December 19, 2008

FaceBook and an era of time...

Music | Songs from the 70's by various artists via Pandora

I joined FaceBook a few months ago and did'nt enjoy the experience so much... It did'nt make any sense to me and I just could'nt figure out how the damned interface worked... Frankly, I still don't, but recently, I've gotten found and have been found by quite a few people from my past. In the last month, I must have heard from over 10 people who I haven't seen in close to 3 decades! Earlier today, I used the chat feature to communicate with a fellow student who I've known since the 7th grade. After high school, we haven't spoken until she found me on FaceBook, recently. I got caught up on some really old gossip that brought back some good and bad memories. Later today, I thought of band from back then that I really liked. It was from way back from when I was a freshman or sophmore in high school. My sense of music was pretty eclectic, but I have to say back then, I was really moved by 70's slow jams. In Pandora, I created a station after a band named L.T.D. The following is the last 10 songs that were presented to me and really brought me back to the day...

1. We Both Deserve Each Others Love by L.T.D.
2. A House is Not a Home by Luther Vandross
3. Betcha By Golly Wow by The Stylistics
4. Reasons by Earth Wind and Fire
5. Love Won't Let Me Wait by Major Harris
6. Easy by The Commodores
7. Love Ballad by L.T.D.
8. Feel the Fire by Teddy Pendergrass
9. Voyage to Atlantis by The Isley Brothers
10. Sweet Thing by Chaka Khan & Rufus

December 18, 2008

A {Manifesto} for AC? | Accidental Creative

Music | Pita's Room by Harry Gregson-Williams

Wow, words to live by

A {Manifesto} for AC? | Accidental Creative

Me and D

Music | Summerisle by Saint Etienne

December 15, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire...

Music | Too Long by Yael Naim

It's one thing when you just wanna stay in from the cold and you don't feel like going out, but it is entirely different when the city is covered in ice and you CAN"T go anywhere... And so I sit at home, perusing the internet and sulking... However, thru my clicks and turns from one site to another, I am reminded that I really need to get out and see Slumdog Millionaire! I've also discovered there is am amazing women who I think I could fall in love with!!!

Words and Change...

Music | 1234 by Feist

A few words bringing on thousands of images...

December 12, 2008

Back and Forth

Music | The Reason Why by Rachael Yamagata

A recent series that consciously started a few months ago... Faded and now re-inspired...

I hate when I read blogs and such that are vague on details. I'm sorry but this is one of those blogs. More on this at a later date...

December 08, 2008


Music | First Love by Adele

Is there anything to say?

November 29, 2008

A Day in the Park

Music | Dakar by John Coltrane

My daughter, a point and shoot and a moment in the park.

November 25, 2008

Get a Life... Another Rant

Music | Body and Soul by John Coltrane

Maybe it is time I stop hitting the photography forums for awhile and stop reading what other folks have to say... It seems that I need a sharp attitude adjustment because I can feel tension build up around every other thread regarding photography. The latest thing that is bugging me was a question brought up about how this one photographer is shooting everything in film, but scans the image and makes large format prints on a ink jet printer... But because he feels the term ink jet slurs his "art", and he can't figure out a way to describe it himself, he asks the forum what they think an inkjet print should be called... Ask this question on any photo forum and you will get the same answers... Don't call them "Giclee" because it is an overused term or that it is used to deceive, inciting that it is more than just an inkjet print... Another term to use is "Archival Pigment print on Cotton Rag", or whatever the medium the ink or pigment is being printed on. How about "Pigment Print", or "Pigment Ink Print", or maybe this one... "Epson professional photo printer using archival inks".

I understand why so many "photographers" feel the need to "educate" their viewers, but when all is said and done, does the question about content or meaning ever come into question? I'm getting to the point of knowing mediocrity is good enough, if you have enough megapixels or fancy words to describe your work (not that the work itself should ever be held responsible for what the "artist" is trying to say), you suddenly have the credentials of being a real artist...

How about this... shut up all ready and just create for the sake of creating. Spend one hour with your camera and actually go out and take some pictures. When you get home, print your favorite photo and show it to some of your friends and talk about what you did. Show some backbone and be responsible for what you created, with no excuses and stand proudly behind your photo... Do this a few times and maybe you can stop looking for validation on the internet and start living in the real world...

