Visual Textuality: Nick Russell's weblog

A tour of Rowan Oak: William “Wild Bill” Faulkner’s Estate

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Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi: Where Faulkner outranks fiction 2:1

Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi: Where Faulkner outranks fiction 2:1

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Written by Nick

August 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Hopson Plantation

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Written by Nick

August 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

GW Bridge Part II

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More photos from our trip across the GW Bridge (as introduced in Part I) below the jump:

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July 29, 2010 at 8:43 am

Walking across the George Washington Bridge

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Inspired by Creative Time’s KEY TO THE CITY project, in which participants are presented with a key that unlocks interesting places around New York City, Greg, Lizzie and I decided to walk across George Washington Bridge. The key was supposed to unlock the gate to a normally-closed pedestrian walkway, but we arrived to find it already unlocked, with pedestrians streaming across. Nevertheless, the views were spectacular.

It also gave me a chance to use a technique that I’ve been playing with in subtler ways for quite some time: vertical panoramas. On a vertically-oriented webpage like a blog, I think the results speak for themselves:

More vertical panos in future posts: putting a few of them in a single one just crashed my browser…

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July 26, 2010 at 12:59 am

Clarksdale, Mississippi

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Home of the Blues.

Inexplicably, given the amount of space for more horizontally-oriented buildings, Clarksdale is home to a many-story windowless structure

Inexplicably, given the amount of space for more horizontally-oriented buildings, Clarksdale is home to a many-story windowless structure

Many more photos after the jump:

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Written by Nick

July 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Hypothesis

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Shortly after beginning my transition from film to digital (insofar as I have made one), I realized that on-site and in-camera editing often destroyed the best images from my shoots. There are exceptions – if I know exactly the shot I need and don’t yet have it; if I’m on so tight a deadline that speed is more important than the best possible quality; if my subject blinks or decides to contort themselves in the last 60th of a second – but I still forbid myself to delete photos from my camera. It is very difficult to correctly make final editing decision on the fly.

I’m sure much of the difficulty stems from the general psychological need for distance in making good judgments, but it occurs to me that there may be a physical/physiological component as well. It takes a long time for our eyes to adjust between one light condition and another, and if we are so immersed in a condition as to be capable of taking good pictures then we are probably not able to correctly judge how the colors and contrasts will look when an image is displayed in totally different conditions. No doubt most of this gap is made up by the visual/mental gymnastics required to take non-automatic photos at all – but so much of what makes a good photo is precisely that subtle, striking color/light contrast that it shouldn’t surprise us to see how digital, despite its promise, has failed to eliminate the traditional divide between shooting and editing.

Written by Nick

July 23, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Photography, Writing

Southern Sunflowers

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Who can resist stopping at the occasional sunflower field?

Sunflower panorama

Click through for larger panoramic image

BONUS:

Lizzie Wade, under the W A D E Tractor sign outside of Clarksdale

Lizzie Wade, under the W A D E Tractor sign outside of Clarksdale

Written by Nick

July 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm