civilized ku # 5070 / the new snapshot # 30-31 ~ recto/verso and finally some pushback

a man walks into a bar .... ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

recto/versomy pet rooster ~ ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

recto/versowhirligig ~ ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

Finally, at long last a ray of hope, pushback wise, has been written by an preeminate gallery director. Words written ,not just by any director or gallery but by Kim Sajet, Director, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian. As part of her Juror's Statement for a juried competition, she wrote:

... if you want your viewers to identify with you, don’t use long, overwrought, and verbose language to talk about it! So many of the explanations just seemed incomprehensible and/or pretentious. Curators love artists who have a simple and elegant turn of phrase—trust me on this. At my museum we call it “art-speak flapdoodle”!

And finally, ask yourself if what you are presenting will be of interest to someone else in a new and imaginative way? Many of the submissions talk of personal experience, documenting autobiographical people and places that no doubt resonate with family and friends. But do they have a transcendent quality that could appeal to complete strangers sometimes living on the other side of the world?

Finally. Finally. Finally. Although, that "suggestion" will most likely have little chance of penetrating the skulls of the Academic Lunatic Fringe crowd. That is, if they even hear/read it.

FYI, regarding recto / verso. Those 2 words were adopted by the art world a long time ago, primarily to indicate on which side of a piece of artwork - recto; the front or verso; the back - the artist signed or annotated the work.

I have been tinkering with ideas of how to annotate my the new snapshot pictures. That is, to apply, to the print itself, a typical album snapshot discriptor which indicates the person(s), place(s), event(s) or things that appear in the snapshot. In the past, most annotations - a caption, if you will - have been written on the back side of a print inasmuch as there was not enough space on the front side on which to write. So, that is why I have come to think that I should follow the same M.O.

In the past, most annotations have been written on the back side of a print inasmuch as there was not enough space on the front side on which to write. So, that is why I have come to think that I should follow the same M.O.

However, in place of writing a discriptor I have decided to type - the old fashion way with a typewriter - my captions on sticky pad paper, rip it to fit and stick it to the back of my prints. Or, so it would appear.

civilized ku # 5076 / the new snapshot # 29 / ~ and a picture processed on my iPhone

picture made with 1 of my µ4/3 cameras, processed as perm y norm

made with iPhone, processed with Snapseed app

Made with iPhone, processed with Wood Camera app

A few days ago John Linn had a comment and a question:

I have not always had good luck developing the photos on the iPhone or my iPad Air 2 regardless of app that I use and the tools available (which are many). It seems the Apple iPhone/iPad screens make everything look nice. When I import and check the photos on my iMac with its calibrated screen they always need some tweaking. What is your experience?

my response: When I upload a picture made with my normal procedures - µ4/3 camera / RAW Converter / Photoshop - I save that file using the Photoshop Save for Web (convert to sRGB/ Standard Internet RGB preview) feature which, theoretically, produces a file that looks good across a wide array of internet viewing devices. My files, when saved in such a manner, look different on my iPhone, iPad than they do on my calibrated monitor.

That written, since my monitor is calibrated for my printing workflow, it should come as no surprise that saved-for-internet files and files processed and saved for my printing workflow would be different in appearance. So, to my knowledge, I would expect that a picture made and processed on a iPhone or any other portable device would, when exported to a calibrated desktop monitor, look different from what it does on a iPhone screen.

When I export a iPhone made and processed picture to my desktop computer / monitor for the intent of printing that picture, I do indeed fine tune it for that purpose. Case in point, I just made a book of my trip to Chaffey's Lock / Ottawa for which all the pictue files were fine tuned for that purpose. The book looks great.

FYI, iMo (and I am not an "expert" on the subject), one of the best photo editing apps for processing straight iPhone pictures - that is, a picture to which no special effects are apllied - is Snapseed (see the Snapseed processed picture above). It has many capabilities, including CURVES, that most would find meet their processing / editing needs. If you want effects, it has a good array of those as well.

the new snapshot # 23-28 /civilized ku # 5075 ~ shafted

Pursuant to yesterday's questions ...

