DIA Detroit Downtown Industrial

Each section above will show jpeg thumbnails (~5k) of several photos. The thumbnails can be clicked for full-size jpegs (~50k) of the same. In the future I'll be adding comments to most photos, but right now you'll just see a larger version.

My first camera was my brother's old Kodak 110-film camera with a Canadian flag emblem on it. Definitely the camera for idiots, at least at the time. Only serious problem was that you could get your finger in the way of the lens without knowing it, since the viewfinder was way off to the side. I even used those little flashcubes in it sometimes. Sucked when they went off in your face as you tried to install them. I loved how they'd rotate 90 degrees when you advanced the film! Amazing low-tech stuff.

After a while my parents got me a better camera, thankfully. A Yashica T-AF 35mm camera with a primo Zeiss lens. It took good pictures, for something that wasn't an SLR camera. That was the one I started working in black and white with. Since my brother had set up a darkroom in the basement, I decided it might be fun to get into that. And it was, to the point that I completely shunned color photography for quite a while. Now I have no darkroom, so I can only really do color effectively. (You can pay for b/w processing, but it's never quite how I like it, so I don't usually bother. Plus I'm used to 5x7 b/w prints, so 4x6 seem too small in b/w.) Someday I'll build a new darkroom in our basement, but until then, I suppose I'll stick with color.

My subjects have always been inanimate, and typically architectural to some extent. Nature is interesting at times, but in general I have an easier time walking through a city taking photos I like than trying to do the same in a park. Maybe it's just that good nature photo spots are usually farther than 200 yards apart? Perhaps I'm simply unable to distinguish nature well enough to see the difference between one plance and another. Anyway, I've tended also to specialize in decayed architectural elements ­ perfect fabricated objects are nice for their angles and contrasts, but decay adds an organic element, throwing the patterns out of synch. As it turns out, Detroit is a fabulous place to live if you want to take pictures like that. There's still the danger that I'll wear out the theme, of course.

So why don't I take pictures of people? I think one of the main reasons is that people pictures make me think of most people's crappy snapshots that use about 5% of the image for the person's body, then there's a background consisting of garbage and devil-red eyes, with shiny glare and harsh shadows from the cheap flash, etc. But mostly I think it's because it forces a dynamic upon the situation that I'd rather not deal with. People act differently when they know a camera's on them, so the only good way about it is to use guerilla tactics, and I'm just no good at that. So there you have it. (Actually, taking photos of the Capitol 1000 rally wasn't all that tricky, but I'm not entirely sure I like how they came out. Certainly the hit rate of good photos to photos taken is far lower than for static scenes. Maybe 5%, versus 40% for the latter.

Please do let me know what you think of any of my photos. Constructive criticism will be received quite happily.

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Last updated: 27 June 1999
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©1996 Andrew W. Duthie