civilized ku # 5136 / the new snapshot # 188-89 ~ more than meets the eye

pictured through a dirty window and screen `~ in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable) • µ4/3

view through hotel curtains ~ Ottawa, CA (embiggenable) • iPhone

painting ~ Canadian War Museum / Ottawa, ON (embiggenable) • iPhone

In yesterday's entry (the entry following this one) I made mention of the ideaa of structure and form - i.e. the manner of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result - and their importance for my picture making and viewing. Read on to discover why I find them to be so necessary as a primary component of my pictures and those made by other that I appreciate.

iMo, photography is a ... duh ... visual art which is meant to be approached, first and foremost, as a visual experience which pricks a viewer's eye and, by extention, sensibilities (the ability to appreciate and respond to complex emotional or aesthetic influences). The prick of a viewer's eye can pleasant, as the result of a harmonious picture structure, or discordant, as the result of an non-harmonious picture structure (or some combination of both). In any case, if there is no prick, the picture becomes virtually invisible to a viewer's eye.

Quite obviously, the referent depicted can prick a viewer's eye and, for most, the referent is the most important thing about a picture. However, the printed picture is also a thing / physical object - a flat 2D object - in and of itself and that fact is rarely considered. One could even state that it is never seen / viewed (literally) as such.

iMo, the reason a printed picture is rarely viewed as an object independent of its depicted referent is the medium's intrinsic characteristic of depicting the world as an accurate representation of the real. Unlike paintings, which are more often viewed as an abstract representation of the world, photographs are most often viewed as literal representations of the world. Consequently, in viewing paintings, viewers tend to see them with much more attention to structure / form / technique than they do with photographs.

All of that written, here's the thing about art - structure / form in the visual arts has always been as important, if not more so than what is depicted. In other words, how a referent is depicted is what separates good art from pedestrian work. A good picture, iMo, one with interesting structure / form, can be a picture of anything because any referent can be represented in a fashion that creates a picture which more than what it depicts.

the new snapshot # 186-87 / civilized ku # 5135 / kitchen sink # 44 ~

exhibit statement

dead flies ~ restaurant bathroom / Ogdensberg, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

random arrangement ~ Au Sable Forks, NY (embiggenable) • µ4/3

A few days ago on TOP, Mike Johnston wrote:

Here's one small way that smartphones are better cameras than other cameras, which no one seems to ever talk about. What if you see—recognize—pictures better on a screen than through a squinty eyepiece viewfinder? ... it's perilous to my ego to consider that I might "see" (compose) better with a flat screen than with a more lifelike and dimensional eyepiece view ... because they tend to "flatten" the scene, that is, make it look more two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional, which (I suspect) aids me in visualizing what the picture will look like as ink on paper.

Ever since I purchased my first Olympus (E-P1) digital camera, I have been using the LCD display as my sole picture making reference. Even with my purhchase of an Olympus OM-D series camera, I still use LCD displays as my primary picture making reference - although, I do use the EVF for fast moving sports (hockey) picturing. I use the LCD display for the very reason Johnston mentions, its flattening effect.

FYI, I should write that, in my commercial picture making life, I spent a lot of time under a focusing cloth, both for my 4x5 and my 8x10 view cameras. In addition, I also spent considerable time looking down onto the viewing / focusing screen of various medium format SLRS. In each case I experienced a heightened awareness - relative to OVF viewing - of a picture's structure (some might say,"composition").

Why is the flattening effect so important to my picture making? The simplest answer is that printed pictures - why make pictures if not for printing them? - are flat 2D objects. And, that intrinsic characteristic (together with my eye and sensibilities) dictates and directs my attention - both in picture making and picture viewing - to a picture's form, i.e. the manner of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result.

Consequently, I perfer the 2D experience, as viewed on an LCD display, in the making of my pictures.

RE: Johnston's statement, " small way that smartphones are better cameras than other cameras, which no one seems to ever talk about. iMo, the reason no one talks about the flattening effect of viewing a referent on a display / focusing screen is quite simple ... very few picture makers, even "serious" ones, think of or perceive printed pictures as 2D objects. For most, a picture is a window which allows a viewer to perceive, albeit faux, a 3d world.

photographs in conversation - the complete exhibition set

The work is complete and and all the prints are out for mounting. FYI, all prints are 36" wide.

In addition to these pictures/prints, there will be an interactive component to the exhibit - on one wall there will be 2 Parabo Press magnetic photo ropes - see below - accompanied by a bin of assorted loose 5.5"x5.5" prints (free prints from Parabo Press) with which patrons can make their own PHOTOGRAPHS IN CONVERSATION pairings.

Should be fun. Anyone in the neighborhood of North Creek, NY is invited to attend the opening which is next Friday (Dec. 15) from 5-7PM. The exhibit with hang until the end of January.

photo rope with assorted pictures attached (not PHOTOGRAPHS IN CONVERSATION pairings)

civilized ku # 5133 / the new snapshot # 183 ~ relics

one way or the other ~ Ogdensburg, NY (embiggenable) • iPhone

2 cameras sitting idle ~ Au Sable Forks, NY (embiggenable) • µ4/3

8x10 Arca Swiss and Polaroid SX70. 2 cameras I used to use a lot. And, 2 cameras I really miss using.

I actually have 4 SX70s all of which I purchased at flea markets for ridiculously little money. I have bins, not boxes, filled with Time Zero prints. The Polaroid camera(s) were the pinnacle of instant joy, picture making wise and I must confess, the iPhone is giving it a run for the money, instant joy wise. That written, I miss using the SX70s.

The 8x10 Acra Swiss view camera has been with me for 40+ years. It was a commercial workhorse, especially for my food photography work. Although, long about 1979 I fell under the spell of the work by Joel Meyerwitz, Stephen Shore and a handful of other pictures makers who used 8x10 view cameras and color negative film. So, I took to the streets (and the Adirondack mountains) with a wood 8x10 Deardorf camera and 10 8x10 film holders (20 shots) loaded with Kodak 8x10 Type L color negative film.

In today's world each film holder + 2 sheets of film = $270.00 - that's $240.00 for a film holder + $18.00 per sheet of film - not including processing cost. At any given time I was walking about with $2,700.00 (today's market value) of film related stuff. And, FYI, the current cost of an Arca Swiss 8x10 Classic view camera is in the $7,000.00 range.

All of that written, with the cost of approximately $38.00 per 8x10 sheet of film (including processing/contact) and the cost of the new instant film for the SX70 at approximately $2.50 per print, both cameras seem destined to be nostalgic paper weights.

civilized ku # 5128-32 / triptych # /the newsnapshot 180-81 ~ thanksgiving + weekend ramblings

raindrops ~ Ottawa, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

hotel room / Hugo ~ Ottawa, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

window ~ Ottawa, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

rink exit ~ Navan, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

breakfast scraps~ in the Adirondack PARK. (embiggenable) • iPhone

refuse bins ~ Petawawa, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

hotel comforter landscape~ Ottawa, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

raindrops # 2 ~ Ottawa, ON. (embiggenable) • iPhone

Spent Thanksgiving at home with family > Friday-Saturday, 600 miles / 2 hockey games > Sunday, 260 miles / 1 hocky game > today, 300 miles / 1 hockey game.

Just to add to all this fun, late Friday evening Hugo accidentally dropped my car key fob down the Ottawa elevator shaft. Since the was no hope of recovery until Monday, the wife + son (aka: the Cinemascapist) teamed upto form a relay team to get the spare key fob to the Ottawa hotel, arriving at 3:30 Am Saturday.