counter customizable free hit




civilized ku # 3010 / triptych #24-25 ~ urban flora

Red patio set ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
urban flora ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
urban flora ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen

If I were in Pittsburgh for an extended length of time (7+ days without any pressing social commitments), now or in the future, I believe that the picturing project I primarily engage with would be that of urban flora. The reason is simple - most of the neighborhoods in the city of Pittsburgh are rife with the unfettered growth of chaotic scrub, most notably, but certainly not limited to kudzu.

The reason's for this phenomenon are many but chief amongst them are the hilly topography of the city with many steep uninhabitable ravines and hillsides and the spread of urban decay which accompanied the collapse of the steel industry and the subsequent loss of population - between 1970-1990 the city lost over 30% of its population.

In any event, I'm heading out to see what I can see with my eye and sensibilities attuned to urban flora.
Posted on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:36AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis | CommentsPost a Comment

civilized ku # 3008-09 ~ looking for a photo op / found the best one

For Best Photo Op ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Almost Famous / Wow! ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen

I didn't post an entry yesterday 'cause I was out and about and looking for some photo ops. In fact, I did find one that was advertised as "The Best". Guess it was my lucky day .... that and my brush with the Almost Famous. Wow! What a day.

More Pittsburgh entries tomorrow.
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2015 at 12:33PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

kitchen life # 75 / diptych # 192 (trees) ~ think about your troubles

tea bag tag ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
trees ~ Essex, NY / Jay, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Off to Pittsburgh, PA for 5 days to see some friends and have Thanksgiving with law-school girl. I'll be making some Pittsburgh pictures and posting every day.

Meanwhile, consider listening to this song while looking at the tea bag tag picture.
Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 08:46AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis | CommentsPost a Comment

kitchen sink # 31 / diptych # 190 / diptych # 191 (trees) ~ thinking about light

pots and pans / reflections ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
red and blue ~ Marquis theater / Middlebury College • Middlebury, VT. • click to embiggen
trees ~ Manhattan, NYC / near Union Falls, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

While I continue with the monumental task of choosing 5-7 tree pictures - from over 80 such pictures - for submission to and consideration for the juried In Celbratiopn of Trees exhibition, I still continue to make pictures of those things, wherever I may encounter them, which prick my eye and sensibilities. Quite obviously, the life in my kitchen and kitchen sink continue to present (to my eye and sensibilities) referents which hit me where I live, picture making wise.

One of the interesting things about the kitchen in general and the kitchen sink in particular is how, over the course of the year, the light entering through the kitchen window changes from season to season. The change is most notable in the direction of the light as the sun sinks lower or rises higher in the southern sky as the seasons progress throughout the year. The color quality of the light changes as well but the changes are rather subtle in character.

It has occurred to me, if the desire ever became manifest, that I could create a still life - which could be duplicated over and over in the exact same sink location or on a kitchen counter - and picture it (over and over, from the exact same POV) throughout the year (once a month?). To be really descriptive, re: the changes in the light, the pictures most likely should be made at the exact same time of day and in all kinds of weather. To make the project really comprehensive and diverse, it would make sense to chose 4-5 different window locations about the house and replicate (with different still life arrangements and referents) the exercise in each location.

A significant part of what would make this project interesting, at least to me, is that I have become very aware how the changes, over the seasons, in the light entering the house through different windows effects and affects my perceptions about the seasons of the year. I find it very interesting that I don't need to go outside or even look outside a window to sense and feel the change of seasons.

Maybe it's time to start a picture making experiment with a single window and a single still life (which can remain intact for a few months to half a year) in order to see what happens, picture wise.
Posted on Monday, November 23, 2015 at 10:14AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , , | Comments1 Comment

diptych # 187-89 (trees) / kitchen sink # 31 ~ some thoughts on B&W

kitchen sink / dirty water ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
birch ~ somewhere in Connecticut / near Swastika, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
birch ~ Battery Park - Manhattan, NYC / Au Sable River near Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
trees ~ Lake Champlain shoreline/ Peru, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

As I have been making tree diptychs, which, BTW, are NOT my intended end product, it occurred to me after snooping around on the interweb that, when a tree is the primary visual referent in a picture, a B&W conversion is an interesting option.

I come to that conclusion because the overwhelming majority of trees, trunk wise, have no real color and what color they do have is primarily monochromatic. In addition, tree trunks usually exhibit a high degree of texture. Consequently, the combination of the monochromatic and textural characteristics of tree trunks is a fine referent for a B&W approach to picturing them. But, here's the caveat ....

