people ~ nothing hidden here

the wife on the wall ~ (embiggenable)

at the bar ~ (embiggenable)

Ann Marie ~(embiggenable)

the artist ~ (embiggenable)

Today is the deadline for submissions for consideration in the intimate Portraits juried exhibition. My intention was to submit just 1 picture, the wife on the wall (in situ), but, since the fee was $35US for up to 5 pictures, I submitted a few more.

As I previously wrote, I really don't believe that, as the jurist Joyce Tenneson wrote ..."A true portrait can never hide the inner life of its subject." Following on from that statement, Tenneson wrote that she was seeking "portraits that go beneath the surface to reveal aspects of the subject that usually remain hidden."

Label me a thick skulled doubter but I believe that a photograph can only capture a moment in time. Although some things might be intuited from the instigative properties of a photograph, the only thing that can be reasonably discerned about a pictured person is what he/she has allowed and manifested to be made visible at the time of the picture's making. Anything else is speculative conjecture.

Case in point ... Edward Steichen's portrait of J. P. Morgan about which Steichen commented ...

Over the years people have referred to the insight into Morgan's real character that I showed by photographing him with a dagger in his hand. But this was their own fanciful interpretation of Morgan's hand firmly grasping the arm of the chair.

It should be understood that none of the preceeding is meant to state that a portrait can not tap into universal human characteristics - anger, fear, sadness, compassion, arrogance, joy, et al. On display in Morgan's portrait are a steely-eyed stare and forceful grip on the arm of a chair from which it could be correctly deduced that the man possessed an imposing, agressive, ruthless and powerful presence. However, those characteristics were not something that Morgan kept hidden. He forcefully projected those characteristics throughout his life - nothing "hidden" there.

All of that written, I did not feel that I had any portraits/pictures of people which revealed anything "hidden" about a person. So, I made my choices based upon selecting pictures in which a person projected a "presence" (which I captured). A presence which engages a viewer and causes them to think that they might like to get to know more about the person depicted.

Whether or not that trope "works" for the juror remains to be seen.

civilized ku # 5044-46 ~ wonder is where you find it

brewery grate/drain ~ Vankleek Hill, Ont. CA (embiggenable). 

shaft of light ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - ItAP (embiggenable)

accidental cheese drizzle ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - ItAP (embiggenable)

I Came across this quote by Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune art critic, re: this artist and his work ...

Who would have thought that so much wonder could still be created with straight photographs in a time given to digital manipulation?

Well, I, for one, think "that so much wonder could still be created with straight photographs." Always have, always will.

As a picture maker who currently has an exhibit of digitally manipulated pictures (see life without the APA on my WORK page), it should be obvious that I harbor no ill will to those who make digitally manipulated pictures. My only gripe with such pictures is when manipulation is introduced as a cheap trick. I.E., when manipulation is used to try to mask the fact that a picture has little or no merit - an effect solely for effect sake.

My gripe with Alan G. Artner and his specific quote, which is wrong on several levels, is simple. Either he has forgotten / lost the ability to see the wonder that can be found in straight photographs, or, he never had it in the first place. That, and the fact that the work in question, while the individual pictures were made as straight photographs, their manner of presentation is very manipulated.

civilized ku # 5041-43 ~ beats the hell out of a fast-food burger

who doesn't love pitas? ~ Highland Park Diner menu - Rochester, NY (embiggenable)

diner interior ~ Rochester, NY (embiggenable)

diner exterior ~ Rochester, NY (embiggenable)

On the drive to Amherst, NY it was dinner time when we hit the Interstate exit for Rochester, NY. That exit feeds directly onto an expressway into the city where the Highland Park Diner is immediatley adjacent to an expressway exit. Easy on, easy off. So, we made the decision to eat dinner at the diner.

The diner is in my growing up neighborhood, aka: Swillburg, and I hung out there as a youth. At that time it was the Superior Diner which closed in the 70s and became an OTB (Off Track Betting) parlor. In turn, when that closed (cira 1984), it became a diner once again

Consequently, during most of my visits to Rochester, I try to eat at least one meal at the diner - breakfast is my favorite.

FYI, I am partial to diner dining and search them out in my many travels. 2 of my "regulars" are the Penn Queen Diner in Pennsauken, NJ (near the wife's hometown) and the Parkway Diner in South Burlington, Vermont.

Then there is the West Tagnkanic Diner in Ancram, NY, the location for a commercial, starting Tom Bodett, I made (wrote, directed and produced) for I ❤ NY - the NYS Dept. of Economic Development which promotes tourism - in this case, NYS Scenic Byways - in New York City and New York State.

civilized ku # 5040 / diptych # 217 ~ cracks in everything

wood fruits ~ New York, NY (embiggenable)

shafts of light ~ Au Sable Forks, NY (inAP) / Amherst, NY (embiggenable)

The light. As picture makers, Photography Division, we "write with light" and much has been written about that endevour:

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography. ~ George Eastman.

Without delving into what "the light" means to individual picture makers, suffice it to write that it means many different things to many different picture makers. In my case, found / straight photography, I do not "chase" a particular type of light. Although, that written, I do on rare ocassion wait for light which will help represent a chosen referent in ... well ... the best light.

That written, I take great delight in finding / encountering light which emphasizes the painterly quality of light known as chiaroscuro. That is, strong tonal contrasts between light and dark to model three-dimensional forms, often to dramatic effect - a technique deeveloped by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt.

Call it what you will, I like the phrase from Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem, which describes well that which creates the light in my shaft-of-light pictures:

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

diptych # 216 / civilized ku # 5039 ~ dreaming it / living it

hotel dreaming it / rink living it ~ Amherst, NY (embiggenable)

New York State U12 Champion ~ Amherst, NY (embiggenable)

Been away with Hugo, his dad and the wife for 4 days in Amherst, NY to attend the New York State U(under)12 Championships tournament which, we are happy to report, Hugo and teammates won. The event was both fun and stressful - 1 must-win game to make it out of our bracket pool round, 1 overtime win in the semifinals and the big win in double overtime in the championship game.

The win in the semifinal game was especially sweet inasmuch as we beat Hugo's hometown team (Hugo plays for a team located an hour away). The hometown team, which desperately wanted to beat Hugo, was loaded with his classmates and good friends. With the win, Hugo is having a much better day in school today than he would otherwise have had.