Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Photobooks Found

Now that the year-end list hubbub has settled, it's time to write once again about photobooks. Although I like to find books through recommendations, for me it's far more enjoyable to discover them in used bookstores. Wherever I travel, whenever I pass a bookstore, I pop inside for a quick scan of the photo section. It's usually a quick procedure. For the store it's no more hassle then a flu shot, although perhaps more painful in the long run.

I never know what I'll find. Usually it's junk. But once in a while I find a nugget and when that happens it's a great thrill. Part of the thrill is the book and part is from the hunt itself, the sense of unpredictability and discovery. It's like the thrill of hunting with a camera for photographs.

The charge of finding a great book lasts a while. For many of my books, the memory of where and when I found the book is integral to reading them. I remember the trip I was on, the type of photos I was interested in then, perhaps the weather. It's almost as if these books have the personal resonance of a journal entry.

In addition to the book, there is the romance of the bookstore. In parallel with the biological world, the bookstore universe is currently undergoing a great wave of extinction. In 20 years who knows how many there will be? So I enjoy visiting and supporting them while they're still around. Here are some book and bookstore discoveries from the past few years.

Garry Winogrand, Grossmont College Catalog
Found: 1998, Unknown Bookstore on Oak St. (now out of business), Ashland, Oregon

Buried in a pile below the art monographs. I barely knew who Winogrand was at this point. Most of the photos in the book looked to me like silly tilted snapshots, but there were a few that caught my eye and at $4 it seemed worth a shot. The print quality is horrible but back then I didn't notice stuff like that. This is probably his worst book but it contains a few photos found nowhere else.

Tony Ray-Jones (eponymous) and A Day Off
Found: 2002, Paper Moon Books, Portland

Paper Moon established itself in 2002 right around the corner from my home in Portland, so I had a chance to hit it during opening week. The photography selection was so-so but they did have two books by this weird Brit named Tony Ray-Jones. I had no idea who he was but the photos looked interesting. I bought A Day Off, took it home and devoured it that night. Then I was a TRJ convert. The next day I went back for the other one. I think they were around $5 each. Still two of my alltime favorite street photography books.

Joel Meyerowitz, Wild Flowers
Found: 2001, Unknown Bookstore (now out of business), Route 201, Madison, Maine

On my first visit to my inlaws in 2001 after they'd resettled near Skowhegan, I made a careful circuit of all the local bookstores to see what was out there. I've found that East Coast bookstores generally have a better stock than West Coast stores. It's not that they're more sophisticated but they have a denser supply of intellectual debris nearby. An estate sale in Maine might turn up all sorts of gems, whereas one in rural Oregon is less likely. So anyway this store in Madison was in the next town over from my inlaws. The shop was a complete mess but they had a small photo section in the back shed and, lo and behold, an old tattered copy of Wild Flowers, which I'd heard about but until then had never seen. Unlike some of my other buys I knew right away that I'd stumbled on a winner.

Mark Steinmetz, South Central
Found: 2007, Longfellow Books, Portland, Maine

I do a quick bookstore scan in Portland whenever I'm flying into or out of Maine. The city has a fairly good photobook stock, far better than any comparably sized city on the West Coast, although at this point the stores are perhaps a bit tapped out. At the time I found this used Mark Steinmetz title in a pile of photobooks I was only vaguely aware of him. But the photos grabbed me right away and I made the purchase even though at $20 it was pushing my used book budget. I've wound up buying all of his books since (except Summertime) although I haven't been able to find used copies.

Burk Uzzle, Landscapes
Found: 1996, Turtle Island Bookshop, Berkeley, CA

This was one of the first photobooks I ever bought. It was in a very polished used store selling classy titles to the Berkeley Hills glitterati. Nevertheless I was able to score this cheap paperback of nice photos. Uzzle showed me a very formal way of putting graphics together that greatly influenced me at the time. I've mostly outgrown it by now but Landscapes still has a place in my heart, and on my bookshelf.

Die Deutschen, Rene Burri
Found: 2003, Powell's Books, Portland

When you scour the photobook aisles over and over you tend to get a sense of which books are common and which aren't. Titles like Arbus' Monograph or Leibovitz's Women or 40 Examples by Adams must circulate in the majority of bookstores out there. My eyes glaze over. By contrast, when I saw Die Deutschen at Powell's it was totally unfamiliar. Not only that but the photos inside were mostly new to me even though I'd looked at a lot of Burri. This was the third edition, a paperback, selling used. I've never seen it in any bookstore since.

Tom Wood, Bus Odyssey
Found: 2003, Powell's Books, Portland

Another Powell's find. I don't know what the story was but one day Powell's had a large selection of remaindered Tom Wood titles for sale. I wasn't familiar with his work at the time but I immediately took a shine to it. But I couldn't decide which book to buy. All Zones Off Peak? Bus Odyssey? Photie Man? There seemed to be some overlap between them. I think they were all around $12 or something. Cheap but I couldn't afford all three. Finally I settled on Bus Odyssey since I was riding the bus a lot back then. On my next trip to Powell's a week later every book had been sold.

Michael Ackerman, End Time City
Found: 2002, Tim Whelan Books, Rockport, Maine

Before it closed in 2010, Whelan ran one of the best photobook stores in New England. It was mostly new stock but there were enough enough discounts and used titles mixed in to keep the treasure hunting interesting. Ackerman's book was marked down as slightly damaged. It immediately appealed to me since I was shooting a lot of Noblex photos at the time and his book was the only one I'd seen that really explored motion blur with a swinglens. Other than a few images scattered in Sylvia Plachy's books, it's still the only one I know of.

Garry Winogrand, Figments from the Real World
Found: 1999, David Morrison Books, Portland

At $80, this is probably my largest outlay for any photobook. The thing was, I was under a heavy Winogrand spell at the time. After Grossmont I'd gone looking for more of his work but it was difficult. This was before any of his books had gone into reprint and before the online photo boom. All of his books were tough to find, especially this one. So Figments was a treasure trove and I probably would've bought it at any price. Morrison Books followed the way of most bookstores and closed their retail space shortly after. But during its short run it was the best photobook store in Portland, the predecessor to Ampersand. I think Morrison still deals online from a converted church in North Portland.

Bill Burke, Portraits
Found: 2005, Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers, Seattle, WA

A damaged book, steeply discounted, matching the distressed full-frame Polaroids shown inside. I didn't know much about Burke before seeing this but he has become one of my favorite portraitists. I've since seen the book here and there in stores but it's fairly uncommon.

Gilles Peress, Telex Iran
Found: 2000, Unknown bookstore, 49 Geary St., San Francisco

The antiquarian bookstores at 49 Geary are almost as much fun as the galleries. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the store I found this in. I just remember it had about 200 square feet of photobook bindings to sift through. I could've spent hours there, but after finding a used Telex Iran I decided to call it a day. I knew whatever else I found probably couldn't top that. I've rarely seen this book in any store since.

Lee Friedlander and Jim Dine, Work From the Same House
Found: 2010, Re-Books, Waterville, Maine

The one book in this post that I didn't buy. I've already written about the discovery here. Last summer I went back to check and the book was still there, and I still didn't buy it. Surpassing my book budget and probably the book budget of most Waterville residents, this will likely sit unsold until the end of the store, which judging by its general condition doesn't seem far off now.

Curious to hear from others if you have your own discoveries to share...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reject

2012 is off to a roaring start. January is barely over and I've already been rejected for 2 shows. At this rate I'll surpass last year's total by June. The worst part is I can't even save the rejection letters. Instead of the nicely typed form letter they used to send (which I collect in a large file), rejections now come as generic email: "Dear _____, We received many bla bla bla...and yours was not bla bla bla..." Not really worth saving. In fact it feels pretty good to delete.

One of my more entertaining rejection letters, 2005, from Lenswork

Oh well. Rejection is part of the artistic process, right? Nothing ventured nothing gained. It's just that it seems to be happening a lot lately. I can't actually remember the last time a submission of mine was approved.

Truth be told I may have a bit of a self-destructive streak. I don't have much patience for applications. They usually ask for a Resume or CV. I don't understand why. What could possibly be less important in judging someone's photos? It's like asking someone what color eyes they have. So lately I've been like, fuck it, I may as well submit the resume I want to, which turned out to be this:
I, Blake Andrews, do solemnly swear that I have checked off the requisite requirements for an artistic resume, having been included in a suitable number of approved gallery shows, publications, collections, bla bla bladity bla bla bla…

BORN Berkeley, CA 1968

EDUCATION Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla 1992 bla

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS The usual places, and some unusual ones too

HABITS I strongly suspect that I am stuck being a photographer for good

LIVING SITUATION In Eugene with wife, kids and four chickens. I have brown eyes.

