Archive for January 14th, 2014

Unbelted

Posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014 at 4:30 am

I made a run to Hempstead yesterday to deposit a check at the nearest branch of my bank.  Doug’s truck turned 150,000 miles and promptly blew the fan belt.  The power steering pump have lost the belt on the pulley and jammed it into the axel behind it.  Two thin strips came off the belt and wrapped around the fan.  I was able to remove all signs of the belt from the engine compartment and find my way back to Brenham without damaging the engine. It took the purchase of several gallons of bottled water, but I made it back here.

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The belt is in the $30 range, and there will be antifreeze to add.  Under $50.  Add an oil change, to be sure, $80 range.  I can afford it, but that eats into my budget.  Between that and bills, it eats the check I just deposited.  But I have food here to eat, and a few bucks for Pepsi.  I need to start seeking more income sooner than expected.

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The Photoshop mania has pretty much subsided.  I feel comfortable with the plugs and extensions.  The newness has worn off.  Add to it that my work on Sktchy is being ignored by the admins, not being pencil/pen oriented.  Everyone else is getting stars for their work except me.  I still find the scene charming, even though it does tend to run a little on the young side (avoiding calling it jail bait).  It’s just not the place to show my work.  It’s a different genre, and they’re not into advanced digital graphics.  A touch of genre snobbery that is common in young artists is the attitude I’m seeing in regard to my presence.  And there is also the Draw Me crowd, those looking to be art models to boost their egos.

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I have uncovered several collections of stock photo that I haven’t seen before.  I’ve never been all that big on stock photo collections.  By and large, they pay homage to the corporate world and philosophy.  The world is a clean place, with attractive people who eat proper diets, do yoga, live in architectural wonders, shop wisely, live happily, are perfectly made up, have interesting jobs, blah, blah, blah.  The worst of money photography that the ad makers love.

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But I have discovered some talents that stand out for their innovative photography.  Not that it’s much better, as these tend toward the fashion world.  The most outstanding is Subbotina Anna.  This is an outfit, rather than a photographer, per se.  The photographer is central, but there is obvious evidence of a fashion crew, clothing, hair, make up, lighting, the models (mostly one model in the studio).  The thing I’m finding is that it’s very hush hush.  There are no personal credits, no names or office addresses, no way to contact them.  It’s totally below radar.  Photos are submitted to the brokerages, money is paid, that’s it.  No public appearances, no gallery openings, just stock photos in the catalog.  It is a profitable business, looking at the numbers.  They make tens of thousands of sales annually, which is saying something.  The work is very dramatic, the model is perfect, the lighting superb, the set and props are exacting and perfectly balanced, the fantasy make up is key.  Interesting business model based on exceptional talent, I must say.  They have one weakness, wallpaper web sites.  It’s easy to find all sorts of hi-res copies via Google.