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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..

>>>> Comments, commentary and lively discussions, re: my writings or any topic germane to the medium and its apparatus, are vigorously encouraged.

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Entries in civilized ku, manmade landscape (1505)


civilized ku # 3090-95 ~ immitation / flattery

looking like Leiter ~MAnhattan / NYC click to embiggen

During my recent 2 visits to NYC - after acquiring a Saul Leiter book during my first visit - I turned my eye and sensibilities (and camera) to making Leiter-style pictures. Pictures in which the referents and the look paid a certain amount of homage to Leiter's picture making sensibilities. For the record, I was not attempting to emulate precisely Leiter's work but to make pictures - with my unique vision - which would not be mistaken for Leiter's pictures but rather with a resemblance thereto.

But here's the interesting thing - I based my idea on the look of Leiter's work from the reproduction of his work in his Early Color book. After acquiring the 2nd Leiter book (during my 2nd recent visit), Colors, I was rather surprised to discover a significant difference in color and tonal values, re: pictures printed in both books, from one book to the other.

So, the question arose, which reproduction constituted the most accurate representation of the original pictures? Not having had the experience of viewing any of his original prints, I have no frame of reference to make a judgement regarding which book is most accurate.

If I had to make an educated guess, my money's on the Colors book. The color and tonal values in that book are much 'cleaner'. More along the lines of what I would expect from pictures from the era in which they were made. In addition to the cleaner look, there is decidedly more detail in the deep shadow areas of the pictures which leads me to believe that the first book got it wrong.

All of that written, I nevertheless believe that many of my Leiter-like pictures are a reasonable homage to man and his work.

civilized ku # 3089 ~ touchdown Jesus

Hugo / Touchdown Jesus - iPhone picture ~ UND / South Bend, Ind. • click to embiggen

Over the years I have attended many football games (American-style) at the U of Notre Dame so I am well aware that, if you sit high-ish up in or near the south end of the stadium, so-called Touchdown Jesus projects a commanding visual presence looming over the top of the north end of the stadium.

The picture in this entry of Hugo and TD Jesus represents 4 generations of Hobson visits to UND - my father took me to many games, I took my son (aka: The Cinemascapist) to UND to play hockey and now I and my son are at UND - where he was selected to participate in an elite hockey training and competition camp with Hugo.

Apparently visiting UND has become a family tradition.

civilized ku # 3088 ~ all I want ...

all I want ~ East Village/ Manhattan, NYC click to embiggen

All the little sweetie pie in the wall art wants is everything. That's also what I want - all I want is everything to work as it is supposed to work, re; making entries here on Squarespace.

As it currently stands, SS has provided me with yet another workaround, albeit rather clunky as opposed to the former 1 click and done method. However, this new method - supposedly temporary - does not open the enlarged image in a separate window /tab and consequently, I am not able to set the window dimensions (with scrollbars) to match that of the enlarged image.

iMo, this results in a very inelegant presentation. Unfortunately, it will have to do until SS fixes the problem or I get my WordPress site set up the way I want it to be.

So, click to embiggen is back although it requires the use of the back button to return to the page from which it came.

diptych # 214 / civilized ku # 3087 ~ a different look

window displays ~ Manhattan, NYC, NY - • click to embiggenmop bucket ~ Les 4 Glace (ice rink) / Brassard, Qc., CA - • click to embiggen

It may be a while before my blog is ready for prime time on WordPress. I need to figure out a bunch of stuff (layout, making entries, etc.) and I am uncertain as to when I might find the time to do so - leaving tomorrow for the University Notre Dame and shortly after my return the wife and I are leaving for a couple weeks in Ireland and Scotland.


I may have a bit of non-hockey downtime at UND to utilize in working on WP stuff but in the meantime Squarespace has given me a workaround to resizing images for display but without a popup enlargement. With that workaround and by switching to a template style which allows for larger display images, I will continue to post here until; 1) I get Wp sorted out, or, 2) until (if or when) SS figures out what the hell the problem is with resizing (to include a popup).

In any event, during my recent NYC visit I visited my favorite used book store and found a different Saul Leiter book - not the Early Color book - titled Colors. I believe the book was the catalog for a 2011 Leiter exhibition at Musée de l'Élysée in Lausanne, Switzerland.

While the book / exhibition featured all of the pictures as in the Early Color book, there are a few of those printed larger than in Early Color and there are also some additional pictures which were not in Early Color. And, as I discovered after purchasing and unwrapping the book (new unused book), the book contained a Saul Leiter interview.