November 24, 2008


Music | Step One, Two, Three by Roscoe Mitchell and the Note Factory

Earlier today, I was telling a peer that I didn't think I was going to like my 4x5 shots, judging by what I shot with the digital. My intention was to shoot with the 4x5, so out it came first. After the 1st session, I pulled out the digital and saw that my subject was stiff and awkward looking. I thought that since the digital shots immediately followed the film, my film was going to look similar. To my surprise however, of the 4 sheets I photographed, they all looked pretty good! This is the selection I chose...

On a lighter note...

Music | Flashback by Fred Anderson

I'm waiting for film to dry in the bathroom that I shot yesterday. I've resigned to the fact that I will more than likely shoot some digital photos as well as my intended film on these sessions. It isn't so much I want to have a back up, but I know that the feel of the photographs will be different. I don't get opportunities enough to not take advantage of both formats when I'm out there...

James as "Merlin"

James on a movie set somewhere in a NYC alley

Film forthcoming...

Lost / Rant

Music | In Your Own Sweet Way by Kenny Garret

In my quest to find my truth, I've always been keen to the banter between 2 camps, like PC vs the Mac, analog vs digital, specifically, film vs digital. Tides have turned dramatically and the world is moving forward and digital capture has overwhelmingly taken the number one choice for most "photographers" and the general public as well. There is no turning back and I know that film will become more scarce and more difficult to pursue as the years move forward.

What gets me going with this conflict is that technology has taken over aesthetics. Go to any photography forum and there is all the talk about more resolution, more megapixels, more dynamic range, blah blah blah... Who the fuck cares that you can make a 40 inch x 60 inch print at 300 dpi when 99% of your photographs will be 4x6? I've read about guys wanting more from their $20k digital back and would be willing to spend the money to have it. Meanwhile when you go to their websites, they have close up photos of their pet cat at 300% view.

Even the film guys, the so called traditionalist are talking about how they need to get more resolutions out of scanners so they too can print bigger. Never mind that the point of shooting film has some characteristics that are lost in the translation of a scan...

So onward they go, chasing the carrot of being able to print bigger and better and faster... Meanwhile, they have created nothing... Years go by, ideas come and go, then a lifetime goes by and they have only outdated equipment to show for it all...

Where are the discussions of moving forward and creating, aesthetics, romanticism instead of classicism, megapixels and resolution... Lets start using words like form, shape, line, poetic, beauty... in our daily artistic lives. The world would be so much more an interesting place...

November 11, 2008

The Basics...

Music | With You by Natalie Walker

My God Daughter is taking a photography class this year in High School. I was relieved to hear that they are still shooting film and will be processing and printing themselves. Since finding this info out, we chatted a bit and I decided to lend her my one and only 35mm film camera. With it the basic 50 mm lens and a few rolls of film to get her jump started. I gave her some advice, some of which I need to step back and consider myself. I love the cycles we go thru... I've been shooting for more than 20 years and I find I need to listen to myself about going back and learning basics. As I wrote to her in a letter, I kept thinking I need to follow my own advice!

November 04, 2008

Baby it's Cold Outside!

Music | Reactive Switching Strategies by DJ Spooky

Though we've been talking about doing some nudes outside, Seré and I kept waiting for the weather and our time to coincide, but it never came to be... Though I knew conditions were not optimum for doing some photography outside, it was in fact chilly, a little rainy and very overcast. I decided to try and just go for it. Seré wasn't quite as up to the challenge as I was, but she was a trouper. Our first location was a bust as heavy construction was going on right at the base of where we wanted to go. As I started getting car sick, trying to sleep as we drove thru the gorge up and down winding roads, I almost decided to call it quits. Just where we decided to pull a U turn, it turns out it was an entrance to a very secluded public park. Just as we got out of the car, light rain drops started falling again as we quickly made a plan of attack to make the most of the moment. In all, we found 4 different views in just about 45 minutes and a 1/2 mile of walking and being out in the wet and cold. As much as we both complained, we felt fantastic getting back to the warmth of the heated car and cups of hot chocolate that awaited us.

Though there are the obvious challenges of trying to find locations to shoot nudes, I'm hoping I get the opportunity to do it again very soon.

November 03, 2008

A Sinuous Dance...

Music | The Key by Matthew Shipp

October 24, 2008


Music | Dawn by The Cinematic Orchestra

With the banter in my brain going from Large Format 4x5 and my 35mm digital SLR, I'm finding it surprising that these last 2 shoots came so easy for me with the resulting photographs very close to what I envisioned in my head. I've been working on shooting solo with Cain for over a year. As elusive as she has been, times where I just decided to give up and move on, somewhere in the back of my head I knew that whenever we got together, we'd come up with strong images in our eventual collaboration. I wouldn't call this shoot a commission, as I wanted to just as strongly want to photograph her as she wanted to be photographed by me. In any case, we got some very strong images in this loosely put together shoot...

October 21, 2008


Music | Chasing Pavements by Adelle

My quest to get comfortable with 4x5 has taken a step in the right direction. I shot 6 sheets of Sherry today, 4 at one location and 2 here... I'm feeling a bit more confident with loading the film onto the reels and processing, though I'm still experimenting with dilutions of the developer and such... I managed to nail this neg and the other I shot at the same spot, but the other 4 sheets were like my first try and a bit thin. It is a process and learning curve I hope to have mastered by the time my other camera arrives in January. I'm also getting more comfortable with this camera, but the mechanical movements of my body are still strong and sometime dominate my head - another aspect of this transition I hope to have overcome.

Sherry is a regular, often sitting for me in times of inspiration, and times of desperation as well. My exercise of just getting out there and shoot brought us to a park on the other side of town, using the fall colours and textures as our source of creating. We walked until I felt something and here, I loved how the triangular shape of the branches framed her, off center within the camera frame. It also doesn't take much for Sherry to strike an elegant pose...

October 17, 2008

Falling Upon Us...

Music | Nomra by Matana Roberts

Somewhere in Helvetia, OR

October 14, 2008

Beauty is a Rare Thing...

Music | A Ballad for Rita by Fred Anderson

Out in the Open...

Music | The Horizon Has Been Defeated by Jack Johnson

OK, I put it out into the public... I've got people on the outside knowing what my intentions are. I have put myself in a position where I have to walk the walk...

I was just talking to a friend about a friend she was describing as a self starter, goes out and seems to always achieve what she sets out to do. Not a runner, she is now training to run a half marathon, even though she has lots of pain while running...

I know I perform better when I have people counting on me. I'm not much of a self starter. I seem to need and build momentum before before I get going... or a deadline. My interests in shooting with my 4x5 is itching me. Ever since processing my 1st batch of film, I've been wanting to shoot more. I've had a few excuses preventing me from going out to shoot... my car is in disrepair, I've got projects que'd up that I have to finish, my prescriptions are really knocking me out...

So this evening while I was writing to a friend who I wanted to photograph, I decided to extend the invitation to a bunch of people, some who will not be surprised to hear of this request, but others that will be. Most are friends, others are acquaintances, friend's of friends, people from forums...

"Before the weather starts to change for the worse, I would like to create a portrait of you. Unlike the way I've been shooting for over a decade, I'll be using a 4x5 camera and shooting film. I'm traveling down the road back to the basics. Just a camera, tripod and film.

I am not making this a big production to get you in front of the camera. We can take as much or as little time as you'd like. What is important to me is having subjects in front of me as I go back in time and work with this large format camera. My goal is to remaster the techniques of processing film by hand. Further along down the road, I hope to print some of these negs using an old technique using Platinum and Palladium.

If your interested, or not, email me and let me know your thoughts.



And so I also extend this invitation to you. If you are in the Portland area, look me up. I've got a few boxes of film ready to go, chemicals to process the film and maybe a print in return (digital at this point) for you time.

October 09, 2008


Music | Life for Rent by Dido

The commitment is pure inspiration! To do anything consistently, every day, other than wake up and fall to sleep amazes me.

Abbey Ryan's A Painting a Day

October 06, 2008

Confused... and Dazed too!

Music | All Coming Back by Sarah Blasco

I don't often have conflicts selecting when a photo should be colour or Black and White when I make that initial decision. However, I think everything about this shot worked, including the colours in this photo...

Hopworks Brewry

Music | Go by Wayne Shorter

It has been awhile since PattyDaddy and HambahgaStakee reviewed a burger joint, but we just hit Hopworks on Powell to have a luscious cheeseburger, thickly cut fries and some seriously good organic beer. I've been there several times and was surprised that it had not yet been reviewed on one of my favorite blogs, Portland Hamburgers. Patty Daddy had not been there and as I had declared a Top 5 Joint, he agreed after the meal.

October 05, 2008

A Very Sophisticated Shot...

Music | Blood Count by Jon Raskin

I've always had a mantra of keeping things as simple as possible. Well, maybe that isn't true... I don't have enough sophistication to think of complex ways of doing things... Anyway, I ran into a problem with this shot as I needed to have a boom for a light to be hung from above. Because of my unsophisticated ways, I carry a minimal amount of gear. I didn't have what I needed, but came upon this...

