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

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