Am I an iPhone convert? Could I downsize my picture making gear to just an iPhone? Should I use just an iPhone?

... the answers are; yes, no, no.

My conversion is complete. Without a doubt I can write that an iPhone 6S Plus is, under many picture making circumstances, a very good picture making device for the types of pictures I tend to make. In fact, in some cases, it is just as good as my "real" m4/3 cameras, although, it yields a slightly smaller file size. And, inasmuch as I intend to now use it on a much more frequent basis, primarily for my the new snapshot work, I am moving up to an iPhone 7 Plus.

Could I use an iPhone for all of my picture making? No. The iPhone creates only JPEG files which are much less malleable than the RAW files I need to realize most of my "regular" picture making vision. That written, it is worth noting that using the HDR setting when using the iPhone does produce JPEG image files which are HDR-look free, yet does yield increased shadow and highlight detail. Nevertheless, I will continue to use my m4/3 cameras for virtually all of my "serious" work.

Regarding my the new snapshot work, the iPhone is the perfect "snapshot" camera. And, in addition, I am very enamored of the ability to process, in a manner of minutes, my snapshots - using the Snapseed and Wood Camera apps - to a finished state, all accomplished on the iPhone. A finished state which yields beautiful printed pictures. Not to mention the fact that, within approximately 5 minutes, a picture can be made, processed and on my Instagram page

.

FYI ...

iPhone picture processed to my normal presentation

kitchen sink # 41 / the new snapshot # 22 ~ could I? should I?

sink drain strainer ~ Au Sable Forks,NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

it is what it says it is

Over the past week or so, the subject of lighter / smaller / downsizing, re: camera gear, has pop-up on a number of sites. Most entries addressed the switch from bulky / heavy DSLRS + their lenses to compact and light mirrorless cameras + their lenses. However, one particular entry on TOP, iPhone Magazine Cover, was of particular interest to me.

AN ASIDE: all of the entries caused me think of this quote from Bill Jay ...

...photographers who carry 60 pounds of equipment up a hill to photograph a view are not suffering enough, although their whining causes enough suffering among their listeners. No, if they really expect us to respect their search for enlightenment and artistic expression, in [the] future they will drag the equipment up the hill by their genitals and take the view with a tripod leg stuck through their foot.

As should be obvious, I have been making quite a number of my the new snapshot pictures - over 70 and counting - all of which are made using my iPhone 6s. After making pictures with it in a variety of situations / light / of referents, I can write that I am quite pleased, somewhat surprised and rather impressed with the phone's - it is NOT a camera - picture making capabilities. And, just as important, I am having a bushel full of fun doing it.

FYI, the fun part derives from the fact that I have become much "looser", more spontaneous and most certainly have an expanded range of what I consider to be picture-worthy referents.

In any event, I went on an online search for iPhone pictures in order to see what was going on in that photo milieu. In doing so, I came upon the iPhone Photography Awards site. An organization which has been "celebrating the creativity of iPhone userd since 2007" and has the archives to prove it. In those archives are some damn impressive pictures. More than enough to create converts for the iPhone cause.

All of that written, the question(s) of the moment is, "Am I an iPhone convert? Could I downsize my picture making gear to just an iPhone? Should I use just an iPhone?"

There are no definitive answers as of yet. However, the pictures in today's entry, both made from the same iPhone picture file suggest that, in many picture making cases, I would have very little to lose.

civilized ku # 5073-74 ~ fair forms

yard through screen ~ Chaffey's Lock, ONT CA (embiggenable)

back porch mid-AM light ~ Au Sable forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

An interesting quote from Plato which encapsulates my manner of making pictures (think of Plato's "things" as photographic prints):

...when the subject seeks to go beyond itself and form a communion with the objectival other: "the true order of going...to the things of love, is to use the beauties of earth as steps...to all fair forms, and from fair forms to fair actions, and from fair actions to fair notions, until from fair notions he arrives at the notion of absolute beauty."

