Photo Challenge Photography photoJournal Poetry Travel

The wait that meant now

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gif and photos by Wells Baum

The flash before me,
the bird,
the plane,
a clash of serendipity,
the wait! meant now.

Creativity Culture Photography

Robert Frank, the man who photographed America

via ICP

“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”

One of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, Robert Frank is perhaps most renown for his 1958 book The Americans which featured 83 photos from Frank’s journey across the U.S. documenting race and material consumption in American life.

The quote above appears in Teju Cole’s book Known and Strange Things. There’s also an excellent piece on Frank in The New York Times entitled ‘The Man Who Saw America.’

Robert Frank, untitled, Pace/MacGill Gallery
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Political Rally, Chicago, 1956, Edwynn Houk Gallery
Arts Photography photoJournal

Satisfaction in black and white

Processed with VSCO with kx4 preset
Photo by Wells Baum

Black and white satisfy the color of consciousness. The yin and yang create space in between the simulation of chaos.

Excessive stimulation dulls the senses and taints the routine.

“The best way to get to know a place is to be bored there, because the curious mind will begin to probe the surrounding space.”

— Václav Cílek

We compel ourselves to see the subtleties, to bring extra light to the obvious.

The simpler the palette, the more conspicuous the texture.

All Photos by Wells Baum
Photography Uncategorized

Rediscover this day: The Grand Central Astronaut

Photo by Wells Baum

One of my favorite features on Google Photos is ‘Rediscover This Day.’ It’ll crawl through your image library and collate a series of images from the same day years ago.

The feature isn’t new; Timehop popularized the retrospective social media feature years ago. However, Facebook and Google Photos were able to scale it.

So what does this have to do with the astronaut?

I snapped this image two years ago but forgot about it. Remember what Om Malik said: “We take too many photos and little time looking at them.” Two years in the smartphone era is like a decade!

What I enjoy about this picture other than the rarity of seeing an astronaut in Grand Central Station is the black and white contrast which makes the spaceman the center of attention. The crowd is noticeable but almost out of focus. The original color version doesn’t have the same noticeable impact.


Tri-X: Dirty, grainy film

Photo by Wells Baum : Cusco 2017 (Processed with VSCO with Kodak TRI-X 400 preset)

Tri-X is a dirty, grainy, rugged type of film popularized in the 1940s by Kodak.

“Grain is life,” Corbijn says, “there’s all this striving for perfection with digital stuff. Striving is fine, but getting there is not great. I want a sense of the human and that is what breathes life into a picture. For me, imperfection is perfection.”

The analog world may be heavier but at least it feels more like a raw experience. You also don’t know what you’re going to get.

“When I started, I felt that I didn’t want a normal job in photography, I wanted that sense of adventure when you meet someone and take a picture. I felt that digital is more like a job. You look at the screen to see if you have it right, then you take another picture. When I come back from a trip, I don’t know what I have exactly. I have to get it developed, so I won’t know for a couple of days. I like the tension of not knowing exactly what you have.”

Read The Tri-X Factor

Side A - Grand Central Color
Side A – Grand Central Color