Friday, June 27, 2008

The 1986 Photo Tease

My family teased each other a lot. I knew how to invoke a reaction from my little sister; I simply whispered, "Witchy Poo." Those were fightin' words. It took a lot to get me to react but I became a master at touching nerves and rattling emotional cages. I was taunted as well, and eventually learned to laugh at myself. Then I discovered the "lens."

During collage I discovered photography. An embarrassing shot at the right moment creates “special moments” that potentially last for ever.

In `84, I bought a 1972 VW Westfalia. Despite its problems, I loved that van. The engine had to be replaced as well as much of the interior but it gave me a project. My friends and I drove that white bus everywhere, spreading peace, love and Pennzoil from San Francisco to San Diego and the entire span of the Mojave Desert. We spent an average of two weekends a month for a few years camping mostly on the sides of dirt roads, desert alluviums and crowded parking lots—anywhere free. It was then I began experimenting with candid camera shots.

In 1984 I began working as a writer and photographer for an off-road publisher. During that time I learned about photography from the pros. I learned how to take photos that sell. One rule is to be different; to catch people off guard. I also learned not to count to “three” and shoot—start shooting when they are least expecting. And if they insist on saying “cheese,” take the shot and then a few more. Those will be the keepers. That helps eliminate the dreadful "Polaroid pose" and allows the camera to capture a person’s true personality whether they like it or not.

So with that, we always took a few shots at each other looking our worst or making a face. Those photos are some of my favorites. I cannot speak for my friends.

Posted by Picasa

No comments: