Vegetable, mineral

Vegetable, mineral

I’ve been away.

Well, we’ve all been away, obviously - the last essay we posted was back in June, and it’s September now! But I’ve been back in my old home country, where I grew up.

Things are different there now - as I anticipated last year, my parents have downsized out of their Toronto home of 56 years.

This was also the first summer they didn’t spend July and August up north on the lake by themselves, they decided to was better if there were some younger folks around to help out while they were up on the island - so we drove up with them, stayed for a week, carried the groceries, and cooked. We also played some cribbage (which didn’t go so well for me)…

Cherche la créature et la console

By Vincent Baldensperger

“Tel cheval qui boit à la fontaine,
Telle feuille qui en tombant nous touche,
Telle main vide, ou telle bouche
Qui nous voudrait parler et qui ose à peine -,

Autant de variations de la vie qui s'apaise,
Autant de rêves de la douleur qui somnole :
ô que celui dont le coeur est à l'aise,
Cherche la créature et la console.”

R. M. Rilke

J’ai lu dans ces regards des océans de questions. Rencontres délicates et sensibles. J’ai pensé à l’enfant, sa pureté, sa curiosité sans ombres. C’est là, au fond des yeux que la porte s’ouvre, que l’on donne autant que l’on reçoit. Langage du corps, orientation d’une oreille, frémissement de la peau, inclinaison de la tête, souffle nouveau et changeant… je garde en mémoire précieusement ces touches invisibles qui sans paroles me consolent, moi la créature.

Sensual // Sensory


Guidance: Make it more sensual.

Assignment: Today you must shoot a single subject using multiple exposures (a series of 6), using a novelty or vintage lens (otherwise pick your fastest glass) and your favorite camera.


With my huge vintage lens collection, it wasn’t the choosing of the gear that proved tricky for this assignment. It wasn’t the fact that I should shoot a series of 6 images of the same subject matter. What proved to be the real challenge here was sticking to the guidance.

Sensual does not equal sexual. It does not have to be. I thought it had to be. But I chose not to.

I chose the senses.

But how do you go about that with only 5 of them around.

I will leave the 6th up for interpretation. I know what it is to me. Do you know what it is to you?

Shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 using a 1971 Minolta Rokkor 58mm f/1.2 and a 12mm extension tube.

Time In Motion



Guidance: Decorate, decorate.

Assignment: Today you must shoot moving vehicles or individual motion, using a lens closest to 135 millimeters (35 equivalent) and your best camera.

Photography & Text By Derek Clark

Shoot vehicles or individual motion. I started out using a tripod in the middle of the day with a variable ND. I hated the colour cast and I just wasn’t getting what I wanted. So I moved to nighttime, still on a tripod. I shot light trails over a motorway, but that’s been done to death. In fact, I have a slide that I shot on the opposite bridge to this one from 1979 or 1980. Light trails with a horrible green colour cast, but it worked and it was an important shot in my early development in photography.

So I took the camera off the tripod. I shot handheld out of focus shots of moving vehicles, eventually arriving at the idea to shoot moving vehicles with a moving camera at around a 5-second exposure. Vehicles moving, camera moving and time is moving.

Change nothing and continue consistently.


Guidance: Change nothing and continue consistently.

Assignment: Today you must shoot abstract images, in your least comfortable orientation (portrait or landscape), using your longest focal length and your oldest camera.


In my case, this has manifested itself as the original FinePix X100 with the Tele Converter lens.

The TCL wasn’t really designed for the original X100 and I’m not really designed for abstract photography nor vertical orientation.

Going back through my main commercial photography (weddings), I think I’ve shot no more than 50 vertical images in ten years.




Guidance: You can only make one dot at a time.
Assignment: Today you must shoot images with at least 3 people in the frame, using a lens closest to the current temperature in Fahrenheit and your newest camera. You must also use your device’s widest ratio.

By Patrick La Roque

Right, so we’ve now published half of this issue’s Generator theme but have yet to explain what in the world it is we’re doing. So here’s a brief overview: awhile ago Derek shared a workflow he’d devised to generate shooting assignments with a friend. It involved technical variables, themes and dice throwing. I thought this could be a cool idea to automate so I created an iOS Shortcut that does exactly that: it dishes out assignments. It’s called KAGE Assignment Generator and it’s a free download if you want to check it out. Also feel free to modify it and add your own variables if you’re into this geeky stuff.

But anyway, this is what this issue is based on: Robert sat down with the generator a few weeks back and gave each of us the resulting assignments. And if you’re wondering what the “guidance” is about: I integrated Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies into the workflow as well. To add even more randomness.

The following images are essentially an exercise in compromise as far as I’m concerned. Luck of the draw saw quite a few of us having to use a focal length based on the temperature...which strangely—given how spread out we are on the planet—ended up leading us all to the XF 56mm f/1.2. I don’t mind shooting street/urban images with longer lenses; I’ve even used the XF 90mm in the past. But the combination of needing at least three people in the frame, ideally having them isolated (that’s how I interpreted the “dot”), a wide ratio (16:9 in this case), an 85mm equivalent and very few human beings around when I went out there (surprisingly)...let's just say I was more than a little unconvinced during the shoot. But that’s the point of the game: to work through the limitations and find a way in spite of them.

I’ll be honest with you: these are ok but I’m not sure the series is all that interesting as a whole. I feel there’s an emotional thread missing. Probably because there is, and in the end there’s no faking these things. 

But perhaps that’s the lesson here. 

I'm glad I failed


Guidance: Don't break the silence

Assignment: Today you must shoot crowds or total emptiness, using a lens closest to the current temperature in Fahrenheit and your newest camera.
You must also use your device's square ratio.


I could have easily shot this assignment one or two months ago. But now, I absolutely hate it, it's the shittiest assignment I ever did for KAGE. Don’t get me wrong, I love the generator-idea, I just don’t like what came out of it for me.

I've started the year looking for silence, but lately I have moved on to conversations, meaningful real-life conversations. I've never liked crowds and I don't want to look for emptiness at a time when I'm starting to feel whole again. It's too warm to use the lenses I'd like to use and the square ratio limits my expanding view on things. 

I tried to get some pictures within the assignment and I failed badly. But you know what? I'm happy that I couldn't shoot anything decent for this one. It means that I've broken the silence.

Authorised By

Authorised By

We’re coming up on a federal election in Australia; so it’s safe to say some people are on edge.

But it’s hard to discern left from right out on the streets - unless they’re standing next to a sign in a t-shirt, handing out ‘how to vote’ cards, of course.

Will we continue on the conservative path that’s seen three prime ministers (and two deputy prime ministers) in the past six years? Or return to a more liberal - though that word means something else, here, as the Liberal party are the conservatives - some would say progressive, considerate way of running the country…?


Les paupières des fleurs, de larmes toujours pleines, 
Ces visages brumeux qui, le soir, sur les plaines 
Dessinent les vapeurs qui vont se déformant, 
Ces profils dont l'ébauche apparaît dans le marbre, 
Ces yeux mystérieux ouverts sur les troncs d'arbre, 
Les prunelles de l'ombre et du noir firmament 
Qui rayonnent partout et qu'aucun mot ne nomme, 
Sont les regards de Dieu, toujours surveillant l'homme, 
Par le sombre penseur entrevus vaguement.”
V. Hugo