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LEIGH METZLER

photographer in the trenches with only a canadian tuxedo to protect her.
< all photos by me unless otherwise credited. leighannzig@gmail.com >
One of the saddest things I&#8217;ve ever lost is a blown-out photobooth I had taken in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo. There were flashes set behind you on either side of your head. It looked incredible.
There are rarely photos of me because I&#8217;m usually out taking photos of other people. (I am also afflicted with a weird, asymmetrical face that doesn&#8217;t look so good in pictures. But what can you do.) I grew up a short walk from a boardwalk and from age 11-12 I would have a photobooth taken nearly every time I went up there, as long as I had enough singles in my pocket. There&#8217;s even one from my first date in the 6th grade&#8212; only one frame, I don&#8217;t know where the rest of the panel went. 
Recently, I realized that for the first time since leaving home, I now live a short walk from a good photobooth. I went a few days ago and shot two strips in a row. (I tried to channel my inner bad-tween. Bad didn&#8217;t mean smoking or drinking, really it just meant mooning photobooths and watching Beavis &amp; Butt-head. Not much has changed.) 
Photobooth shots are usually among the most compelling photographs of a person there are. They&#8217;re not selfies, exactly&#8212; you get what you get and you won&#8217;t know what&#8217;s there until they&#8217;ve printed&#8212; you cannot take, edit, delete. But you do get an image that&#8217;s self-directed. Self-styled. Paired with the sense of privacy and intimacy of that person being alone in an enclosed space, behind a curtain, with only a camera looking back at them. You are getting a portrait of the experience of being inside of a photobooth and the lottery that results. I personally like the challenge of engaging with a machine in a sort of formal way, of presenting myself for a recording. It feels ceremonial. Special. 
I love all the conventions of the photobooth, the spirit of it. Much like the jukebox whose digital pseudo-version lacks the beauty, tactile pleasures, and charisma of the original machine, analog photobooths are incredibly romantic devices and I&#8217;ll be sad once they&#8217;ve disappeared. The standard size &amp; proportion of the frames, the dead-pan execution in four evenly-timed bursts of light, the fact that they&#8217;re context-less&#8212; (there is only the subject: you. and you are *in the booth* where it could be any time or any year, day or night, in any place.), that you can hear the gears passing the paper along through the different chemical baths, that the strip is still wet when it comes out of the machine, that they can be horrible and embarrassing, or a total lucky surprise. That they are both low-rent and highly glamourous. That they are immediately nostalgic. So modern. (But not contemporary).
&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;&#8212;-
"I&#8217;ve seen some pretty sleazy photobooths&#8212; on your wall."
"Sleaze can be romantic, too," I said. I counted them off on each hand, "This one&#8217;s for my girlfriend, this one&#8217;s for my crush, this one&#8217;s for the love of my life, this one&#8217;s for the the mother of my children&#8230;&#8221;
- Aaron Cometbus (Is it from Lanky? I can&#8217;t remember, I&#8217;m quoting from memory. He also mentions seeing somebody recreate the JFK assassination in a photobooth and someone else making a 3-frame &#8220;Dear John&#8221; letter where the 4th shot is just an empty booth. Gotta love the vicious economy operating within a restrictive-genre gives you.)

One of the saddest things I’ve ever lost is a blown-out photobooth I had taken in Paris at the Palais de Tokyo. There were flashes set behind you on either side of your head. It looked incredible.

There are rarely photos of me because I’m usually out taking photos of other people. (I am also afflicted with a weird, asymmetrical face that doesn’t look so good in pictures. But what can you do.) I grew up a short walk from a boardwalk and from age 11-12 I would have a photobooth taken nearly every time I went up there, as long as I had enough singles in my pocket. There’s even one from my first date in the 6th grade— only one frame, I don’t know where the rest of the panel went. 

Recently, I realized that for the first time since leaving home, I now live a short walk from a good photobooth. I went a few days ago and shot two strips in a row. (I tried to channel my inner bad-tween. Bad didn’t mean smoking or drinking, really it just meant mooning photobooths and watching Beavis & Butt-head. Not much has changed.) 

Photobooth shots are usually among the most compelling photographs of a person there are. They’re not selfies, exactly— you get what you get and you won’t know what’s there until they’ve printed— you cannot take, edit, delete. But you do get an image that’s self-directed. Self-styled. Paired with the sense of privacy and intimacy of that person being alone in an enclosed space, behind a curtain, with only a camera looking back at them. You are getting a portrait of the experience of being inside of a photobooth and the lottery that results. I personally like the challenge of engaging with a machine in a sort of formal way, of presenting myself for a recording. It feels ceremonial. Special. 