FYI, the screen pattern / detail in the yard through screen picture will most likely be lost on your monitor due to the the moire pattern created on your screen by your monitor's resolution in conflict with the pattern on the pictured screen. On a print it should look something like this:

kitchen life # 38 ~ things

remnants ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

Things being what they are

Transparence is the highest, most liberating value in art - and in criticism - today. Transparence means experiencing the luminousness of the thing in itself, of things being what they are. ~ Susan Sontag

civilized ku # 5073 / the new snapshot # 20-21 ~ the visual dance of a thousand meanings

trimmings ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK(embiggenable)

Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (embiggenable)

I can honestly write that, after 51 years of picture making, I am able to finally define what I consider to be a good picture; pictures both of my making and those made by others.

At the top of the list of the characteristics of those pictures I consider to be good is my preference to for straight pictures. That is, pictures which depict the world "as it is". iMo, the characteristic inherent in the medium and its apparatus (aka: conventions, visual language, et al) which separates it from other visual arts is its inexorable relationship to and as a cohort of the real.

Next up, and of equal importance to the preceeding, is the print itself. Inasmuch as the print is a separate thing apart from the referent it depicts, the print must be a beautiful (wide ranging and diverse meaning) object in and of itself. In other words, I may care about what is depicted but I care more about how it is depicted and presented.

Re: a beautiful object. I am not necessarily writing about the technical / aesthetic qualities of the object itself. While a finely crafted print is most certainly a desireable quality, the beauty I am interested in is how the picture maker has framed his/her referent and arranged the elements therein as depicted across the 2-dimensional surface of the print. And, does that arrangement have visual "energy" which gives my eye the encouragement to dance about the surface of the print?

Or, much more simply written, does the print look good to my eye and sensibilities? If I put a print on my wall, will it engage me and hold its visual value over time by allowing and encouraging a dance, albeit with different steps, with each viewing?

Re: meaning. I used to believe that meaning(s) which might be found in a picture was an important and very desireable attribute. However, over time I have come to believe that, at best, meaning is an illusive and ill-defined commodity. Sure, sure, dependent upon a viewer's knowledge and life experience, all sorts of meaning could be gleened from a picture. Where one viewer sees / feels joy, another may see / feel sadness. Where one viewer sees structured beauty and another may see only randomness and chaos.

Other than pure propaganda which is meant pluck at a single string, a good picture is more like a well struck chord which reverberates with musical complexity. And, iMo, that's the beauty of a good picture inasmuch as a good picture reverberates with multiple and even diverse meanings as the viewer chooses to comprehend them.

My phraseology used to describe a good picture has always been that a good picture is one which illustrates and illuminates. That is, good use of the medium's visual language which, in turn, leaves room for a viewer's internalized contemplation.

And that, in a nutshell, describes the pictues I try to make and those made by others that I appreciate.

civilized ku # 5068-72 ~ not exactly a waste of time but ...

lawn chairs ~ Chaffey's Lock, ONT CA (embiggenable)

evening view from the cottage ~ Chaffey's Lock, ONT CA (embiggenable)

rocker on the cottage porch~ Chaffey's Lock, ONT CA (embiggenable)

Canadian National Gallery of Art ~ Ottawa, ONT CA (embiggenable)

sunset at the lock ~ Chaffey's Lock, ONT CA (embiggenable)

Pictures from our recent trip to Chaffey's Lock - with a rainy day side trip to Ottawa.

I had previously mentioned that I was looking forward to visiting the Canadian National Gallery of Art, during my 5 day sojourn in Chaffy's Lock, in order to view the photography exhibition, Photography in Canada: 1960–2000. So I did visit and, unfortunately, and iMo, the exhibition was very underwhelming.

One example of my disappointment were the 2 pictures (1 ea.) by Jeff Wall and Edward Burtynsky. I am a great admirer of their work so it was very disappointing to see that the prints on exhibit were far from their best work. That, taken together with the fact that, for my eye and sensibilities, there were far too many examples of work which were made under the influence of the academic lunatic MFA fringe motif made for an underwhelming viewing experience. You know what kind of pictures I am writing about, those accompanied by an artist speaking-out-of-their-own-asshole statements.

So, if you are in the neighborhood of the National Gallery, see the exhibition. If you are not in the neighborhood of the exhibition, iMo, is not worth your effort to get to the neighborhood.