Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the brooklyn open 2007

okay people, it's time to mull over my weekly 'pod' assignment. i know this wasn't your favorite entry last week, based on the lack of comments. it's long and boring, and who really wants to hear about my sorry creative process? but tough luck! do you think this is all just for you? i know, it's so exhilarating here at spackleshot that you may have been lulled into the idea that i'm only here to entertain you with brilliantly rendered stories and witty banter. but let's also remember that the 'shot' in this blog title refers to photography, not something very dirty, as my brother-in-law thought....and spackle--well it's my favorite word. me. me. me. me. not you. college roommate, you were right. i am selfish. deal with it.

okay, now that daily therapy is over, on to my 'point of departure' journal.
this week's assignment: tennis ball.

23 september 2007
the tennis ball. i don't know. not feeling this. not having a raving mad genius moment that transforms the mundane object into art. but do i ever? figured i'd take the ball and my camera everywhere i go and see what situations arise. but that hasn't worked out at all since i'm actually expected to work and the term "down time" doesn't apply even to a lunch break. spent some time with the ball at home though.
we had a lot of fun. started out on the fire escape in the morning. right now my plants are in the strange state of dying while still ripening their last pieces of fruit. green cherry tomatoes and green sweet peppers. the tennis ball camouflaged in nicely: a big unripe piece of fruit. i like the humor of the shots, though it's a bit cheap.
more humorous was running into the old polish woman with whom i share a fire escape, wearing my sleep t shirt and shorts with no bra, photographing a tennis ball in my tomato plants. language barrier. she gets no explanation, just a good laugh.

next i moved inside and photographed my friend the ball sitting atop my bedbug-war-torn apartment's mountain of garbage bags that contain my long lost belongings. i know there is no reference point for most people in these compositions, but they mean everything to me. does it matter?

moving into the empty living room i pulled out my big blue exercise ball which dwarfed little wilson. i wanted to isolate 'son' and emphasize their size discrepancies, implying the tennis ball was son to the exercise ball, but it just didn't work. not macro? letters too close together?

instead i became entranced with the sun throwing blue light through the ball, chilling the hard wood floor. suddenly it's a more planetary relationship.

when it comes down to it though, i love the texture, the hair of the close up. one close up between my knees personifies the ball as a bald baby with one curly hair catching the light. nice texture in my shorts and correpsonding stray leg hairs. another personal, yet not universal favorite.
the shot below is technically better because the highlights aren't blown out, but i think the other one is more special.

so i'm left unable to choose a shot between what i have, unsure if i need to reshoot. i like the abstract shots but are they anything other than color studies? seth says that after all, photography is a visual medium, yet we must go further than pretty...let me know which YOU, dear reader, like best, and why (if you can figure that out)!


peakie said...

#6 - "tennis_1190..."
I like how you can kind of feel the texture of the tennis ball...with the large blue ball in the background. it's also kind of planetary...i'm not high, really.

kitty8joe said...

wow. 4 minutes post request. matt, you rock!

Naomi Campbell said...


3, 4 and 7 are my favorites. Something really speaks to me on number 3. Not sure why, maybe it's the drastic contrast of the white and green, a tennis ball randomly tossed onto the bags (doesn't look placed there). I like the lighting on 4 and 7 and the closeness of 7. Good luck with this.

emir said...

I like the first and the fourth one.
in the first one, light, shadow, color, idea really
good. easy choice, no risk.
sunlight on fourth one doesn't look as good as third
but i liked it alot, because it looks like it is going
to move, and i can't stop lookin at it. when you focus
on the floor, it is really annoying, i loved it, can
you make it darker.
i think fourth is my choice but first might be better
for class, i dont knowwwww.

amy said...

the tennis balls and legs thing remind me of funny kegel exercises in childbirth class ;) love the reflection of the yoga ball one...�

super sexy woman said...

i like the sun-shiney knees that snuggle furry little wilson

emilia said...

