The Sky

Everyone likes 2’s, likes things. 2’s are good ’cause it’s easy to go out and snap a shutter if you’re going out to make a photo of a specific thing. No need to worry about Cartier-Bresson’s moments, defining or otherwise. Don’t bother with obscuring anything from yourself or the world with Barthes and his ivory tower punctum and studium. Go out, find a thing, click a shutter. Or don’t even go out, things are everywhere. The sky is a 2.

At least the sky isn’t everywhere.

If you’re going to shoot a 2, it involves planning. Pick the right time, when the light is right. Pick the right film, right for the way you’ll want to process it, right for the way you’ll want to print it. Then pick the camera. The camera you pick is the right one. But when the thing is the sky, or the sky is a second thing, all that’s out the window. There’s only one way to see the sky, the way you do.

I hate the sky. As 2s go, it’s the worst. So when it’s going to be there, I make it what I want it to be. You should build your own sky too.

A lot of people, camera people, people who are capital p photographers or otherwise, make the sky over all the time. Most of them think about it, I assume, they do. And they all seem to want the same thing. Contrast and clouds, always contrast and clouds. Do it with a yellow filter, or an orange filter, or a red. And the white clouds, and the dark sky is this beautiful thing they just love.

I like my sky empty. I like it the high clean sound of an old television; the blindness of a sun. A beautiful nothing that world down here aspires to.

I like it when the bright is thick, when it obscures as much as any darkness. What’s that 2 for you?