In addition to a resume most applications ask for photographs to be titled. My photos don't have titles, at least not when they're not being submitted somewhere. Lack of titles can actually work in one's favor, since it's a golden opportunity to label photos Untitled. Or better yet a passive-aggressive nontitle that actually is one, Untitled (Woman Sleeping at 4 am by a Quiet Brook) or something. Curators love that shit.

I tried labeling a photo Untitled just to see how it fit. Perfect. But I didn't want every photo to have the same name. That might be boring, and the last thing I'd want to do is bore a curator. So I played with the word Untitled and came up with some anagrams and other variations.


Then came the artist statement. Since I didn't really have one I decided to borrow from Robert Frank's 1954 Guggenheim application. I figured if it worked for him I might have some luck using it.

Guggenheim Application, 1954, Robert Frank

But Frank's application was a bit wordy. That style may have worked in the fifties but people don't really communicate like that anymore. I think most curators nowadays are looking for something short and sweet, something that cuts to the chase. So I submitted a condensed version:

Project goals: To photograph freely throughout The Willamette Valley, using the Diana camera exclusively. The making of a broad, voluminous picture record of things in the valley past and present. This project is essentially the visual study of Western Oregon and will include caption notes; but it is only partly documentary in nature: one of its aims is more artistic than the word documentary implies.

This was a fairly accurate description of my project, plus it paid homage to a living legend. When I submitted the thing several weeks ago with photos, titles, and resume, I thought my acceptance would be a slam dunk. But no dice. Rejected. I guess I don't know curators so well after all.

OK, so I sabotaged my submission and I have no one to blame but myself. Although I'm still sorting out my exact motivations, I think part of me didn't really want a show. All that time and money that I would've spent printing and spotting and matting and framing is now freed up. I can get back to sipping daiquiris by the pool. So in one sense it's a bit of a relief, one less thing to worry about.

Another rejection letter from my large personal collection

But it does raise the question of why anyone would bother. I look at photographers who have show after show after show in all parts of the world, sometimes multiple shows at once. How do they do it? It's a full-time job just prepping the photos, not to mention the rest of it. Then the show goes up, you hear no feedback, you wonder if anyone sees it, nothing sells. In a few weeks you take down the show and put it all back in the closet. Talk about a treadmill. And for what?

I'm guessing many photographers have asked themselves the same question. Doug Brewer raised the issue directly on FPN last week:

"Here's a serious question: Should I give up?

After decades of frustration, rejection and being ignored, I've finally come to realize that nobody likes my photography. I know we're supposed to only do this for ourselves, and yadda yadda, and I do, but we also want to share work with others, but at what point do I accept that others don't want me to share with them?"

Doug's post generated all sorts of interesting comments, mostly supportive. Keep at it, Doug. Follow your heart, Doug. That sort of thing. Which is fine in one sense. If you really feel your calling to do something, you've got to chase that star no matter what.


But the broader issue, not really addressed in the FPN discussion, is What if the star you're chasing is in fact a dud? What if you've devoted your life to something you're actually not very good at, but you don't realize it? I see a lot of photos in galleries made by people who probably believe in themselves, but that doesn't mean the work belongs in a gallery. But the thing is, the photographer himself can't tell. Everyone believes in their work. I feel great about my photos, but so does every other Joe Shmoe on Flickr. Maybe I am Joe Shmoe.

This is where outside arbiters can be very valuable. If one meets with continual rejection it might be a sign. Then again it might not be. You can't be sure.

I don't know what the answer is. I keep telling myself I'm done submitting to all these calls. Then sure enough I go and do it again. But if one continues to submit over and over again in the face of rejection, expecting the result to change, isn't that the very definition of insanity? That thought's occurred to me many times over the years. Yet I still reject it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Snowman


Shot this in a bar a few nights ago with the Fuji. The hazy character is Faulkner Short, a damned good photographer in his own right, but this time he was on the receiving end. He looks like a snowman here with charcoal buttons but the black spots didn't actually exist. They're just Clayden Effect artifacts reflected in the pint glass. Or maybe I was on the verge of blacking out and my camera was already anticipating what was about to happen. Sometimes it's two stops ahead.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Google Trends for various photo related keywords


Kodak

Darkroom

Film

Digital Photography




Street Photography

Photobook

Photoblog

Flickr




Facebook

Twitter

Tumblr

Instagram




Hot Tub Time Machine

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ridiculous Nesuptilno

I get a lot of email, most of which I delete immediately. Which is how I wound up accidentally erasing a message in November that turned out to be very important. It was a renewal notice for my website's domain registration which was due to expire 1/14/12.

