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May 30, 2005

vanity fare


i'm disinclined to self-portraits, but only because i don't do it very well. this is the exception. and it was my birthday two days ago so boo ya sux to naysayers.

in one of italy's largest train stations - think 300,000+ people moving through it per day - i caught a moment of still between the pigeons, druggies, touts, tourists and milan's own beautiful people. that and a mirror and some anarchist graffitti was all i needed. E6 proc C41 (- i know this is starting to sound repetitive, but i don't actually x-proc everything ...).

graf translation: i don't want to be ratified by this prick of a society that serves your state

Posted by reuben at May 30, 2005 1:49 PM


you are head and fucking shoulders above me. Your shots are beautiful and only seem to be getting better.

Posted by: alex at June 4, 2005 4:08 AM

bollox, alex. different approaches, different styles - there's no comparison. i love your photos, not that i want to turn this into 'let's lick each other's arses' or anything. send me the link for your pics and i'll add it here, once i've got the 'links' bit of this playground going.

Posted by: reuben at June 4, 2005 11:23 AM

Your photos are brilliant, congratulations. Do you exhibit at all ? If you ever have a show in Melbourne let me know I'd love to see some hard copies

Posted by: Andrew Wurster at June 7, 2005 2:39 PM

not yet, andrew, but that's the longer-term goal. right now i'm holed up in melbourne looking for monkey-work (dtp/layout) while i wait for bigger fish to get back to me (copywriting/editing)... just going to look at your stuff now.

Posted by: reuben at June 8, 2005 8:22 AM

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May 26, 2005

mersey, mersey, me


for all the hyperbole you will read in the ensuing weeks - especially those among you holed up in ol' blighty now - i don't consider myself a sports nut, or even a my-favourite-sport (football) nut.

grown men often cry, and, even amongst my peers, i'm considered a bit of a sook. but nothing, absolutely nothing, can dilute the resolute show of heart in the face of the insurmountable that my beloved reds mustered last night to win their fifth european/champions league cup. it literally made me blub.

because they came on as a wet paper bag of a team, their overcrowded midfield strafed with the kind of lightning counter-attacking that typifies the best of italian football. ac milan were rightly up 3-0 at the major break, and i, like so many other liverpool supporters felt hot-faced shame at the poor showing the underdogs were putting up; could all the press about them having been 'lucky to be there' be true? really? after their incredible tactical finagling of unexpected wins against both juve and chelsea, the two best teams in their respective competitions? after the resurgent victory over olympiakos, brought on by a show of leadership - echoed last night - that will be crowed about for years to come? exaggeration, i beseech you - heed the white stripes: there's no home for you here now, go away.

steven gerrard. rafa benitez. between them, they salvaged the greatest comeback in recent - although possibly all of - european club football history. i have not yet read what rafa said to his charges at half-time, though by the liverpool that emerged to claim three goals within seven minutes - *please, please, just read that bit again slowly after you arrive at the end of this sentence* - whatever he said must have been to football what martin luther king jr's 'i have a dream speech' was to the civil rights movement in the States in the 60s.

i single out gerrard - despite a blinding, impenetrable performance from jamie carragher and sami hyypia in the rearguard - because of one thing, and it wasn't that delicious glancing header that pulled the first one back: he did not pause, not for one second, for personal glory. at just 24, this young man (and i can say that, turning 32 on saturday) saw what that goal meant - hope, momentum, the erasure of dreaded resignation in the hearts and minds of his players.

his *first* instinct was to turn to the travelling fans and rouse them into song, gee them into volume - he knew that morale was the only thing that would alter the result. the team already knew they had the skill before they took to the pitch, they just forgot to play in the first half. by his own example, he revealed the possible; pride could be salvaged. between them, xabi alonso and vladi smicer completed the *impossible*. inside 10 minutes. far, far more than pride was salvaged. hope.

slapped-face stunned at going from 6th time champions to suddenly battling, a black hole appeared in the middle of ac milan's previously liquid midfield.

i personally hate penalty shootouts - they detract from the eponymous beauty of this game, though i most certainly appreciate the symmetry of butterfingers dudek (bollocks line-break and all) being the hero of the day, outkeeping dida from the line. when he remembered to stay on it. a season of prat falls and shitty, unnecessary mistakes made up for with one purple patch that no-one who has ever loved liverpool will ever forget.

this is why i love that liverpool won, and it's not because they're the team i arbitrarily chose to support at 8 years old in 1981, for the prurient reason of their then-legendary status and perpetual population at the top of the league (plus the fact they wore red): they drew on a tremendous character and pedigree to not give up when any team - of any stature anywhere - could fairly be forgiven for having done so. one of the banners flown by a travelling 'pool punter read: 'form is temporary, class is permanent'. liverpool used theirs to defeat an obviously more skillful team, coming from waaaay behind, and demonstrated first-hand the kind of courage and faith in one's companions that their (often-foolishly-derided-as-hokey-sentimentalism) theme tune You'll Never Walk Alone is *actually* all about.

