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Archive for November, 2013

Old Film:: Lionel Bruce Clark (my father)

Friday, November 29th, 2013

My father was Lionel Bruce Clark (1933 – 2000), born in Forster Street in the Launceston suburb of Invermay (colloquially known as The Swamp). He was, in many ways, a hard and complex character much like his father William Lionel Clark. This photograph of my father was made around 1950. I scanned the image from a 6cm x 9cm film negative, made by his mother Elvie Ruth Bonner (1901-1986). She included herself as the shadow.

My father

Common Name Web Domains can be a Problem

Friday, November 29th, 2013

I’ve had this web domain for years and invested tens of thousands of hours in content generation, site maintenance and relationship building. Throughout my university years up until now this has been the main marketing channel that brought in business and income. It endorses my expertise. It provides a form of legitimacy that I need to sell myself as a professional. And it makes me look good when people hunt me out as a web professional.

However, over the last two years there has been a growing (and slightly annoying) problem with emails that I receive through my main email account. The one attached to this domain.

A South Australian lawyer shares the same name and has a very similar domain name. His URL is different by one letter because he includes a middle initial. And I get approximately three emails per week from clients or people related to his law firm.

At first I used to forward these private and confidential emails along to the other Steven Clark. Then I began replying instantly to the sender that they have the wrong email address. But my issue with both of those solutions was the lawyer perceives that the problem doesn’t exist simply because I’m the sap using up cognitive load dealing with these errant emails.

Add that up… three emails times fifty two weeks in a year. That’s how many times I receive notifications or meeting requests, attached PDF and Excel documents clogging up my limited account space… over 150 free services that I have provided in the last twelve months. I’m not an employee.

My other concern is that I am receiving private and confidential legal documentation. This is really not a good situation. But it comes about because they chose their domain name or named their business very badly.

So at the moment I’m ignoring this spam. Because that’s what it’s become from my perspective. I have a huge sympathy for the lawyer and can see how this has occurred but I really don’t like having to deal with my clogged up inbox or the uncomfortable feeling in the pit of my stomach that private information isn’t being appropriately secured.

The moral of this story is probably that a near enough domain name is always going to be an issue. One letter wrong in the sender’s email address and the communication channel has a high likelihood of chaotic error. If you only receive 99 per cent of your mail then you really have no idea what should or shouldn’t have arrived in the first place.

I really don’t know what to do about the issue though. I know it would bother me if I was their client.

Photography isn’t just about the Photograph

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

There’s a line I hear photographers say all the time – the camera isn’t important, it’s just about the photograph. They say this line in the context of digital versus film photography. And, for me, it’s absolute rubbish. My connection to a photograph goes way beyond what a picture looks like as an aesthetic object. I’m not trying to make pretty pictures.

That saying is fine for somebody else, I guess. I just don’t like that phrase when it gets thrown around like a definitive truth – that all photographs are equal for all photographers regardless of context or connection. The reason photography retains social power is because it’s not at all just about the picture.

Photography is as many truths as there are photographers to make those pictures.

Photography is as much about the journey and the process as it is about the resulting artifact produced by using light to capture time and space.

Photography is, for me, just as much about a family connection from my maternal grandfather who was a professional large format studio photographer shooting glass plates through to my paternal grandmother who shot fifty years of amateur medium format film. These are not relationships of practice that I take lightly.

Photography is about the craft; the what, when, where, how and why that justify the making of something by my hand. My photography is about something that I haven’t properly defined yet; but it’s certainly greater than the artifacts.

So when somebody demeans my desire to shoot film as a photographic preference by saying it’s all about the final photograph, it’s annoying. If that’s the case, they should purchase a RED Camera and shoot everything as film to pull out a perfect digital frame. There, photography done. We can go home & drink wine.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark (aka nortypig) and I live in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a photographer making pictures with film. A web developer for money. A business consultant for fun. A journalist on paper. Dreams of owning the World. Idea champion. Paradox. Life partner to Megan.

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