Blurb Australia: More Street Photo Shenanigans


I’m not a good tourist. I feel like I need a reason, a purpose, a focal point or point of contention. Internal unrest, mental not physical, at least for now. Forcing myself forward, step by step, ignoring certain things, certain people and fixating on others until they feel my need and it all goes away. Why would you walk with a lens cap on? After all these years I’m not sure. Like an infantryman carrying his rifle with a pool cue in the barrel. Makes it somewhat difficult to achieve the desired result and yet there these mysterious creatures are.
Something unfamiliar in my hand, but I’m working on that. Like new shoes I feel the visual blister forming. It demands it’s own dialogue. I can’t speak to it in the same language I normally use. Clarity from the clutter is more difficult with the little beast, so I need to change the way I see, the way I layer and the way I look for light.
I break things into mental quarters to give myself a helping hand. “In the end..the machines always win.” Yes, true but as humans we all want to fight the good fight. A guy blows $400(Australian) on a slot machine next to me. Like a kiss from a stranger. That love was never really his, wasn’t in his wallet long enough. A few flicks of a finger, a few spinning dials and it’s gone forever. Remember what they say about the machines.
I like being here because it is a challenge and I actually do feel like I’m doing good. “Please remain calm, we are here to help,” coupled with “Beatings will continue until moral improves.” I make photographs and I make books, a lot of each. I like to share why, how and then revisit the why. Sometimes I don’t want do either but yet there they are, the camera in hand the nonstop mental editing and then the smell of ink on paper. I tell people I jokingly call it a “curse” but I’m not really joking. I watch others moving through life with a different filter and I wonder “why me?”
Why do I need to report, record and resolve? I wander into a gambling hall and face backwards staring into the souls of the men watching the ponies with a focus that only comes with money on the line. I don’t gamble but I’m fascinated by those who do. Crumpled bits of paper, hands sweeping across sunken eyes and stubble. There is always another race, another day, another bet. The energy in the room is a palpable strain of uncertainty and guilt. “In the end…the machines will always win.”

8 responses to “Blurb Australia: More Street Photo Shenanigans”

  1. LionelB says:

    Colour is a pain. The orange, pink and vermilion screaming for attention in the market, the sickly blue cast in the shadows. Only when it is very close in or practically monotone does it seem to work. Otherwise, like drinking cordial neat. Though coral reefs do not jar …

    • Smogranch says:

      Those are all the things I LOVE about color. Cold light, warm light, neutral, etc. Skintone…..not that I want to do this all the time but I do enjoy the chase.

  2. greg g says:

    Why? Because there are ghosts in the machines and ways within the light that only you are legend to…

  3. mike a says:

    I feel you Daniel. Our brains are related.

  4. “Deus ex machina” …

    As one who shares partly in the affliction of *why* it is we’re consumed with the art and practise of making a photograph, do we somehow search for some piece of divinity within the apparatus, that somehow a little piece of heaven come out in the choosing and in our own making?

    • Smogranch says:

      Yes, true. We bring our mental baggage to the conversation. Then, when you drop something like this you realize it’s just a piece of raw material. Still great, but not alive.

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