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January 27, 2009 / lazybug

There’s just so much to read

The Internet is a strange place. If there’s one truth I can bet my life on, this would be it. You never know what you could come across here. On several occasions at work (and at home) I wander into webpages that I was not originally looking for. Only to realise that it was lunch time and I had wasted the entire morning – as far as work was concerned. And this has happened on so many occasions that at times I consciously avoid diverting my mind. (Needless to say, I fail more often than I succeed.) And eventually, I’d have little to show in terms of tasks accomplished.

There are, of course, benefits of these mindless meandering. I usually end up with lots of interesting stuff that I either bookmark or add to my rss feeds. As a result, though, my bookmarks have been swelling and the number of feeds in my Netvibes page growing out of hand. But that’s acceptable, for what comes in exchange is more than worth it. More often than not one would end up reading something that takes you to a different world. A world you thought never would have existed. I’d to many people (myself included) books would do something similar, but to me the Internet does it more often.

Anyway, the reason all this came out on the blog today is that something similar happened today. As I was going through one of my rss feeds, I came across this post on The Online Photographer. It talks about a book on Larry Burrows, a photographer for the Life magazine who died while covering the Vietnam War. He was so dedicated to covering the war that he would go back to Vietnam after he was deliberately sent to some other location for a project. This went on for nine years till he was eventually killed in a helicopter crash. Here I was trying to gain some knowledge about photography, and here was guy who died taking photographs. Not that I haven’t read about other war potographers or seen photographs of war. But this truth never struck me so hard before. Someone died doing what I consider a mere hobby.

So, I started searching the net for some more information on the fellow. The search took me to this page on Utata (a tribal photography organisation whose flickr group is quite popular). The article was beautifully written by a certain Mr Greg Fallis. I learned from the article most of what I would have wanted to know about Burrows. And at the bottom there was a drop-down menu consisting of the links to similar articles about other famous photographers, whom I had never ever heard of. And they were fascinating to read. I started reading from the bottom-most link in the menu and finished about five. Please be warned that many of the photographs would be NSFW (Not safe for Work). Like Joel-Peter Witkin who invited people with all sorts of deformities to become his models, or Fransesca Woodman who started photography at the 13 and jumped out of her balcony at 23 just after she had published a book. But not before taking some artistically brilliant photographs with only her as the subject.

The one I particularly loved, and which is not NSFW, is the article on William Wegman who along with his dog named Man Ray created some great photographs. The article itself is wonderfully written. And I have added the link to my delicious so that I can read in the future. Whenever that may be.

Like on other occasions, this little wandering has left me changed forever. I hope more such wanderings happen.

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4 Comments

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  1. Chittaranjan / Jan 27 2009 7:29 pm

    You’re Lucky! My meanderings are more often than not curtailed by “This webpage has been Blocked. Contact the Moron for assistance in sending you off with a flea in your ear” messages 👿

    I use StumbleUpon at home but there’s too little time for visiting (let alone reading) all the stuff. I suggest you use SU too…

  2. Chittaranjan / Jan 27 2009 7:31 pm

    P.S: I bet the 4th link in the ‘possibly related posts’ is also part of your so-much-to-read list 😈

  3. Manpreet / Jan 30 2009 10:49 am

    And I thought it happened to me only…
    The info in this post is great. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mumbai / Feb 2 2009 4:52 pm

    Fransesca’s pics were quite bizarre and artistic. But I guess only eccentric people can come up with such brilliant work

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