Ofer DabushUntitled (2016)

This image doesn’t so much fit with this project. I’m including it for two reasons:

  1. I effing love it; and,
  2. the vast majority of Dabush’s work is of a piece with the rest of the stuff I feature here

Seriously, it’s really worth spending some time with his work. I don’t necessarily love all of it–he plays fast and super loose with compositional grammar and he frequently present work that’s miles of style with only a couple centimeters of conceptual depth–the two influences on his work that come through the most clearly (at least to me) are Ryan McGinley (whose work is gorgeous but almost entirely vapid) and Yung Cheng Lin

No matter: Dabush’s work is all capital Q Quality (as far as I can tell).

I’m especially interested in this because of the texture. The tightly knotted pile of the carpet as a backdrop for the linear forms of the ribbed knit pullovers against the softness of the women’s faces.

The .exif data on this was not stripped prior to upload. Take a gander:


The 29mm focal length suggests this is a zoom lens.

There are two kinds of lenses: prime lenses and zoom lenses. The characteristics are not interchangeable but let’s consider Canon’s 28mm f1.8 to establish some sort of framework.

The minimum focus distance for the 28mm f1.8 is .25 meters, a bit under 1 foot. Thus, with the lens dialed into the the nearest focus, something .25 meters from the camera will be in sharp focus.

BUT! The wider the angle of view provided by the lens, the greater the depth of field. (ex. a 28mm f1.8 lens will have a much greater depth of field when set to the minimum focus distance and widest aperture than a 85mm f1.8 set to the minimum focus distance and widest aperture).

As the aperture narrows, the depth of field increases. Thus, given that this is already a wide angle lens and the aperture is stopped down slightly less than halfway, you’ve got a reasonable slice of the area of view in focus. To say it another way, given these settings it would be difficult for you to not capture a frame that is in sharp focus.

What’s interesting and artful about the way this frame is handled is–unless my eyes deceive me: the camera is focused so that the majority of the area in focus in the frame is actually behind these two women. The carpet is very sharp, the sweaters still sharp but maybe a touch less so and you get an additional, softening flattering affect on their faces due to the fact that the near focus is just beginning to go a little soft.

But there’s a third element to what makes this work that is even more notable: color.

There’s this notion named chromostereopsis–it’s basically the idea that red advance and blue recedes, aka why 3D movies are a thing.

Yes, the carpet here is grey but it has blue in it and therefore it seems to recede from the focal plane, whereas the red pushes upward toward the viewer. The result is that although the red is just as close to the carpet and the camera as the yellow, the red stands out more and this illusion contributes dimensionality to the yellow, also.

Lastly, the yellow to red spectrum of the two sweaters include the skin tones of the two women; in combination with the grey-blue carpet this emphasizes their faces in the frame.

Great work from someone who is clearly an astute image maker.

A 2 Week Queue

The influx of new followers over the last several weeks has been straight up unbelievable. Thank you so much and a very warm welcome to all the newbies.

Acetylene Eyes–for the first time ever–is set to run without interruption for the next 2 weeks. (Practically that means there’s likely to be at least one new post a day through mid-March, at least–though I am hoping to keep in going for as long as possible.)

I’m going to take this opportunity to remind you that this blog as long as this project is active, it will always be 100% free. However, the work involved in curating it takes a lot of time–approximately twenty something hours each and every week.

So if you like what I’m doing here consider offering a bit of support via my Patreon. Literally, at the rate I’m currently growing, if 10% of my followers contributed a couple bucks a month, I could feasibly transition to making this my full time job in a years time and making my current boring ass full-time office job a part-time thing.

Also, you know, if more than 10% of y’all donated, who knows. I certainly have bigger and better plans out there. But for now, I’m paying for them out of my own pocket. Investing in the blog, if you will–in the hopes that going forward, enough people will consider the blog worth investing in so that it can become self-sufficient and then maybe with a little bit of patience and a whole lot of love, it can possible be a way of supporting myself while I transition into some sort of more creative full-time occupation.

Echoes of a dead end

A few housekeeping notes/updates:

The new, improved Tumblr makes you either keep the entire caption or toss it all when reblogging a post.

In general, it doesn’t bother me when people strip my commentary from things I post. I totally understand the majority of you are here for the pictures of naked people.

