Monday, October 20, 2008
Analog image recorder in Brittingham Park mapping 3D space onto 2D space by hand
Hard to believe, but there was a time when people actually made pictures by hand. Some still do. We passed this Sunday painter in Madison's Brittingham Park, working en plein air, as the French put it, on our Sunday bike ride. I asked if I could take a photo, and he said sure, "if that's what you consider a picture."
Sometimes I'm not sure what I consider a picture. I've never painted outdoors, but some years ago, I did get tired of analog still photography and made a sketchbook my point and shoot instead. It took longer, the sketches weren't anything special, but for me they were powerful jogs to memory in a way few photos are. I was drawing all the time, stopping here and there to make a quick sketch where now I would stop and take a photo. I still find those old drawings of mine more evocative personally than most of my photos (though they might not mean much to anyone else), because of the time and concentration that went into them, even if they were no big deal. Looking at the sketch brings back vivid memories of a time, a day, a place.
Then I got my first digital camera and the drawing stopped almost overnight. It just took too much time. But I still think of a pocket camera as a kind of sketchbook. And sometimes I miss using a real sketchbook.