Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's winter enough that being outdoors for long periods of time with the camera isn't too appealing.  I know people go to Iceland, Antarctica, and a host of other places with snow and winter weather, but at the moment where I live the winter is visually boring, and drab during the few hours a day when I actually could make a photograph.  So...I've been looking through piles of older negatives for ones that I've not gotten around to assessing, and what's below is one of them.  It' was taken in a park that has gone through a major renovation, and this view is no longer there.  It seems to be a sad symptom of what we in America all too often insist is necessary to justify the expense of rehabilitating a public space, that it be given a purpose which, in rural areas, is usually sport related.  So, here is a scene gone by.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One of the "art" imperatives of this era is the series.  It's not enough that there are a dozen excellent, interesting, but disparate images..."they must be related" is the mandate of  the current arbiters of artistic practice.  To make a lone, one off image is to demonstrate a lack of artistic vision I suppose.  Still, there is merit to the discipline of making related images that form a coherent body of work.  I have seen some dreadfully contrived, hurry-up-and-finish examples of such work that have been published, but an authentic series takes a lot of time. Seasons, and years may pass until a group of images exemplify genuine variations on the theme.

So here is yet another of my multi-year series of black dirt region photographs.  They have that region's trademark homage to irrigation canals, furrowed land, and dark rich soil.  The photographs that comprise this ongoing series are all similar, but unique.  Here is one more. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

I have resisted, and will continue to resist surrendering my years of practice with traditional photography (film and wet darkroom) for the convenience and immediacy of digital 'imaging', but I'm about to make some adjustments nonetheless.  NOT to using a digital camera, but to printing on our Epson 3800 printer, and preparing files in Photoshop from film scans.  The image below is the reason for this resolve.  It's flawed.  There is an unacceptable lens flare on the film, but I really like the negative.  I just don't have the chops to get rid of it in any other way than with Photoshop, and I will use this negative as an etude in the digital process.  It will also open the door to printing on the multitude of gorgeous papers there are to try, and the vast and subtle array of toning possible with inks.  The wet darkroom will be with me for as long as the materials to use it exist, but I think it's time to add another couple tools. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We live only 50 miles or so from NYC, but it's far enough away to be quite rural in some respects.  Farming is still prevalent, especially in the rich, black dirt region that is so distinctive for its' onion growing.  Yet other crops are common here as well, and other parts of Orange County are very active agriculturally.  I don't know what crop is being protected here by the plastic sheeting, but it looks very labor intensive. The sheeting continued for acres and acres, and I'm sure the young plants will thrive with this kind of attention.  The other field is fallow, I assume, and the dead plants will help renew the earth here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I've not posted here for a longer interval than I like to allow, but there's just not been worthy work to offer.  What's below is an image from 2010 that I haven't cared much for because I hadn't figured out how to render it until now.  What you see is a digital approximation of what I soon will do in the darkroom that I expect will satisfy me.  It's interesting to reflect on the creative process that, for me, involves a non-linear progression from the inception of an idea to its' final rendering months, and even years later.