Observations from a Small City on the Edge of a Crumbling Tectonic Economy..

20141214.USA.JO©.SS.00062

I’ve lived in Seattle since November 25th 2004, and in that time I have seen some slow changes, lost touch with a lot of people who moved on, disappeared left town etc. It’s really not until 2013 that the physical changes happened in the city that I could start to think I was living in a dynamic place.

I’ve lived in Seattle since November 25th 2004, and in that time I have seen some slow changes, lost touch with a lot of people who moved on, disappeared left town etc. It’s really not until 2013 that the physical changes happened in the city that I could start to think I was living in a dynamic place.

I came to the US with an expectations of grandeur.

I was really surprised when I got to New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and DC and was hit in the face with the fact that these were aging cities, and the sense that the people living there, really didn’t have much actual control or say over anything that went on, because democracy got in the way. Id assumed the US was bright shiny and new.
As a European, I had always grown up with places that were maintained and there was a real sense of local pride and everyone was involved in it.

Over the years and traveling around, I’ve seen enough of it to tell me that this country is definitely a continent in decline. A place strangled by conservative values, and disregard for everything except money.

The US is definitely not a place I want to grow old in, and yet, I don’t know where else there is now that hasn’t adopted the same capitalistic values, and with that the utterly destructive nature of that which is held in high regard: individualism.

 

 

Think about your camera, think about your motivations..

I have been buying and selling gear for 20 years, and for a period worked at a store.

I take an interest in finance, especially the the still image markets.

What used to take 6 years to cycle now takes 6 months. 6 years was the unwritten agreement held by the manufacturers because in Europe and Japan 6 years was the effective tax write-off period independent businesses (Professional Photographers) could write off the cost of their gear to zero.

A decade ago that started to shift and speed up and it was mostly because of the booming economies of the western world and tax write-off periods didnt seem to matter as much anymore, because disposable incomes were higher in comparison to the cost of the cameras. Additionally, we were already a generation into prosumer digital cameras- the first three generations were solely in the realm of institutions and consortiums with the prices of cameras in $15-25,000 a camera which in todays money is about 22-32k a piece.

When Canon brought out the D30 -the first major selling consumer DSLR- the turn around on gear was 4 years. By the time the 20D happened it was two years, straddled between the Nikon models. Nowadays Cameras like the 5DmkIII and Nikon D800 are dinosaurs within two years, and in many ways they are out of date a year after they come out. They rely on an older age-group of buyers who were brought up thinking that the DSLR is the benchmark for quality, as do their clients.

I dropped out of DSLRs 4 years ago in preference for mirrorless and have never looked back. I have purchased only four new cameras in my life, the Eos 5, which started a trend for me, to buy three Enthusiast aka semi-pro bodies for the price of one pro body and getting the same level of value out of those three bodies as my buddies ere getting out of their $3x pro bodies.. the Second purchase was my personal step into digital cameras with a Canon G1, a premium level point and shoot. followed by some time later by a productive years work and a flush account, I got a Canon 10D, and shortly after that a new 1DmkII, a rash decision that I now regret. Three years ago I got a Fuji X-Pro1, I bought it new because I was in need of a new definitive look to my images and the Fuji sensor was where it was at. I wasted no time and pre-ordered sight unseen and still have it. I traded some older lenses for a second body and that camera is still valid today, though the market has dropped for resale, so these are resale losses.

The Sony A6000 is a milestone in the financial side of the mirrorless scene primarily because it is a definitive price tactical change which will effect the market around it as it breaks new ground and infringes on DSLR territory. Big sellers like the Fuji X100 will be dwarfed in sales numbers by the end of this year from the sales of the A6000.

The market is tiered by expectation and the belief from the consumer that the more you spend the longer the investment is, which is completely rubbish. When the Leica M8 came out it was an $8000 camera and everyone who bought it believed it was the camera they would take to their grave. The truth is, the best thinking is in the lower middle range of product: look at the tech in the marketplace and the price from top to bottom to the point and shoots, which are now dead from Cellphone infringement, and the best thing to spend your money on is the cameras like the NEX5, A6000, Xe2, GX1, etc anything under $1000 because it will be worth 60-65% of its street launch price within a year.

Because digital cameras are now being marketed alongside other technologies the two year trade-show epiphanies are getting shorter. Every year we have CES and every two years we have Photokina, and now theres NAB and numerous other smaller events which all bring new release dates closer together.