But I didn't know that at the time. In fact I didn't realize it until last week when someone asked me if I'd seen my website recently. Here's how it looked last Sunday:


That's a generic placeholder for expired sites.

Honestly I'd been considering revamping my site for a while. And this new site did offer a certain elegant simplicity. It wasn't quite what I had in mind —a little heavy on the ad/content ratio— but maybe I could work with it. So I spent a little time exploring. My first stop was the irresistible "Jesus You Are" link, which brought up this page:


Gee whiz, low cost car insurance and Bible study, all in one handy location. How convenient is that!

But that was just the start. The site also came complete with all sorts of other stuff. Baby name listings, for example.


And IRA information:


It seemed to have just about anything a person could want on a photo site. It had my name. It had a revenue stream. It had Jesus. And the best thing was it was free. No action was needed on my site to keep this placeholder up.

It was very tempting but I wasn't quite ready to pull the trigger. Not without sleeping on it. I decided to leave the new site up there for a few days and ponder the situation. Maybe I'd get some feedback that would help me with my decision.

From Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening the new site stayed online while I thought about it. I got a few emails but they were mostly unhelpful. "What the hell's up?" asked one. "Hey, your site's down," said another. Fine feedback but not well researched. I could tell they hadn't explored the new site in any serious way, so I had to discount those comments in my analysis.

One thing was clear. I needed a site. Although my blog is probably the core of my online presence these days, I still depend on my website for certain functions. It's a sort of backlog of past photo projects, not to mention it's my main repository of baby names.

After a few days my decision became clear. I wanted my old site back. I tracked down the company, paid my renewal, and within a few hours my original website was back online, though still needing a revamp. It was almost as if nothing had changed.

When I'm not choosing baby names, I'm diving for loose balls

In addition to my blog and photo site I have a variety of other online pursuits. Keeping current with all of them can be a constant juggling act. Last week for example I starred in this hardcore gay porn flick (Warning: Do NOT open at work), which was fun to shoot but very hard. I also occasionally moonlight as a stage hypnotist, an employment lawyer and a part time soccer goalie.

A discussion thread at Forum.hr

With all of these online activities it's hard to pick a highlight, but if forced to choose I think the greatest honor was when my name made the rounds a few weeks ago at Forum.hr, a site most readers should recognize. After all it's one of the top 20 online photo forums in the Balkans. I've transcribed the relevant passage below. I'm not sure if the language is Croatian or Serbian or something else, so my Google translation may be slightly off. But as far as I can tell it went something like this:

Person A: "All are excellent, but only few of them 'play it in your head that people see and unwashed' totally I like to move the humor in them."

Person B: "I will not go into whether the quality, I can only say that I totally neinspirativne, what are the worst when I see photos supposedly good photographer. I do not know, I do not understand what's so great about them."

Person A: "Man who has photos or prejebeno subtle, or completely ridiculous nesuptilno. Now, if you watch them as photos etc then people look wrong. Watch stacking geometry, lights, shadows, lines, shapes and things that resemble each other."

Couldn't have said it better myself. And maybe I did.

Anyhoo, I'm mostly back to normal now. My main photo site is back up. The only snafu is that while it was down I did not receive any email through my site. So if you sent a messages earlier this week, chances are I did NOT receive it. Hopefully it wasn't anything important like a domain renewal.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Praying Hands


I recommend viewing these photographs while listening to the Devo song. You know the one. Good luck not getting it stuck in your head.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mr. Frank's debut

Continuing its recent run of strong shows by emerging photographers, the Blue Sky exhibit this month is by Robert Frank. Before this show I'd never heard of him. Apparently he is Swiss-born but has been living in a remote part of Canada for the last several years. At the age of 87 he is older than most emerging photographers. But even though he is a relative unknown, Mr. Frank's photography belies his inexperience and shows great promise.

