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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

The the light selects/book gallery is here. A BW mini-gallery is here

diptych # 107 ~ suburbanism / urbanism

fake / real ~ Harrington Park, NJ / Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Thunderbird Cafe ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen
Since Saturday last, the wife and I have been moving about the planet. specifically the NE of the good ol' US of A. After a day in north Jersey and a day in south Jersey, we are currently squatting in Pittsburgh PA where we will be for the remainder of the week.

The trip is mix of a little bit of business and a lot of pleasure - Thanksgiving with family and friends, hockey games with family and friends (in person and broadcast), and all around just hanging out. There will be plenty of time for picture making with an emphasis on urban referents, something I don't normally have a lot of opportunity to picture.

Looking forward to it and I'll be posting entries of some results thereof.

Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 01:19PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments1 Comment

diptych (selection) # 14-16 ~ much to do about nothing (?)

exit ~ Blue Mountain Lake, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
sweepings ~ Chaffey's Lock, Ontario, CA • click to embiggen
Autumn leaves ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
Featured Comment: On yesterday's entry John Linn wrote: ".... So when you "see" the referent, which framing captures your vision? In other words, what is the "equivalent" focal length of your vision? Or do you have "zoom" vision? .... And why shoot two focal length framings from the same position when cropping the wider frame would result in the same result?

my response: Re: the "equivalent" focal length of my vision - I have never thought of my vision in terms of a focal length but, on short notice, I would have to write that it is in the "normal" focal length (50mm on 35mm/FF camera) range.

However, I would also write that my vision is very center weighted - hence my picture vignette - inasmuch as I seem to be drawn visually to that which is in the center of my field of view. Of course, what captures my attention within that center-weighted field of view is recognition of a rhythm of surfaces, lines, and values no matter what the specific referent might be.

Re: why not crop? - First and foremost, I do not crop. Period. End of sentence. That's a all she wrote. For my picture making, it is, and always has been, getting it right in-camera.

This operational predilection / propensity stems from my commercial picture making days. Every picture making assignment I had came with very specific final dimensions which were dictated by page / ad / end-usage proportions. The challenge was to make a picture with a pleasing visual arrangement which "fit" within those fixed proportions. Over time, I became very good at doing so in a wide variety of picture making assignments - from carefully and painstakingly arranging objects in a studio still life to real-life annual report / reportage / editorial.

In a very real sense, it was this experience - a "training" of sorts - which instilled in me the idea of getting it right in-camera and the corresponding feeling / belief that cropping was for picture making wimps - hence the black border on my pictures which, traditionally, came from printing with a filed out negative carrier which exposed the clear film edges of film .... proof positive that you were a real man, picture making wise, who got it right in-camera.

All of which brings me back to the first "Re:". When my particular "focal length" vision recognizes a rhythm of surfaces, lines, and values, the challenge becomes getting it right in-camera. That is to write, conveying, on the 2D surface of a print, the sense of the rhythm of surface, line, and values which pricked my eye and sensibility. And, of course, that is wherein a picture maker employs his/her act of selection, aka: deciding what to include and what to exclude by the imposition of the frame.

Re: why shoot two focal length framings? - getting it right in-camera does not mean that there is one and only one way to get it right. There are many ways to skin a picture making cat. In fact, as many ways as there are picture makers. And, if the picture maker is true to the characteristic of the medium and its apparatus, the one which differentiates it from the other visual arts - its inherent and intrinsic characteristic as a cohort to the real - each and every variation on a specific referent will be as true as any other.

Whether or not that trueness is conveyed to the viewer with a sense of rhythm of surface, lines, and values is an entirely separate issue. And, in many cases, the answer to that issue is up to each and every viewer to decide.

Hence, two separate and distinctly different focal length pictures, each with its own sense of rhythm. Or not. That's up to the viewer to decide and, while doing so, paying attention the idea of the act of selection as the central picturing making act.

Disclaimer This entire exercise is in the tradition of art about art, or in this specific case, photography about photography. Some, in fact many, will consider this to be much to do about nothing (flapdoodle and green paint) or an exercise in autoeroticism, picture making wise. In part, I totally agree with that assessment.

On the other hand, as is evidenced by John Linn's willingness to express his curiosity and wonder what the hell is going on, this exercise does raise some interesting questions for discussion. But, then again, it's still all about the pictures.

Posted on Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:12AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis | CommentsPost a Comment

diptych (selection) # 8-13 ~ fabricating camera angles

bridge and bramble ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
late Autumn color ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
Vermont view ~ Lewis, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
steeple ~ Pittsford, NY • click to embiggen
shed / vine ~ Whalenberg, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
motorcycle / house ~ Glens Falls, NY • click to embiggen

There is a lot of talk about camera angles; but the only valid angles in existence are the angles of the geometry of composition and not the ones fabricated by the photographer who falls flat on his stomach or performs other antics to procure his effects. - Henri Cartier-Bresson

I am continuing along the merry road of my diptych (selection)* project, which is essentially a multiple choice exercise in the "... recognition, in real life, of a rhythm of surfaces, lines, and values" (Henri Cartier-Bresson) - as is all of my picture making. That written, as I make my multiple choice selections, I am also holding true to my continuing picture making habit of not fabricating angles by means of physical gymnastics.

That is to write, 92.5-94.9% of all of my picture making has been performed by lifting a camera to my eye while standing fully upright.

The primary reason for that habit is really quite simple - I picture what I see and, for the most part, I see, picture making wise, standing upright. The other 5.1-7.5% of the time, picture making wise, I make pictures at eye level, albeit that that level might be while sitting or horizontally reclining.

In any event, it is safe and accurate to write that, when a referent pricks my eye and sensibilities, I picture it in the exact same body posture I was in when I first noticed it.

