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This blog is intended to showcase my pictures or those of other photographers who have moved beyond the pretty picture and for whom photography is more than entertainment - photography that aims at being true, not at being beautiful because what is true is most often beautiful..

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Entries in civilized ku, manmade landscape (1485)


diptych # 209 / civilized ku # 3067 ~ getting out of town

paper mill ~ Glens Falls, NY • click to embiggen
Adirondack Thunder hockey game ~ Glens Falls, NY • click to embiggen

Off to south Jersey in a couple hours for a birthday party. Should have plenty of car time - 12-14 hours worth - to contemplate on what the Instagram thing is all about. Fill you in on Monday.

diptych # 208 ~ chased by the light

early / mid-morning Spring light ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

A handful of the medium's heavy-hitters / superstars are gravitating to Instagram as their preferred medium of choice, displaying their pictures wise. No less than Stephen Shore has stated that his Instagram feed is his main photographic outlet.

According to a NY Times LENS blog article, Shore is highly invested in Instagram and he shoots regularly, using Instagram like a sketchbook, posting one picture daily, always something made within the past week.

Shore's involvement with Instagram is such that he, along a few others, founded a new publishing venture - a quarterly periodical, Documentum - wherein they turn digital into analog. The first edition - limited to 1000 copies (I have ordered mine) - was accompanied by an exhibition at an Atlanta art gallery where prints made of Instagram pictures "sold like hotcakes".

For the record, Documentum is "a guest-curated periodical archiving and examining cultural phenomena" so it might be safe to assume that it won't always be devoted to publishing Instagram pictures. However, if you wish to see the current crop of Instagram pictures as selected by the folks at Documentum, they can be viewed at

Re: what's it all mean? - I'll have some thoughts on that question within the next couple days.

kitchen life # 86 and some objects up close~ hidden in plain sight

red cabbage ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
some objects up close ~ • click to embiggen

A new body of work, tentatively called Objects, is, like a number of previously 'discovered' bodies of work, emerging from my picture library because I was searching for some pictures to submit for consideration / acceptance to a juried exhibition. In this case, the exhibition theme is Up Close and Personal.

Inasmuch as the hallmarks of my picture making are: 1) discursive, and, 2) promiscuous, with only a few exceptions I do not make pictures which ascribe to only a specific theme. Rather, over time, I have recognized that I have quite a number of pictures which could be organized into distinctly separate bodies of work.

However, once I have recognized a specific theme, I will continue to keep my eye attuned to making pictures which contribute to that particular thematic body of work. Nevertheless, I find it nearly impossible to choose just one body of work and concentrate my picturing to that single theme. I just can't do it because I see pictures everywhere without regard to specific referents.

That written, I am very pleased that I receive notices from a couple different sources of thematic exhibitions to which I can submit pictures. While I have had reasonable success in having pictures accepted into various exhibits, for me the real payoff is being pushed into looking at my picture library with thematic organization in mind.

I would highly recommend getting on email lists for exhibition opportunities even if you have no intent on submitting pictures for consideration. If nothing else, you might discover 'hidden' bodies of work which are, in fact, 'hidden' in plain sight.

FYI, you can read about the # 1 less than shining moment of my commercial picturing career in my Featured Comment on TOP.

kitchen life # 85 ~ wherein the wife makes art

spaghetti art ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
The wife made a mess but I liked what I saw.


viewmatic # 6 / civilized ku # 3064-66 ~ be prepared for anything

viewfinder fake fruit ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
very warm late day sun on fake fruit # 1 ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
very warm late day sun on fake fruit # 2 ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
very warm late day sun on fake fruit # 3 ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen

Another prime example of f8 and be there inasmuch as the window of opportunity for the making of these pictures was here and gone in matter of just 1-2 minutes. Just enough time to see it, grab a camera, frame it (x3) and click the shutter (x3).

FYI, I was able to beat the buzzer for 3 reasons, all of which fall under the banner of be prepared:

reason # 1 - I most always keep my eyes wide open and my mind alert for picture making possibilities cuz you can't make a picture of what you don't see. Like in hockey - 100% of the pucks you don't shoot don't go in the net. So, in hockey as well as picture making, the moral of the story is the same. Shoot, shoot, shoot and then shoot some more.

reason # 2 - I always have a camera close at hand. Actually, I almost always have 3 cameras at hand, each with a different focal length prime lens - 12mm (24mm/35mm equiv), 20mm (40mm/35mm equiv), and 45mm (90mm/35mm equiv). In most I-need-camera-quick cases, the camera with the 20mm lens is the one I grab.

reason # 3 - Since most of my picture making is accomplished with the same camera / prime lens combination, framing a referent is easy inasmuch as I tend to see stuff as framed, or, at least reasonably close to how I end up actually framing a referent in a picture. In a sense, it's an good example of familiarity breeds contempt content, or, if you prefer, content(s).

All of that written, what it all comes down to is rather simple. Keep your eyes open and know your camera/lens like the back of your hand in order to use the combination instinctually. That is to write, to use your tools with as little conscious thought as possible - thought that can get in the way of picturing the feeling of what you see.

At least that is how I see it.

diptych # 207 / civilized ku # 3062-63 ~ something to THINX about

subway station poster ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
late night subway riders ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen
late night subway rider ~ New York, NY • click to embiggen

One never knows what one might encounter / see during a late night NYC subway ride ...

... late Tuesday evening, around midnight, while returning to Manhattan from Brooklyn (where Hugo and I had attended a Penguins / Islanders hockey game) on a nearly empty subway train / car, I encountered a scene of loneliness and (perhaps) desperation, and, somewhat surprisingly, some truly beautiful art. I feel no need to explain / expand upon what the late night subway riders diptych depicts. However, the art in question calls for a little more information.

Upon disembarking from the subway train in Manhattan, I came upon 10-12 large posters for THINX, a company which makes underwear for women with periods - a product which TIME magazine named to their list of the 25 Best Inventions of 2015. The posters were in a (2) word(s), stunningly beautiful. iMo, a prime of example of advertising art which rises to the level of Fine Art (for many reasons beyond just how they look). As a matter of fact, I am making an inquiry to the company about acquiring a copy of the pictured poster (or maybe the pink grapefruit one - see it in ADWEEK article link below) in order to frame it and hang it on a wall in my house (note to wife - Surprise! And, no, I'm not kidding).

Not surprisingly, when the posters were first introduced, they were deemed by the company which sells subway ad space to be "inappropriate" and they rejected the posters. However, the company's objection was eventually made mute by the NYC MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) when a spokesperson for the agency said simply, "Of course they will be approved." (you can read 2 short articles about the hullabaloo on ADWEEK and Slate).

See more THINX posters.


viewmatic # 5 ~ messing around with the doctor's office

doctor's exam room sink ~Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen


civilized ku # 3061 ~ remains

ice scrapper / flower petals ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

This picture depicts some of the remains of diptych # 203
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