Tell me honestly: is Bluejake living up to your expectations? Has it been getting better this year or getting worse?
Posted by Jake at 9:59 PM
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I'm not sure about this *year*, but this post is exceptional.
David Jacobs |
08/11/2005 at 11:35 AM
It seems like you're a little lost at times**, which doesn't do the reader any favors, but is probably good for you in the long term. Then again, I've always thought of Bluejake as being about the journey and not the output, yeah?
** The quality of your photos is higher, but thematically, I can't see where you are or where you're going. Which, again, is fine.
08/11/2005 at 12:15 PM
I don't know if its getting better or worse, I'd say it's pretty consistent-as long as you are doing what you want to be doing then I would say you are being well served. The difficulty lies in developing a voice, and that is something that takes years or never happens at all. The ease of producing a photoblog and the rise of digital capture eliminates a lot of the mileage that photographers have traditionally travelled to get to the point where they have a distinctive voice.
We all have it too easy compared to our peers in other arts; it takes years of training on some musical instruments just to have the technique available to make meaningful sounds. The blank canvas and the blank page serve as good barriers to entry in other endeavors. But Kodak was always, "you take the picture and we do the rest." There is something about photography that is very freeing and consequently the problems of expression are very subtle.
A teacher of mine said once, "we don't need more expression in this world" kind of the anti-photography as democracy argument, and I think what it points out is despite the sometimes levelling effect of technology, it is not a level field.
I think you might be better served by fewer pictures, more concentration on a subject, and a devotion to the ideas you have rather than observation. Documentation is a tool, not an end.
I'm not sure what you think about any of the places and subjects you have focused on. I would like to know that.
08/11/2005 at 01:10 PM
these are great comments- please keep them coming and i'll post some thoughts at the end of the day.
08/11/2005 at 01:44 PM
I love this post. In general, though, I preferred the entries in the past that seemed to have a narrative, whether it was a night out on the town or your honeymoon in 10 pics. I guess not being a graffiti fan that doesn't speak to me.
The percentage of good photos is definitely going up. Don't stop posting, 'k?
08/11/2005 at 02:42 PM
This is a tech/site comment, but the images are just too big. I'm running at 1024x768 and it seems rare that I can see an entire picture w/o scrolling. 1024x768 is not really uncommon.
This is a problem with Gothamist as well, but it's not easy to copy/paste text (actually, kind of impossible). This seems to only happen in IE. FireFox is fine. I know I didn't explain this well, but maybe others who see the same thing can elaborate. Makes it hard to quote and reference something you said.
I agree with Jen's narrative comment. Telling a story with one pictures can be hard, and telling a story with a few can either be easier or harder. How's that for a definitive statement : )
08/11/2005 at 03:14 PM
jake -- 1. yeah, on my 20" monitor, many photos are so large I have to scroll. that's too big
2. you're good at the text end -- I'd love to see more story accompanying the pix
3. I enjoy the slice-of-jake's-life pix the best, more than the artistic shots (though they're fun too).
4. as mike said, more cats. plus, more family.
5. I still liked the one-shot-a-day bluejake better, but that's a close call.
-- so there you have it -- my ideal bluejake is a single medium-size picture of Karen holding Thompson with lots of accompanying text.
08/11/2005 at 04:35 PM
I think blujake has been consistent in energy and form but the content has changed dramaticaly. Because of all your trips we've been treated to wonderful sights from around the world and the US of A. And because of your prolific output on Flickr, bluejake has become less predictable. Not as many tilt lens shots and more people shots. So no I can't say its what I expect from bluejake but the end results keeps me coming back for more.
btw I agree with matt. I think the images are too big.
08/11/2005 at 04:45 PM
i think you have to do what makes you happy. and then the rest will come. the only thing i find too, is that the images are too big for my screen, i don't have one of those cinematic screens - although i'm sure they look great on that. i like jen, liked the old format. i like how you capture the world though. you have a great eye for interesting subject matter and obviously technically you're excellent. i don't like one shot a day personally - i like the variety of 5 or 6 shots. i look forward to visiting here though - so you're cool by me.
08/11/2005 at 05:51 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for the advice today- both in the comments above, and the stuff that was sent to me privately by IM and email.
The advice was largely in three areas:
- smaller vertical images
- more editing, less posting
- longer explanations beneath pix
- less graffiti/streetart
- more narrative tone
- more personal images (cat)
- focus, specialize
In response, I am going to make some changes around here. Some will be obvious (starting tomorrow, vertical images will be 500x750, not 750x1125). Some will take some time (posting fewer images, more writing).
With regard to subjects, I've done a lot of thinking about this today. I think my strengths are landscape/streetscape and abstraction, so I'll continue to focus on those. I don't want to give up on portraits, so I'm going to make a special effort to improve in that area- that'll mean some hands on training, some reading, and a lot more practice.
With regard to style, I've obviously focused for a long time on the documentary approach (straight-on framing.) I like that style, so I think I'll stick with it, but I'm going to branch out a little- more experimentation with film cameras and lighting styles, which should produce some interesting effects.
That's about it.
08/11/2005 at 09:11 PM
hmmmm.....i love the graffiti - it's what i've come to see!
08/12/2005 at 03:23 AM
Bluejake is really good. Don't worry about it. :P
08/12/2005 at 06:18 AM
Hi Jake, I don't know you, but if I did, I'd probably want lots of family and friends. Maybe the pictures were too big, but as far as what to shoot is concerned, don't waste your energy trying to supply images for your fans, just shoot for yourself!
08/12/2005 at 09:20 AM
You need more pictures of benches.
08/12/2005 at 03:32 PM
well, this year, your images have strayed a little to solitary exploration to an exploration of social situations, and explorations of your friends and such.
honestly, I really preffered your night photography and you explorations of the new york city area.
I don't know, I guess you're settling down or something.
08/13/2005 at 02:55 PM
I usually love your stuff, but I want to kill you for this post. Take photos and leave the yucky inversion crap alone.
http://www.noahgrey.com for inspiration on your bw work... I like that you're starting to do some now, as a black and white photographer myself.
08/15/2005 at 07:21 PM
Jake, I really love your photos. Of family, cat, night shots and travel shots best. But I have to echo some of the other fans and say that the photos are a little too large and the graffiti photos deter my visiting everyday... I usually go on your flickr site for those. So to recap: more family shots, more night time shots, more MORE MORE supersampler shots. I love those. I also love your commentary, maybe you can add more to it? Thanks for reading
08/18/2005 at 08:34 PM
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