Untitled by Robert Frank, currently showing at Blue Sky Gallery

The current exhibit is comprised of 48 Polaroid images shot by Mr. Frank at various times over the past few decades. They show all manner of common sights from household utensils to snapshots of friends. In today's concept-centric photo world, these might seem unremarkable. Yet Frank displays a rare ability to elevate these simple scenes into sharp prophetic visions. Time and again Mr. Frank is able to transform the most mundane subjects into beautiful images. He is a true talent, and after viewing his Polaroids I'm curious to see how he might approach more socially involved material, e.g. black and white documentary or perhaps some type of visual travelogue.

We'll have to wait and see on that. In the meantime I congratule Mr. Frank on a very auspicious debut. I suspect this won't be the last we hear from him.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inappropriated behavior

On the heels of this article a few weeks ago, I've been thinking recently about appropriation in photography. I'm not a huge fan of Richard Prince's work but I do hope his appeal is successful, since enacting a legal restriction on such an integral artistic tool would seriously crimp the creativity of all sorts of people.

My opinion on the Prince case is based on an objective evaluation of its legal arguments. That said, I admit I have a small personal stake in the matter since I've set up a side business selling copies of Richard Prince's Marlboro Man photos. I've had great success with this one in particular.


If you buy the photo above from Prince it'll set you back several thousand dollars. In comparison, I think most will find the $19.99 price of my appropriated version quite reasonable.

I'm not the only one who's been pondering copyright and appropriation. Slate Magazine devoted a large profile to the topic of artistic plagiarism last week, helpfully linked to by Jörg Colberg. Both articles are available from me in limited edition print form for $14.99.

Aperture's recent Photobook Review also addressed the issue. In a transcribed conversation with Charlotte Cotton, Joachim Schmid wrote
"The Act of appropriation is no longer an issue. It's one of the things artists do without questioning the practice any more. However, it is a very vital practice. For me appropriation is the obvious form of modern realism. If the world has turned into a world of images it is the job of the realist artist to pay attention to this image world, to reflect upon it, to research it..."

Schmid walks his talk. His work pays very careful attention to the image world, in particular his books Other People's Photographs. The series collects photos found on publicly shared websites and publishes them as categorized material. There's a Faces in Holes book, a Fauna book, Feet, etc. There are 96 books in all.

Other People's Photographs by Joachim Schmid

If you buy these titles from Schmid each one will cost you 36 Euros. However, I've taken the liberty of appropriating his idea for my own series, and I believe mine are a far better deal. My series Another Person's Books is available for only $8.99 per title, or 3/$20. I needn't point out that for less money the buyer receives multiple appropriations of the same material. For fans of appropriation it's a no brainer.

Another Person's Books by Blake Andrews

"Roaming virutal streets has outdone street photography," says Schmid, a reference to the recent spate of Street View books such as A New American Picture. "Is there still anyone out there with a camera, except for the ubiquitous, digital-snapshot pest?" A very good question. Why bother making new photos when old ones can be reshuffled just as easily? By the way, the full transcription of the Schmid/Cotton conversation can be purchased from me for $2.99, or else just $4.99 for the entire issue of Photobook Review.

These are all fine but the king of appropriation has to be Eric Doeringer, an artist who's based his career on re-interpreting wellknown artworks. For years he sold bootlegs of famous paintings on the street in NY's Chelsea District.

Bootlegs by Eric Doeringer

This is only one example in a long career playing with appropriation. Everything from Conceptual Art recreations to Destroyed Iraqi murals to Tattooed moles can be found on Doeringer's site.

To the uneducated layman this might seem like blatant copying, but in the art world it has become accepted as a type of guerilla appropriation. The act of replication is the art. Gradually Doeringer's copies have become established on the art festival circuit and are now collected in various museums and galleries.

Three Ed Ruscha books by Eric Doeringer

For photographers, his Ruscha book series is of particular interest. Copying the exact sequence and layout of three Ruscha photobooks from the 1970s —Real Estate Opportunities, Some Los Angeles Apartments, and Records— Doeringer tackles appropriation head on.

To make the first two titles Doeringer rephotographed the exact locations depicted in Ruscha's books. For Records, he methodically collected and then photographed every record in the Ruscha book. Not a simple task by any means.