At the end of the day we buy these things to make pictures, and the quality of the pictures has got to a point which is way ahead of the flexibility of film in about 70% of applications. 35mm film for professional use is dead because digital is more flexible, so toy cameras rule the 35mm market, enthusiasts mop up out of date junk films and spit out hipster art disposable mementos. The race is for the 50mp point with 4k output which will eat into the medium format realm. In 4-6 years Sony and Canon will have 60-100mp cameras and that will be the end of all film and photography will have transitioned completely into digital. Remember, in 2004 when sony entered into negotiations with Minolta, they said that within ten years they would be camera manufacturer #1 or #2, they make all the sensors for everyone except Canon and Leica and some of the exotic medium & large format cameras.

It blows me away that in December 2013 Sony announced the A7 & A7r, and they weren’t on shelves until March and used prices were floating at $1600 and $2200 and in just the last 6 weeks you can now buy a new A7r for $1825 and a used A7 for $1100… those prices are going to fall again in September when Photokina happens, they will settle within 2 months Until January when CES show happens and the pro-deals happen, and then they will fall again. By the end of summer 2015 you will be able to buy a used A7 for $700……………………..

Brain Blame.

Im watching the compiled videos of Elliot Rodger.
My thoughts on the guy are that he’s terribly dislocated from reality. He has no perspective. It seems from his language that he has been fed something, I’m not sure where it comes from but he is definitely selectively filtering to something which has probably been coming to him for a long time. A child soaks everything up, and I think somewhere along the way he started filtering out all of the other ‘normal’ stuff because the one true consistent thread to him was comforting and steadfast.

I honestly feel sorry for him; take away the trappings of wealth and the padding privilege denies your senses of, and you are left with a child who has no concept of how to compete in the world. Prop that child up with misguided rhetoric and single sided psychology and unfathomable society hype and you get; an abused child. The child does not become an adult on a birthdate. I understand and am intrinsically aware that we all make choices, and we all theoretically know right from wrong. But where does the choice of choice begin and end? What if the choice is already made for you by the lack of options available to you? Whether they are truly not available to you, by standards of society, is of no consequence if your perceived choice is what it is because you are blinkered to a wider array of information.
Luckily most of us have come to some point where we can see other facets of life, to see behind the opinions we’ve formed so that we can form new ones, with multiple perspectives and multiple motivations, but some of us don’t get to that point for reasons of distraction, being distracted by mere survival, whether that be surviving in poverty or surviving yourself, what I call survival mode. Psychological damage, early on and repeated cycles and patterns, become the cause of ignoring important and learning curves because there are other things going on that pose a bigger greater threat over the course of time, which in turn lays a foundation of reactive or evasive behavior unbeknownst to the self, its like being handed a flare that will call the helicopter, when lost in heavy waters, and there’s a log in front of you. Which are you going to go for? If you already know what the thing is, and what it will do for you, then you will probably make the right choice. But, if the thing that offers you immediate relief, is not much effort away and doesn’t have to be decrypted in a language you haven’t been prepared to understand, then you are likely to make the wrong choice. Effectively; you will make the only choice open to you, because of your lack of options.

It’s easy to call him a misogynist, and yes, and if you look at all the evidence that’s what he became. But he wasn’t a misogynist by choice. He didn’t have enough life in him to get him to a point where he could back it up with real solid undeniable and arguable hatred for girls. Maybe there were other pressures, ones that he as yet could not recognize. Perhaps there were fissures that somewhere down the line of life, if he had lived it a bit longer, he might just have come to a realization that the girls he hates are in fact more a statement about the need to be loved cherished and nurtured, not just handed a padded life, talked at, put on a pedestal and objectified, but truly loved and valued.

It is my belief that he was an incidental misogynist because his hatred was probably actually fear. On the surface he was a cocky self-centered shit, and its so easy to throw down the artifacts of disdain (thus separating us from him), and I do it here because I’m appealing to the lowest common denominator who is expecting a biscuit, or a token of my understanding and empathy among the debris of my psycho-babble. But we all become something from something else, so where did he get it from? Blame the parents? Or this horrible monstrous society we have let run completely out of control which needs some parenting in of itself.

It is so easy to blame society, that Im aware of, yes, but society really is to blame, because the soup that is society is the passive current of our group subconsciousness which we have set up to fail ourselves by allowing ourselves to follow the tacit flow of ease to which advertising has become the tactile garments of our group recumbence. Am I suggesting that society be curtailed? No, I am not, but I am asking, if, perhaps we start to consider the possibility of a greater discussion about how dirty the room we lounge in has become, and what it will take to recognize the concerns from the ground up.
I know this argument well. As an immigrant, I still see Americas problems are rooted in its desire to be as democratic to all which in theory is wonderful, but it’s really not happening, we are not democratic to all, we are selective and biased and self-centered. The conservatives want to be heard, and so they shall. The liberals want to be heard and so they shall, and apart from which color you choose those opposing forces really cross over each others lines about two seconds after crossing the starting line. So knowing that, perhaps we should just cut to the chase and get on with the job of making the choices that are best for everyone’s needs regardless of their wants.

