PICTURE ONLY GALLERY LINKS
The life without the APA pictures are here
The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here
The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects gallery is here
The Decay & Disgust work/book is here
The single women selects/book gallery is here
The picture windows selects/book gallery is here
The kitchen life selects gallery is here
A 10 picture look at Tangles, Thickets, and Twigs ~ fields of visual energy is here
Some people are still unaware that reality contains unparalleled beauties. The fantastic and unexpected, the ever-changing and renewing is nowhere so exemplified as in real life itself. ~ Berenice Abbott
While it can be stated with absolute certainy that my picturing making M.O. revolves around the reality of everyday life, it should be noted that it also defies the common picture making wisdom of finding a vision driven by a specific thing (or things), a referent, which is of particular interest / that which one cares about.
Most often, that authoritative counsel, re: a thing(s), is understood to mean actual tangible things, i.e. people, places, or physical objects, whereas my picture making is driven by an intangible thing - a deep and abiding connection to the concept of the reality of everyday life. Of course, that connection leads me to make pictures of actual everyday things - encounters with real people, places, or objects. However, it is only in rare cases that I truly care about or have a particular interest in those individual people, places, or things.
What I care about most in my picturing making, what drives me to make pictures, is, quite simply, the act of making pictures.
That written, it is true that I have many disparate thematic bodies of work - see my PICTURES ONLY GALLERY LINKS at the top of my blog homepage. However, those bodies of work grew out of my everyday picturing when I realized that, unintentionally, I had thematic work "hidden" within my vast library of pictures (see my most recent "discovery"). It was only when I recognized those thematic connections / patterns that I edited them into separate bodies of work and began, intentionally, to be aware of picturing opportunities that allowed me to add to those separate bodies of work.
However, despite that awareness of thematic picturing opportunities, I rarely venture forth with the conscious intention of making pictures which expand on those bodies of work. That is to write, I venture forth, quite simply, knowing that I will, most often, make pictures of some thing or another and that in so doing I will make some pictures which I will be able to use to expand various individual bodies of work.
Consequently, it is fair to write that my bodies of work grow organically from my primary interest in the medium and its apparatus - my love of just making pictures.
FYI, it is somewhat ironic that, early in my commercial photography career, I was assigned to make a number of contributions to several of Eastman Kodak's Joy of Photography book series. While my contributions to those books were of the how-to / tools-&-techniques variety, it wasn't until later in my picture making life that I came to know the true joy of making pictures.
I am doing a fundraising art show/sale this evening for which I have assembled a series of atmospherics pictures made in the Adirondacks. I have done so in order to present a series of related pictures, body of work style, rather than a hodge-podge of unrelated pictures.
IMO, a body of work will grab and hold a viewer's attention much better than a disparate group of pictures, which, hopefully, will result in more sales. Hopefully, inasmuch as a significant % of sales will go to the sponsoring non-profit organization.
The challenge for me has first been to see things as they are ... In a word, I have tried to be objective. What I mean by objectivity is not the objectivity of a machine, but of a sensible human being with the mystery of personal selection at the heart of it. The second challenge has been to impose order onto the things seen and to supply the visual context and the intellectual framework - that to me is the art of photography. - Berenice Abbott
In his book, THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S EYE, John Szarkowski wrote that "the central act of photography (was) the act of choosing and eliminating". That notion seems to me to be rather elementary and obvious - anyone who picks up a camera to make a picture makes a decision regarding who / what / where at which to point it.
However, Szarkowski went on to state that, in choosing and eliminating, there was more to it than just that. To wit, that the act of choosing and eliminating (Bernice Abbott's personal selection) force a concentration on the picture's edge - the line that separates in from out - and on the shapes that are created by it. Which, in so doing, provides the methodology to accomplishing a successful result, re: Abbott's second challenge to impose order onto the things seen.
IMO, and to my eye and sensibilities, therein is the difference between good and no-so-good pictures. Good pictures most often evince a refined and interesting sense of the relationships, interdependence, and tension of 2D shapes (not to mention color and tonality) to be seen within the boundaries imposed by the frame, aka: the edges of a picture.
