Zzzzt!Zzzzt! Yep, I'm Flickr Old Skool.

W. Blaine Pennington
OK, So the deal with flickr is sharing, right? So in the spirit of that, here's a bit about me... please feel free to ignore the blah blah blah; ...just figured I owed it to somebody after 10 years here.

I'm a Washington based photographer with more than 25 years biz experience in location and studio photography. My past specialties involved architectural interiors and exteriors, and now currently I enjoy conceptual still life photo illustrations at my studio in Silver Spring. I also worked more than a dozen years with my pal Ron, a fine and successful architectural/editorial shooter, as his location digital tech, grip, lighting guru and 1st assist. I also did all his post-production work until I retired from assisting him. That stuff, my own art work, and family life keeps me hopping; but it's also important to me to find time to share here with you fine folks.

I've met the absolute best folks on flickr and it continues to blow my mind, touch my heart and deeply enrich my creative spirit.... I thank you all.

I've loved making pictures since I was 4 with a box brownie, privately and commercially. I've made portraits, shot film stills, shot studio product and still-life, managed and printed in fine art and custom photolabs and have used film cameras in all formats.

I'm mostly shooting Nikon digital these days, but will work with anything from 4x5 to toy cameras to to iPhones to get what I need visually. I love fine tools, but care most about the imagery we can create with nearly anything, from pinhole to polaroid, from film to digital to video. I've got a lot of gear, but I try to use just what is needed for the task at hand.

I've taught workshops, and long studied the art, history and craft of photography. I've shot for publications, corporations, architects and designers and mounted exhibitions of my work and others and love every aspect of photography from snapshot to fine art. Like most of you, my favorite thing is just shooting for myself.

I do mostly personal work now, some architectural and studio post production services and am working hard to learn as much as possible using Adobe Software such as Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC to get maximum benefit from our images, without heavy handed pseudo-surrealism (although I am driven to dabble in everything in the long run, lol!). My goal with Photoshop is usually more about achieving the control I once utilized in the wet darkroom and to finally come near expressing what was in my eyes and mind when I saw and captured an original image. Having said that though, I am currently having a blast with the aps on my iPhone 6+ as well.... so much fun, so little time!

I'm on Flickr to share community and my personal work, but I also post privately for family and friends.

I seem to be working on simultaneous thematic series...often as an interpretation of the documentary tradition; major long term ones include: doors, cemeteries, drive-in theaters, minigolf creatures and mannequins. It's a kind of cultural anthropology, if you will.

I'm slowly working to scan work from my archives as well as to create new digital images of persons, places and things that interest me in the everyday world, as well as more conceptual work created especially to illustrate an idea.

My family pictures are here too, but the web being the wildwest that it is, they are private to family and friends.

It's a privilege to share, or publish, the images I create here and to find and enjoy all the fine imagery being done all over the globe, posted right here on Flickr by all kinds of folks, to see how we all connect, and how much we really all have in common.

It's an amazing time to be a photographer and to love visual art.

Authorship is important to me. PLEASE DO NOT STEAL my images. All my personal (and commercial) work is copyrighted with all rights reserved, all wrongs revenged, and may not be used in any way without written permission from me. I will unleash the dogs of hell upon any who steal my imagery, but will often share with those who approach with honesty and respect for good cause.

Commercial usage will require attribution and fees. It has taken a lifetime to amass the tools and training that allow me to make these images, and they are my children in a sense, and I will not allow their abuse. I'm well aware that the value of all visual art is a matter of context and perceived value. "Set and Setting", "Eye of the Beholder", that kind of thing, and that excellence can come from anywhere: "you ARE who you are PERCEIVED to be" as a photographer.

I hope some of my images will touch and move folks in some way; ....some may bore; I'm sure some will annoy or repel others, ...and still others may find a few images inexpressibly in touch with some personal baggage only the viewer can know about. I tend to make images of things in the world that attract or repel me. I like images that ask more questions than they answer.

Even the simplest of subjects or views I show here, come through me, are filtered through me; yet I hope some viewers recognize something like universal truths or questions on the best of them, whichever those are.

Thanks very much, to all who take the time to look carefully.

I will periodically post other images here as fair use of ephemeral objects, film stills and the like; to make a point in discussion, in study or critique of art or in sharing a treasure, but will make every effort for proper attribution of images not created by me. I am grateful to all who have helped me determine the artist of public works I have photographed such as murals, graffiti, sculptures and architecture.

Music and cinema mean much to me, and good books ...and I am mindful of time; I try to keep this bit
from a Paul Simon lyric in the back of my mind, while focused on the now:

"Time it was, oh what a time it was, it was
a time of
a time of
Long ago,
far away
I had a photograph
Preserve your memories...

They're all that's left you."

-Paul Simon

Memory, respect for all things and love of the best in people are important to me.

Sharing love and light is why we are here.

The History of photography has many giants, past and present;
and many have had influence on me; here are a few I hold especially dear:

Walker Evans and Andre Kertesz, Ernst Haas and Eliot Porter, Gary Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, Robert Frank and W. Eugene Smith, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Aaron Siskind and Minor White, Ansel Adams and Edward & Brett Weston, Mary Ellen Mark and Imogen Cunningham, Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Henri Cartier Bresson, Duane Michaels and Roy DeCarava, James Nachtwey and Sebastiao Selgado, Martin Parr and Eliot Erwitt, Diane Arbus and Edward Curtis, Robert Doisneau and Ralph Gibson, William Klein and Lewis Hine, Josef Koudelka and Paul Strand, WeeGee and Jerry Uelsmann, Eugene Atget and Brassai, William Eggleston and Clarence John Laughlin, Helen Levitt and Arnold Newman, Frederick Sommer and Gordon Parks, Michael Kenna and Art Kane, Bill Brandt and Larry Clark, Jay Maisel and O. Winston Link, George Krause and Eugene Richards, Paul Caponigro and Russell Lee, Sam Abell and Bill Allard, Alex Webb and Bill Pierce, Bruce Davidson and Harry Callahan, John Pfahl and Richard Misrach, Arthur Tress and Robert Glenn Ketchum, Galen Rowell and Diane Arbus, Albert Watson and Bill Brandt. The conflict images of Tim Page, Philip Jones Griffiths, Larry Burrows and Don McCullin.

I found lots to learn from these teachers, master craftspersons, critics and thinkers: Andreas Feininger, Bill Pierce, Ansel Adams, John Sexton, David Vestal, Henry Horenstein, Dean Collins, Fred Picker, Jerry Uelsmann, Richard D. Zakia, George Tice, Freeman Patterson, Ernst Haas, Craig Stevens, Bill Kennedy, Michele Campbell, OP Williams, John Szarkowski, Andy Grundberg and Vicky Goldberg, A. D. Coleman and Susan Sontag, and lately, Bruce Fraser, Jeff Schewe, Matt Kloskowski, Dan Margulis, Stephen Johnson, John Paul Caponigro, Katrin Eismann, Dave Cross, Victoria Bampton, Julieanne Kost and Scott Kelby.

Photos of Zzzzt!Zzzzt! (1)

  • Zman at Threadgill's in Austin by Mark Estabrook

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Testimonials (7)

  • view profile

    Mark Estabrook says:

    "From a shared interest in Austin music, to his expansive views of nature, Blaine, who I prefer to call "Z," is a master of his environment. Although he probably was around when the camera obscura led to photography, his work is as fresh and lively as our young artistic counterparts of today. I admire his eye and perspective with architecture. Go check out his slideshow in that set. You won't be disappointed! Good luck, Blaine. Keep snapping my friend. PS: Little known fact about Blaine: he shot production stills on "Blood Simple" for Coen brothers. How about THAT?!"

    March 5th, 2009

  • view profile

    Kristian Thacker says:

    "if its a camera or camera related this man knows how it works, where it came from, who made it, and its best practical uses. he's a walking, talking photographic encyclopedia that I don't get to talk to enough. oh, and i almost forgot, he's a great photographer as well. if you ever have the chance to meet this man I suggest you take it."

    March 23rd, 2007

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    cheves says:

    "if i lived closer to Zzzzt! Zzzzt! , i would take him out every week for coffee and picture taking."

    December 5th, 2006

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    Gail Orenstein says:

    """"Wow-what a wonderful surprise! ZZ's photos are like a travel adventure. The shots are are very unique-one minute you are in a the very dark contrast that shadows his portraits and the next minute your in a bright beautiful space I think the site is more like a photo journey. It is one I have enjoyed taking and will continue to come back for the ride. A super image trip!""""

    October 1st, 2006

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    trudi_ says:

    "Of all the people I don't know, Zzzzt!Zzzzt! is my favourite. Quite possibly the nicest person on Flickr

    Not only is he King of the Comments, he's the Photographical Pharaoh!"

    September 13th, 2005

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    danakay says:

    "I dont know Z!! personally but in the past month on Flickr he has been an inspiration to me. I have asked him a million questions. He has taken the time with all the answers and more. He has been knowledgable, helpful, motivating, and supportive. I feel like I have known him forever. He has a new baby and a busylife. Yet everytime I have had a problem or question he has responded. His photography has also been an inspiration in me. His photos carry such feeling. I often feel like I was right there feeling what he felt and seeing what he saw. I have tried to use some of the approaches he has to improve my photography (long way to go) People like Z!! are one of the reasons I have become so passionate and excited about the world of photography. Thank You Z!! you are AWESOME"

    July 21st, 2005

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    compassionateeye says:

    "Zzzzzzt is one my best freinds and my mentor. He is generous beyond measure with his great knowledge of all things photographic (and many other areas as well). He sees beautifully, creating a capturing beauteous images saturated with a (sometimes not so) subtle content, message, feeling, or questions. He is big and huggable and I owe him a lot. Look and inquire, learn and enjoy. I always do. Go to his site, too: www.blainepenning..."

    June 7th, 2005

June 2005