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Entries in civilized ku, manmade landscape (1176)

civilized ku # 2636 ~ making art

Making art in the cold ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Met a painter making art in Pittsburgh. It was cold. So we talked about making art gear. In this case, the thinnest yet warm gloves to use when making art in the cold.

Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 02:13PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

civilized ku # 2533-35 ~ history/memories

Twas the night before turkey and all through the house, expectation was stirring and no one got soused ... ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Turkey ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Post turkey ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen

Memory demands an image. ~ Bertrand Arthur William Russell

The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant. ~ Salvador Dali

Posted on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 10:47AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | Comments1 Comment

civilized ku # 2532 ~ be and wannabe

The wife + the daughter ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
The wife's a lawyer and the daughter's a wannabe. The daughter is in lawyer school studying to be one.

It's the present and the future all in one picture.

Posted on Friday, November 29, 2013 at 12:15PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

civilized ku # 2627-31 ~ out of town

Blooms Cigar store ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Santa Baby ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Pastrami + cheese + fries + cole slaw / Primanti Bros. ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Sid the Kid speaks to the faithful ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Pre-game warmups / Pittsburgh Penguins ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Wednesday in the Burg: a procurement visit to Blooms, a walk down East Carson, lunch at Primanti Bros., and a Penguin game (300th consecutive sellout) with Hugo. A good day. Thursday (today)in the Burg, it's turkey day with the wife, the son (Cinemascapist), his the wife, Hugo, Jimmi Nuffin, and the daughter who is in law school at Dusquesne University here in Pittsburgh. Another good day. Pictures tomorrow.

Posted on Thursday, November 28, 2013 at 04:22PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

civilized ku # 2626 ~ look, see, and react - throw caution to the wind

Transformer ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggen
Jason Landry, when asked: If you were advising a young photographer today, what would your words of wisdom be? His answer, in an interview on LENSCRATCH, was:

Stop worrying about the nature, design or qualifications of your equipment. Master your equipment so you know how to get the shot you want, but above all, search for the reason to be taking pictures. Why are you taking pictures? Why do we shoot pictures? ... You must master your craft and then put it aside and concentrate on the more difficult aspect of the work. What is it that you want to do with that craft? What do you want to express? What do you want to explore? What do you want to find out? What do you want to present to people? Those are the issues that you have to search for.

IMO, when searching for those issues, one must throw cautions / fears to the winds and start making pictures of what is in front of you - just look, see, and react. Do so with an open mind - dismissing all thoughts of what is or is not a "proper" subject for picture making - and the answers to all of Landry's questions surely will follow.

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 06:56PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | Comments1 Comment

diptych # 54 / civilized ku # 2625 ~ action packed week

High Peaks late day sunlight ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggen
Birch w berries ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggen
Haven't posted an entry since last Tuesday because I haven't had a working computer since last Wednesday. Fortunately, I had an extra Mac Pro sitting around and, after a calming 3 day / 2 night visit in Lake Placid (Thurs. - Sat.), a bit of troubleshooting, a couple of hard drive swaps, a system update, software re-installs, and all around general arm wrestling with the computer, I'm up and running again.

Well, maybe not running, but at least walking at a rather brisk pace. Still gotta face monitor calibration and updated print drivers and ICC profiles.

Added bonus excitement - upon our return home on Saturday, after 5 weeks of being missing in action, one of our cats, Edison-Ron, was impatiently waiting for us on our front porch, skinny as a rail, but appearing none the worse for wear (later confirmed by a visit to the vet). Man, if only cats could talk.

Posted on Monday, November 18, 2013 at 06:43PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

civilized ku # 2623-24 ~ feeling(s) / meaning(s)

Summac and shed ~ Clintonville, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggen
Railroad yard shed ~ Phonicia, NY - in the Catskill Park • click to embiggen
Over the past week or so, I have read 2 essays - Daniel Reuter’s History of the Visit and The Challenge of Photography (the order in which they appeared) - by Jörg M. Colberg as found on his website, Conscientious Photography Magazine. IMO, both are well worth your time to read and contemplate.