Records by Eric Doeringer

These copies are a godsend for anyone who wants to study Ruscha's style and sequencing. Ruscha's books long out of print and sell for hundred of dollars on the secondary market. In contrast, Doeringer's can be had for $30 apiece.

I have one on order now. When it comes in —hopefully this week— I plan to copy every page methodically and then offer my own version for sale. I think I can get the price down below $15. If you're interested in this book or any of my other artistic appropriations mentioned above, email an inquiry and I can get your order started. But please do so soon while it's still legally possible. If Prince's appeal is unsuccessful I may have to suspend the offer.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Front of the Bus

Shooting film is like sending a message to yourself in the future. Sometimes you don't even know what the message was until you receive it later. For example one winter day back in 2003 I was wandering around Portland taking photos and this message wound up on the roll.


I don't remember taking the photo. It's possible it was just an accidental shot between frames, or maybe I was actually focusing on something in the scene which I've long forgotten.

From the background I know I was on the corner of SW Park and Market. The Number 6 bus doesn't normally go by that intersection. It stays mainly on ML King Jr. Blvd on the other side of the river before making a brief swing through downtown a few blocks north of Market. But on that day for some reason there it was and I shot it.

It's an unremarkable photo in most ways. It wouldn't even be worth mentioning if it weren't for the fact, which I realized the next day developing the film, that it was Martin Luther King Day when I shot it. Message from the past received, loud and clear.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Butt-ugly cameras

I'm not really a gear guy but I'm quite intrigued by prototype photos of the Fuji X-Pro1. You don't have to know anything about photography to recognize this tool is a serious instrument. The design is gorgeous. I want one just to put on the window sill and stare at.

Some people would say big whoop. It's not the look of the camera that matters after all. It's the feature set. And to a certain extent they're right.

On the other hand, I think design does matter. One of the legacies of Steve Jobs is that every part of a tool is integral, from design to function to durability to tactility. Today you can see that in all Apple products. They're beautifully designed, and that aesthetic appeal promises that their insides are just as efficient.

The other end of the spectrum is something like the U.S. auto industry in the 1980s. You don't have to drive a Buick Slyhawk to know the entire industry was in crisis. One glance says it all.

I'm not claiming cameras are like cars. Most current models work just fine regardless of aesthetics. But some designs leave me scratching my head. What were they thinking?

Pentax Q

I'm guessing the Pentax Q was designed by committee. Is that a control wheel on the side or a set of mini grain silos? And who designed the telescoping flash, Dr. Suess? Props for using Leica font on the front dial, but I wonder. Does any camera really need a control that goes backwards from 1 to 4? WTF is that for? And this is the nice version. In beige the camera's textured facade resembles the leading edge of an attack mop.



Samsung PL 120

A screen in the rear is one thing but on the front too? Have we reached the point where every surface in the world needs an LCD? I don't know if TV reception is possible on this but if not I'm sure that's coming soon. I guess the idea is to show subjects what they look like as you're taking the photo, but it just seems like a distraction. Look here please. No, over here. Don't look at that. So why'd you put in on there?



Fuji XP20

The Fuji XP20 might've fit into the decor on a Seinfeld set 20 years ago, or perhaps an old Jules Verne novel, but nowadays it's just plain bizarre. Comes in a variety of hot colors, all equally repugnant. The awkward design and lens placement are partly warranted by the fact that it's submersible. But just because it goes underwater it needn't be shaped like a bar of soap.



Also in the underwater category there's the Lumix DMC-TS3.


This camera is seemingly modeled for the modern Hummer owner looking to accessorize. Batten down the hatches. This baby's ready to be driven down even the most challenging suburban cul-de-sacs. If you can't remember which camera is yours, comes with remote clicker.



Sony NEX-5N

Whoever designed the Sony NEX-5N must've been looking at too many Pamela Anderson videos. The camera as shown above with 18-55 zoom is one of the most visually disproportionate gadgets I've seen. Maybe it's modeled after sports shooters who plunk a tiny body on the end of their 500 mm telephoto. Works OK for the pros but try squeezing this thing into your pocket. Are you just happy to see me or have you been watching Pamela Anderson videos again?



Ricoh GR IV (White)

Call me old fashioned but I think the color white should be reserved for instruments that are infrequently touched or else cleaned often. A light bulb or a sink for example. A camera fits neither category. Four or five months of frequent use would make this camera admissible as fingerprint evidence in most courts.