July 25, 2004
  Just Another Landscape

(1985, London. Image copyright Hamish Reid)

Just another landscape... seen from an unusual angle. One of the images on the first roll of slide film I took after deciding to buy my first camera. I didn't know what I was doing then, but I knew what I wanted to show the world. Even with that first roll of film the intimate surrealisms of isolated bits of the body -- all surfaces and colour, textures and curves -- obsessed me and drove me (or rather formed themselves in the image in ways I could never put into words). The image itself? It only works as an abstract for most people, just a colourplay or lightfall, with -- for some -- a mild erotic tinge. Just about everyone thinks it's been manipulated. And it's not technically a good image, and probably not aesthetically interesting to most people, either. But it's almost purely iconic for me, standing in for something (and someone) that inhabited my life and kept me going during the cold grey years of London....

After I learned to print Cibachromes, I printed this up as a 10x8 and entered it into a beginner's print competition at The Camera Club (just off Leicester Square in those days; I was a member until about 1991). The old guy doing the judging got around to my print, picked it up, tried holding it in a bunch of different ways, then finally held it upside down (it was supposed to be an anonymous competition, so I just sat there poker-faced). "I don't know what he did to this print to make a woman look like this", he puffed. "I don't know what motivates young men to do such awful things to beautiful bodies. You can't even see her face. There's nothing recognisable here. I'm not even sure it's a woman, actually." (or some such guff). But the beauty was right there -- staring him in the face -- and recognisable in those unfamiliar surroundings, or the evocation of those surroundings. I hadn't done anything to the body or the image -- I wouldn't have had the wit or the ability at that time -- and I slunk away afterwards, thinking I'd failed because "everyone" wanted to see past the strangeness to the familiar, when it was the strangeness that was familiar. Or they wanted there to be some sort of key to it all, when there wasn't any underlying mystery there at all -- it's all surface.

Well, maybe it was just him. But I never did another competition (at least not in London).

July 14, 2004

(2004, Oakland, CA. Image Copyright Hamish Reid)

Just one of those decisive moments, completely unstaged. I was doing the photography for an event in Oakland, and out came the hats... There's something Felliniesque about it all. I don't have much more to say about it, really.

Photolalia: Some images... and a few brief words about them. (Like Dancing About Architecture).

Site feeds: [RSS] and / or [Atom].

About Me
Hamish Reid is a photographer, designer, and software engineer living and working in the Jingletown district of Oakland, California. This is his full profile.

You can get hold of Hamish at xyzphotolalia at ylayalixyz dot com without the xyx's.
Some Previous Posts
This blog has moved
Mission and Third
State Surrealism
The Business End
The New California Barber Shop
East Of Oildale
Castro Street
Right Place, Right Time.
The Indecisive Moment
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
January 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
November 2006
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
April 2010
Around Jingletown
Some Photoblogs I Like
(In no particular order, and rather capriciously:)

Powered by Blogger

Photolalia is part of the Ylayali complex.

All images and text on Photolalia are Copyright Hamish Reid unless otherwise specifically noted.
View My Profile