the Dean’s conference room and thinking it would be a great location for a photo. The second was me getting tired of seeing the same old boring clone ‘multiple me’ images on Flickr. I wanted something with action and interaction. So many of the clone images are terribly boring – they might as well be of multiple people all at their own tasks for all the interest they hold. I think I’m qualified to say that because I myself have done dull ‘multiple me’ pictures, I’m not perfect. I guess sometimes people see the clone concept for the first time and think, “Oh god I have to go do that right now!” and get caught up in the idea of the whole thing without making a compelling photograph. You know what I mean? Doing the picture for the technique’s sake, not for imagery’s sake. Anyway, this one is far from perfect but I do love it because I think it speaks as a group photo first and digital manipulation trickery second, which is the correct order of events.

1.) Getting ready

Getting ready

Some guy on campus offered to sell me a surplus civilan gas mask for $2 so of course I took him up on it. I was very excited about the prospects, and then my enthusiasm diminshed over time. A gas mask makes such a solid statement about war or post-apocalyptic life that it’s almost completely unavoidable. In fact, I would say it is completely unavoidable. One can not separate the gas mask imagery from the ham-fisted and juvenile war commentary. So this is what I struggled with – how to utilize this object while avoiding the knee-jerk response that has been beaten into us? Finally I decided that the silliest thing I could do was shave the gas mask, so I went into an unoccupied house with a swanky bathroom to try to add a further sense of normalcy and everyday-life-ness. I got the image I wanted, I did my post-processing, and later in the day I showed it to Walter who said, paraphrased, “So it’s a commentary on how the gas mask has become such a necessity that it’s viewed as a second skin.”

You just can’t win for losing, I suppose.

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