Friday, October 12, 2007

a photo a day keeps the blog-cobs away...

Janet and the Red Wall - Downtown L.A. 1977
Click on photo to enlarge - © 1977 jim otterstrom

For the past few days I've been posting pictures from my photo archives, which go back about 35 years.
I started doing this again because sometimes I just don't have much to say, and the blog sits idle for days or weeks, collecting cobwebs.
So, during those times, I've decided to try and post at least one photo each day as a way to share some personal history, along with the current goings on.
I hope you like these glimpses into a creative obsession of mine, through which I've usually sought out some sort of truth, beauty, or definition to soothe the persistent longings of the quirky savagely sensitive beast I inhabit.
Janet was one of my favorite models, an uncomplaining trooper who had fun posing for the camera, even on cold mornings, in awkward risky situations, or seedy parts of town. She was also the model for my '20th Century Crucifixion' photo (now re-born as a digital 'painting'), shot an hour or so later on this same morning in downtown Los Angeles.
Here I portray Janet as a likely prostitute living dangerously in a desperate attempt to escape the tyranny, oppression, and drudgery going on behind those bricks and diffused windows. The photo was taken just after dawn and the color you see is nearly identical to the original slide.
Janet was in her mid-twenties then, and I was 31. Today she lives on a sailboat in Santa Barbara, California. She, and author Carolyn See (The Handyman, Dreaming, Golden Days etc.) are the last two people in the world who still call me Beautiful Jim, my old Topanga Canyon nick-name (that's just because they haven't seen me in 25 years---we stay in touch by phone and mail).
Speaking of Carolyn See, I know her because I was her handyman, gardener, and friend back in the magical Topanga Canyon of the '60s, and her daughter, Lisa (also a 'best-selling' author), once told me she and her sister Clara suspect that I was sort of a rough outline for Carolyn's 'Handyman'. I never asked Carolyn about that, and, having read the book, I see only a few vague similarities, but then that's a whole 'nuther story isn't it?
Original image taken in January of 1977 with a Nikon F2 Photomic using Kodachrome slide film/exposure data long lost & forgotten. Digital image copied from the original slide with a Bower High Defintion II slide-copier attached to a 5 megapixel Canon S2IS. Cleaning up this image required some work as the slide was quite dirty with many specks & scratches that had to be touched up in Photoshop. Due to heat, aging, and the limitations of 5 megapixels there also seems to be some loss of resolution but to me the image still looks great.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.