Friday, October 01, 2004


I was at the NYC photobloggers event last night, and I saw a lot of talented photographers. I especially admired the work of joesnyc, who had recently begun taking more pictures of people. In my youth, which I mean not in some ironic I'm-almost-30 way, but truly from the ages of 10-20, I did a lot of photography and almost double majored in it. I always both as an artist and as a viewer, preferred pictures of people to landscapes, objects, and the endless pictures of shadows on the street/ground/wall. (I do however have a weakness for grafitti)

Fantastic pictures like this one really take guts to take. Not only is it truly unique and unreproducible, unlike a picture of a rock or something, there's something about bringing a camera around and “stealing” pictures of people that is literally dangerous. I grew up with the daughter of legendary photographer Bruce Davidson, and he was the first photographer whose work I really admired. I remember when his book Subway came out I was fascinated by the bravery and dangers he literally faced to create it. I think he got his camera stolen/taken twice during the years of shooting. Anyway, I think Joe has the same respect for his subjects as Davidson does, and it shows in the results.

I’ve been taking a lot of pictures with my camera phone on the subway. Though the quality is much, much worse than pictures from my digital camera, I like that a) I’m always carrying around my phone anyway and b) it allows me to take candids, even pretty close shots I wouldn’t have the guts to otherwise. I’m thinking about getting one of the newer 1+ megapixel phone cams for my birthday present to myself.

On the other side of the word guts is the eponymous card game. Which takes no real guts at all – only luck. I played in a new home game on Tuesday night which was dealer’s choice. I haven’t played dealer’s choice since my regular game in Texas and I was surprised to find that I now cannot stand to play games with wild cards and that take no real skill, such as guts, which you lose or win a lot of money in one hand based almost entirely on luck. Additionally, the chooser of this game made the player who had the guts to stay and win then beat the next 4 cards dealt from the deck, which is just not great odds. It’s like playing in a casino against the house – the odds are stacked against you, no matter how you play it.

Maybe I’d feel differently if I had come out $12 ahead for the night instead of behind, but I don’t think so.


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