image problems

One of the advantages of starting a blog post by choosing a photograph or two and then finding something to write that can go alongside, is that the whole issue of images is sorted.

If you start with the words, though, however vast your archive of photos, there may not be anything that fits and it’s not always easy to take a bespoke photo, even if you have an idea that would work.

Of course, this problem has its roots in the fact that I want to use my own photos to illustrate the blog. But even having a whole range of commercial photo archives available doesn’t always solve the problem of finding just the right image: on more than one occasion, I remember spending several days with a client trying to find a single photo to use in an advert or to illustrate a simple one-sheet article.

My current situation with the blog isn’t helped by the fact that most of my old photos are on CDs or an external drive that I don’t always have with me. I suppose I should try and get them all uploaded to the cloud sometime, but I’d then have to label and organise them sensibly, or look through thousands of pictures each time. Anyway, all the possible future organisation in the world doesn’t solve what to do about today’s post.

Yet I rather wanted to post a particular piece of verse that I came across when looking through old files recently. (I do have most of my poetry on my current laptop, as words don’t take an unreasonable amount of space.) The earliest version – on my laptop, but in a file format I can’t open – seems to date from 2006.

Press topography

The glamour magazines enfold a land of generous curves and hills
with diamond mines and silicone, with ups and downs, and switchback thrills.

The esoteric New Age press has strange geometries that try
the patience of traditionalists and have been known to make them cry.

The angles of the tabloid press are sharp and shady, steeped in dirt;
dim yellow light illuminates the edge where innocents get hurt.

The vast savannahs of the broadsheets stretch around the world and back:
a panorama that reveals news and views in shades of black.

Old letterpress type sample.

If I spent another few hours looking, I could probably find photos of different landscapes to accompany the poem; instead I’ll settle for the cityscape that opens the post, supplemented with this old typeset text, plus a slightly more modern portable typewriter, both of which have at least got connections to the printed word.

Portable typewriter keys

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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