hey, queen! you wanna dance?

22Jan10

(click on any image below to go to the slideshow)

New pics from last weekend – Hey Queen! (aka the best queer dance party in the universe) + its greasy aftermath: pizza fries, disco fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings.  You have no idea how much I love the middle of the night.

Two months in, I’m still really into this fuzzy b&w film experiment.  It is good to have a manual camera in my hands again.  I never expected my hiatus from photography to last forever, but OMG, who would’ve thought I could love a picture with NO COLOR in it?

Yet there’s something epic about these night images that is totally feeding me right now:

Maybe it’s the startling contrast to super-sharp digital images.  Film grain is just luscious – there is no other word for it – and shooting in the dark only emphasizes it.  I’m finding myself incredibly curious about that point when a picture stops being readable and becomes too abstract for anyone else to care about it.  I don’t think I’m nailing it quite yet, but it’s a great challenge to sink into.

Or maybe it’s the post-shooting process, which I am also really digging right now.  That delayed gratification: F train to 23rd street, drop off film, [pause].  F train to 23rd street, pick up film, can’t get home fast enough.  That initial rush when you realize you didn’t shoot two rolls of shit, there is something there to work with.  And then figuring out how to balance abstraction vs. warmth, plot vs. context, sequence for mood vs. narrative.  Photoshop dust spots, adjust auto curves, run a batch of jpegs.  Post to the blog, upload to Facebook and tag, check a hundred times for comments.  Run through the edit a million more times to see how it sticks.

Or I don’t know, maybe it’s how comfortable it feels to hide behind a chrome Nikon SLR at a party again – like pulling up the hood of an old sweatshirt and finding it still fits.  It’s unfettering to work with fast film – no flash, no checking the back of the camera, nothing major to shlep.  I suppose I had to climb up onto the go-go platforms to stash my camera safely above the crowd when it was time to quit shooting and dance.  Small danger.  But hey, I discovered that I liked it up there.  A bit of exhibtionism to balance the voyeurism of stealing people’s glittering faces…

So I don’t know what it is, but I am suddenly back in this lenscap-free world.  It’s strange returning to this old, old habit of shooting the things that make being alive more interesting.  It’s actually terrifying; I feel more vulnerable than I would hooking up with an ex.  We had such a long run, photography and I, and such a complicated break-up.  And now I’m publicly admitting to all of you out there that maybe we’re getting back together.

Is this ok?  Is it really ok?

Let’s hope for the best and see how long it lasts…

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