An Outlet I’ve so Needed

You know me by now. I simmer.

As I write this my leg twitches and my mind races about the things I’ve been exposed to. Just in the past half day here at the Blurb office. I’m an interloper. “Why are you here,” people ask. “Ah, it’s hard to explain.” My journal sits near my left hand, slowly filling with what I need to get out, but filling FAR slower than ever before. At one point in my life what flowed on these pages was very much about volume. Violent quivers of things I just needed to rid myself of. But now things are different. Short, choppy blocks of notes more than prose. But they FEEL like they might be okay. Or good even. I really don’t know.
Recently a friend asked “Hey, do you know about Hi?” Minutes later I was signed up and “sketching.” This is free form, raw, literary expression and something I’ve never had before. Different from this blog. A community, described as “real-time” and I feel it.
Hi

You see writing for me, real writing, the thing I do alone in the dark, has always been intensely private, veiled under the suspicion it only made sense to me. Maybe not. A few years ago I wrote something in the middle of the night, a piece about a drive by shooting. I made it up. The shooting actually happened, but I fabricated what I felt was really going down. I sent it to a friend who sent it to an editor and BOOM it was printed. Everywhere. “Have you written anything like this before?” the editor asked. “I have bins in my garage filled with hundreds of books of this material.” Not saying it’s all good, but I’m saying it’s there.

I’m not sure how I use Hi is how it was originally intended. I think for many it’s about making a mobile image and then sharing a thought. But as all of you know, I’m a film photographer, so I don’t use shoot digital unless I have no other choice, and I don’t make images with my phone. I dream of visiting Tokyo with processing tanks and a scanner and spending my late nights in the dark, the room periodically flooded by the slow burn of a scanner moving across silver grain. So, for me this site is about reflections. I have twenty-five-years of images, themed, stand alone and random. With each comes memory and experience and this is what I’m attempting to share.

Also, Hi is very much about community. So is Smogranch, but historically Smogranch has been photo-centric. Hi is also about imagery, but it’s the wordy part that I find most intriguing. Both for personal and professional reasons I’m spending far less time with photographers and far more with authors, so finding these folks scattered around the world, or in my hometown, has been illuminating.

So now I’m thinking. A lot. What does this really mean? Nothing? Everything? This word thing is in my blood. Gramps was full-time, full-on for thirty years. I have a sinking and painful suspicion my life is going to change. Stay tuned for the fallout. And those of you so inclined you should check out this site.

Tom M. Johnson…Paris

I met Tom M. Johnson a few years ago while attending the Palm Springs Photo Festival. He had a really solid body of work, completed over many years and relating to a subject he had known since childhood. During the festival, those chosen as slideshow finalists have their work presented at night in the Annenberg Theatre at the Palm Springs Art Museum. This is one of my favorite parts of the entire festival because the attendees know how important this is to the finalists, so when someone has great work the crowd lets them know. Each time Tom has been presented he’s had great work. This year was no exception. The work below is described in the intro to the film. I was intrigued by the project and wanted to share it with you all. Check out his site, linked above, and let him know how you feel.

Community Feature is Up and Running

Okay folks, not sure where this is going exactly but the community feature here at the ranch is up and running

Stop on by, let her fly if you have anything you want to discuss.

As you will see, I created some groups, Documentary, wedding, portrait, book-publishing, etc.

As you will see in the registration page. The idea is to create conversation, not confrontation. So, I’ll monitor accordingly.

I look forward to meeting new folks, connecting people and hearing what whispers are passing through our shared worlds.

Use the button in the upper right of the homepage to sign up, and know that these are the early days so if there is a bug or two…think baby ducks. It will all be good in the end.

PLEASE UPLOAD AN AVATAR SO WE CAN SEE WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. IT’S WAY MORE FUN THAN THOSE ODD POLICE REPORT LOOKING BLANKS.

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