Circles

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Last year's "Phantom Businesses" was my first attempt at a photographic typology.  I found the process of finding, editing, and presenting the images so satisfying that I knew I had to do it again.  I toyed with the idea of an alphabet - pictures of letters on signs, but that seemed trite.  Maybe an alphabet of found shapes - branches, fence posts, closely cropped machinery or other objects?  That might be interesting but it would likely take a while to collect all 26.  "L" or "O" or even "S" would be easy to find, but where is a branch in the shape of "G" or "R"?  I needed something a little more accessible.  I considered several shapes and once I settled on circles I realized they are everywhere.  I started photographing on Kodak Portra 400 in a Minolta XG-M with either the 45mm MD Rokkor-X f2 or the 135mm MC Tele Rokkor f2.8.  The challeges (without the immediate feedback of digital) were 1. to photograph exactly straight on so the circles didn't look like ovals; 2. to tightly crop in the viewfinder with enough allowance for minimal cropping of the scans in Lightroom; and 3. to make those final crops produce circles that were all the same size, considering that some of them had indistinct edges and also accounting for my limited digital post-processing skills.  This is a work in progress - I'm still shooting around Ukiah and I know that I have some very promising (but yet unseen) circles on the current roll of film from Geyserville, Cloverdale, and Hopland.  The presentation here is merely in the order the exposures were made - these may or may not make the final cut and will certainly be grouped differently with some sense of balance yet undetermined.  There may be the inclusion of signs with words such as "circle" or "halo" - but we'll see.  Wish me luck!  

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