zyzyly (zyzyly) wrote,
zyzyly
zyzyly

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March 18--It's a blowout on a birthday cake...

Ten years ago I had a plan. I got up early and started baking a cake. I was taking a beginning photography class, and I was about to step across the line from taking pictures of things to making photographs. I've gone back and forth over that line many times since, but this was the first time I thought about something I wanted to photograph and actually set it up.

The inspiration for the project came from a line in a Ryan Adams song, off the album 29, which had come out at the end of 2005. It was an important album to me. It was all about death and loss, which is what I had been working through for the past year. That's where the 29 comes from.

A year earlier I had never heard of Ryan Adams. One day my friend Jacquie sent me one of his songs, saying, "I think you'll like this". I did. Jacquie was also instrumental in getting me to take photography seriously and for being the inspiration for my eventual trip to Cambodia. More than anyone else at that time, she pointed me in the direction my new life was going to take.

So I had a plan. I baked the cake, and had to figure out how to make it float. I decided to float it on a piece of styrofoam. I found some white styrofoam and painted it black. When the cake was baked, I hollowed out the middle of it and frosted it. It was good enough to eat.

I drove over to the park a little before dusk and got my camera set up, lit the candles, and launched the cake. I was only able to take a handful of shots before the cake went sideways and sank, but I got the shot I wanted. I was kind of disappointed at the time that one candle blew out, but now I like it like that.

29

It's a blowout
on a birthday cake
and I'm a birthday candle
floating in the lake.
Where are you?
It's getting late.
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