02 November 2008

Stuff I See

I ride public transportation quite a bit. Los Angeles is a big city, and Pamela and I have only one car. It is inevitable that we are off in different directions on occasion. I try to make the most of if, and here's where my camera phone comes in handy.

Perhaps my favorite photographer of all time is a fellow nicknamed Weegee. He was a crime photographer initially, but become world famous as a "human interest" photographer. He would stroll around Los Angeles, and later New York, taking pictures of people just being human beings. They're beautiful pictures in their simplicity. Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

This is a backstage picture at a New York burlesque house, and part of my visual research for Pin-Up Girls. The title of the picture is "g-strings" and you can see a clothesline full of the barely-there undergarments at the top of the frame. It's not pretty or classically framed, but it's a very real picture. Even his more "staged" photographs feel like the sort of photographs one may take of a family member: "Hey Jim, put on this hat and make a stupid face" kind of pictures.

I'm no Weegee, but I am inspired by him:

It astonishes me how many people sleep on the bus. I'd be petrified of missing my stop!

This guy was a hoot. Whatever he was writing, he was having a good time doing it! He'd get real serious, write, and start laughing. In an age when we entertain ourselves with iPods and such, it's great to see a guy deriving so much joy from a steno pad and pen.

I will send random pix messages to Pamela, stuff I see, like this picture. I titled it "Evolution of a Haircut."

The downside of public transportation is the amount of walking sometimes involved. I had a meeting in Culver City this past week, and after took a short "stroll" up to Venice Boulevard to catch a bus home. (I thought Venice was much closer than it was.) On of the perks of public transportation is all that walking and waiting for buses to show up puts you squarely on the ground, taking it slow enough to take in your environment. When I hit Venice, I discovered this place, an oddball museum that I've been meaning to visit since I first learned of it a few years ago. It's the Museum of Jurassic Technology, which appears to have little to do with the Jurassic age or Technology.