Thursday, January 14, 2010

Low-Tech Challenge: Photo Collage

My Desk
In response to my own guest-posted challenge on Just Write, a first attempt at a little lo-fi cataloging of my life, courtesy a super-flimsy $5 digital "camera" from Walgreens. This is a quick survey of my desk, since I was sitting there at the time, trying to read the archaic image file format off the camera. Trying for the lo-fi, shoot-from-the-hip ethic here, instead of my usual obsessing over white balance and aperture and steady shots and focus and bokeh and... and... and...

This is a little spin around my desk area: clockwise from the top left they are...
  1. Norma Jean, my Underwood Touchmaster, still looking and typing fine in this, her 50th year. I'm also hitting a milestone this year: turning 40. Perhaps I'll dye my hair to match.
  2. My super sekrit stash of Polaroid film, snarfed from the thrift store last year. I've used up a couple of boxes now, have a couple more to go. One of them was particularly ancient, and the tiny chemical pounches inside the frame were so badly dried that only strips and blobs developed. The images are ghostly and strange.
  3. Assorted house plants in various states of health. This particular one was from a get-well basket for one of my son's past injuries. The basket sat on top of a bookcase and was soon neglected for ages before I felt pity on the plants, divided them up, and repotted them. This is a "bonus plant" that was down to its last leaf, but is thriving by being neglected on the end of my desk. I was a chronic accidental house-plant killer as a child, so I'm trying to boost my plant karma by reviving these pity cases, and by getting them away from my wife, who has an even deadlier record with plants.
  4. Perpetual calendar/pen stand. I need to swap out the nib in the pen for something narrower, as this has a cheap calligraphy nib in there right now, and so lays down an exceptionally wide line. Out of frame is the wind-up travel alarm clock. Measuring time mechanically, that's me.
  5. Mementos from my kids, this one from my older daughter. Both my daughters seem taken with art, the older one declared at age four that she wants to be a children's book author dedicated exclusively to picture books "for kids who can't read." Paper and crayons litter our house, and art and photos of my kids are all over the cork board and my desk.
  6. Actual work-related things. I still don't like looking up things online, preferring to have my reference materials in bound form. The O'Reilly books are the best of the best, in my opinion. I still lean on these now and then for reference at the old gray matter gets less responsive. Plus, covers featuring engravings of camels and rhinos fits my "Eclectic/Geek/Slob" design ethic.



deek said...

Nice tour. I think I'm going to take a little picture tour around my desk!

Julia Eff said...

I'd show you guys pictures of my desk, but I don't really use it. I more use the floor.

"Camera"? care to elaborate?

mpclemens said...

I slapped ironic hipster quotes around "camera" as it is the merest definition of. It takes cell-phone quality pics and runs on a AAA battery, which it appears to drain after about two dozen shots or so. It's one of those dinky keychain digital cameras you see everywhere.

Julia Eff said...

I have never actually seen one. Now I'm gonna look for one, and not be able to find it. Because that's the way things work. *shakes fist at sky*

mpclemens said...

Julia, it's essentially one of these though the plastic case is different (mine says it is an "Aries" camera.) No preview screen on the back, the little LCD on the front tells you the mode the camera is in and the number of pics remaining. Viewfinder is a little slide-up lens.

It's about 2 1/4" x 1 1/2" big, so quite tiny. And cheap. And funky.