Without a doubt, when making a picture, the maker must pay as much attention to the frame he/his chooses to create / impose. Although, it is well worth noting that, in my experience, the paying-attention-to is most often an intuitive rather an intellectual exercise. That is to write, either you see or feel it or you don't.
This past weekend, the wife, my friend Robert, and I went to Beekmantown to tour a new passive solar house (it's visible in the lefthand triptych picture). Conroy's Organics was nearby so we stopped in for a little refreshment and I ended up engaged in staring contest with a herd of Scottish Highland cattle.
Inasmuch as the cattle were showing an inclination to stare at me until the cows came home, the cattle won.
diptych # 102 / civilized ku # 2811-14 / ku #1292-93 ~ the other colors of autumn / singing in the rain
Every year, at this time of the year, I am reminded of Robert Adams' statement, "... cliché, the ten thousandth camera-club imitation of a picture by Ansel Adams." This regurgitated thought is always instigated by my viewing of the ten thousandth camera-club / calendar-art imitation of a picture of the 'spectacular' colors of autumn.
TO BE PERFECTLY CLEAR, I have no problem whatsoever with those picture makers who traverse the landscape, hither and yon, in search of a picture-perfect romanticized leafy landscape picturing opportunity. If such picturing endeavors turn them on, more power to them in their pursuit of picture making arousal. However, that's just not my idea of a picturing aphrodisiac.
One of the guiding principles of my picture making has been - at least since my epiphany, circa 1979, which came from my involvement in the production of the seminal book, The New Color Photography - can best be summarized by the statement, again by Robert Adams:
One standard, then, for the evaluation of art is the degree to which it gives us a fresh intimation of Form. For a picture to be beautiful it does not have to be shocking, but it must in some significant respect be unlike what has preceded it (this is why an artist cannot afford to be ignorant of the tradition within his medium).
IMO, it is nigh unto impossible to make a picture which is "in some significant respect ... unlike what has preceded it" inasmuch as there is some truth to the notion that everything which can be pictured has been pictured. That is to write, if one heeds Adams statement that "an artist cannot afford to be ignorant of the tradition within his medium" by learning about, in our case, the history and traditions of medium of photography, it becomes very apparent that in a broad referential sense, everything has indeed been pictured.
Which, of course, is not to write that, literally, every thing has been pictured but that, in a general sense, there is very little, if any thing at all, which has not served as the referent (or the implied/meaning) in a picture. Which, of course, does not mean that those same referents (and meanings) can not been seen in a new light, both literally and figuratively.
And that's the challenge ... seeing in a way - your personal way - that, if not significantly different from what came before, without resorting to cheap tricks and/or outright imitation.
FYI, I have my very own personal cliche for fall color picturing which, IMO, is rather different from the standard cliche ... picturing, in situ, the foliage in the rain or near-rain conditions and as seen in the everyday world / environment. IMO, picturing in such conditions produces truly intense / saturated (the leaves are in fact, saturated with moisture) colors - that is color without all those nasty bright sun highlights.
Spent the weekend in Rochester, NY attending, with my football classmates / teammates, the 50 year celebration of my school's victory over our arch-rival in the inaugural game between the 2 schools. It was a blast to see guys I hadn't seen in approximately 50 years. We spent a lot of time talking about what we did when we were 17 and a fair amount of time comparing our heart medications. One of my classmates / teammates, Danny Wegman, put on a small gathering (one of four events that weekend) for team members (from both schools) in his showcase restaurant (across the street from his showcase grocery store).
A few days before the weekend, Danny was spotted in his brand new Ferrari. Not just any Ferrari ... while the car is based on the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, Danny went to Italy (to Pininfarina and the Ferrari Special Projects Division) and had the body designed to his specifications, mixing various styling cues from landmark Ferraris past, most specifically the iconic Ferrari 250 GTO. The car has been dubbed as the Ferrari F12 SP America, a true one-off edition.
Although the car is rumored to have cost 3-4 US million dollars, with some sources quoting 4.5 million, that's a good deal given that, a few years down the road, it will probably command 20-30 million on the secondary / auction market. Although, it might have a few door dings if Danny keeps driving to the grocery store and parking it amongst the automotive rabble.