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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 9:32 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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Photos of identical condo units from identical camera positions

These are photographs from my grandparents' condominium units.  My mother's parents and dad's parents moved from the homes they raised their children in to identical units in different buildings in the same condo complex in 1989.  These photos were taken in December 2004 so quite a bit of the furniture they moved from their homes has been replaced but you can still pick out themes. 

The primary reason for this project was to introduce a new aspect to the endless nature/nurture argument.  It also complicates the question as to what degree mass-produced residences appeal to similar people and to what degree similar people are created by them.  It also illustrates how people tend to marry people from the same economic class. 

I photographed these with a Hasselblad SWC/M, using Polaroid proofs to align the camera accurately.  I actually did this exact project for the first time in Feb of 2004 but decided to rephotograph it for technical reasons (I changed some of the locations and used different film that better dealt with the mixed lighting) and to include the Christmas element.  These negatives were drum scanned by West Coast Imaging (www.westcoastimaging.com) and the prints you see in the final image are 22X22 digital prints.  The digital printing allowed lighting issues to be better handled and helped for greater overall consistency in the printing.  I chose the somewhat odd 22X22 size because the printing and framing price nearly doubled at 24X24.
       







These two were the only ones that suffered pretty obvious alignment problems, obviously I have nobody to blame but myself for this slopiness.  Luckily it's not quite so obvious in the actual large prints. 












Comments and criticisms welcome.  One criticism I've heard repeatedly is that these don't look like condos where grandparents would live, I think that's born out of the fact Hollywood would rarely use an actual residence without modifiying it to look like how  a particular type of person's residence is "supposed" to look. 

Anyway I'm putting these on the web in order to spread the word that "someone's done that".  No doubt someone will eventually come up with the same idea so I'm trying to stake some territory. 
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 9:57 PM
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these are really cool!
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2006, 10:20 PM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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So you are saying that you were nurtured to a point where you engage in schizophrenic activities, such as photographing the same room over again using different furnishings?

You're right, it is odd. =P
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  #4  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2006, 12:46 PM
Domo Arigato Domo Arigato is offline
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FNORD!

What on Earth were you thinking? Of course, that is if it was you thinking. Could you be a slackmaster after all? Do you have slack?

Praise BOB!
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  #5  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2006, 1:26 AM
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KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
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That was awesome!
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Old Posted Dec 3, 2006, 2:13 AM
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I know WCI's pricing and scanning charges, you must have spent quite a bit on those, plus framing.

Apartment looks normal enough to me, I used to dress sets for TV and smaller budget films.
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2006, 10:34 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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>WCI's pricing and scanning charges, you must have spent quite a bit

I did get a 25 or 30% student and bulk discount. Also the frames are a formica-type material, nice white wood frames would have cost double. Obviously when you are about to do something that is going to cost a few thousand dollars with no short-term return, you have to be pretty sure it's worth doing. Photography is expensive but films are much more, it's not uncommon for people to spend upwards of $100K on short films that nobody ever ends up seeing.

>FNORD!

With all the standardized housing going up around the world, this is only going to become a larger issue. Photography lends itself better to discussing this issue than writing because it shows how individuality always grows unexpectedly from similar situations. I've got another project I'll put up here soon where I photographed street corners in a city grid to illustrate a similar point.
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Old Posted Dec 5, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Gary S.Becker wrote in 1981 a theory on the family, ilustrated by differential equations, and you ilustrate this thesis with images
The principal matter is to know if there exist economic underlying reasons in decisions that we believe nobles


Gary S. Becker (1981, Enlarged ed., 1991). A Treatise on the Family. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-90698-5.
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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 6:31 AM
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That was a really lucky coincidence and a unique opportunity but I wish there were more units to photograph. Perhaps leading to some greater diversity, but the dual juxtaposition thing makes things a bit nicer and less complicated.
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Old Posted Dec 8, 2006, 10:00 AM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is offline
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>illustrated by differential equations, and you ilustrate this thesis with images

Quite relevant, I am aware of the field of behavioral economics but I have not had time to research it and had not seen this book although from what's described on the web it's obviouls that I should read this. I posted this here hoping to get advice just like this.

>That was a really lucky coincidence and a unique opportunity but I wish there were more units to photograph. Perhaps leading to some greater diversity, but the dual juxtaposition thing makes things a bit nicer and less complicated.

These would actually be two very different projects. When people living in the same type of unit who don't know each other are compared, that's quite different than people who are related to each other through the marriage of their children.

The seed for this project was planted in my head probably in 1998 or 99 when someone offhandedly remarked "someone should take pictures of everyone's dorms and see how people decorate their rooms differently". I didn't find that particularly interesting, but it took me until sometime in 2003 to recognize that the condos would add the nature vs. nurture element, which was lacking in any other scenario I could think of. Also, I went to school for one year with someone who introduced me to the SWC camera and had an exhibit in which he displayed pairs of square photos. Viewing that exhibit is where I was able to make a jump in my thinking, I think the next time I visited the condos for a family function the idea came together in my head. The other guy's photos are viewable online here:http://gauthierphotography.com/index2.html under the link "Toward the Interior: Dynamics of Isolation and Engagement".

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Dec 10, 2006 at 7:17 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2006, 3:10 PM
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Interesting. More examples would obviously be awesome for this, but I like the concepts that are being talked about.
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