Grab The Camera, Get In The Car And Just Drive
by Shawna Black

Once upon a time I was young, single and kid-less. During this time in my life, I had a lot more freedom to do stuff and a lot more time on my hands. Like, everyday. All day. Grab the camera; get in the car and just drive. I’ve driven to the desert, to the mountains, to the Mexican border and into Tecate, down to Ensenada, and up north to LA, to central California and even to Yosemite. I even went to Weed, CA for a few days once. Weed. It’s a real town, near the California/Oregon border. Weed. Heh!

On one particular day I drove out of San Diego County traveling East on I-78. At some point I turned left. I really don’t remember where I ended up. Why was I driving? I was looking for interesting things to photograph. Some days nothing I saw interested me. And then on other days, I would find really cool shit. When shooting with black and white film, I always look at things with my “black and white” eyes, which means I see the shadows and highlights as opposed to colors. Sometimes, when a photographer is really good, he’ll (read Ansel Adams) expose the film for the most detail in the highlights and develop the film for the most detail in the shadows. Or maybe it’s the other way around…Crap, I can’t remember now. It’s a technique developed by Adams called The Zone System. If you’re interested in learning more about it, go here here. For those of you who don’t like math (and we know who you are from Monday’s FTTW’s Late Night Typing That Class Sucked), skip the Zone System. It’s quite a complicated technique and really only works well with sheet film, which requires an expensive large format camera. I understand just enough of it to frustrate myself when I don’t get the exposure that I want. Adams was a master at black and white photography, as we see in his gallery .

So, somewhere between Escondido, CA and Julian, CA, I found The Pumps. I love this picture. There are a few things I would change if I could, but I won’t tell you what they are.

I’ll let you decide.

Tell me what you’d change about this photograph. Just curious how many different things we can isolate. Have fun!

Shawna once thought of starting a band called The Pumps.




I am here for the math.

The only thing I would change about the picture is the curtains.

Other than that, I like the picture; that little building looks lonely.


I am not here for the math.

I might have gone with a darker contrast on the photo, but that's just me. I like high contrast.

I do love the framing of this one. Very geometric.


I love the building, but I am asthetically bothered by the straight beam in the middle of the photo.

I would have moved left, got on the ground, shot up and used a wider angle.

But that's me.


if it had a crying clown in the middle of the shot, it would have been perfect


No clowns, Turtle. Clowns are EVIL!



this is tough cause the pic looks great

but the only thing that i think i would have changed would have been the letters above the door to make them clearer as to what they said.

but see, i dont know if that is what you were going for.

but i like the pic, don't get me wrong. it's great


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