I love all the conventions of the photobooth, the spirit of it. Much like the jukebox whose digital pseudo-version lacks the beauty, tactile pleasures, and charisma of the original machine, analog photobooths are incredibly romantic devices and I’ll be sad once they’ve disappeared. The standard size & proportion of the frames, the dead-pan execution in four evenly-timed bursts of light, the fact that they’re context-less— (there is only the subject: you. and you are *in the booth* where it could be any time or any year, day or night, in any place.), that you can hear the gears passing the paper along through the different chemical baths, that the strip is still wet when it comes out of the machine, that they can be horrible and embarrassing, or a total lucky surprise. That they are both low-rent and highly glamourous. That they are immediately nostalgic. So modern. (But not contemporary).

—————————————————————————————————-

"I’ve seen some pretty sleazy photobooths— on your wall."

"Sleaze can be romantic, too," I said. I counted them off on each hand, "This one’s for my girlfriend, this one’s for my crush, this one’s for the love of my life, this one’s for the the mother of my children…”

- Aaron Cometbus (Is it from Lanky? I can’t remember, I’m quoting from memory. He also mentions seeing somebody recreate the JFK assassination in a photobooth and someone else making a 3-frame “Dear John” letter where the 4th shot is just an empty booth. Gotta love the vicious economy operating within a restrictive-genre gives you.)

Eeriest photos I&#8217;ve seen&#8230; yeah, probably ever. 

Eeriest photos I’ve seen… yeah, probably ever. 

(Source: the-camera-in-the-mirror, via themostballerdeathofalltime)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICK JONES!!!
&#8212; Thank you, Grey this is the best. 
Photo credit: Unknown. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICK JONES!!!

— Thank you, Grey this is the best. 

Photo credit: Unknown. 

Bad Sports | @ Valhalla - Austin, TX | 3/17/12 
THE KINGS OF THE WEEKEND, BAD SPORTS, R BACK IN NY on 6/30 @ BABY&#8217;S ALL RIGHT w/ RADIOACTIVITY
Bad Sports Summer Tour 2014
June 24th Detroit @ PJ&#8217;s Lager HouseJune 25th London @ Call The OfficeJune 26th Toronto @ Smiling Budha BarJune 27th Ottawa @ Gabba HeyJune 28th Montreal @ TurbohausJune 29th Boston @ Cambridge Elks LodgeJune 30th Brooklyn @ Baby&#8217;s All Right July 1st Pittsburgh @ HowlersJuly 2nd Columbus @ Ace of CupsJuly 3rd Cincinatti @ The Northside Rock and Roll CarnivalJuly 4th Atlanta @ the EarlJuly 5th Nashville @ Fond Object

Bad Sports | @ Valhalla - Austin, TX | 3/17/12 

THE KINGS OF THE WEEKEND, BAD SPORTS, R BACK IN NY on 6/30 @ BABY’S ALL RIGHT w/ RADIOACTIVITY

Bad Sports Summer Tour 2014

June 24th Detroit @ PJ’s Lager House
June 25th London @ Call The Office
June 26th Toronto @ Smiling Budha Bar
June 27th Ottawa @ Gabba Hey
June 28th Montreal @ Turbohaus
June 29th Boston @ Cambridge Elks Lodge
June 30th Brooklyn @ Baby’s All Right 
July 1st Pittsburgh @ Howlers
July 2nd Columbus @ Ace of Cups
July 3rd Cincinatti @ The Northside Rock and Roll Carnival
July 4th Atlanta @ the Earl
July 5th Nashville @ Fond Object

DEVO | Toronto, CA | NXNE, 2011
Pretty excited to see Devo&#8217;s Hardcore Vol. 1 played live in its entirety for the first time ever this evening. Even if it is minus the great Bob Casale. R.I.P Bob 2. 

DEVO | Toronto, CA | NXNE, 2011

Pretty excited to see Devo’s Hardcore Vol. 1 played live in its entirety for the first time ever this evening. Even if it is minus the great Bob Casale. R.I.P Bob 2. 

clampart:

A new documentary on legendary photographer Henry Horenstein is now available. Produced as part of The Photographers Series by Anthropy Arts, the film follows Horenstein around the world as he continues his quest to preserve vanishing cultures and groups through photographs. Renowned curators and colleagues, including celebrated photographer Nan Goldin, discuss Horenstein’s influence and talent that set him apart. In a comprehensive photo commentary, he reveals the back story to many of his admired photographs.
Click here to see a preview and to buy the DVD
Browse all of Henry Horenstein’s work at ClampArt

YES! Henry Horenstien is the best! If you&#8217;ve never seen his Honky Tonk book / project it&#8217;s definitely worth seeking out. One of my absolute favorites.

clampart:

A new documentary on legendary photographer Henry Horenstein is now available. Produced as part of The Photographers Series by Anthropy Arts, the film follows Horenstein around the world as he continues his quest to preserve vanishing cultures and groups through photographs. Renowned curators and colleagues, including celebrated photographer Nan Goldin, discuss Horenstein’s influence and talent that set him apart. In a comprehensive photo commentary, he reveals the back story to many of his admired photographs.

