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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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In Situ ~ la, la, how the life goes onLife without the APADoorsKitchen SinkRain2014 • Year in ReviewPlace To SitART ~ conveys / transports / reflectsDecay & DisgustSingle WomenPicture WindowsTangles ~ fields of visual energy (10 picture preview) • The Light + BW mini-galleryKitchen Life (gallery) • The Forks ~ there's no place like home (gallery)


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

diptych # 205-6 ~ pot is fun / whoa, that's heavy

the Hyde Collection - Art Museum ~ Glens Falls, NY • click to embiggen
from the Hyde Collection exhibits ~ Glens Falls, NY • click to embiggen

As part of last weekend's hockey trip, Hugo and I visited the Hyde Collection - Art Museum & Historic House in Glens Falls. The featured exhibition was a photography exhibition - 60 from the 60s.

60 from the 60s is a collection of 60 BW prints from 10 photographers' work made in the 1960s. The collection was selected from the George Eastman House archive. The featured artists are Harry Callahan, Benedict J. Fernandez, Hollis Frampton, Betty Hahn, Robert Heinecken, Mary Ellen Mark, Roger Mertin, Arnold Newman, Aaron Siskind, and Garry Winogrand.

It would seem - due to the fact that I found links to the exhibition which indicated several locations - that the exhibition is a traveling exhibition which is moving about the country. However, I can find no evidence of exhibition tour dates. If, by chance, it should show up anywhere in or near your vicinity, I would highly recommend seeing it.

FYI, the 2 prints pictured in the lower diptych in this entry were 2 of Hugo's favorites. The Norman Rockwell illustration - part of a small Rockwell exhibit at Hyde Collection - was labeled by Hugo as "whoa, that's heavy". The Benedict J. Fernandez POT IS FUN picture of Allen Ginsberg incited a sheepish smile from Hugo. In Hugo's opinion, it ranked right up there with a Mary Ellen Mark picture and an Arnold Newman portrait.

diptych # 204 ~ same but different

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

I might have had an evening (artificial light) variation on this still life but the wife put the dishes / utensils / et al in the dishwasher before I knew what she was doing.

I've got to get me a roll of that crime-scene-do-not-cross tape. Or, maybe somebody makes photo-scene tape.

civilized ku # 3060 ~ flower petals / sorry ass SOBs

dormer alcove ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

iMo, the picture making world has been ill-served - at least so in the U.S of A. (can't speak to the rest of the world) - by the demise of the independent camera store.

For the most part, gone are the days (outside of a big city) when one could visit a camera store to literally get the feel of a camera or some other gear and speak to a sales person who might actually impart some useful knowledge / information about gear matters. Someone with whom you have previously interacted and have come to trust. Sure, you can find information online for just about any product but, call me old fashioned, given the choice between a 'virtual' experience and that involving an actual human being, I'll take the human almost every time.

One big-city camera store I have, over past decade or so, come to depend on, both online and in the flesh, is B&H Photo in NYC. The in-store sales people are knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and extremely patient. The phone order staff is as well. Consequently, B&H has become my go-to source for most of my gear and printing supplies. However ...

... the wife is an attorney with an area of expertise in labor and employment law. On a regular basis, she receives notices from Federal and State agencies regarding cases involving labor and employment issues - information that may help her stay abreast of what's-happenin'-now in that area of law. And, therein is the reason for my "however".

Within the last week, she received a bulletin from the US Department of Labor regarding the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs lawsuit against B&H for:

...systematically discriminating against Hispanic employees and female, black and Asian jobseekers at its Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse. In its suit, OFCCP seeks complete relief for the affected class including lost wages, interest, front wages, salary adjustments, promotions and all other lost benefits of employment and a reform of discriminatory policies.

During its compliance review OFCCP found (amongst other issues) that:

B&H’s Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse exclusively hired Hispanic men into its entry-level laborer job group, contributing to the complete exclusion of female employees at the warehouse and the near exclusion of black and Asian employees at the facility.
B&H promoted and compensated its Hispanic workers at a significantly lower rate than comparable white workers, leading to lower pay, fewer opportunities to advance and a near-total exclusion of Hispanic workers from higher level clerical, managerial and supervisory positions. Hispanic employees were also subjected to racist remarks, degrading comments and harassment at the worksite.
• Failed to keep and preserve required personnel and employment records.
• Relegated Hispanic warehouse workers to separate, unsanitary and often inoperable restrooms.
• Failed to provide designated restroom or changing facilities for females

Suddenly, just like that, B&H has sunk to last place - or, more accurately, to no place - on my picture making needs source list. Shame on them.

Of course, B&H has the opportunity to provide relief as ordered by the OFCCP. Failure to do so will result in the cancellation of all government contracts which are estimated to be valued in excess of $46 million dollars. It will also result in my never again purchasing from them.

And, I will be curious to see if any of the "big name" photo websites - those who depend, at least in part, for some their income through commission links to B&H - will be making note to their followers of this situation. Or, whether they will play the say-what? I-know-nothing card instead.
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