Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

The new year is upon us. I've heard many times that as you get older the years pass much more quickly. This is the year for me that I really believe this to be true. It's been a hectic year from a job standpoint and from a photography standpoint I think it's been pretty hectic as well.

I moved much more towards film this year and found photography enjoyable again. Some of my all time favorite images were made this year and I really believe it's because I approached photography so differently. I spent a lot less time in front of the computer. I really enjoyed picking up the film from the lab and enjoyed exploring new cameras and finding the fun again.

This year I also found a lot of sites that I enjoy going to on a regular basis. There are those that I am sure many have already heard about like Chase Jarvis, 2point8 and Joe Riefer - Words. I've either highlighted these before or linked to them in some fashion. But there are a few I want to highlight going into the new year.

The first one is Scott Dickerson out of Alaska. He shoots in some crazy conditions and surfs in the winter swell that evidently hits the Alaskan coast. Who knew! Check out his site for some enjoyable images of the Alaskan life.

I love to see images from around the world. Tewfic El-Sawy runs The Travel Photographer blog. He finds new and wonderful photojournalism images along with travel photographers from around the world. He is doing such a service to the community in posting these sites and I can't begin to imagine how I would find these sites without this blog.

Jeff Singer is a photographer in San Francisco. I love his images and his writing. It's definitely worth checking out.

I doubt if there is anyone that reads this blog (other than family) that hasn't heard about the Strobist. This guy has taken the lighting with flash thing to the masses and has probably single handily helped to improve the quality of images on flickr. If you haven't checked him out, and you want to learn how to use strobes off camera, it's well worth the read of his Lighting 101 course.

And finally I'd like to point you to David Tejada. He's a photographer out in Colorado that puts videos together to show what it's like on his shoots. I'm sure it's very time consuming and certainly a time sink. But, in the spirit of Chase Jarvis and the Strobist, he shares his knowledge willingly with the community.

To everyone that reads this blog; Thank You for coming by this year. It's very much appreciated and I hope you come back in 2008. Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Stay Another Day

There is no image today. Just a link to a David Alan Harvey entry.

As photographers I suppose it's sometimes innate that we want to document the lives of those around us. I know that it does for me and it's usually at the expense of those around me and those I love. It's much more personal.

If you aren't a photographer it may be difficult to understand this need to impede upon the personal, private and intimate moments that are difficult to share. But it's my belief that in the passage of time those images will represent memories, that in retrospect will be sentimental, heartfelt, and in some cases, necessary.

I struggle with this in my own family... with my own images. How much should I photograph? How far should I go? Difficult and unanswered questions.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Airport

I spend too much time in airports. This year, on a variety of airlines, I traveled about 130,000 miles. There were 8 trips to the UK, countless trips up to the Bay Area, a couple to Idaho and several to Seattle. I know some people that travel more than that but I don't know how they do it.

I received Gary Winograd's book “Arrivals & Departures” this year as a gift, and considering how much time I spend in airports, I was inspired to try it myself. His airport photographs span a 25 year period. I've got a long way to go, and frankly, will never reach that milestone. But what I did gather from looking at the Winograph monograph was that he photographed everything. I read somewhere that he had over 6000 rolls of film undeveloped at his death in 1984. He was famous for photographing everything, and yet, once he exposed the film it seems that he would wait a year to view the images. I wait but it's mostly a matter of time and convenience for me.

Anyway, this is one of the few images I like. As a standalone image it means little but over time it might fit into a cohesive body of work. Who knows?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Jay Maisel

I got a chance to hear Jay Maisel speak at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego on Tuesday evening. I've seen him speak once before and he's quite engaging. His photography is something that I gain inspiration from and I would say he is one of my influencers.

Before the presentation started I had a chance to go through the current exhibit. Several things stood out. Most of the prints were either traditional silver gelatin prints or chromogenic prints. There was one print that was a combination of MIS and Lysonic prints on tissue paper in a wax encaustic. It was translucent and I enjoyed seeing that particular print. It was done by Mike and Doug Starn.

There was a couple of prints by Alec Soth. The prints were 20x30 I would say (I didn't make a notation of the size) and were full of detail. I'm sure I've seen a print made from an 8x10 negative at some point in my life but I don't recall. This was just cool to see.

Michael Kenna had 4 prints hanging and his silver gelatin prints were something to see. They were sepia toned and work from the late 1990's. I love his work so it was a real treat to see some images first hand. There was other work there but frankly, even with my notes, none of it really stands out in my mind two days later.

Mr. Maisel spoke about light, color and gesture. He showed a lot of work. It was encouraging to see how much work he showed. Some of it I'm sure wouldn't normally be seen but he used images as examples of particular points he wanted to make. Most of these images were important images to him. I got the feeling that was how he selected what he showed. That was encouraging to me because it seems to be the way I select images.

If you've ever heard him speak, attended a workshop or seen some of the stuff he's done on the net for his sponsors, you've probably heard him talk about “visual pushups.” He talked about this a bit but the essence of his message was to have fun and always carry your camera. As he said, and I'm paraphrasing here; If I have my camera I don't have to go out and shoot.

He also talks about not having preconceived notions about what you want to accomplish when you do go out. He showed several examples of this along with telling stories behind some of the selected images. I'm a sucker for the story behind the image and I usually find them fascinating. Mr. Maisel has a very engaging personality and is very entertaining. It works very well in my opinion and made for a good evening of photography.

This is an image from Palm Springs as I walked back from a day doing something I can't recall. I had seen the image the night before but didn't have a camera with me. I had it with me the next day when we walked past the store front. I think it's Portra 160VC but can't remember. By the way, I heard the other day that this film is being discontinued. Another Kodak film bites the dust.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Pop's Shop

A couple of years ago we went back to Kentucky to visit my family. Every time I go I think I will do some grand family documentary project and every time I fail. On this particular trip I headed out to Pop's shop to see what I could see and try to make a record.

This is Pop's toolbox from his 20 year stint in the Air Force. As a kid it was pretty well known that my brother and I should stay out of the tool box. As boys will do, we seemed to find reasons to get into the tool box despite the rules. I saw the toolbox and it immediately brought back a flood of memories. I'm not the most mechanically inclined; that was the realm of my father and brother. But it did bring back memories as a kid of getting the tool box out to set up my first darkroom, build a few sets and it's usefulness for some of my early photographic experiments.

This was shot digitally and converted in Photoshop to B&W. I toned it a bit as well to give me a feel of the nostalgia that I felt as I roamed the shop.