There is a superb show of photograms through April 21, 2013 by Chuck Kelton and Diazotypes by Eric William Carroll at Bosi Contemporary Gallery 48 Orchard Street, south of Grand Street on the Lower East Side, NY, NY 10002. Curated by Alison Bradley of Brodkey Projects, the exhibit is a wonderful view of some new ways of using some historic techniques.
Kelton’s haunting landscapes are pure fiction, evocative of dark and stormy nights, of sophisticated horror movies, and terrifying tales. His effective use of light and shadow, composed using only light and shadow, using no camera, make for gorgeous prints.
© Chuck Kelton
Carrol’s large scale cyanotypes are dreamy leafy scenes, poetic and peaceful and a wonderful contrast to Kelton’s dark visions.
© Eric William Carroll
Please help me complete the Ascent Project by supporting my Kickstarter Campaign. With your support I can complete the Ascent sculptures and installations. Ascent investigates the evolution from analog man to digital man using photograms and 3D printed sculptures.
And when you back Ascent on Kickstarter you will receive a reward. You can support beginning at $1,
and at the $25 level you will receive a mini-Ascent Sculpture. At the $100 backer level you receive all the digital hands plus the analog hand.
the five 2.5″ sculptures – click to see enlarged
At the $200 level you receive a 5.75″ tall signed sculpture with a mini sculpture inside.
The five 5.75″ sculptures – click to see enlarged
Head on over to the Kickstarter page and become a backer of The Ascent Project.
If you give me a hand, I’ll give you a hand.
As far back as I can remember my family created and sent our own original Christmas Cards. Yes, my heritage is Jewish, but we never practiced, and like many German Jews in Cincinnati we celebrated Christmas.
I have continued the tradition of making my own Christmas cards since I moved out of my parents’ house to live on my own. I went through my archives and found many of them going back to 1993. Since 2009 I have been recycling cards from my stash of old ones. Instead of printing new and adding to the piles of cards in my hayloft I am sending the old ones until they run out. Golden Oldies, I suppose.
1993 Xmas Card
1994 Xmas Card
1995 Xmas Card
1996 Xmas Card
1997 Xmas Card
1998 Xmas Card
1999 Xmas Card
2000 and 2012 Xmas Card
2001 and 2011 Xmas Card
2002 Xmas Card
2003 Xmas Card
2004 and 2009 Xmas Card
2005 Xmas Card
2006 Xmas Card
2007 and 2010 Xmas Card
2008 and 2010 Xmas Card
“Solo, Piano – N.Y.C.” – A video recently posted to the NY Times website is a wonderful use of still photographs to make a video. It is a great subject handled sensitively and effectively. The film maker Anthony Sherin saw a piano on the curb in front of his apartment waiting to be hauled off as trash. He photographed how passers-by interacted with the abandoned instrument. Combined with original music it is a really great video.
Solo Piano NYC
I have long been fascinated by stop motion video and done a few myself. One that is similar to the Solo Piano is my “Lonely Angel” of a pedicab driver in front of the Metropolitan Museum trying to attract customers by wearing some angel wings. You have to see it to appreciate it.
When I moved to West Orange, New Jersey I became a neighbor of Thomas Edison.
Here are a few Gigapans I made of his home and grave:
His body rests in the back yard of his mansion, now a National Park, just a few blocks from my home and studio. His laboratory is also part of that museum and also nearby. I have learned about Mr. Edison and how he worked and became the most important inventor of the 20th century – and perhaps of all time.
He liked to say that when an experiment failed he succeeded because he learned one more thing which did not work.
There was a similar thought in the NY Times: “The Power of Failure” recently by Sarika Bansal. Sometimes the only way to move ahead is to make mistakes, learn from them and keep on working. This is also how it goes for me when making photograms in the darkroom. I try something and see if it works, and then I learn from it and try again. The rapid pace of creating and seeing the image allows me to refine and learn and keep on working to evolve the work. I sometimes find it hard to get started on a new project because of a fear of failure. But the truth is that the failure is part of succeeding. And it feels mighty good when you proceed from failure to success.
Edison also said that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
Do we take too many photographs? A thoughtful piece in the NY Times about the value of a photograph. I don’t fully agree with her conclusion that digital photos have devalued pictures. Still, it is a good read.
I think that while digital photography has made it easy to take too many photographs it has also made it possible to take photographs we never would have captured with that wonderful old analog technology. Not only is digital capable of taking pictures in formerly difficult light, now we always carry cameras and are ready to shoot at all times. We are also willing to take risks and make mistakes which we never would have done in the good old days.
Chemical photography still has it’s value – it does make us think first, then shoot. It celebrates craftsmanship in a way that is hard to duplicate in digital. There is room for both…. quality AND quantity. I believe we are lucky to have both analog and digital available and the new challenge is in choosing the right medium for the message.
A Leica owned by legendary Life Magazine photographer David Douglas Duncan sold for €1.68 million ($2.19 million) in Austria. Duncan was best known for his friendship with Pablo Picasso that grew out of his project to photograph the great artist. Duncan will be 97 on January 23, 2013.
Duncan is an amazing character who pursued and vividly told stories with his photographs and his books. He photographed the Korean and Vietnam wars and published numerous books about his various projects. As a teen I was inspired by his book Yankee Nomad.
Today I am inspired by the stories which we associate with our cameras. These are more than the stories told by the photos, rather I am interested in the memories connected to these cameras. I created a book “Momento” which shares memories and the associated cameras from a variety of people, both professional photographers like Jay Maisel (link to Jay’s own website) and “civilians” whose cameras captured memories of their everyday lives, vacations, and special events.
I had a better day than this unhappy looking guy – a sculpture on top of a tomb in the Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester NY – where I went with France Scully Osterman to learn how to make wet-plate pictures on location.
It was a great day of learning the tricks and techniques of working in the portable darkroom in the back of a car. France and her husband Mark Osterman are the world’s most prominent practitioners of the historic wet-plate collodion process. (And they are experts in many other historic photographic processes.) I learned the basics about 10 years ago and have been doing it extensively ever since then in my studio darkroom, and now wanted to learn how to work the magic on location. France and Mark teach the technique in their own workshops and tutorials both directly and through The George Eastman House where Mark is the resident expert in historic photographic processes.
Here are a few photos from my day in Rochester.
The portable darkroom in the car and France Scully Osterman
The portable darkroom in the car
The camera in place to capture the shot
Glass plate in the wash
The International Center of Photography is showing Charles Schwartz‘ collection of images of Confederate President Jefferson Davis as a cross-dresser.
On view from May 18–September 2, 2012. ICP is at 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd St., New York, NY 10036 – Phone: 212.857.0000
As the American Civil War ground to a dispiriting and unheroic end after the surrender of General Robert E. Lee’s rebel forces and the shocking assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in mid-April 1865, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, became a political fugitive. At dawn on May 10, 1865, a contingent of Michigan cavalry captured Davis in a makeshift camp outside Irwinville, Georgia. In his haste to flee, Davis grabbed his wife’s overcoat rather than his own. News reports immediately circulated that Davis had been apprehended in women’s clothes and that he was attempting to disguise himself as a woman. Northern artists and caricaturists seized upon these rumors of cowardly escape and created wildly inventive images, some using photomontage, to sensationalize the political story. Photographers circulated and even pirated dozens of fanciful photographic cards; many used a photographic portrait of Davis on a hand-drawn body in a woman’s dress, hat, and crinoline, but wearing his own boots, the detail that supposedly betrayed him to his captors. The exhibition is organized by Assistant Curator of Collections Erin Barnett.
A review appeared in the Wall Street Journal
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