Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Those crazy kids and their car parks

Rain - or - Is it Any Wonder I'm Sick Now

Rain means grey skies and slick colours underfoot


An old roll with the message "exposed to 6 - - - Jim" written on

Complete with rubbed-off instructions removed in the opening of the canister, doy.

One thing about using films (especially when you buy them sort of piecemeal from charity shops or the like) is they tend to pile up in drawers or cupboards or fridges or whatever. Sometimes what I do is put a roll of film in the camera - sometimes for a particular purpose, moretimes not - take a few photographs, get bored with the idea or get a new idea that requires a different kind of film then I mark (sometimes etch if I don't have a suitable marker to hand) some generally inadequate instructions on the side of the film canister and throw it in the drawer where I keep the rest of my film, only to find it months, years later to frown at the perplexing "exposed to about 7 23-3-10" or "Doubles?" or - my favourite - simply "?". I can practically see the canister shrug its shoulders and say "Huh? I dunno, you wrote it dummy". Sometimes I wish I had a retroactive filing system, fully formed and worked out to prevent stuff like this, also for all aspects of my life so I wouldn't forget so many details and events, big and small. I've fantasised countless times on hiring a herd of diligent accountants to sort through all my accumulated messes and make sense of it in a big green ledger with thin yellow pages, to be referred to quickly and easily at any point. Everything, books and photographs and music and notes and cutouts arranged alpha-numerically and dated, with an easily-searchable index. When I die I'll have a giant screen with a statistical read-out of everything I ever said or did and a time and date for it all. The ultimate Narcissus Machine. But when it comes to photographs it makes perfect sense that I would lose track of things so easily as it is one of my main distraction techniques. Like making music, I take photographs to escape, so it's no wonder that when the real world encroaches again I am muddled and distracted, hurriedly scrawling oblique messages to some equally confused future self.

This first photo* I can definitely put a date to - September 2008, when I took photos of Jimmy for Dead Birds on Hyne's car park roof. I had pretty much only just met him, that was a good day of running around acting the jerk taking pictures. Some of them came out pretty good, I remember using a few different cameras, even a Polaroid for some. One of these I think he's still using, as his twitter avatar possibly... (yep). I also remember that month being the first time I developed a roll of film at home, and having given up smoking a couple of months before, and going through some generally upsetting business. But that was a really good day, the initial nerves and awkwardness of having to take someone's photograph gave way to laughter, and some good photos and some good crap photos and some crap photos. Here are some:

Some of the rest of the photos I can't date exactly - they're definitely no more than a year older than the first one. Some are from around October 2009 when I was living in Dublin doing the photography course that Jimmy himself told me about and convinced me to do with him. A couple of these are attempts at "hip shooting" I guess, from around Galway. I don't remember taking the photo of myself in the mirror held by two movers.

There's a double-exposed photo of Chester, the stray cat who got into the house once, flew around the sitting room with Jim and I futilely chasing after him before camping out under the washing machine for nearly two days, terrorising me softly with his mews which seemed to come from everywhere. It took ages to find him and extract him.

The last one is the view out my bedroom window from my desk, which was probably the best thing about that house in hindsight.

*If I'm being pedanticthis photo has two dates cos it's a double - the other photo is from my window again, Octoberish 2009.

and I am