Saturday, May 14, 2005     « The Bradley Institute »


I am slowly building a collection of window/curtains images. These are from The Bradley Institute, a music school in downtown Niagara Falls. The curtains probably haven't been moved since the place opened by the look of them. That's my favourite kind of curtain. There's something about these scenes that appeals to me (of course or I wouldn't keep taking these pictures). It's the softness of the curtain as it ripples and the way the very bottom skims the window frame. It's the way light hits the curtains and the look of the glass. Sometimes it's what is on the glass or what is reflected in the glass. It is how each set of windows and curtains is different and says something about the place or the life behind it and yet they are also very much the same too.

I have noticed that I am drawn to curtains on houses nearly or as much as I am drawn to curtains on store-fronts but I generally can't get as close to houses as there is a distance between the sidewalk and the front window. Can you imagine the kind of shit I could get into going right up to someone's window with my camera? I can't take a fast photo with the medium format. It takes me a while to figure out the light, get focussed, frame the composition and fire the shutter. It's a slow camera not meant for stealth mode. I'm not even sure it's meant to be carried around in the first place the damn thing is so heavy. These things were really made for studio work. How do I explain to people that I'm not casing their place or trying to catch something salacious? I could get a longer lens but 1. who needs more weight with this thing and 2. I enjoy the intimacy of getting right up to my subjects.


Well thankfully the sun is now out. I have a killer headache and have been doing this rather than the ton of work I have before me because this feels productive without taxing my aching head too much. In less than an hour I'll be heading over to the annual Parkdale Horticultural Society plant sale. Yay for that.

I have noticed that since yesterday I have been flexing muscles in my body in a tense way, occassionally wringing my hands, and possibly grinding my teeth in my sleep -- all are big signs that I am terribly worried, anxious and tense. It is confirmed that I will be on CBC Newsworld (I don't know the channel cause we don't have cable) tomorrow morning. It's in-studio with makeup and the whole nine yards. I am tense because I have never done in-studio before and I generally don't like it when I don't know what to expect.

Yesterday was fun but freezing. By the time I got home I was so chilled to the bone I couldn't get warm for hours. The interview/shopping part was fun and I was surprised by how willingly the garden centre helped prepare for the photos. By the time we got started the sky had become overcast and the temperature dropped further. I had to stand in a t-shirt and thin sweater for a long time while shot after shot was fired because there were problems with the flash equipment. By the end my snarkiness was starting to come through. The photographer kept prompting me to look sexy or coy and finally I just had to say, "You're talking to the wrong person here. I can do angry really well." And really, that is about the extent of my acting range. I think the photos are going to be quite goofy because they were trying to mimic the cover of the book (sans tiny pink tee) so I was posed into all kinds of crazy configurations while holding a plant in one hand and a shovel in the other and making "big smiles" while repeating the words "stinky cheese". Oh well, it's just the newspaper so people will only see it for a few seconds on one day and then throw it out.

We were located in front of a school that was just getting out so the whole thing was witnessed by scores of grade school children and parents. As an aside, can you believe how many little kids dye their hair now? Crazy.

Forget this whole book thing, next year you can expect to see me on America's Next Top Model.

« The Bradley Institute »