Tuesday, April 14, 2009


A lot of terrific photographers are out there blogging. Today I'd like to turn you on to -K-, aka Kevin McCollister, of The Jimson Weed Gazette.

Check out the Gazette and browse K's brooding, beautiful pictures. I'll link you to one, my favorite for reasons I'll attempt to articulate. See, I'm trying to learn to do more than just take a picture of a thing. I'm trying to learn how to evoke a feeling, to tell a story in a photo. Kevin is a master storyteller. Here's my favorite of his stories: it's called Old Man, Abandoned Building.

I recommend you tour Kevin's blog as well as his website and enjoy his stories.

The reason I'm thinking of Kevin today is because I'm a little jealous. It's not his talent I covet. Talent is individual. He has his, I have mine. I'm a beginner and I'll develop in my own way as I practice and learn. No, no, no, I'm jealous because I'm too chicken to take my camera and tripod into dark alleys and scary neighborhoods at night and photograph abandoned buildings and sad old men.

Which brings me to today's photograph. A dark alley in daylight doesn't scare me. Ha! (Good thing there was no one there.)


Cafe Pasadena said...

You too scared, P?
Sounds like you need a big guard dog to collaborate with & protect you, again! Or, maybe you can hang out late at night with SoPasa Laurie, visiting her dark, scary neighborhoods.

Keep up the great work, P...you beginner.

Laurie said...

Get into those alleys, woman! It's fun in there!

I've been a squealing fangirl about Kevin since I started blogging. I want everyone to go to his blog. I told him before, I think he is to photos what Carver was to the short story. And he certainly captures the Los Angeles that I know.

He may never come back here if we keep this up...

Miss Havisham's Tea Party said...

That IS vetty -K-

Shell Sherree said...

Both yours and K's photos speak volumes, Petrea. Thank you for introducing me to his work. And I think you're brave for heading into this one even if it is daylight. {I know, Laurie, I'm a wuss.}

lynn said...

I wouldn't go either :)

altadenahiker said...

I like many things about K's work, including its irony.

(P, Boz said he'd take you, but only during the day.)

J+P said...

K, I see the K. I also see the P.

Margaret said...

Petrea: I do not give you permission to go to dark alleys in the middle of the night in order to take pictures. It could be dangerous and I would worry. Now you don't have to feel jealous; you can just feel resentful of your imposing friends.

Virginia said...

May I just say that I am a "K Fan" as well. Thanks to you LA bloggers I am among the many that admire his wonderful work on a regular basis. He has a style all his own but I sure would like to copy! I hope your post today will bring him more readers as well. And P.... you photo today is a fine tribute to his work. Bravo!

-K- said...

Thank you, thank you, Petrea. I'm glad I haven't motivated you into any dark, nighttime alleys. Truth be told, "Old Man, Abandoned Building" was probably the latest (10:30?) and most isolated shot I've ever taken.

Petrea said...

Hi everyone! Sorry I'm late, I've been dealing with computer troubles all morning. Let's just say this has been the last PC straw. The Mac is on order.

First, -K-: You're welcome. I think I found you through either Laurie or Altadenahiker, both women of impeccable taste. (Virginia might have found you that way, too, and her excellent taste is renowned.) It shows that Old Man, Abandoned Building is your latest and most isolated. Perhaps that's why it tugs at my emotions so much.

Cafe, how sweet. You and Laurie are both brave! I happen to know Laurie doesn't hang out in the alleys at midnight, but 8PM will do for darkness! (And Laurie, I did fear I might embarrass him! But I couldn't help it.)

Miss H, high praise, merci.

Isn't it funny, Shell, I thought myself on a grand exploration. I'm a girly girl whether I like to admit it or not, but I crave adventure. Dichotomous. What can I do?

I'll go, Lynn, but I need a trusted guard. Boz will guard me, dressed in his Fauntleroy sailor suit, but we'll need someone to guard him, too.

Hiker, I think of a lot of K's work (not all) as the photographic equivalent of Raymond Chandler. If it talked, it would use words like "dame" and "doll" and "working stiff." (Also, see Boz/Fauntleroy reference above.)

J: Thank you, sweetie. My fan.

Margaret: Friends don't let friends do foolish things. I don't see imposition, I see a friend.

Thanks, V! I'd like to copy him, too. Copying is a good way to learn. Look out, you've got some I'd like to copy as well.

So Kevin, like I said: you haven't motivated me to take chances with my safety, but hopefully to take some with my art.

altadenahiker said...

I have lots of K favorites, actually. And they all seem to remind me of something. This one: the endless business trips, taking a cab from airport thru LA, back home to Pasadena in the wee hours.


Virginia said...

Where have I been??? Don't answer that anyone. Lala Land as usual. Now I have to run back to The Weed to see this "old man abandoned building pic" everyone's talking about. Since I'm more or less a newbie to K and his work, I might need to poke around his blog for a while. Maybe I'll get better by osmosis???

Petrea said...

I like that one, too, Karin. So how much does it cost to take a cab from LAX to Altadena?

Virginia, the osmosis is what I'm hoping for.

Margueritte Pascatoon said...

Te fare was $40 bucks from LAX to NoHo in 1992.

I ate a bowling ball.

AmyR said...

Alleys and abandoned places are too much fun though. And my biggest fear in either are nails and germs, so I just look where I'm going and take lots of wet wipes. ;)

Thanks for the recommendation, stunning photos.

Clifford Beshers said...

I think definitely a photo buddy is in order. I never go diving without a good buddy. Or if that isn't enough, organize field trips. Nobody in dark alleys would take on a crowd of tripod totin' tourists.

Petrea said...

Interesting, Margueritte. And so, how shall I say? So like a brain scan.

Maybe, AmyR and Cliff, you'll go with me? We'll tote our tripods through the threatening Pasadena night. There are some baaad places. They don't have to be really bad for us to make 'em look bad, though.

That didn't come out right.