I love #3 & #6. Blue ball:Earth, Tennis ball: meteor.

susanna said...

I like the 6th the 10th 11th from the top and the sky line of NY with
the light/ufo


selma said...

i am definitely not knowledgeable in the realm of photography, but here's my amateur opinion. and thank you from the break from writing job applications :o)

i like the first one with the peppers. the light is very end of summer and it has a certain whimsy to it, a nice attitude to have during those last glory days before the winter chill.

i kind of like the second one too, just as a bunch of abstract shapes.

out of the blue-yellow ball compositions, i like the fourth one (6th in all) the best, though they are not my favorite.

i hope that helps. your assignments sound like a lot of fun!

kiyomi said...

I like the plant one and the 6th (right before the knees), in that order.

DBL A said...

I like 1190 the most but I have an artist eye like a cyclops so you might want to go with the opposite of anything I say. I think that are all pretty spectacular though. Quite the talent...just like my blackberry skills that I demonstrated tonight by emailing you nothing 75 times. Sorry about that!

Bonnie said...

I'm really diggin the image with the ball and big blue ball (hehe) where you are casting blue light on to the floor. That's my favoite. However, I am also loving the first 2 pictures with little Wilson up against the "big guy." Has a lot of personality.

kim said...

Can I say that I like the self-portrait with the ball the most? Can I SAY that? Besides that, I like the pepper one the most because of the humor, then the blue ball casting the light. Tristan likes the garbage bag one the most because it hold your attention. Good luck and we love you.

sweetheart48 said...

None of them work for me. They just don't have it. That indefinable photographic presence that makes me stop and stare and a photo. The perspective just isn't quite right. I see th etennis ball as a smell yellow dot in a much larger scene. THat would get my attention. Or a series of pictures of the tennis ball's travels through the streets of NYC. That would make me laugh. Keep working on it. You're almost there, but not quite. I wish you'd dropped the ball onto the Worls Trade Center from above and photogrpahed it as it fell.

Yelyfish said...

#2 and 4, why? well, 4 is well compose and the light is perfect, 2 have more meaning... the ball is clean and neat on top of garbage bags, nobody knows what's inside so the impression is that we can be still positive when all around us look like shit....

sweetheart48 said...

omygod! I just saw the ball in the first photo - the one where you're taking the picture. THAT'S IT!! That one TOTALLY works!!! I love that photo!

Amy said...

#7 (1190). Kiyomi likes 7, not 6, that is the one right before the first knees shot. My second choice is the first one, very clever. I do like the pepper one, but the ball is a bit blown-out. #7 really has the nicest lighting and great focus on the tennis ball, nice composition too.

Btw, two other things. 1) I love reading your assignments, keep 'em coming. In fact, once I'm home from my trip, I'm going to do them with you. 2) Why didn't I get the request email???

Sister Christian

kitty8joe said...

wow--you guys are amazing coming through with the responses!

amy--i think the numbering confusion comes from people not counting the very first photo as an option (perhaps not noticing the ball?). i figured it out though. i probably didn't send you the request because i knew you'd respond no matter what!

Anonymous said...

of the tennis ball series - i like the one which highlights both the hair on the ball and your leg. seems like somebody is missing the US open?!

Anonymous said...

hey kitty,
so my favorite is the ball with the bedbug stuff...because you don't know what the bags are full of maybe concrete and why is the ball there...is it overseeing a project. basically, I think it tells more of a story than the other ones, it pulled me in more and made me question what that ball was doing.
hey, do you want to go to an exihibit at the Met...it's called impressed by light: british photography. also, there's two other exihibits, garry winogrand and edward mapplethorpe, both look interesting.
good luck with the project.
xo ann

margeaux said...

hi there,
i love the tennis ball as plant. very clever.

my runner-up is the provactive leg one. the highlights don't bother me. in fact, i think they add a beautiful ethereal glow to it!

Emre said...

