BODIES OF WORK GALLERY LINKS
The 2014 ~ Year in Review 2014 selects/book gallery is here.
The Place To Sit selects/book gallery is here.
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
When pressed by Santa to make a choice between a new lens or a new camera, I decided I need a new camera like I need the proverbial hole-in-the-head. Hence, Santa sent a 60mm f2.8 lens by FedX for late Xmas Eve delivery and I didn't need a tube of super-sealant to plug a hole in my head.
The primary intended use for the lens is to fill a "need" for a moderate tele with which I will make pictures of Hugo playing hockey (see hockey picture in this entry). And, after a brief hockey picture making go at it, it looks like the lens with fill that bill quite well.
That written, I have also made a few non-hockey pictures (see the 3 non-hockey pictures - all made @ f2.8 - in this entry) and I must write that I believe the lens will get more use than just making hockey pictures. At this point I can't speculate on what that usage will be but I can write that the lens produces pictures with a very nice look and feel. And, as I discovered, it is incredibly sharp, no ... make that exceptionally sharp, even wide open.
I am not a sharpness freak by any stretch, but from the very first file processing, I was struck by the sharpness factor. This just might be the sharpest lens in my µ4/3 kit, matching that of my 4/3 "pro" lenses which I use on my µ4/3 cameras with an adapter. Very impressive indeed. FYI, I am not alone, re: sharpness. After reading number of reviews (after delivery, not before) in an effort to confirm my opinion, the consensus, re: exceptional sharpness, is nearly unanimous.
Sharpness aside, the lens delivers a very nice color rendition and a very decent bokeh. AF is fast enough to make hockey pictures and the lens is part of the Sigma "Art" line of lenses - DN / A - so what's not to like? Now I can be certain that I am making art ....
All of that written, the lens has another exceptional factor, i.e. the price. This is the first non-Zuiko lens in my kit - it's a Sigma lens. At $200.00USD (give or take a ten spot), complete with lens hood and padded carrying case, it comes in at well less that half of the Zuiko 60mm f2/8 macro - $499.00USD + $45.00USD for a lens hood - Olympus doesn't offer a lens case.
For the µ4/3 crowd out there (there is Sony NEX variant as well), this lens is a no-brainer acquisition.
PS I don't often write about gear but every once in a while I come across something that is well worth a mention.
* Even though he's kinda scary in a horror movie kinda way, Bonhomme (bonhomie) is the ambassador of the Quebec City Winter Carnival, where we first encountered him. The word comes from French - frank and simple good-heartedness; a good-natured manner; friendliness; geniality.
At the Quebec Winter Carnival, Bonhomme's head is used as a cap on hollow plastic walking canes filled with Caribou - a sweet Québécois alcoholic beverage composed of red wine, hard liquor, usually whisky, and maple syrup or sugar .... which goes a long way in explaining the good-natured manner; friendliness; geniality (as well as the drunkenness) of Winter Carnival attendees.
1. The arbitrary limit of 20 pictures was changed to 30. No particular reason other than, when all was said and done, that number of pictures seemed to look and feel right.
2. The selection process was not as difficult nor as time consuming as I first thought. In my head there were a number of give-and-take / in or out "conversations" but, ultimately, my mind was not fried in the process.
3. When organizing the pictures for the book, the pictures were placed in no specific order other the fact that I was deliberately paying attention to making spreads that would not be made / viewed as having "matching" referents. Presenting random referents was the order of the day / point of the endeavor. FYI in an FYI - the pictures are presented as spreads in the order in which they appear in the book.
4. No outside-of-my-head opinions or comments were solicited or volunteered in the selection process. The choices were all mine and mine alone.
5. I'm very pleased with the results and would very much appreciate comments.
ASIDE: During the selection process, it occurred to me that I should, as time allows after the first of the year, start making year-in-review selections for previous years. I must admit that while that idea is very attractive, It is also very intimidating, time and effort wise. Only time will tell where that idea goes.
That written, as I was contemplating such a project, the notion that there should be an over-arching umbrella project title / name. After letting the idea bounce around inside my skull like a bunch of BBs careening around in a lotto drum, I came up with a idea for a name in the form of a logo:
It makes sense to me. In fact, I cannot think of a better phrase to describe my pictures / picture making activities. And, not mention all of the spinoff uses - logo hats / golf shirts / sweatshirts / cashmere sweaters, logo camera bags, logo fountain pens, logo coffee cups, etched logo cut crystal bourbon glasses .....
Featured Comment: Eric Fredine wrote (in part): "I'm ambivalent. It's an arbitrary timeframe and it often results in a hodge-podge of images with no strong unifying theme. On the other hand, I find the most useful way to differentiate between the truly worthy and the merely good is by looking at images in a collection.....
