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« the color of street photography - albeit 120 floors up | Main | cicilized ku # 85 ~ the pursuit of happiness »

civilized ku # 86 ~ let's have a little fun

Eating pizza on a duck ~ late night, NYCclick to embiggen
Just recently, I had both the honor and the pleasure of being the sole Juror for the 2008 Nocturnes Biennial Photo Exhibit / Competition.

The opportunity came out of the blue in as much as I am not a night photography guy although I do dabble in it from time to time. That said, a few NPers do visit The Landscapsit and one of them is Tim Baskerville, founder of The Nocturnes, an organization dedicated to night photography. It was Tim who extended the invitation to be the Juror.

The competition is over and I have rendered my verdicts - Best of Show and 2 Honorable Mentions - but I thought it might be fun for all of you out there to take a look at the exhibit / entries, pick your own BoS and HMs, and then share those choices with the rest of us here on The Landscapist.

I would truly like to read your thoughts on this genre of the medium.

So, don't be shy. Take a look at the exhibit entries (no peeking at my choices first) and let us know what you think.

Reader Comments (9)

who's the chick on the duck?

my choices:




June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraaron

No idea who the pizza eater is - it's a walk-by photo

BTW, FYI, I want to know why you like those pictures

June 17, 2008 | Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis

BOS: 99¢ Dreams... I mean it almost seems like that store name was faked or photoshopped it is so appropriate for the photo and the fact that it is also taken after a rain and that there are reflections and colors everywhere just adds to the idea of sleepwalking or 99¢ dreams.

HM1: Hits close to home...I can feel his white knuckle grip on the steering wheel. I like the snapshot feel that leads to an intimacy on a whole and a feeling of "now". The action and lack of focus adds to that feeling of now even more and I can see, smell, and feel the next few minutes of driving after the photo was taken. So perhaps I'm not visually drawn into it, but mentally I am.

HM2: Um...I think everyone knows why I chose this one. Just slap the marlboro man in the scene and some ominous shadows to the left and in the doorway and I'd take credit for that shot.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraaron

just to add more to 99¢ dreams... it seems like if you wanted a "poster child" for nocturne photographers, that would be it. That sign did it for me. Although with all the reflections and colors I personally wouldn't have used a deadpan technique and would have tried to get more abstract with the light and angles, perhaps climbed the roof, setup a ladder and shot the sign from behind with the reflections in the BG to make it more dreamlike??

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraaron

CHRIST! did I just write about "how I would have done it"! I'm sorry that was awful I shouldn't drink so much espresso in the morning.

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteraaron

I started off with a short list of 8 images and had to narrow it down from there.
Lunanite, Foglights #1, Jupiter, Saturn, The Pleiades, Albaycin Quarter, Granada, Fire Boat, and Parlez were all dismissed for various reasons that would make this post too long to explain.

It is really a toss-up between Aarti at Hardiwar and 20 Kayak's Gates for BOS and HM. Aarti is so exotic looking and reminds me of an old world masters painting. The scene is curious and makes me want to know more about what is happening. What is the occasion that brings all these people together? I would love to see this printed large where you could study the individual elements and faces within the crowd.

Gates, on the other hand, is mysterious and odd. Your eyes weave in and out of the gates while your imagination plays games guessing what else they could be. I can't decide whether the image would be better without the deck at the bottom. Part of me thinks yes, but part thinks that it anchors the image and provides a point of reference. It is this indecision that leads me to choose Aarti as BOS and Gates as HM - though it is really a tough call between both of these images.

A fun little diversion that has helped me avoid work for a little while! ;-)

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRoberta

Mark, your comments about being the sole juror are well taken. I think we had one show that was juried by two NPrs, and that feedback, communication DOES make a difference. Still, all of the solo jurors have done an outstanding job, and conveyed the reasons for their choices eloquently – and your “Jury Duty” was no exception. As the curator for the show, I do not work in a vacuum – tho’ I try very hard to be objective in vetting the original submissions (most of the de-selections are due to purely technical reasons). But I live with the images for a while (the sustained study), as I build the pages, insert the titles (many give added insight into the images), and basically “install” the show. The “Curator’s Choice” awards reflect that process and are, in a way, a “rounding out” the BOS and HonMen awards given (with all due respect to those selections!).

Well, I guess a little-known curator’s secret can now be revealed. If you take a look at the images on the entry page - - sure , there’s some snappy color, some very dramatic lighting (that page hopefully gets visitors interested in going further, but SOME of those (not all) would undoubtedly be MY choices for the awards. For this show, I kept returning to images that had a certain mood, a silence about them. On the entry page noted above, I found Dennis Dowling’s Battery Mendell and “Mare Island Bldg 126” to be in the spirit of all great NPy (a sense of mystery, danger, silence), as did Gabriel Biderman’s “Sutro #3” – almost a “noir” aesthetic to those two. John Fisher’s image, “No Place” on the same page delves into the color (tho’ subtle, pale) field, reminding me of nothing so much as an Edward Hopper painting - I tell my students EH is my favorite NPr who didn’t use a camera!

Aaron, we have some common ground with your selection of ”Battery Mendell” and “NY Winter” And, I just thought of a great title for a NPy exhibit: “99¢ Dreams and two-bit Nocturnes” (full disclosure – the latter part of that is lifted from author William Kennedy.

Mark, your choice of the BOS artist, was on my short list as well, but I wouldn’t have selected that particular image! Viva la difference!

June 17, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTim Baskerville

Quite a challenge picking some favourites, although discarding many was easy. It seems a lot of the NP work is an excuse to photograph buildings at qierd angles in unusual light. Not something I can really find appealing, seems like a technique for its own sake.

there are some that do really give a sense of the night, however.

My picks, FWIW:
BOS: (Parlez). Makes it seem like the city is being taken over by a noctural sub-culture, long after the smart set have departed.

HMs: (Untitled III). Gives a real sense of drama: running through the woods in paranoid fear of the unknown. (Foglights 1). Again, that sense of the unknown behind the wall of darkness. Puts me in mind of a lonely night I spent photographing the stars in Mongolia. There were definitely scary creatures out there.

June 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Doonan

I picked the same best of show instinctively. For honourable mentions I chose both of Jon Fisher's photos before noticing they were by the same photographer. They show the mood of the night, rather than just using it as an excuse for long exposures and wacky colours.

Teresa Kirby Smith's Untitled IV also grabbed me, but I'm not sure I would like it as much in any print much larger than the jpg.

June 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStruan Gray

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