Yes?... No?...

of course yes...

October 04, 2008

Maiden Voyage

Music | It's Amazing by Jem

Wow, this 4x5 thing is gonna take awhile to master... I'm a bit more clear knowing that I've got a lot of improving to do with my developing of film. The dynamic range can be much improved. I'm also not getting what I think I'm seeing thru the view finder. I'm feeling it is just a matter of getting to know a much larger space to control, thru out the entire viewing area of 4 inches by 5 inches, as opposed to viewing a scene thru a 35 mm slr.

My hands are wet now and I'm over the initial fear of processing film. I'll just have to keep going and move closer to what I see in my head and what I see in print.

A Rush!

Music | Epistrophy by Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane

I'm sitting on a cloud right now. For the first time in maybe a decade, I processed film with my own 2 hands. The procedure was actually much more simple than I anticipated, but I dared not look at the film, even after going thru the fixer phase which allows you to pull the film out into daylight. Methodically, I went thru my rehearsed routine and did not deviate from each step I had planned. Finally, after pulling the film off the reels to hand dry in the bathroom, I saw a beautiful negative image. Frankly, it has been so long where I had to judge negatives, I'm not sure how good of a job I did with the developing... But merely seeing an image on the film made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge! So, in the bathroom they hang, drying slowly before I can soon admire them up close.

September 30, 2008

Out of the Blue...

Music | Time and Space by The Cinematic Orchestra

I love what I do... In the midst of being where I am, where ever that might be, I'm not certain... I find an amazing face, attempt to make contact, a few emails back and forth and we meet at a café. I find that the face is even more amazing than the photos I've seen... we have a few common connections. A few days pass and here she sits in front of my camera.

Ameena sings, dances, writes, is very stylish with an East Coast lean.

Me Me Me

Music | God Bless by Lamb

Perusing Ray Bidegain's site again, I found another photo of myself. I was honored to be a part of his show he had at the Camerawork Gallery. With a bit of self indulgence in the back of my mind, I told Ray he over priced the portrait he did of me...

This was the 2nd shot of 2 plates...

the first can be seen here.

Coming Home...

Music | Flashback by Fred Anderson

The new beginning starts a little earlier than anticipated. I found an amazing face last week and will be shooting her tomorrow (actually, later today). I had decided since she sings, dances and writes, she belongs in my slowly growing artists series that I pushed earlier this year. So along with the 5D and 100 f:2, I'll be shooting some 4x5 film, which I need to have on hand to start to process film here at my darkroom-less home. I've accumulated pretty much everything I need to do so, so having film to actually practice on will be good.

I was reading on a forum how one photographer noticed that all the images he had framed and presented on the walls of his studio had all been photographed with film, processed and printed with his own hands. He knew he had taken photographs just as inspiring with his digital camera, printed with his ink jet printer, but thought that maybe because he worked, sweated and toiled with his analog techniques, those images to him were more about him than the digital counterpart.

Just before starting to write this entry, I was prepping for tomorrows shoot. I pulled out my film changing bag, loaded up some holders and felt a connection all ready to tomorrow. My hands are all ready in the process... I'm recognizing how much more involved I am for an event that is going to take place not for another 11 hours. I also know that after my shoot, I won't see results until I take the plunge and do what I haven't done in close to 10 years. Not just process film, but process 4x5 film which I've never done for myself. I hope I'm met with a warm welcome!

September 12, 2008


Music | The Rent by Steve Lacy

Rarely are there photos of myself I like... This year has been a good year!

I've been going out most Wednesday nights with a crew of other photographers to Jake's where we have been drinking and smoking for years - great food too... The other "gentlemen" smoke their robust cigars as I puff away on my petite clove cigarettes.

John Prutch captured me awhile back if I recall correctly with these 2 images he just sent me. What do you think, could I be shooting the shit with John Bukowski or Tom Waits?

September 09, 2008

Would I bore myself?

Music | Hello by Poe

I've known that I needed to get out and shoot again. I just have had no energy to pull anything together. However, late last week, the photo gods presented me with an opportunity to photograph an idea that I've been working on for the past 8 months, without much luck. With little advance notice, all of the elements for this shoot suddenly came together and I had a few days to prepare. In the back of my mind, I still had doubts this shoot was actually going to take place, so I was lax in my mental preparation.

I enjoy putting myself in uncertain situations and see what comes out of them. This was no exception. I've worked with one of the models before, but the lead in this photo was my elusive muse. And working with 2 models under these circumstances was also a stretch for me as I'd have to be director to 2, not just 1 as I'm accustomed to.

Watching others work is always interesting to me. I like to see how the artist goes about finding their vision. I've watched documentaries on Avedon, Annie, Wim Wenders... The interesting part is to see how they relate to their subjects and locations. I especially enjoy watching peers of mine work. I know these people and to see them work often brings about people I don't know. I like to think I am that way too. I wonder if I'd be interesting to myself...

September 06, 2008

A Camping Trip...

Music | For Your Own Benefit from the Soundtrack, The Hours

Heading out to the coast for camping has long been awaited. Apparently I promised my daughter to go camping this summer, last fall! She kindly reminded me and since we haven't done any over nighters together this summer, I obliged.

It is nice to know that our past trips have held memories that I didn't think she would remember. She wanted to make sure we stopped by the place where we had picnics in the past along a river where I taught her how to skip rocks. When she said that, I realized that her memories are all hers to pick and choose from. I am happy to be the facilitator...

Onto the camp ground, we found a nice area with trails to walk and ride our bikes. We could ride to the ocean and another nearby lake thru the woods. Seems like we just set up the tent when Dara wanted to start the fire and make smores... That was for the evening though. She did have a great time gathering firewood. It was an adventure for searching out "treasures!"

I asked Dara what her favorite part of the trip was and it was the making of the smores. She has become an expert at roasting marshmellows and after eating 6 of them, it is no wonder why...

Uprooted Tree

August 30, 2008

A Nice Distraction...

Music | One for Daddy-O by Cannonball Adderley

All summer long, Dara has been going to summer camp for all of the morning and most of the day, which leaves my time with her to a minimum... Drag as it has been, she has been having a great summer with lots to talk about and new skills under her belt. This last week, there was no summer camp, so we've been able to just hang out together to ride our bikes, hike in the woods, ice cream runs... I know she is getting to an age where she'd rather hang out with friends and do the gossipy things girls her age do and most all, to my chagrin, talk about boys... I've been told by my friends with girls a bit older than she that this time would come... I hope I'm ready!

So though I'd like to spend the last few days of summer vacation with her alone, she got to go with one of her best friends to Oaks Park Amusement Park to do whatever they wanted. Roller Coasters, other rides that would make me vomit, ice cream cones and lots of girl talk as they waited for their turn to get on the rides, ensued. As the evening was ending, they got to go an a ride, not unlike a ferris wheel, but could rotate 360º in a cage called the Rock O Plane. Since no one was waiting in line to go on, the operator of the ride asked if the rider would like to stay on or get off. 4 more times they went without having to get out and start over... No thanks!

So as school approaches, another year starting, one level of growing up surpassed, we go into another. 9 years old and 4th grade... Here she comes!

August 27, 2008

August 23, 2008

August 23, 1924

I've heard that lots of people pass close to their birth day. So it was for my Mom. She would have been 84, today.

So to deal with my Mom's death, I've been trying to stay busy, but still let the grieving take its course. I had one dream this past week where I was sleeping and heard my Mom's pitter patter footsteps in her slippers walking along the linoleum floor like when I was a kid. The rhythm can only be make by a little Japanese woman. I suddenly woke up expecting to see her...

Almost any conversation I have about my Mom brings on a tear. It won't matter where I am or what I'm doing...

I was driving in the car, listening to music running an errand and something on the radio reminded me of my Mom. I started crying like a blubbering baby.

Ha, even as I write this I can feel the tears coming. It isn't necessarily sadness, I don't think. I have lots of happy memories that can keep me going for a long time. It is just that she is gone... OK, it is the meloncholy...

August 15, 2008

Japanese Origami Cranes...

There is a Japanese folk tale about making 1000 origami cranes so you may have a healthy life, marriage, wish... When my Mom was told of her situation, she started making them, not with the intention of making 1000 of them so she could survive, but to give to people who crossed her path. She gave them to friends, neighbors in her retirement complex, nurses, doctors, even people at the pharmacy. My sister told me during a previous visit,she would see her origami cranes all over the place... My Mom told each recipient that the Crane represented a long an happy life...

When I visited my Mom in July, she made a special crane for Dara. I thought it would be nice to photograph her with her own crane. It is kept in her jewelry box with its own partition...

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