In that interview there was a paragraph in which Leiter talked about his picturing M.O. - one which is remarkably similar to my own (read my recent entry, civilized ku # 3085 / diptych-213 ~ black and white and red all over, not to mention references to my fascination with picturing the commonplace found throughout this blog):

I take photographs in my neighborhood. I think that mysterious things things happen in familiar places. We don't always need to run to the other end of the world. I like ambiguity in a photograph. I like it when one is not certain of what one sees. When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture, and we do not know what we are looking at it, all of a sudden sudden, we discover sometime that we start seeing.


Other than a feeling of validation, re; my picturing M.O., another quote came to mind when reading Leiter's words:


"'s been quite some time since I read an artist speak so eloquently and clearly about the world beyond his/(her) own asshole. ~ Bill Jay



AN ASIDE: FYI, one of the reasons MAST BOOKS (66 Ave. A, NYC) is my favorite used book store is that the price of this recent purchase of a new unused out-of-print book was well below the current market price (anywhere from $93.00 - $1,041.86 USD). Also, it doesn't hurt that the store is literally right around the corner from my good friend's place where I stay when in NYC.


civilized ku # 3086 ~ testing, testing

dead flowers ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Off to Manhattan for yet another extended weekend away from home - no hockey, just for pleasure. Starting 3 weekend ago and ending the first weekend in June, I will not have been home on a weekend for 10 weeks - this weekend in NYC, next weekend in South Bend, Indiana (U of Notre Dame for hockey), followed by 16 days in Ireland / Scotland (one day in London between the 2 countries), and ending in Pittsburgh, PA on the first weekend in June for the daughter's graduation from law school.

During the NYC visit I will be conducting a test run of picture processing on my new iPad Air 2. The device was purchased (to replace an aging 1st Gen iPad) for our upcoming trip to Ireland and Scotland. We don't want to lug around our laptop on the trip inasmuch as we have plenty enough other devices - phone, cameras, etc. - to haul around. It is my intention to continue posting entries while on the trip, so I'll most likely process a picture or 2 and post an entry just as a test while in NYC.

My primary photo editor on the iPad is Photoshop Express. After giving it a try, it seems to do an adequate job of editing pictures. At least good enough for posting pictures on the fly. As always, I will perform the 'real' processing / editing upon my return home, at which time I'll undoubtedly have a whole lot of pictures to process.

civilized ku # 3085 / diptych # 213 ~ black and white and red all over

red coat ~ Manhattan, NYC, NY • click to embiggen
reds and neutrals ~ Manhattan, NYC, NY / Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Over my years of viewing and making pictures, I have come to the conclusion that the pictures which best prick my eye and sensibilities are those about which it could be asked, why'd you make a picture of that? Pictures which could have been made by Captain Obvious tend to leave me bored to the point of picture viewing death /tears.

And conversely, when my pictures are viewed, the highest compliment / comment that I like to hear is, I don't know why I like this picture, but I do. Most often that statement is made by a viewer who is puzzled by his/her appreciation of a why'd-you-make-a-picture-of-that? picture. And that statement is often followed by another - I would never have taken a picture of that. Hence, the confusion.

I believe I know the appropriate reply to both statements although I always hesitate to provide such information to a bewildered viewer of my pictures for fear of the explanation being perceived as an insult ....

... iMo (and experience), I feel confident in writing that the appreciation / "like" of a I-would-never-have-taken-a-picture-of-that picture is rooted more in the subconscious mind, rather than in the conscious mind, of the viewer. What they are responding to on a subconscious level is the rhyme and rhythm (concordant or discordant / pleasing or unsettling) of the relationships of shapes, tones, color (most prominent amongst other picture qualities) and their framing as presented on the 2-dimension surface of the print. Because this is a non conscious thought on the viewer's radar, the puzzlement is the result of liking a picture of what they would consider to be a non picture-worthy referent.

Therein lies the dilemma for most picture makers who attempt, in many cases unsuccessfully, to make pictures of I-would-never-have-taken-a-picture-of-that referents. What they lack in the attempt is a sense - the more refined the better - of the relationships of shapes, tones, color (most prominent amongst other picture qualities) and their framing as seen by the camera's eye and subsequently presented on the 2-dimension surface of the print.

Can that sense be learned? I have my doubts simply due to the fact that I have encountered a number of picture makers who 'have it' and an even greater number of those who don't. Nevertheless, those who don't can have some success in developing that sense if they start out picturing by the 'rules' - the rules of composition and the like. Once understood and successfully applied, they can then set out about trying to figure out how to break the rules and move on to making pictures of what they see as opposed to making picture of what they have been told - the what and the how - is a good picture.

single women # 34 ~ dreadlocks

single woman ~ Les 4 Glaces rink - Brassard, Qc, CA • click to embiggen


civilized ku # 3084 ~ local hero

The Northern Vermont Wildcats '04 Premier Elite hockey team won the Montreal AAA Spring Showdown Tournament this weekend past. In the Championship game Hugo had 2 points including the game winning goal. He was/is a happy dude.

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