Friday, June 09, 2006

Recommended Sites

One of the great ironies of the creative life is that very few creative people are content just doing what they can do. Guitarists always want to be singers, singers want to be actors, actors want to be directors, comedians want to be serious dramatists, and poets want to be politicians. In my case I'm doubly cursed, as I set out to be a musican but ended up as a writer -- but deep in my heart of hearts, I've always had a secret yen to be a photographer.

To be honest; as a photographer, I'm a moderately competent amateur. This being Friday, though, I'd like to share with you some of the web sites that I find impressive.

FAIR WARNING! If you're not careful, it's possible to spend hours browsing some of these sites!

First up: my old friend, Oleg Volk, whose work I continue to find absolutely amazing. He's the one responsible for that "Bethke with a crappy goatee from the Mirror Universe" photo that adorns my web site. For those of you who are wondering what little Nica looks like now that she's all growed up and graduated from college, you can find pictures of her on Oleg's site... somewhere. Oleg, of course, and despite his brilliance with a camera, yearns to be a writer.

Next up: new friend John Sundlof, who I met through what is possibly the funniest eBay auction listing since the famous "SELLING MY EX-WIFE'S G-D D-MN BEANIE BABY COLLECTION!" The whole story (which is not in the eBay listing) is the saga of a canoe trip that starts in northern Wisconsin and ends in Hell, and for some reason I keep hearing "Dueling Banjos" in my head every time I read it... But in any case, check out John's site, and if you're looking for used camera and darkroom equipment, check out his other, non-funny, eBay listings.

I can't claim to know Karen Nakamura personally, but I find her site an inspiration. If you've got the time to do some serious browsing and vicariously visit places you've never been and people you've never met, check it out. Matt Denton is another person I don't know who's put some inspiring work up on the web. Check it out -- but be advised, the site is not entirely "work safe."

Finally, for a truly strange experience, check out this site. The unnamed person who maintains it has a hobby of finding old, exposed but undeveloped film in cameras in flea markets and such, and trying to develop and print it. Some of the images that emerge are truly haunting. If you're looking for a story idea, you might try looking at one of these pictures and wondering just who this person was, what their story was, or what it was they were looking at over the photographer's left shoulder.