consider also: FA cup winners arsenal were captained by patrick vieira, from france (by way of senegal)*see comments. league champs chelsea may well be helmed by a local, but i daresay the only time tel's spent in Ken Sing Ton was as a teenager with his mates 'scrumping' for BMWs. had man u won, the fa cup would have been hoisted by roy keane, an irishman.

steven gerrard speaks with a scouse accent, was taught to play at melwood, and - despite two of the world's most obscenely wealthy clubs (real madrid and chelsea) openly declaring their interest - and willingness to open their bottomless chequebooks - at every opportunity for his services, stuck around to see what kind of longer-term changes new manager rafa had in mind for 05 and beyond.

this is character. this is loyalty. this is love.

bless you steven gerrard. your reward was the right to hold up, at 24 and as captain of your boyhood hero-team, the most prized trophy in global club football. greatest day of your life? if you're a footballer? um, yeah, i reckon so.

as one of liverpool's now *other* favourite sons famously put it: in the end the love you make is equal to the love you take. you took your home's love with you and gave it back many-fold.

sorry about the length - this one's for any and all who mock the poetry in sport.

Posted by reuben at May 26, 2005 1:27 PM


Somewhere in Dudek's impossible double save was enough miracle to make even the most hardened football hater melt. Carragher told Dudek to act like a Grobelaar-esque nonce, and onward rushed the spirit of all Anfield past. You know I'm a Chelsea fan, but that final was one of the greatest moments of football I've ever seen -- in a year where my team won the title for the first time in half a century, last night was the highlight of the season. I don't even say that begrudgingly. You, unlike us Russians, us Russians, us damn Russians, will never walk alone. Keep Gerrard, you've earned him.

Oh, and the blog's lookin' purty. Hope you're celebrating hard.

Posted by: patrick at May 26, 2005 4:45 PM

patty, the blog's only purty cos of you - thanks heaps for all your help, as well as your gracious support. without the reds being legitimately able to defend their title next year, i fully expect your sloane-y scallies to give it a damn good shot.

speak soon.

or see you on this coast for the go! team and/or sigur ros? :)

Posted by: reuben at May 26, 2005 7:41 PM

nice site, rubes. also, not a bad footy team either -- i'm left with the grim knowledge that had the premier league been stretched out for another four weeks newcastle would have faced the drop. but so much for all that...

keeping with footy, i've gotta say you've done the portuguese a disfavour -- the gooner's captain is french/senegalese...

when i get some 'net time next week (after submission of essays/drafts yacitty-yac) i'll give ye site a real look over...


Posted by: m at May 27, 2005 5:10 PM

right you are about vieira, moggie - rush of blood, speed writing and all, wanted to capture the mood. lost the facts. like a lot of good writing, i'll wager ...

see you 'round these parts and will look at yours (oo er, missus) often.


Posted by: reuben at May 27, 2005 5:42 PM

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May 25, 2005

not gay anymore ...

a genius amigo helped me suss out my bollocks coding, and, while it certainly isn't complete, i think ver blogness looks a lot more gas now.

right. time to watch the reds rebuff the critics and smash ac milan.

it is, most certainly, time.

Posted by reuben at May 25, 2005 4:22 PM


hey, your blog is super pretty now.

is that actually you in the top right? :)


Posted by: jules at May 26, 2005 6:07 AM

yes, it is, artistically cutout in photoshop.

thanks for popping by - don't think my stuff rates next to yours, but inspiration is always welcome ...


Posted by: reuben at May 26, 2005 1:26 PM

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May 24, 2005



amen. E6 proc C41, melbourne.

Posted by reuben at May 24, 2005 1:30 PM


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May 23, 2005

ein klein[e] blau musik


walking home from the shops i thought i spied a bald person staring at me from a parked car behind a fence. it wasn't.

this is what i love about x-proc: you know you'll get colour shifts, but it's the strange gradations and increased saturation of some hues that makes certain things 'pop'. patches of the blue on the bonnet of the beetle in this pic are almost klein-blue in their vividness. t'weren't that bright in person. and there's the rub - x-proc supercharges and debases the fractious 'realism' of photography.

tangent: yves klein was amazing, a parisian abstract artist and judo expert who invented his own colour in 1960 at the age of 32. kind of like a fascist rothko, he sought purity and unity through minimisation of variables in expression, hence a lot of monochromatic stuff, but that bloody-minded pursuit of perfection of his singular colour... he secured a patent for it - IKB = international klein blue. imagine, inventing your own colour! almost beyond art. nothing you will see on a screen or in print can approach the intensity of this colour when viewed directly. it completely messes with your eyes, so bright it is (yeesh, yoda anyone?)

