When I look at the news these days it reaffirms my belief that for me at least life is good. Is this why so many people have become news junkies, they need to see someone suffering so they can feel better about themselves?
I think we all know the person who spends all their available time glued to CNN or some equally intelligence numbing news porn pusher. I firmly believe our local CTV news department here in Calgary has a quota of blood and mayhem they have to meet for every evening newscast. If nothing is gory enough locally they dredge up something from some backwater hillbilly county in the US. While it may be tragic for the people closely associated with the shooting, stabbing, car wreck or beating it has absolutely nothing to do with my life. There is nothing I can do beyond feel bad for them while at the same time thinking, geez my life is so much better than theirs. Thank goodness I watched the news, I never would have known how good I have it.
What does this have to do with photography you ask? Good question. My life is good, and I don’t need anyone external to tell me so. Yes I could be making more money, I could be 40 pounds skinnier, maybe I should be able to run 10 miles. Right now, today, I feel great with who I am and where I am. Well maybe Brooks Jensen from Lenswork magazine could call me up and say he loves my photography and wants to publish some of my stuff in his excellent magazine. That would make me a tad bit happier.
For 2012 my goal with this blog is to publish one image a week that makes me happy. It could make me happy because it records a joyful occasion, creates some visual magic like Bruce Barnbaum‘s slot canyons and cathedrals or represents something spiritual.
Along with the image I will outline the all important W5’s. Maybe even some photo geeky stuff too.
Below is the first image. Anyone from my generation (baby boomer) can relate to this scene. Instantly you have memories of going with your parents to the local hamburger drive-in; the smell of the car’s interior, the AM radio playing anything but what you wanted to hear, pretty car-hops in short skirts, and REAL hamburgers with the condiments oozing out into the foil wrapper. Maybe you went with your friends in a souped up Chevy or Ford. A hot car of this era just had to have Thrush mufflers and a jacked up rear end.
Every payday my dad would take my mom and me to the local A&W. I can remember the day when I was finally old enough to order a Teen Burger and my very own order of French fries! During those days the family car was a very powerful Plymouth Fury with a new one in the driveway ever year until they got rid of the fins in the early 60’s. Then it was on to a string of Oldsmobiles. Why Olds? Because they had a 455cu, 375hp engine and a nice factory AC installation; horsepower for the old man and AC for my mom. From Olds the old man went on to Buick Wildcat’s. That is until they detuned them in 72. He stuck with his 455cu, 375hp Wildcat until the day he died. They might have to pry a gun from Charlton Heston’s dead hands, but for my dad it was the keys to his monster Buick with it’s 10mpg.
This picture was taken at a street festival here in Calgary. I was feeling lazy that day and decided to leave the D700 at home instead pocketing my beater Canon A640. I figured it would be a generally lousy day for photography but was instead presented with a very target rich environment. Live and learn. I did the best I could given the lighting, proximity of Mosquitoes (people in my way) and the limited space between the vehicles. While the car was an integral part of the photograph, for me it represented mainly a time stamp. The food, now that was what caught my attention. Did I mention I am just a tad overweight?
Since my digital days are rather recent compared with over 40 years of shooting film I only took one photograph of this subject. Mind you it took me some time with lots of ducking and weaving to get just the right angle before I pulled the trigger. I hope you enjoy this image and it brings a knowing smile to your face. If you were too young to have enjoyed the drive-in experience rent a copy of “American Graffiti” to get a flavour of what I am talking about. Say hi to the Wolfman for me.