Definitely the second one with peppers. The tennis ball becomes part of the plan although it is not as "abstract" as the blue ball ones, yet one realizes that it is a tennis ball not a plant after the first glimpse. I like that.

Anonymous said...

Pick tennis_1167shadow.jpg if you want to cover your bases.
I like this one because of the angles, the color contrasts, and for some reason I like that we know it's a tennis ball... because it is stating the tennis ball artistically...

Pick tennis_1193soft.jpg if the tennis ball doesn't need to be paramount.
I almost like this one better, but if the assingment is more about the tennis ball, the tennis ball is significantly dwarfed in this photo by the awesome illumination of the exercise ball. I think this one is actually my favorite of the photos, but perhaps not the favorite for the assignment... for the blur of the tennis ball also renders the tennis ball as a bit inconsequential.

Pick tennis_1182knees.jpg if you want more discussion... so alas, it may be the more "artistic" one.
I passed on making this my first because of my Freudian perversion. The hair on the tennis ball makes me think of pubic hair... I sort of saw this one as some feminist protest... she doesn't need a man, she needs her tennis! And is the light appearing to emerge from between her legs, the ball, or the friction of the two??? Yaouza!

How do you want your classmate to view you, as a vixen or mother earth?

Leave it to me to make this all about sex!


Anonymous said...

Hi Kitty, I think you're thinking too much about getting a shot of a tennis ball. Remember me telling you how the teacher constantly screamed at me, 'Stop thinking about it. Don't try to control the shot!' ?? Remember? The image isn't so much about a tennis ball as it is about the idea, feeling, sound, quality, etc., of a tennis ball. Anyone can take a snapshot of a tennis ball, but not everyone can take a photograph of a mangled tennis racket on the side of the road. If anything the image you have of the pears in the plastic bag speaks volumes more about a tennis ball than just taking a snap of a tennis ball.
Make sense?
Nonetheless, I do like your pics.

kitty8joe said...

yes, i see what you're saying, but he GAVE us the damn balls. still if you had to chose one?

Anonymous said...

Argh! Didn't know he gave you the ball. The first and the last one are good. Sorry about my blahblahblah to you. Let me know how it goes. Maybe this time you will say to me: I told you so. LOL

Anonymous said...

alright KittyJoe with the blue planetary woodgrain, the money shot as far as i'm concerned may be within the lines of tennis1150planetary but turned one 90 degree rotation clockwise -- this, to give movement to the woodgrain and switch up the juxtaposition... but what the hell do i know? will you get this too late for your class? impressive blog and oh love all the shots of NYC - - it makes me nostalgic for ginsberg and 50 degree februaries and a lack of sadness. XXOO LJ

cjb said...

i like the tennis ball in the plants. good luck!

evan said...

i'm gonna have to go with the fifth of the series (or the third shot from the top of the tennis ball with blue pilates type ball). i say this because i find myself getting distracted by the "wilson" logo. the tennis ball in this shot becomes more of an abstract object and less of an item that the i immediately associated with the name. i also think the composition allows you to focus more on the interaction between the subjects of the photo (tennis ball, blue ball, floor, and light projected by the blue ball). since all the subjects are in focus, the picture as a whole becomes more about shapes, lines, and light rather than the tennis ball itself.

Bibi said...

Hi Kitty,

Hope I'm not too late...
I like #2 for the "nonchalance" of the composition, it indeed looks like the ball just accidentally ended up there and it shows that there fun/game amongst the chaos. I also like #3 for the color combination of the bright yellow, blue, the round shapes -big and small, the shades, a sun-earth resemblance.
And then I also like the first leg one # 7, the sun reflects nicely on your legs. It is just simple and good!

And as always: they're all great shots so you can't do no wrong in your selection....

See you tomorrow?? x

asli said...

hey kitty I loved the one with the planetery relationship with the blue light ,and the one between the knees the first one...good luck i read the whole thing it is great and fun. Thanks for sharing..