#Elliot #Rodger #ElliotRodger

2013 09 04 In the Back where the light of the fading day reflects off the wall.

Its a phenomena to hear the daily rumination’s of your neighbor showering, slurping milk in his cereal bowl, listening to the radio, masturbating, showering and general other private life sounds, and yet never actually really seeing them because of a wooden fence that separates you from him. Im pretty sure he cant hear me because the sound from his side is funneled in through a small space filtered by a Mosquito grille and a cat.

I have a lot of uncertainty now, and yet I know somewhere in there I will miss these days. Perhaps this is a time of resettlement and reassurance from a relationship that I now find myself in.
I also find myself in the eye of the storm. Im doing things now that are prime and ahead of the curve. Yet Im filled with doubt and procrastination is the crutch Im leaning on. Im trying to do a lot maybe too much, but if I dont Ill feel as though Im not doing enough, like I feel that anyway regardless of the capacity Im at.

Who knows. Just remember the important things.

2013.05.30 BOMBAY

Bombay, not Mumbai. I prefer it, and the Bombers themselves call it Bombay anyway.

Its as hot as Goa was, but the humidity levels are off the charts. What I thought was humid in Goa was just for starters. Here its totally and completely insane. It takes 20 minutes to sweat out a liter of water. I go nowhere without a 2L bottle of Bisleri. Bisleri is the nice brand of water in India. Its an Indian company started by a French couple who came here some time ago and scoffed at the lack of good clean drinking water in bottles. Since then of course, there are others. Bailey, which is harder to find, but equally as good and the same price. 1L bottles are about 15 rupees, 2L bottles are 25 rupees, depending of course if you ask the price, because most street vendors will try and hoodwink you and make you pay more even thought he price is moderately unclearly marked on the bottles themselves. The Batch Number, date and Price “(inclusive of all taxes)”. But I still like to ask because I like to see the honesty levels of the vendors. Most outside of Goa and so far Bombay, are not honest and some, even when you show them the price will argue the price with you. Old school values; haggle. Theres no haggling in America. We are soft now, lazy, the price is the price. I still like to ask for a deal when I have to go to the Apple store just to fuck with the doe-eyed whizz-kid clerks. Who cares if Steve Jobs had $750,000,000,000 in the bank before he stepped out, he shouldn’t have had that much money anyway, he should have by virtue of the fact that he travelled India himself, known that that money would have been better off in the hands of those who know what to do with it to make their days a little brighter. Like those tribal families out there on the street in front of the hostel Im currently in. They are rolling with the rats, and their children are playing cricket and badminton amongst the traffic “OUT”! I saw that, that was out! Ballard market, haha what a fucking Joke, ‘fixed prices’ total and complete bullshit.
Oh look at that Im sweating as I’m shitting here in relative comfort of porcelain three floors above you, and the little brown children with blue string around their waists are dropping their payloads into cracks in the pavement. Their shit is cleaner then yours though -and you fucking better believe it.

 

Seattle Streetshooter

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.  Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.  It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.  The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.  This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.  Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.
Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.
It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.
The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.
This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.
Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.  Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.  It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.  The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.  This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.  Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.
Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.
It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.
The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.
This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.
Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.  Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.  It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.  The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.  This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.  Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.
Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.
It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.
The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.
This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.
Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.  Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.  It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.  The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.  This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.  Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.
Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.
It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.
The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.
This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.
Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.  Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.  It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.  The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.  This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.  Im open to discussions on this.

SEATTLE. Street photography. Downtown Seattle. Upon returning from almost six months in India, walking around the streets of downtown seattle is an interesting concept. Getting access to people in India is not even a consideration as people will generally walk up to you and either stare at you out of curiosity, or will stop and talk, and in some cases will look at you and get on with what they are doing. There was never any issue with my presence and if I asked 99% of the time people would be very happy to have their photograph taken.
Seattle however is radically different to this, mainly because of how we perceive ourselves let alone what we think of you the photographer.
It seems to me that in US individuality is championed and defended with great vigour, and the exact opposite is the case in India, where Indians generally see themselves as being part of a greater whole.
The construct as it seems to occur in the US is just that, a vague, preconceived, compartmentalisation of existence where everyone is happy in conviction that we are, in fact, individual, and yet confine ourselves in the routines we impose on ourselves and the things we do, places we go and the consumption patterns we cling to.
This is a thought that has been running around in my head for some years now, especially after having moved from one culture to another about a decade ago.
Im open to discussions on this.