Kevin Bjorke
Kevin Bjorke
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(C) 2004 K. Bjorke

On the BotzBlog link page, in the blog roll, you’ll find the Three C’s: Conscientious, Consumptive, and Coincidences; run by Joerg Colberg, James Luckett, and the slightly reclusive Robert Mirani respectively. They are the leaders in a form (also followed by some sites like Luis Forrolas’s flux+mutability) that presents an alternative to sites about photo equipment — they are sites about Other People’s Pictures. All of these sites have great photos — I mean great — every single day. Because they’re OPP.

Here on Botzilla, I only run photos that I’ve made myself, with the single exception of a small copy of this photo by John Brownlow for the entry The Old Shell Game. I included it because it was part of the source material for this, one of my own photos.

“Aha,” you are telling yourself, “now Bjorke’s going to heavily dis these guys because they don’t run their own photos.” Not quite — in fact of of them occasionally run their own photos, or in the case of Luis, he maintains a parallel site of his own shots. Botzilla’s method isn’t the only valid one. I come not to bury (C)easar, but to praise him.

The 3C’s are, in old-style blog tradition, filters — a way for you to find things of interest without having to, well, find them. And what’s more, the C’s are actually photography filters, a powerful corrective to sites like Mark Goldstein’s so-called “Photographyblog.com” which earns it’s “.com” tag by being a listing of other people’s reviews of photo-equipment-marketing announcements. Photos of… cameras! Ungh.

I remember reading my photo history books, and lamenting with jealousy over my absence in the NY photo caf&eacute’ scene of the 1950’s and 1960’s — one can imagine the amazing converstaions when you read that Robert Frank used to show up at the same cafés as, say, W. Eugene Smith and Diane (and Allan) Arbus, when Elliot Erwitt would not think it unusual to run across William Klein at martini time. Lucky, lucky, lucky, couldn’t they know how lucky they were to see Richard Avedon and Garry Winogrand working a few blocks apart and everyone (except Avedon) hoping Walker Evans could steer a little work their way?

Yet today we have the internet, and by comparison the 50’s seem provincially isolated. Today I can get my photos seen and dismissed by some really world-class people whose opinions I respect, and in turn I can see a lot of work — far more than I could possibly consume merely through subscriptions to photo mags or visits to museums. The three C’s play a prominent role in this Brave New World, though not without peril — like most such sites, they concentrate more on one-way information flow: they tell you what to look at, and there’s little if any discussion of the merits or lack thereof, nor of how seeing such work might reflect on the creation of their (or your) own new photos.

Still, in a po-mo-decon world, sites about pictures are as valid as sites of pictures. Heck, these days we have prominent photographers who claim they don’t even have a camera.