However, what I won’t abide is stripping of credits. If I went to the the time and trouble of sourcing something and you delete the attribution, I WILL BLOCK YR ASS. I’d say no hard feelings except that would be a lie. Don’t be a shit fer brains dick nose by disrespecting credits. (And I’m not a jerk. My occasional ‘Source unknown’ attribution can totally be deleted without consequence.)

In other news:

A photographer acquaintance helped me procure that panoramic camera I mentioned. And yes, it should be here just in the nick of time for me to drag it along on my trip.

Speaking of my trip… honestly, I am struggling with logistics a bit thus I figured I’d try to crowd source some assistance. I have had exactly zero luck finding local models.

As creepy as I find Model Mayhem–and I find it scalding shower repeatedly scrubbing with a bar of soap creepy–I tried to join. Uh, yeah… not so much. They keep telling me to confirm my account but I never receive the confirmation email. I’ve tried contacting a few folks who seemed promising by Googling them outside Model Mayhem… no response. (Is it creepy to do that? I have no idea… my neuroatypical side sees it as demonstrating resourcefulness and drive but several people have told me it seems stalker-y.) Anyway, if you know anyone or would be cool with signal boosting, I’d be grateful.

Lastly, I spend approximately 25 hours a week on this project and while I will absolutely keep doing it for free, a few folks have expressed interest in subsidizing my efforts. To that end, I’m starting a Patreon. It’ll probably be up and running in the next week or so. However, if between now and then you would like to contribute something to the cause, it would be greatly appreciated since I’m kind of really strapped for cash at present.

Being whole


I am not just one thing. I cannot simply be a wife. Or a teacher. Or a photographer. Or a student. I am all of these things and when people expect me to only be one of those things, they are expecting me to stop being a whole person.

Remember when you were in middle school and you thought your teachers lived at the school and whenever you saw them anywhere that was decidedly not at school, you were shocked and kind of couldn’t fathom that your teachers were actually whole people? Who did stuff? That wasn’t teaching? What a disservice we did our teachers. Or how about remember when we were extremely rude to the McDonald’s cashier because they were the McDonald’s cashier and there were pickles on our burger when we specifically asked for no pickles and we forgot that that McDonald’s cashier was also a son, and a writer, and a student, and a boyfriend, and a hero to his younger sister?

It seems like such a simple thing to not expect people to only be one thing. And it’s strange because people simultaneously tell us to have varied interests and facets of ourselves while expecting us to be just one thing. If we are just a teacher, then we are easier to ignore. If we are just a McDonald’s cashier, then we are easier to treat badly. If we are just a woman, then we are easier to pass over. For example.

If your students see you working at The Keg, laugh because lord knows (and now they do too) that you can’t afford your mortgage on a teacher’s salary. If that jerk is rude to you because pickles were mistakenly placed on her burger, laugh because you know your sister made you a cape last weekend and it’s likely no one ever made this jerk a cape. If your boss is surprised that you are a painter, or your grandma thinks you shouldn’t vacation without your wife, or your teammates scoff when you tell them you write comics, or your boyfriend doesn’t like that you model for erotic photographers, laugh because you know you can’t be only one thing and it is RIDICULOUS for anyone to ever believe that you could be.

Sure, life might be easier if we hid most parts of ourselves to give the impression that we were only one thing, but fuck that. I would much rather be a whole person and have a life with potentially more difficulties, than pretend I am only one thing so I can be miserable in a slightly easier life. And hopefully the more people who see that we are whole people–that it is totally possible for us to be both musicians and bankers, artists and baseball players, sound engineers and baristas, tattoo artists and secretaries, data analysts and sci-fi writers, teachers and naked on the internet, photographers and taxi drivers, parole officers and inventors, vet technicians and fetish models–the more people who realize this possibility because more people are refusing to be simply one thing, the goddamn better.

Don’t ever let someone make you feel like you can only be one thing. Fuck that. Be everything.

Many people with severe anxiety and/or depression are also anti-authoritarians. Often a major pain of their lives that fuels their anxiety and/or depression is fear that their contempt for illegitimate authorities will cause them to be financially and socially marginalized; but they fear that compliance with such illegitimate authorities will cause them existential death.