984 – Travelin’ Man

Surprisingly enough, this morning I find myself on the train to Carinthia again. Nursing leave. Nothing to worry about, but I suppose it may keep me in Carinthia for the rest of the week.

I just read that Janine, commenting on yesterday’s rain image, hopes for an even higher level of summer, but at least for today I have to disappoint her: It still rains and if at all possible, it is even less inviting than yesterday.

After all that SoFoBoMo action I try to catch up with blog reading, and yesterday night I read Mark “The Landscapist” Hobson. This is always amusing, because Mark is not only a brilliant photographer, he is also never shy of confrontation. Of course he found fault in Mike Johnston’s advice to aspiring photographers, to only use a Leica, a single lens and B&W film of a single type for a year. Actually it’s not so incredibly much fault that he found, but it’s enough for a heated debate. Many people may take offense at Mark’s sometimes slightly aggressive style, but I love it. Here is a man who has strong opinions, grounded in great knowledge and long experience, who fiercely defends them and who is a talented and witty writer as well. It’s not for the timid, but it’s deeply enjoyable 🙂

Why I mention Mark? Oh, only because he is the Master of the Square, and every time I’m exposed to his imagery, I feel a strong temptation to get square as well 🙂

The Image of the Day was taken this morning out of the rear window of tram line 18 in Vienna, just before I reached Vienna South Station. Think of it as of “826 – Goin’ Down Slow” under adverse conditions 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Travelin’ Man” by Anita O’Day. I have it on disc 2 of the 4 CD collection “Young Anita”. Deezer has a version on the album “Let Me Off Uptown”, no idea if it’s the same recording. I can’t check it at the moment. Anyway. Anita is never a bad choice.

9 thoughts on “984 – Travelin’ Man”

  1. Maybe i am timid, but i find his style of writing and expressing his thoughts so revolting that it actually spreads over to my impression from his photos. I tried for some time to only look at the photos in his entries. Unfortunately, now and again I'd ended up reading the text as well and being angry, mostly at his intolerance. So in the end i just unsubscribed from his blog.
    Not that it matters much, of course.

  2. Revolting is a hard word 🙂

    Sometimes I have the impression that he almost misunderstands on purpose, but I guess he simply does not take the time to read carefully. Of course that's telling as well.

    I still visit his site. Yes, he is intolerant. Yes, he tends to put much more care in crafting his own words than in reading other people's. Still, he is a very original thinker, and what he says, regardless of how, tends to be very relevant.

    On the other hand, I see what you mean, and if I had to choose, I'd see you rather here than on Mark's blog anyway 🙂

  3. I love that the internet and blogs in particular provide a forum for discussion and even debate. When it comes to artistic expression, it almost seems necessary that there be disagreement … that fosters diversity and uniqueness. As far as craft development, there is a lot to be learned from those who have great mastery so I'm always willing to listen even if it comes across a little bit arrogantly. Eat the meat, spit out the bones :)) Peace

  4. Thanks for the link, his post was both amusing and thoughtful. There is never only one side of a coin, not that I believe the original article intended to state so. I liked the typewriter analogy for its humoristic approach, and it is not that far away from what was proposed on TOP.

  5. re: Revolting is a hard word.

    I guess i picked up a bit of his attitude from reading his post 🙂

    And i am reading your blog rather than Mark's for quite a while now, never thought of unsubscribing 🙂 I like your photos and i'm learning a lot from them even if i never say a word 🙂

  6. Andreas: I was not going to post this because it may sound a bit critical about Mark, but I have to ask:

    What do you see in his photography that is so "brilliant".

    When I look at his photos, I seem them as pedestrian, quotidian, boring, perhaps ordinary, at best. They look like snapshots that I would discard as soon as saw them. Mind you, this is not an ad hominem argument, merely my opinion about his photography and a question as to what you see.

    That said, it's good that he sticks to his guns and does the type of photography that appeals to him, no matter if I like it or not. 🙂

  7. Yeah, I know, Paul Maxim frequently feels the same, but he still hangs around Mark's site 🙂

    Of all the photographers that I know, Mark has the most infallible feeling for balance. He obviously composes his images to a high degree, more than anyone I know. For me that is pure magic, maybe especially so, because I feel in a very similar way.

    When I compose, I balance. Subject matter is not completely unimportant for me, but it is not that important. What counts is balance. Mark is the Zen master of the perfectly balanced Square.

    It's hard to describe. I feel it, it strongly resonates with me, and what completely fascinates me, is that he can do that with every single image, at least those that he publishes. It's not that I can't do one thing or the other quite well, but not with such machine-like consistency. Mind though, that there is nothing machine-like in his imagery, it is only the consistency and the precision.

    Does that make any sense?

  8. Andreas: I guess that you hit on it when you said: "…with machine-like precision". For me, his images totally lack any soul, depth, or sense that there is more to the subject than just the subject.

    I would say that your photographs are quite different than his. Yours do not lack that soul. For you, it seems, there is something more that you wish to convey, rather than the subject as a mere subject. Your bicycles for instance are a bit more. Perhaps I'm reading into it what I want.

    I guess that I just don't 'get' it. 🙂 That's OK, though. I think, too, that what keeps me from probing deeper is his huge ego.

  9. One has to give Mark that: his posts even spark discussions on other blogs. Which is certainly a good thing.

    The question aside about the quality and impact of his photos (where I would very much agree with Paul and Paul): In my mind Mark has an attitude that resembles a bulldozer: very strong, very powerful, very narrow-minded. And leaving a wake of destruction and anger – instead of at least trying to sort out the arguments and reach some conclusions or synthesis that might take things to the next level.

    Concerning his actual post: Yeah, there is actually one sentence that I would wholeheartedly agree to ("The Art of "Seeing" is in your head, your heart, your soul – not in your camera."). But most for the rest: in his permanent rage he is simply missing a lot of points.

    But I have to admit that the last sentence of his post made me laugh out loud…

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