Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.

With the camera, it's all or nothing. You either get what you're after at once, or what you do has to be worthless. I don't think the essence of photography has the hand in it so much. The essence is done very quietly with a flash of the mind, and with a machine. I think too that photography is editing, editing after the taking. After knowing what to take, you have to do the editing.
Walker Evans (3 november 1903 - 1975) photographer

today is the birthday of walker evans, one of my photographic superheros. walker got his start as a photographer for the farm security administration, documenting the effects of the great depression. when I think of it, quite a few of the photographers that I admire most were fsa photographers - including dorothea lange and gordon parks. geez, I was definitely born at the wrong time. although I'm sure it was quite difficult to get such a gig.

I love work which captures our social world - when I hit the library I need to see if they have a copy of walker's many are called, a book which is a compilation of one of walker's early depression era projects. during a three year period beginning in the late 1930s walker snapped photos of people riding the nyc subway using a hidden camera. fascinating.

well, no more time, today is ms t day and we are off to the library but first have to vote. it is election day and although it's an off year there are a few local issue to tend to.

photo: angler bill, I met bill the other day when I was taking a hike, I was drawn to the sight of this guy sitting on a chair in the river fishing. of course I walked over to him and asked him if I could take his picture. as I was taking his photograph I learned a great deal about his life. people are so interesting. I'm always so grateful when folks say yes when I ask to take their picture. of course like walker, often I'm kind of sneaky and sometimes I snap a picture without asking permission. rocky river reservation, cleveland october 2009

r.e.m.'s song camera from the 1984 album reckoning


ArtSparker said...

I like how he is so solid, so seated, and the chair is just lines and he's sitting in moving water.

Ronda Laveen said...

Loved this post, Mouse. Great story of Walker, angler Bill and your inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Bill was found the perfect spot. Nice capture.

Meri said...

Cameras give us such a good reason for catching stories, don't they?

Dot-Com said...

Happy Birthday to Walker Evans. And that pic is just perfect. The capture of a moment.

Baino said...

My daughter constantly berates me for staring. I can't help it. If something fascinates me, I'm transfixed. Less so with the camera though. I must learn to be more sociable and ask people if they mind me taking their photo. There are some fascinating people around my place of work but I'm not sure they'd take kindly to photographers.

Merle Sneed said...

Kim, I met a guy yesterday who is a freelance photographer. He had an assignment to go with biologist and take pictures of a rattlesnake den, where the snakes are hold up for the winter. It is for a magazine article. He said that he is afrid of snakes and was very nervous.

Alan Burnett said...

Based on your recommendation I checked out Walker Evans and once I saw some of the images he made famous I recognised them. I just never knew the name of the photographer. Thanks for teaching me something.