Click here to see a preview and to buy the DVD

Browse all of Henry Horenstein’s work at ClampArt

YES! Henry Horenstien is the best! If you’ve never seen his Honky Tonk book / project it’s definitely worth seeking out. One of my absolute favorites.

(via prattphotography)

cryinganddriving:

Rob Schneider voice: Makin’ copies!

I&#8217;m a Canon woman myself. 

cryinganddriving:

Rob Schneider voice: Makin’ copies!

I’m a Canon woman myself. 

(Source: donotdestroy)

subpop:

Probably the best possible Pissed Jeans gif featuring Matt Korvette. Disagree? Prove me wrong.
From the insanely wonderful music video for the band’s negative anthem “False Jesii Part 2”, which can (and really should) be watched here.

Spirit animal. 

subpop:

Probably the best possible Pissed Jeans gif featuring Matt Korvette. Disagree? Prove me wrong.

From the insanely wonderful music video for the band’s negative anthem “False Jesii Part 2”, which can (and really should) be watched here.

Spirit animal. 

Pissed Jeans | Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY | 2/9/14

The Pissed Jeans discography has been getting me through this brutal winter. Funny, cranky, cathartic. Whenever it’s especially shitty & stupid outside I embrace/displace my belligerence by putting King of Jeans on and just let the low end guide me through my day like the hand of an angel.

Pissed Jeans | Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY | Feb. 9th, 2014

Pissed Jeans at the Knitting Factory | Brooklyn, NY | February 9, 2014.

From the archive: Japanther at The Marvelous | Philadelphia, PA | September 22, 2010.

From the archive: Jake n Jamin / JEFF The Brotherhood at Kung Fu Necktie | Philadelphia, PA | October 27, 2010.

Photo by Josh Anderson for The New York Times 
I&#8217;d seen Jay Reatard perform a few times but the last time he came through Philadelphia (where I lived for eight years) there was snow on the ground; I&#8217;d worked all day, and didn&#8217;t want to leave my warm, dry apartment to cross town in the slush despite having bought my ticket months in advance&#8212; surely he&#8217;d be back soon. Shortly thereafter he died suddenly in the night. I didn&#8217;t know Jay, we&#8217;d only had one conversation, but his music was something I carried with me everywhere I went, it was visceral and alive to me and his sudden removal from the world, his nonexistence&#8212; he was so young, how could it be&#8212; had stunned me. I felt like I&#8217;d lost a friend.
I&#8217;d gotten out of the habit of taking photos at shows (ironically, after graduating from photo school and becoming a full time photographer&#8217;s assistant &amp; retoucher), which meant I didn&#8217;t have any of Jay. It made me very sad. I thought his talent was real and I remember being pleased when I saw the article in the Times that accompanied this photo a year before his passing. He was being recognized beyond the small sphere of punk and garagerock nerds, he deserved it.
The point of this post is that I started taking photos at shows again because of Jay. He reaffirmed how much I care about the artists/creative community that make the music I love, how I value what they make and do&#8212; that it enriches my life in innumerable ways, and that I want to try and document it for posterity if I can. I try not to miss shows anymore, either. Thank you, Jay for helping me remember who I am. Hammer, we miss you.
A three-part mix I made in commemoration of Jay back in 2011 is still available to download here: goo.gl/wz4o4t 

Photo by Josh Anderson for The New York Times 

I’d seen Jay Reatard perform a few times but the last time he came through Philadelphia (where I lived for eight years) there was snow on the ground; I’d worked all day, and didn’t want to leave my warm, dry apartment to cross town in the slush despite having bought my ticket months in advance— surely he’d be back soon. Shortly thereafter he died suddenly in the night. I didn’t know Jay, we’d only had one conversation, but his music was something I carried with me everywhere I went, it was visceral and alive to me and his sudden removal from the world, his nonexistence— he was so young, how could it be— had stunned me. I felt like I’d lost a friend.

I’d gotten out of the habit of taking photos at shows (ironically, after graduating from photo school and becoming a full time photographer’s assistant & retoucher), which meant I didn’t have any of Jay. It made me very sad. I thought his talent was real and I remember being pleased when I saw the article in the Times that accompanied this photo a year before his passing. He was being recognized beyond the small sphere of punk and garagerock nerds, he deserved it.

The point of this post is that I started taking photos at shows again because of Jay. He reaffirmed how much I care about the artists/creative community that make the music I love, how I value what they make and do— that it enriches my life in innumerable ways, and that I want to try and document it for posterity if I can. I try not to miss shows anymore, either. Thank you, Jay for helping me remember who I am. Hammer, we miss you.

A three-part mix I made in commemoration of Jay back in 2011 is still available to download here: