Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Recent Books

Somehow, in the midst of my busy retired life, I'm finding time to take books out of the library, and actually read them. I like having the library app on my phone because every time I come across a book mention that sounds interesting, I can see if the library has it, and put a hold on it. Much as I like browsing the shelves, there is a place for a targeted search. Plus the library I got to most of the time is renovating, and it's nearly impossible to find anything without assistance.

A long time ago in a cutting room far, far away, by Paul Hirsch.

As some of you have guessed, he had something to do with Star Wars. An Oscar for editing, if you hadn't known that. Plus something called Ferris Bueller's Day Off that people rave about. Lots of others. 

This was surprisingly interesting, in that I'd never thought about the details of editing a movie from the bits of film. It's related to photography and writing, in that what you leave out can be as important as what is put in. Order is important. Which frame exactly do you cut on? What is the story and the best way to tell it.

When I think about how complicated it is to make a movie, how many people are involved, and how many moving parts there are, I'm amazed that it gets done at all, let alone sometimes done so well it's breathtaking. And, to be fair, sometimes done so poorly that the people involved don't even want to have their name associated with it. Being honest, it might not even be their fault. Even with a good script, solid actors, competent direction, the execs can screw it all up by arbitrarily deciding it has to be a certain length and damn the plot continuity, or that certain scenes have to be cut because they will offend someone.

At least with photography and most writing, there is one artist. All good writing has an editor, but nobody outside the biz cares who that is. And unless you're a world famous photographer with an entourage of assistants, you find or create the photo setting, decide on camera settings, edit to please yourself, and publish to bask in the 'glory' of Instagram likes, or whatever it is you do with your photos.

The Print by Ansel Adams.

If people know one  photographer's name, it's Ansel Adams. He goes into a lot of detail about the printing process. As in the darkroom printing process. Lots and lots of detail. He makes it sound intimidating. I still want to sign up for a darkroom course.

Borderlands by Mark Vitaris

Drool alert! I've been enraptured by the big skies ever since I drove from Streetsville to Calgary in 1980. People say driving across the prairies is boring, but I loved it. The wide open spaces, the huge and dramatic skies, I can't get enough. And now that I'm carrying a camera around a lot of the time, I've tried to get photos like these. A big empty place, with something interesting, and a wonderful sky. It's harder than it looks.

On the Labrador by Arnold Zageris.
I've never really thought much about Labrador. It was just a rocky east coast. Cold, wet, with more biting insects than in the rest of the world put together. But turns out the scenery is stunning! I'd like to see and photograph it, but this isn't a place for casual tourists. Zageris was committed, with a capital C, to go and get the photos.

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Driftwood (BC)


Film (new)

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