.... not any old conversion from color to B&W will do.

Inasmuch as I have had a fair amount of experience, back in the good ol' days of B&W film, with using Wratten filters - green red, yellow, blue - to accentuate / de-accentuate the B&W tonal values of colors found in a scene, I am having a fair amount of success using the Image > Adjustments > Black and White color specific sliders tool in Photoshop. And Holy Digital Darkroom, Batman, the color based sliders are essentially infinitely adjustable Wratten filters.

And like so many advantages found in the digital darkroom, I can create a number of different conversion picture files using different color sliders and then blend the results into one final conversion file. That allows me to adjust the tonal values of multiple colors, something that was not possible in the analog film / wet darkroom days.

The net result of this type of B&W conversion can far exceed anything that was possible in the the good ol' days. I suspect Sir Ansel might have thought he had died and gone to heaven - he's most certainly dead but I have no idea were he might be other than in a box in the cold, cold ground - with the amount of control (Zone System on steroids) that he could have had in the B&W digital darkroom.

diptych # 186 ~ congratulations to my inner photographic child

juror's selection / "Alternative Cameras" exhibition • click to embiggen

The wait is over and the results are in (from last evening's mail):


Thank you for submitting your work for PhotoPlace Gallery’s juried "Alternative Cameras" exhibition. Juror Susan Burnstine has chosen 35 photographs for the gallery exhibition, and an additional 40 photographs for display in the Online Gallery on the PhotoPlace Gallery website. It’s a wonderful collection of fine work.

We are very pleased to tell you that your work was selected for display in the Online Gallery.

Juror’s Statement:

Often perfection is a direct result of embracing imperfection. The term “happy accident” has become synonymous with wildly flawed alternative approaches including toy, pinhole and homemade photography, as they frequently rely on elements of chance and luck. But there have been some who have tamed these unpredictable, faulty beasts to yield purely poetic results by letting go of technical control and connecting with their inner photographic child. .

It was great joy to spend time with these wonderfully imperfect images and I applaud everyone who submitted. Having to narrow down a selection for the physical and online exhibits was an immense but gratifying task. In the end, the selected images seamlessly merged consistent aptitude with an element of unpredictable chance, thus creating lyrical results. I congratulate all the selected artists and sincerely thank everyone who submitted such fantastically flawed work. ~ Susan Burnstine

The juror's selections can be viewed HERE

an aside: I must admit that, after viewing the juried selections for the Alternative Cameras: Plastic to Pinhole exhibition, I feel a bit like a stranger in a strange land. Sort of like, what the hell am I doing here in this company of picture making strangers? Because, other than my long-past picture making affair with "flawed alternative approaches" and "letting go of technical control and connecting with [my] inner photographic child" - my decades long use of my SX-70 cameras and film - I have had only a passing interest in making "fantastically flawed work".

As mentioned previously, I have played around with a smattering of pinhole picture making but only as a matter of having a little picture making "fun" with no long term commitment to the process. Nevertheless. I have had, and still do, a continuing interest in viewing "crappy camera" pictures as they fall into my field of vision - meaning that I don't seek them out but instead encounter them on the basis of chance.

All of that written, I have yet to come to grips with my attraction to such pictures other than to note that I like the way "crappy" pictures look. As the exhibition juror wrote, the pictures are visually "poetic", "lyrical" and "dream-like", visual qualities which, in fact (contrary to my chosen genre of picture making - "straight" picture making), do prick my eye and sensibilities.

Perhaps, in an effort to come to grips with the genre, I have to think of alternative camera pictures not as photographs but, rather, as images made with the photographic process. Images which indeed create a "idiosyncratic and deeply personal visual landscape" but which stands in direct contrast to the medium's intrinsic and inseparable relationship to and as a cohort of the real.

I don't think it's a stretch to write that I need that bit of a dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin rationalization - i.e. images, not photographs - to comes to terms with my like of the "crappy" pictures made with "crappy" cameras. That way I won't feel like I have betrayed and abandoned my long held picture making beliefs and M.O.

diptych # 185 / civilized ku # 3007 ~ trees and rain

pool cover / rain ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
trees ~ Manhattan, NYC / Upper Jay, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 09:41AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , , | Comments1 Comment

civilized ku # 3006 / diptych # 184 ~ more trees

bathroom cabinet ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
trees ~ Manhattan, NY / Mt. Jo - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

I am working out my trees editing by creating diptychs which place a picture of urban tree with a picture of a natural environment tree.

Comments are always appreciated.
Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next 8 Entries