I agree with Eric's idea of looking at pictures in a collection. Not doing so does indeed produce a hodgepodge of images. However, IMO, even with such a collection, I have found that, in the case of my hodgepodge collection, there is a certain continuity, vision wise, in all of the pictures. That is, a continuity which mitigates the hodgepodge-ness.
That continuity was pointed out to me by several gallery directors upon the occasions of viewing my Bodies of Work ~ a sampler book - a book of pictures presented as collections of different bodies of work. The common comment was essentially that they all saw a very distinctive vision or picturing M.O. which was evident across all the various bodies of work. In effect, they believed that, presented with one picture from each body of work as a group they would be able to discern that the pictures were all made by the same picture maker.
ASIDE: IMO, I would venture to write that given a hodge-pod of images from Eric's work, I would notice the same thing - a continuity of vision, with very few exceptions, across all of his pictures. end of ASIDE
As an example (in my case), consider the pictures in my the LIGHT book. There certainly is a hodgepodge of referents but, to my eye and sensibilities, all of pictures are "unified" by my picturing M.O., AKA: vision.
All of which got me started on my best-pictures-of-the-year idea. My objective is to create a collection of pictures which will be presented in year-in-review book. Hopefully, that collection of very diverse referents will exhibit the same continuity of vision which, again to my eye and sensibilities, will glue the collection together as an all-of-a-piece collection.
Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop ~ Ansel Adams
Without quibbling with Sir Ansel's choice of the number "12" or trying to parse the meaning of his word "significant", if the god's of picture making rang your doorbell and demanded that you pick your, let's say, 20 "best" pictures of 2014 (under penalty of forfeiture of all your picture making gear for failure to comply), how difficult would it be for you to do so and what criteria would you use to define "best"?
For those who make lots of pictures - John Linn, Markus Spring, Juha Haataja, Colin Griffiths, Andreas Manessinger, and the More Original Refrigerator Art guy (not to mention The Landscapist), to name just a few, all come immediately to mind - the task might seem to be Herculean. Then again, there are most likely those who, for a variety of reasons, would consider the whole idea of picking and choosing to be rather pointless and I, for one, would like to know the reason(s) why that would be so.
In any event, I have been picking and choosing from amongst my 2014 picture library and have managed to narrow it down to 26 pictures at this point in the proceedings. That written, I don't think it would be a problem to get the choices down to 20, although ..... on the other hand, it wouldn't difficult to expand the number to 30. And, even if I get it down to 20 picks before the choices are cast in stone, I can't rule out the possibility that a few of those might be removed and replaced by other pictures.
I also believe that making the choices is made more difficult by the fact that one needs to decide whether to consider the idea of what's "best" for me or what's best for a given / particular viewing audience. At this juncture, I am making choices based on what's "best", or most significant, for me. That criteria is distinctly different from making choices based on what might be "best" for a viewing audience - personal versus more universally accessible / significant.
Of course, if I get my choices "right", the 20 best pictures should work for both criteria.
In any case, when I get it figured out, I'll be posting an entry with all of my "winners". In the interim I would really like to read your opinions on the exercise.
While the picture-maker proves himself to be an artist by the selection of a subject particularly adapted to pictorial representation, by the thoroughness with which he grasps its salient characteristics, and by the vividness of his antecedent conception, he does so also by the reliance which he places on the methods of expression peculiar to his art. How few people realize that these are abstract and make their primary appeal to the eye ! Later, in the case of certain subjects, they may reach the intellect, but even then through the passage-way of the senses. In literature, on the contrary, the words travel direct to the intellect and may later arouse a brain impression as of a picture seen. But in the actual picture of painting or photography, it is the things seen which affect us, and the artist’s skill is shown in what he offers to our sight and ours in the receptivity of our vision. - Charles H. Caffin (June 4, 1854 – January 14, 1918)
On the recent entry, Art on a wall, Eric Fredine left a link to an interesting interview / conversation between John Gossage and the late Lewis Baltz. Eric felt (and I would agree) the interview / conversation had relevance to the subject in that entry. The link is well worth a read. FYI, Eric also has a blog.
That written, long time followers of The Landscapist are most likely familiar with Eric Fredine and his pictures. A decade or so ago, I had the privilege and pleasure to meet up with Eric in NYC. If you are not familiar with his work, visit his site. His site is also well worth a good long look. His work is simply outstanding.
In any event, you should also read his Artist Statement which, IMO, is well worth a read inasmuch as, IMO, it has reverence to the Charles H. Caffin quote in this entry.