Why Black and White?!

Most of the times I show my family and friends my monochrome pictures, I get a “why black and white?!” with a tone of disappointment. I reply half-heartedly with “I like how it looks” or “I just like it that way” because it’s a pain to explain.

I don’t have an issue with their reaction. This post isn’t for complaining. It’s my own response to that reaction that prompted me to this write. I want to give a true answer to that question. “Why black and white?!”

When I first started taking pictures – that would be around 8 years ago – my answer would have been “because it’s cool!” At that time, I knew nothing of photography. I just liked going out and taking pictures but I also preferred black and white back then – maybe not as much as now but still. The reason I did was because I had the childish idea that black and white photography is professional photography and if my pictures were in black and white they’d also look professional. man, I’m shrinking in my seat writing this down! it’s embarrassing!

Anyways, time moves on and my perception of things change as well as my understanding of photography in relation to myself. Now, at this stage (and only at this stage, because in a few years I will have learned more about myself and photography and I will have achieved yet another level of awareness. we always evolve.) I realize that black and white photography is what I’m ultimately learning photography for. I feel that no matter how uninteresting the subject is or how remote it is from myself, if I see it in black and white then that image in my head ends up representing a part of me most of the time.

I found that stripping a photograph of its colors is adding value to every pixel in it. Everything within the frame means something more than how my eyes naturally see it. And eventually it forms a bond with something in me, around me or makes me recall a certain life experience… whatever it does, it is ultimately an unseen thread of connection between the visible photograph and the invisible me. And that’s the kind of photography I want to one day produce. a black and white photography that touches other people from the inside and stirred them somehow.

Right now, I’m as far away from that as heaven and earth are but that’s the goal and that’s why I prefer black and white photography. Actually, I put it out in simple terms. This is one of those personal feelings that are hard for me to explain. I did my best though. And I hope it makes sense to even one reader. I’d be satisfied with that.

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Keep Calm and Process to Black and White

I only recently started getting into photography seriously so I don’t know many black and white artists but my favorite so far is Vassilis Tangoulis. If you don’t know him already, you should check out his work on 500px.

 

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Mesteerean Solitude

This is my second WPC Solitude Post. For my first post click here

Solitude is a very rare state of mind. I only find it in very few places and in doing very small and simple things.

Actually, there is only one place, Mesteer (the place this blog is named after). The moment I am there, I am plucked away from everything else.

I won’t be meditating or anything like that. Sometimes I keep doing what I’ve been doing but my mind is just so clear and light that all the same things feel different, better.

Although, there is one thing I can only do there which is to stand as close as I can to the sea and watch its waves live and die endlessly. I also listen to music while I watch (sometimes even heavy metal)!

It’s not about calmness and relaxation, it’s about what I perceive in my mind, in that moment and in that place. everything else is irrelevent. That’s my solitude.

I also enjoy reading books there a lot more than anywhere else.

 

Struggling With Privacy & Sharing

I don’t even now where to start with Privacy!

One of the few things that I always dream about is living in a small house somewhere in an isolated mountain with everything I need to be alone for the rest of my life. But everyone knows that isn’t healthy and it’s almost impossible.

I admit, I’m kinda paranoid when it comes to being online. After Snowden, who can blame me? I’m no computer wizard so what I can do is moderate my content and keep it to a minimum and within the limits of what I’m comfortable with sharing. I certainly am not going to check in with the world every hour on Facebook and chronicle my daily life with statuses and pictures. Oh I hate social networks!

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[Journal]Overworked Mind

Daily Prompt: Overworked. the word inspired my journal entry today. it kinda hit the mark. I’ll be sharing parts of the entry edited to give less specific details but more coherent.

Considering the word literally, I am the exact opposite of overworked – being unemployed and all! However, that in itself is making my mind work forever in a torus of thoughts. 

In this undefined stretch of time, my mind is looking for a space where it would be comfortable with its state of being. That’s what minds do, they protect themselves.

Denial or escapism… it doesn’t really matter; It is tiring! For how long can a mind handle the strain of an existential conflict, a dichotomy of consciousness, a war within its own borders?

A mind that is fundamentally postive but is wrestling with a mind that has been altered by the negativity of its time-yielding character. A constant conflict of action versus inaction, of strength versus weakness. 

Within my own limits and my tolerance for trauma (for some people, this isn’t even worth mentioning), overworked is one way to describe my state of mind these days.

I only have myself to blame for whoever I am right now. I also know that I have to come to terms with the person that Ive become. I’d like to think that being aware of and recognizing that is a step forward towards postivity. because it is time to settle things. I am tired of running inside my mind’s maze. 

one thing I also need for sure is a swift kick in the butt!

Jan. 19th, Three Years Ago

While organizing my photography archive (I do that every now and then), I got curious and looked for photos taken last year on today’s date but I couldn’t find any, not even the year before. I did however find a few from January 19th, 2014.

Just some casual shots I usually take when I’m bored.

I can’t remember but I can tell you it was really cold. I don’t eat in bed if it’s not cold. And that crépe is on top of my comforter.

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The curtain is in my sister’s house. I guess I stayed at my sister that night.

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And I have no idea why I shot the orange!

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Taken with a point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ1.

Memories of Childhood’s Toys and the Changing Times

Before I go into sharing my memories, I must put things into perspective. And that’s because I grew up in the 1990’s in Tunisia which can be extremely different if, let’s say, 1990’s in the US.

In the 1990’s, Computers were rare in Tunisia. Internet obviously hasn’t graced us yet (only in the late 1990’s). You can only almost see computers in municipalities, post offices and government buildings. On top of that, I live in a small town with little to no access to technologies. So the point is even if I belong to the generation that witnessed the analog-digital transition period as known to the developed countries, I in fact experienced an almost 100% digital-free period.    Continue reading

3rd Grade Notebook

This post is for the Weekly Discover Challenge: Transcript. By the time I finished writing I knew this post was meant for myself.

The idea really interested me but also reminded me of my uninteresting life!

Just a note though, I sure hope that people are still using pen and paper and will always do so and we’ll always need to transcribe what we write. I admit I’m a heavy-user of gadgets but when it comes to writing poetry, among other things, I enjoy my pen and notebooks. This might sound a bit strange but I have a habit of scribbling whatever when I’m feeling down. It actually makes me feel better. If I try that on a tablet, it wouldn’t work. I need to feel the pen making its way through the ridges and texture of the paper. That very slight resistance I get while writing is very important to me as opposed to the silent and smooth finger-swipes and taps.

Moving on…

I don’t have meaningful subjects that might be interesting to you readers but what I can do is share old personal belongings coupled with personal rantings. get ready!

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This is a school calendar with my picture on it from 1994, faithfully scanned and uploaded (I would have liked to erase that “7Nov.” aside the country map as it represents Tunisia’s pre-revolution tyrant regime especially since yesterday was the Tunisian Revolution’s 6th anniversay but it is not the point of the post so whatever.) My school used to make these for each of its students every year.

I still have one of my third grade notebooks which I scanned earlier today. It was my father who kept it along with my sisters’.

For me, seeing it again and remembering my early years wasn’t as warmly nostalgic as one would think. As a student, I wasn’t exceptional, not even a good student. I was average. I wasn’t dumb; I was (and still am) smart. When I put my mind to it, I measured up to the top students. However, at the time I was mostly irresponsible and foolish. All I cared about was finish school as soon as possible so I could play around. (some would say that qualifies as being dumb.)

Looking at the notebook, I now regret many things like not being more open to and engaged in sciences as opposed to giving my absolute all to literature and humanities. It’s not that I would change my choice although I am fairly certain that my life would have been different if I also fed my left brain. (however, I’ll always love the language of words more than the language of numbers!).

As a person, I regret that I was a bit lost. I went on to middle school and still without a hint of a purpose, still foolish. Hell, even now it still feels that way sometimes. the difference is: now I’m aware and I can act but back then I was foolishly unaware. So eventually, that carried on to a series of failures in high school. Now you’re probably thinking this guy’s a loser! Well I turned out fine after high school. got an English license from college then right to the unemployment pool! And with that, I mark the end of the negatively-charged reminiscing rambling. I apologize for it but this is a personal blog so…

Here comes the first page of the “class notebook” (literal translation from arabic). It’s a notebook we only use in school. It should be neat, no drafts and  scribbles.

swscan00064-copy If I remember correctly, that’s my big sister’s handwriting. Mine, being the chicken scratch that it is, will be on the rest of the notebook along with the teacher’s grades in the margins.

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First, we write the date. second, we state the subject, in this case: math. then finally, the task.

The (un)written rule in our schools is the student writes with a blue pen, the teacher grades the student with red then the student writes the correction with green. Of course, back then, we only had 4 accessible pen colors: the previously mentioned 3 +black. Only the students that afford to buy imported pens or students that have relatives who live overseas in europe have more variety of colors such as pink, light blue, and purple as well as cool pens! And we, the student plebs, keep borrowing from them to make our notebooks look as colorful as theirs. Obviously, I didn’t in this notebook but I do remember that I did in other ones.

The grading system starts with Zero being the lowest and ends at 10 being the highest score. You can see in only these two pages that I hit most of the milestones already!

I picked another page to match today’s date: January, 15th.

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So on 1996, January 15th falls on a Monday. good to know! Too bad I didn’t do good in geography though.

So that was it for this post. the next transcript one might not be inspired by tangible things but from memory. Well, it depends on how post-worthy it is.

Lea is Her Name

“Lea” is my girlfriend’s name. And I’ve always loved it.

I love how it sounds. I love how it looks. I love what it means. I love everything about it and I love Lea.

Also, whenever I could, I reference this lovely name with its connotations in my writings. here’s an example.

But this post is part of the Weekly Photography Challenge: Names so there must be less words and more photos!

I was playing around with long-exposure a while ago and I took this picture. The approach is: the best way is the simplest. I couldn’t have portrayed her name better if I thought about a complex photograph so here it is laid bare in its luminous beauty in the darkness.

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I did do this years ago though. It was rushed work but I still like it.

Look forward to a different take on WPC Names post. 🙂

[Journal] Impromptu post 12/01/17

Back to wordpress after a long absence.

I’m sort of lost in finding my way through both the material world and the virtual. I have lost sight of what’s outside the walls. I can only see the ghosts of things now and their fleeting interval of existence.

I indulge myself in my arts feeding off of this negative state. Trying to determine the path through color tones and language nuances even if most of the time they betray me.

I end up fading into a self I never knew before.