In Daniel Reuter’s History of the Visit (a project profile), Colberg wrote:

It is quite the irony that the seemingly most descriptive of all media can so successfully obfuscate a narrative, while, at the same time, making it so obvious ... Reuter’s photographs come across directly onto the nervous system. They transport feeling more than they transport information. They transport an atmosphere, a discontent, a confusion. They do their best to resist descriptive approaches to them. The viewer needs to feel them more than to look at them .... They are just like the feelings we all have, feelings that are so familiar, yet that feel so relevant and fresh every single day.

In The Challenge of Photography (general thoughts on the medium and its apparatus), Colberg introduced the concept of defamiliarization, the artistic technique of presenting to audiences common things in an unfamiliar or strange way, in order to enhance perception of the familiar:

The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. The technique of art is to make objects ‘unfamiliar,’ to make forms difficult (in order) to increase the difficulty and length of perception because the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged .... A work is created “artistically” so that its perception is impeded and the greatest possible effect is produced through the slowness of the perception. ~ Viktor Shklovsky in his essay “Art as Device".

In other words, defamiliarization serves as a means to force individuals to slow down and recognize artistic language. And, is it not "artistic language" which, in the best of applications, helps a viewer of art discover the feeling(s) / meaning(s) to be had (in our case) in a picture?

I make pictures which tend "to resist descriptive approaches to them". I do so in order to encourage, one might even say "force", an interested and inquisitive viewer to take the time to "get into them". The frequent result is, for those who slow down and take the time, an emerging sense of the feeling(s) / meaning(s) I hope to convey with my work. This is especially so, upon repeated viewing of a given picture.

Case in point: I am making a POD book of pictures from our extended stay at Rist Camp*. One purpose for the book is to send a copy to the current owner's mother - the camp has been in the family for almost 100 years - who is now bedridden and under home care. Our hope is to bring her some pleasant and comforting memories of her time - a lifetime - spent at the camp. In addition and at the wife's suggestion / insistence, it is also our intent to send a framed print of my morning peaches picture.

The morning peaches picture is one of 3 Rist Camp pictures hanging on our bedroom wall above the headboard of our bed. At first viewing, the wife sorta liked it but was not enamored thereof. However, after repeated viewing (everyday) of the picture, she gradually came to experience a glimpse of the feeling(s) / meaning(s) to be had for her in the picture - she spent a fair amount of time at the kitchen sink / window and came to the realization it (the picture) spoke directly to her feeling(s) of being there.

The wife also became especially aware of the fact morning peaches could engender similar feeling(s) / meaning(s) for any woman (or, IMO, anyone) who had also spent significant time in that specific place. Therefore, IHO (and I agree), morning peaches, of all the pictures I made at Rist Camp, was the one which we think might most convey pleasant and comforting feeling(s) / meaning(s) to the owner's mother.

Or not.

It's always possible the picture will annoy the living hell out of the owner's mother. She might associate the kitchen / kitchen sink with drudgery and misery. In that event, the picture will still convey feeling(s) / meaning(s) but not the one(s) the wife and I hope she experiences, but ....

.... as Colberg noted in The Challenge of Photography:

.... A photograph thus is not necessarily a document or fact, and it’s certainly not “the truth” (whatever that term might mean). It is a truth, one truth out of many others, a personal truth: The photographer’s. To assume that this truth then automatically translates into a larger truth is foolish. It might, or it might not.

And that, my dear friends, is the wonder and mystery of picture making - despite the fact the medium and its apparatus is the most accurately descriptive of all art mediums, it nevertheless opens a window on the world replete with views of feeling(s) / meaning(s) as diverse and personal as there are those who make pictures and as there are those who observe them.

*for those unfamiliar with Rist Camp, click HERE to see pictures.

Posted on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 05:36PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

civilized ku # 2622 ~ gun guys and a baby

After hunting ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack Park • click to embiggen
Big game hunting season - in these here parts, big game = deer + bear - is in full swing and Saturday night was dinner at a friends house. I sat in the kitchen while the gun shooting guys spoke huntingese, the babies - there were 2 - did what babies do and the women avoided /ignored the huntingese like they would the plague.

FYI, I shoot only pictures.

Posted on Monday, November 11, 2013 at 05:18PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment