Friday, January 29, 2010


I apologize if you find run-on sentences bothersome. Context is vital to comprehension, and to see the world as I do, I must accompany my less-than-talented photos with over-saturated description.

Consumerism is at an all-time high, despite economic downturns. Techno-lust has been brought to a fever pitch by turtle-neck wearing CEOs, who seem to have nothing better to do than introduce new devices that yesterday we didn't know we were missing and tomorrow we won't be able to live without. Technology is essential to our everyday life, as students, professionals, and average joes.

Last Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of eyes were on Steve Jobs as he announced the iPad. But I doubt anyone has given consideration to how many thousands of angry eyes were on associates, clerks, and secretaries who were working that day. They had to let people know that, "No, sorry, you *can't* pre-order it yet." "Yes, I *know* it was announced today." "YES, I *KNOW* it'll be available within 60 days, but Apple won't give us part numbers to order for another three weeks! I'm sorry!" and so on...

No one really gives much thought to how they get what they consume. Whether it's the drive-thru worker who we dehumanize to the level of neanderthal for giving us mayonnaise after SPECIFICALLY SAYING "no mayonnaise" or the taken-advantage of nerd in our family / singles ward / office who fixes our computers.

Nope. We've come to expect omniscient responses from a faceless Google, who knows *exactly* where to find the best Lebanese restaurant in Tulsa, who invented Saran-Wrap, 15 practical jokes you can play on your room-mates with shaving cream, or exactly how many fewer frames of film Robert "Edward" Pattinson appears in during the most recent Twilight film as compared to the prior one. WAIT for results? Are you crazy?

I bring you the invisible. The under-appreciated. The purveyors. The fixers. The stock-boys. The contributors. The trivialized. And, though invented, the responses to common dialogues that they wish they could share with the rest of us if we'd listen patiently.

"Aaaaccchhh!! My printer ran out of ink and I HAFTAPRINTMYPAPERRRR! How long will this take? An HOUR?!?!? How hard can it be to put more ink in? (*expletive deleted*) these stupid minimum wage townies are unBELIEVEable..."
(You can't, under any circumstances, be brought to spend the marginal difference in price to buy a new one? Or use the campus printers? Or plan your life more than an hour in advance?)

"when will the game patchez be finishd? will u be able to kill more orcs? I FOUND A BUG! F*%&( N0Obz!! Do u guyz *add* bugz bcause u just sit in ur offices spending our hard-earned money?!/!? I took a programing class once and u don't no ^%()*T about wutz wrong with ur game!!!!1!!1"
(It's a free online game with paid extra features. Your account shows no money ever spent, thanks for the support. And for the record, the 'bug' you're experiencing is because you typed in your password incorrectly. Twice)

"Yes, they have what I need for my class! What? $30? Stupid bookstore, ripping me off!"
(Probable wholesale price of calculator: $27)

"What do you MEAN that isn't covered under the warranty?!?!?! $400?!"
(Poor laptop. I'm sorry you have to live with those people. You could have done such wonderful things in the right hands.)

"Just put me down for the iPad! I'm offering to hand you MONEY, don't you know the customer is always right?!?!?"
(2 more hours until closing... angry iPad customer #47 today... keep smiling... 1 hour and 59 minutes until closing...)

Moral: Techno-patience is a virtue.


  1. Love um Dennis! The ghosting or whatever you want to call it really adds to the feel of the essay, great job.


    To provide a small bit of context, for those who're interested.

  3. Fantastic visual execution of your concept. And I know the girl with the flower in her hair at the bookstore. Random.

  4. Vanishing people might make an interesting statement, but to me that statement is that they are just that, diminished subjects. To me the essay is not portraiture because the focus is not on the people (which oddly enough seems to be the point) So I'm torn because I think you make the point that people are diminished, but the confusion to me is in the message. You seem to be criticizing technology culture...but the most interesting part of the photos is the Photoshopping.

  5. I love the photos. Except, I'm not sure how I feel about the last one. All the colors are muted to the point of feeling black and white-- except the ghosted worker. My favorite two are of the man refilling the ink cartridge and the man fixing/taking apart the laptop. I think there's also a little too much text. Let the photos speak for themselves. The reader needs space to interpret for himself.

  6. I would have to disagree with Ryan's comment that this photo essay is not a portraiture. The focus is on the subjects, even though they are 'diminished', because they are still what your eyes are automatically drawn to. I like the idea of the underappreciated and how you changed the opacity of the individuals in the picture to show how they are often overlooked and underappreciated.

  7. Good photos. I like the effects you've put in them to convey the fact that they ARE taken for granted and never thought of. However, I don't see expressions anywhere which supports your narrative of the photos. So, less text may have gone farther and allowed the viewer's mind to make the statement in a way which was more agreeable to them. Overall, the photos are good and I like the composition.

  8. Great clear, and simple theme. Your photos represent it well.