Posted by reuben at May 23, 2005 4:59 AM


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May 20, 2005



some peoples' vision of togetherness is that of the wedding photographer's sample on the left; mine's closer to that in the graf scrawled on the right: "one day i woke up to find, right in the bed next to mine, someone who woke me up with the corner of her smile."

that happened to me in a place called russell st.

Posted by reuben at May 20, 2005 6:26 PM


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May 19, 2005

the open road


where i'd rather be, ghostly-alone or not. shot this in the frysian islands (terschelling if we're being sticklers) off the north coast of holland. they speak a germanic dialect there that's so unusual that even linguists say it's closer to old-english than it is too nederlands/dutch. was suffering at the time, so this scene seemed bizzarely tranquil and at odds with my psyche. so i kept it.

more frivolous and colourful pics to follow upon clearance/approval of the performers from The Big Tease - watch this space for varying degrees of mirthful nudity, hula hoops and watermelons.

not metaphorical watermelons - actual.

Posted by reuben at May 19, 2005 12:09 AM


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May 16, 2005

tempo tantrum


that's the speed right now. E6 proc C41, perth.

Posted by reuben at May 16, 2005 7:24 PM


beautiful - summer afternoons after school, can hear kids playing in the distance. what's e6? teach me all, ruby-san...

would you like to contribute to my imaginary magazine?

Posted by: clara of bow at May 18, 2005 6:54 PM

not as much as i'd like to contribute to a real one ...

E6 is the name for the main chemical process used to develop slide film. C41 is the process for colour neg film. E6 proc C41 just means cross-processed, which i know you're familiar with. this is too green; was shot on fuji i reckon.

Posted by: ruby at May 18, 2005 11:50 PM

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May 13, 2005

art f'arts sake.


the exhibition advertised in the poster was on at the NGV International recently; i took this pic in frankfurt around two years ago. it might look a little unfair, and - at the time - the composition was intentional.

i was playing it for laughs, though ... the gal in the pic isn't grotesk. far from it.

Posted by reuben at May 13, 2005 9:18 AM


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May 12, 2005

baby take a bow!



melbourne's best burlesque? corset is!

anyone in melbourne sunday night should definitely try to get down to the gershwin room for this. lotsa tassles, no hassles ... no sleaze but a ton o' tease. BTAB's recent run of game-shows (Tit for Tat) at a famed CBD den of ill-repute fired up packed houses to new levels of ribald innuendo and general rambunctiousness. make a tit of yourself with these bellicose belles at the cutting edge of bawdy vaudeville - go on. there's a giant cow in the next show.

um, i'm not being metaphorical - i like all the girls very much; there's an actual, oversized bovine involved in one of their many intoxicating musical numbers ... photos to follow forthwith.


Posted by reuben at May 12, 2005 5:20 PM


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May 12, 2005

the hierarchy of desire


ah, milan. fashion. chocolate. girls who look like boys. sex.

x-proc and metro systems were meant for each other.

Posted by reuben at May 12, 2005 5:11 PM


i've said this before, rubes, but you're an extraordinary photographer, but go easy on the modelling...


Posted by: marty at July 15, 2005 10:06 PM

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May 11, 2005

is good.



these guys are mint. in select locations around the city, 'dead' public space that is most often filled by huge bill posters advertising excretainment/tours is reclaimed by this magazine/poster of similar size and superior layout, but filled with interesting reading material. in one of the corners is a bunch of melways/UBD/A-Z style map refs (C3, H5 etc) that function like a 'contents' listing and allow you to find the patch of poster where a piece that sounds interesting actually is.

championing unknown writers, illustrators and designers, the themes are 'conventionally oppositional binaries' (the first was "love is not lust", next month's is "seeing is not believing" etc), and challenge the erstwhile passerby to stop and actively engage in the act of reading; both the skill of paying attention itself and the practice of cognizant interpretation.

i think i will send them stuff. so should you.

Posted by reuben at May 11, 2005 4:43 PM


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May 10, 2005

irony. that's like steely and bronzey, innit?



this was one of the first photos i shot in melbourne. i sent it to righteous babe records, but never got a response. for those unfamiliar with ani's oeuvre (sp?), she's a proudly feminist songwriter and, though she wouldn't be explicitly against any woman manipulating her appearance in any way she sees fit, might smirk at the relative proportions of the advertising and their proximity. it certainly got a wry smile out of me...

Posted by reuben at May 10, 2005 11:56 AM


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May 10, 2005

press. play.