*FYI For those who haven't read it, the work-in-progress Artist Statement is HERE

Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 09:09AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , , | Comments1 Comment

decay & disgust # 50 / civilized ku # 2827-43 / ku # 1294 ~ the photographer's job / 10-14 days worth

It is part of the photographer's job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveller who enters a strange country. ~ Bill Brandt

"aged" apple/orange skins, burnt matches, mold on lasagna-like concoction ~ at home in Ausable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
dormer alcove snowfall and trees ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
propane heater ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
praying / crutches ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
window display ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
hockey rink beer taps ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
mountain snow ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
snow storm ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
Wilensky's ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
Stash Cafe ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
bird house ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
early snow ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
red door ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
Rue Saint Paul ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
Sailly Avenue ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
Cottage bar ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
late autumn color ~ Lake Placid, NY • click to embiggen
restaurant conversation ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
wodka wisdom ~ Montreal, Quebec • click to embiggen
In keeping with Bill Brandt's photographer's job description, I decided to post a number of pictures (but not all*) - in no particular chronological order - I have made over the past 10-14 days. All of the pictures were made under the operational umbrella of my standard picture making M.O. - picturing what pricks my eye in a manner which suits my sensibility, re: picturing what I see as I see it.

I have created this entry as a way of demonstrating both the number of pictures and the range of referential material I typically make pictures of over such a time frame. It also serves as a kinda glimpse into my picture making eye and mind ... just in case you were wondering.

*there have been 24 other pictures posted on individual entries over the same time frame

FYI ~ juried exhibition selection

tray and bowl • click to embiggen


One of your images has been chosen for the juried exhibition MARVELOUS THINGS: THE ART OF STILL LIFE at PhotoPlace Gallery in Middlebury, Vermont. Juror Aline Smithson chose your image as one of 40 for display in the gallery exhibition. In addition, your work may be viewed on the PhotoPlace Gallery website, and if you so choose, in the full-color exhibition catalog.

The exhibition will be on view at the gallery from January 13 - February 6, 2015. We welcome you, your family, and friends to visit PPG is person!

Check the website for posted results: results. Please, if we have garbled your name or title, let us know so that we may make corrections ASAP.

Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 at 08:34AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

picture window # 64 / ku # 1293 ~ another snowy Friday AM

this morning / Mirror Lake Inn ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

mountains and clouds ~ Lake Placid, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

civilized ku # 2826 / diptych (selection) # 7 ~ because the individual is different

stonework / St. Joseph's Oratory ~ Montreal, Quebec, CA • click to embiggen
fence and leaves ~ Plattsburgh, NY • click to embiggen
I am in total agreement with Harry Callahan's notion of:

The photographs that excite me are photographs that say something in a new manner; not for the sake of being different, but ones that are different because the individual is different and the individual expresses himself. I realize that we all do express ourselves, but those who express that which is always being done are those whose thinking is almost in every way in accord with everyone else. Expression on this basis has become dull to those who wish to think for themselves. ~ Harry Callahan

In my experience, the art - photography, painting / illustration, sculpture, film, literature, et al - that excites me is that which is created by those who think for themselves and whose thinking is, in many ways, NOT in accord with everyone else. Consequently, many years ago, I lost any and all interest in art, especially photography, which is little more than an imitative rehash / expression of that which came before. That type of expression is, indeed for me and many others, dull, dull, dull.

Robert Adams most definitely had it right when he wrote that The failure of classicism .... is the cliché, the ten thousandth camera-club imitation of a picture by Ansel Adams. That type of picture cliché (and many others) are the result of, plain and simple, people making pictures without thinking for themselves. All they seem to be capable of is, as Brooks Jensen wrote, making pictures of "what they have been told is a good picture", aka: thinking in accord with everyone else, rather than "photographing what they see", aka: thinking / seeing for themselves.

And, FYI, much in line with Adams' ten-thousandth camera-club imitation cliché, it was Brooks Jensen who wrote:

We are fast approaching critical mass on photographs of nudes on a sand dune, sand dunes with no nudes, Yosemite, weathered barns, the church at Taos, New Mexico, lacy waterfalls, fields of cut hay in the afternoon sun, abandoned houses, crashing waves, sunsets in color, and reflected peaks in a mountain lake.

In any event and all of that written, much has been thought / written / talked about the notion of creativity, not just in the arts but in any human endeavor. Many believe one either has it or one doesn't, what many refer to as a gift or a god-given ability. Others believe if you work hard enough at developing it, it will come. In my particular case, I have always come down on the side of the former rather than the latter but ...

... in either case, thinking for yourself is a critical component of creativity. In fact, I would venture the opinion that creativity and thinking for yourself are essentially synonymous concepts or, at the very least, so intertwined as to be nearly inseparable.

Hence, even if you are gifted with creativity, you still need to think for yourself in order to effectively channel and use your gift. If you are not so gifted, thinking for yourself, aka: thinking outside of the box, is about the only way I know of to develop and foster a reasonable and functionable facsimile of the so-called gift of creativity.

So, when I have been asked for advise regarding developing one's own personal vision, picture making wise, my response has been to suggest that thinking for one's self is a form of creativity which inexorably leads to a form of personal vision. Following the crowd will lead one only to imitation, which is, essentially, the death of one's imagination.

Think (for yourself) about it.

Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 08:14AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , , | CommentsPost a Comment

diptych # 107 / civilized ku # 2825 ~ kinda creepy

waxen baby Jesus - 1 of approx. 25 on display ~ St. Joseph's Oratory / Montreal, Quebec, CA
exhibits ~ St. Joseph's Oratory / Montreal, Quebec, CA • click to embiggen

Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 01:33PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment