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CHASING PERFECTION - ADVENTURES IN INSTANT PHOTOGRAPHY

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The age of digital photography is all about chasing perfection. Constant improvements create ever sharper photos and bolder colors. While they all look wonderful on the screen. There’s something about being able to hold a photograph in your hand. Not just a digital image produced by phone or camera, a real physical record of the shot you just took. Thats the allure of Instant Photography. 
With time on my hands during this pandemic, I took the plunge buying two instant cameras (Polaroid Now and Fuji Neo Classic) and three, count them, three instant printers (Canon Selphy 1300, Lifeprint and Fuji instax). I really got the bug. Over the last fifteen years, I have just taken digital photos, my film cameras long departed. So I wanted to try something new. Thus began my instant photography adventure.
After running around and playing with these devices, would I recommend them? The answer is NO, YES, MAYBE...
The cameras produce what can be disappointing results. With Polaroid, you forget in th…

WINDOWS IN THE BACK OF PLANT

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Plant Windows - Wadesboro NC

BEHIND THE PLANT

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Like some slumbering dinosaurs brought down to the ground, sitting silent uncared for by time.Names like Pacolet, Saluda, Lando, Flint and Great Falls no more. 
Once great trucks parked here carrying raw materials and supplies, feeding the machines inside. Managers could tell by the sound if one worked wrong, shouting out its number to repairers.
Legion of workers collected checks and kept small towns alive. Each carrying with them the pride of work and product done.
Now only grass grows there. Machines long ago silenced. The same trucks that fed the plant were used to carry off production equipment, shipped over ocean to a cheaper labor force. Trucks that never came back again, the names of the drivers no longer spoken behind the plant.
The small houses of the towns still holding the workers that once were there, but not their pride.The plant sits empty except for echos of the sounds, now only grass grows behind the plant. 
David Young


LA SPLASHES

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Los Angeles is not all cars and the glitter of Hollywood. Likewise, you don’t find the true LA in districts like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Malibu or Pacific Palisades. The already wealthy and famous live apart in enclaves.
The real LA is in the working districts of Melrose, Korea Town, the Miracle Mile and Downtown. Walking through them you have time to absorb the real city, street life and its people. Here lives aspirations on steroids.
They fill the air and have a sound. The waiters who want to be actors. The retail clerks who want to be stand up comics. The garment district worker who wants to start a fashion line. The business person in the food ally pitching a deal.
Alter egos dance off each other, reflect on glass windows and seemingly splash off the sides of walls and buildings. Bright bold marks bounce everywhere. Some marks and aspirations wait for a long time, others start to fade but resist. No one here wants to say goodbye to them. Not here. Not in LA.
David Young 


ENTRANCE

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William Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances.” 
He surely imagined a stage more dramatic than the entrance to a grocery store. Most are bland with little fanfare, simply moving people in to do their shopping. Not for glamorous things, but just the necessity of life.
A backstage of life for sure. Still drama of everyday life exists in the coming and going of people. All with their stories to tell and families to feed.
David Young

NORTHEAST TRAINS

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George Gershwin composed “Rhapsody in Blue” while riding on a train between New York and Boston…
The chill of an early morning Boston caused me to pull my coat tight as I walked into South Station. The station looked like a half circle inside cast in northeast (NE) gray. A couple of coffee stands and an eatery were busy. Travelers getting their nourishment before boarding the train. I looked forward to traveling to New York.
A giant electronic leaderboard flashed the status of departures and arrivals. Just beyond the gates sat the Acela and Northeast Regional Trains. The Acela with its noble nose and the Northeast Regional with a square working face. 
I sat with my coffee looking out in awe at them. Maybe just a usual sight to people in the NE. As a westerner, it was special for me. They were like gleaming keys to the NE. Stallions that would take me through the best and worst along the tracks arriving in the gleaming place called New York. They were magic, each with their own persona…

CAMERAS

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The coffee shop was filled with people on their phones. Me too, I read all the latest on the new iPhone 12. Faster they said, better camera than my trusty iPhone X. Yes, It seemed my phone took more pictures than my camera in recent times. Still the experience left something missing, but I was’t sure what. 
Maybe the phone is just too easy, too immediate. There were other things too, the phone proved difficult to hold for me when taking a photo. Most importantly though, it let in all the rest of the world. All those news updates, emails waiting, advertisements and applications lurked in the background. Some even popped up as notifications when I tried to take the photo. 
My thoughts turned to how different using a camera was. How it could silence the rest of the world allowing a more compete experience with what you saw. How you could create your own world with it. A world only limited by your creativity. How wandering became something different, more thoughtful and fulfilling.
Using…