'Love demands expression. It will not stay still, stay silent, be good, be modest, be seen and not heard, no. It will break out in tongues of praise, the high note that smashes the glass and spills the liquid.'

i was born in 1973. about 11 months later, my first word was 'light'.
i grew up an indulged only son for two years before my first sister came along. another one came along 4 years later. it felt good to be a big bother.
i went to school. i was a smart-arse. i was clever. i learned being a smart arse will get you known, but not necessarily liked.
at 16 i picked up a guitar. i learned to play 'foxy lady' and 'eruption' at the same time. at 18, i heard nirvana's 'nevermind' at a backyard party in 1991, and realised heavy music didn't have to be played by tools, or about trivial themes.
i went to university, where i found being involved in the press more satisfying than actually studying journalism. i picked up a camera properly for the first time - with the intention of teaching myself photography - at 21. i began to understand the pixies. the world opened. i began to understand that guitars didn't even need to be loud or distorted for the music to be 'heavy'. i formed a band with one of my best friends, and two other guys who would become two of my best friends. we rocked. not just in my head; people thought so, too. they watched us. bought our cds. played us on radio.
i have a degree in cultural studies, which means i am unemployable, but have tremendous critical thinking ability - not always a plus, socially.
i always watched a lot of films. i wound up working in a cinema. i always read a lot. i wound up working in a bookstore. i was a romantic. i had torrid affairs. then again, who has mundane affairs? they taught me how to feel in addition to the thinking i was spending too much time doing.
i've travelled a lot, and written a lot. i wound up writing for lonely planet. it was as much fun as everyone thinks, and way more exhausting. their products and ethos are far more palatable than their corporate-as-anything-else internal procedures. i got disillusioned about being an author.
i live in melbourne, but am globally mobile; my sister works for a major international carrier, so i travel cheaply. when i have money.
i make photos. i design stuff. i scribble words sometimes.
i play, i win. i play, i lose.
i play.

i am new to blogging, which is why things seem to be posted in a haphazard manner. eventually, this blog will be hosted under my own domain, and feature an archive of as much of my writing and photography as i feel can comfortably be navigated, and represents my best - if not most recent - work. enjoy, criticise, forward, challenge, argue. like yer do.

Posted by reuben at May 10, 2005 10:26 AM


come play in korea... oh wily one with cheap airfares at your disposal

Posted by: alex at May 10, 2005 7:42 PM

i'll let you know in a month, al ...

Posted by: ruby at May 10, 2005 10:27 PM

ruby baby!
long time no see....
how IS stuff? where are you heading? somewhere via bangas? be great to catch up in this city of sex. and other good things too....

Posted by: catalina at May 15, 2005 9:15 PM

We cannot do anything about the wind, but we can adjust our sails... and then some...

Posted by: geez at May 28, 2005 1:53 AM

you know i really like the way you just throw words together. i use the word throw with immense intent because that's what it feels like you do. but somehow, your words have a perfect landing, unlike many writers in this world.

i hope you've found that house for us.

i can make oliebollen, you know.

Posted by: saartje at June 13, 2005 8:06 PM

Who is this Alex?
Are they really in Korea?
I wanna know! And are you coming to visit?

Posted by: bonnieconquest at August 1, 2006 8:06 PM

see you at the laneway festival?
i miss drunk taxi's and cocktail booths.

Posted by: gemma at November 7, 2006 6:40 PM


you probably won't see me there... no bands i really dig this year, fraid, and decemberists are rumoured to be coming, as are new pornographers. now if i could just get elbow and the go! team back here...

you, on the other hand, are always welcome. we can slur together again... call me.

Posted by: reuben at November 7, 2006 7:29 PM

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May 6, 2005

i tango in your general direction


the person who knows me best (that i don't share DNA with) left this on her desk at her old job sometime last year and it wound up on a major cosmetics manufacturer's website when one of her colleagues - mistaking it for one of hers - uploaded it. E6 proc C41. Shot in Melbourne I think - either here or Barcelona (?).

Posted by reuben at May 6, 2005 3:55 PM


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May 4, 2005



is it smart to take advice from the footpath? in this case, i think yes.

Posted by reuben at May 4, 2005 1:42 PM


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May 3, 2005



it says: "you come here to me tonight, we'll collect those lonely parts and set them down."

this appeared at my tram stop one day and i wondered about who wrote it and when, and why, and why specifically next to a tram timetable? there are so many stories, but we spend so much time wrapped up in our own. what if our own aren't the most interesting stories? or worse, what if they ARE and we're wasting too much time worrying about whether or not our story is interesting enough for someone else?

i like this. observing. making myself invisible. not reading other peoples' stories, but watching people *write* their stories, watching the act of 'writing' - (not always as literal as in this case). E6 proc C41.

Posted by reuben at May 3, 2005 3:16 PM


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May 1, 2005

why won't it snow/like they said it would?






snowman delivered their usual wildly energetic set at pony, but it was too packed for me to shoot them. these were taken a few nights later at ding dong. had to bail early, so shots taken from first 5 songs only.

Posted by reuben at May 1, 2005 1:58 PM


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