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Thoughts on the process I

Thoughts on the process

I don't always have the poetry in mind when I shoot pictures. Some pictures I take simply because I can see the symbolic value they have for me, others I just shoot because they interest me somehow. As I edit and alter the photos, however, it seems the purposefully taken ones never seem to work out as well as the random ones. I am just taking and editing pictures to gather a pool to draw from when I am really ready to write and make a cohesive storyline. I keep wondering how much the story in my head is going to deviate when I complete the pictures.

I resisted digital photography for so long, and thought editing beyond cropping and taking the red eye out was damn near criminal. When I first got into shooting pictures, I had some little, long lost, Kodak camera that took those cheesy panoramic shots. I don't even remember what sort of film it used, but I did like the black and white, and I was pleased with the pictures. I have always been a very make-due sort of person, poverty necessitates it, so when John gave me his digital camera, I was determined to use it to it's maximum potential. All of these pictures have been shot with a Canon PowerShot SD 500. Then I found a web based photo editor, Picnik, which really changed the way I felt about digital editing. I was able to bring all the photos that I imagined to fruition, and stop feeling like I was, well...cheating.


Marcie_portraits_0742_small How Many Stories Before I Fall is a collection of my photography, most often coupled with very short free form poetry. I try to keep the poetry as autobiographical as possible.

My hope is that each medium extends the other to produce a deeper level of narrative than words or pictures alone.

I alternately consider this project as a graphic novel/web comic or as a series of narrative pictures. For more of my thoughts on the process of this blog, check out the notes page.

You may want to also check out some of my other poetry and prose.

how to read:

To make it easy for you to find the latest entries, the front page of this blog displays the newest photos at the top of the page. Unfortunately, that means that images in a series are displayed in the opposite order they should be read. (it was that, or have the first post at the top of the page forever and make you scroll to the end for the new stuff). But we have a solution!

To read all posts in the proper order, please visit the archives and choose a month or a series. These will be displayed in the order they should be read. An even easier way to make sure that you don't miss anything new or read posts out of order is to subscribe to the blog in RSS or email. You'll get each post as it comes out and they will always be in the correct sequence.

This blog was custom designed by John T. Unger at TypePad Hacks. All photos have been edited using the online photo editor Picnik. I recommend the premium version, but the basic edition rocks too!

Other stuff:

Check out my freelance blog here. You can also follow me on Twitter, and view my Flickr pages. 

you must be mistaken


robots from the future

These guys were hanging out on my deck yesterday, a pair of praying mantises (manti?) I love how they look like futuristic robo-bugs...




I am really enjoying the strong, sometimes visceral, reactions that some of these photos are evoking in people. It's not simply "Oh, that's nice," it's more along the lines of "Oh, my God!" So far, my favorite reaction has been that these pieces are "disarming."

I have previewed some of this work to a few close friends whose opinions I respect enormously. A few of them simply never considered photography an art form before...and these are people who make art for a living. It's really fun to make some converts along the way.

the lost book


bringing it all together

In the beginning stages of this project, it's interesting to see how the photography inspires the poetry and vice versa. I wanted to combine the two mediums into a narrative of depth that I didn't feel I could achieve with only one or the other.

More and more I see how a particular photo brings to mind some of my unfinished poetry. Like any poet, I have so many pieces that I have started, stopped, revised, or forgotten, just little fragments of my brain left behind. I am feeling that being able to combine an image may do more justice to some of these poems than words alone could.

One poetry piece, in particular, I have struggled with over the course of a year.  I just couldn't figure out how to evoke the images I was looking for with words alone.  I went out one evening to shoot in a cemetery, and seeing some of the beautiful and haunting sculpted headstones recalled that piece. I was able to see that with one picture, I could set the entire scene and boil that poem down to it's essence. I think this is all working out better than I originally planned.

everyone knew

I know who you are,
she says
stubbing a cigarette out
with worn yellow fingers
you lived on Lincoln Avenue
with that boy
didn’t you?
we could hear your screams
from 3 blocks away

Continue reading "everyone knew" »

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