steve, the incidental incidental incident.

So I'm taking an image class and one project involves taking photos throughout a day using POV photos to tell a story.

Well what that comes down to is that I have to buy a damn camera. I've been avoiding it this long but my professor straight up walked over to me after class and was like "the point and click has to stop." Heads up: anyone that tells you that you don't have to pay for anything outside of class when it comes to project-oriented classes is lying to you (or they go to CalTech).

So yeah. Well I wasn't going to buy a $400 camera for one last project, and then I remembered that the Narrative exists.

The Narrative Clip is a camera that you pin to your sleeve or shirt that takes pictures every 30 seconds. They're all POV shots and they exist so that you "never have to miss a moment." Perfect for my project, but it led to me thinking about something else. Privacy.

I've seen TONS of people complain about this stupid thing, it's crazy. It's the size of a postage stamp but it makes people hella uncomfortable in public and whatnot. I've seen accusations of photos being uploaded "straight to NSA servers", even.

On the other side of the spectrum, I've seen people complaining about this thing like crazy because it's "useless and frivolous" and "who wants to have 1000 pictures every day?" The counterpoint to this is that lifelogging can be useful. Lifelogging is where you digitize and quantify every aspect of yourself (a concept that's been floating around since the 90s but is more possible than ever now). This side argues that 1000 terrible photos is worth it for 15 good ones. I've also seen it argued that having a clip like this helps stave off people from looking at everything through the lens of their phone's camera, rather than experiencing whatever is in front of them, themselves.

I mean either way I'm buying the damn thing because it fits my project perfectly and $130 is not the same as fucking 400. But I might conduct a few days worth of sessions after the project is done, just to see how it goes.

Anyways. Thoughts? kleinbl00 for being tech-oriented and older than Gandalf. lil for her wisdom. Everyone else is open to comment as well.

Edit: Oh yeah, off-topic question: podcast! Diversity in videogames. PM me if you're interested.


You don't understand photos. Let's fix that.

Photography is the knack of turning perspective into art. It's not the random process of capturing images at random times. Even when you think it's a highly mechanical thing - like "ISS passing in front of the eclipsed moon" -

The framing of that final image and the fact that there's multiple exposures of the ISS cruising by reflects the composition of Theirry Regault, not just his presence in the right place at the right time with the right equipment.

Cameras are stupid simple. They're basically boxes with holes in them. You have control over how long the hole stays open and how wide it is and what the glass in front of it is doing. That's largely it. What makes photography art - what makes photography compelling - is how you turn your presence and your perspective into narrative.

Your stupid little gadget is just a fucking dashcam for your sweater. I'm not your prof but if I were, I'd fail your ass for going that way.

It's fucking insulting to propose that random 30-second increments of your position as distilled through a $130 pinhole CMOS will tell your audience as much about your "point of view" as a conscious effort to say "look at this, fuckers." I don't give two shits about what your sweater was pointed at this morning. I want to know what you saw, asshole. I want to know what you noticed. I want to know what you considered to be worth relaying to the outside world. I don't want the fuckin' black box, I want the captain's log.

You know why bullshit POV cams are annoying? Because they communicate three things:

1) "I don't care enough about you to tell you I'm taking your picture."

2) "I don't care enough about anyone else to make sure I'm showing them something good."

3) "I'm too precious to waste my own sweet time condensing and distilling the moments of my life into those bits that are actually interesting."

Know who bleeds out their life staring through viewfinders? amateurs. People who don't understand photography. People who haven't found the balance between experience and relation, people who don't understand that cameras aren't for mediation, they're for magnification. If I were to guess, your prof is working you through that process. More than that -

Hey, remember this?

    See, up until smartphones it took a modicum of skill to take a decent photo. It took an investment. It made photos something of value, however ephemeral that value may have been. It made the art of taking photos something that people valued as a skill.

What you're effectively doing is making a conscious decision not to learn a skill.

And I've never seen you do that before.

Buy a Rebel for $400. Use it for the class. Then sell it for $350. Maybe buy another when you can afford it. But in the interim, don't do this stupid shit. It's beneath you as a storyteller, it's beneath you as a communicator, it's beneath you as a proponent of the visual arts, and it's beneath you as a member of the human race.

posted by user-inactivated: 1425 days ago