civilized ku # 3625-26 ~ real is always better

Adirondack Snap Shot Project on exhibit   ~ Adirondack Lakes Central for the Arts - Blue Mt. Lake, NY

Adirondack Snap Shot Project on exhibit ~ Adirondack Lakes Central for the Arts - Blue Mt. Lake, NY

(embiggenable) • iPhone

The Adirondack Snap Shot Project exhibit is up and running. Over 225 pictures are on exhibit - 112 on the walls, and other 80-100 in cigar / jewelry boxes and 5 album-like photo books with 33 pictures each (also on a pedestal). The Opening Reception, with an artist (me) talk, is this Saturday (5:30-6pm) at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mt. Lake, NY. Now, on to old business...

Re: Tyler's issues with his ability to read my blog. Now that the above mentioned project work is completed, I have had the time to delve into the settings for my Squarespace template where I found options for typefaces. So, henceforth, this blog will have a serif tyeface that is BLACK. I hope this change helps Tyler (and anyone else you might have had similar issues). However, I am making no promises, re: the number of words, with the new typeface/settings, I use on this blog. :>)

Re: Tyler's comment, re: you view your work and those of others in the same way? According to you, you seem to prefer (by far) to view prints on the wall, or in books. Where does that leave us, I wonder.

I am uncertain about the first you view your work and those of others in the same way? of that comment. However, assuming he means do I look at the work of others in the same manner as described in that entry, the answer would be yes. I look at all pictures, first and foremost, for the feeling-visual (energy wise), emotional (beyond the much sought after "wow" factor), intellectual (thought provoking insome manner)-they impart. Depicted referents are, for the most part, almost irrelevant - snap shots excepted. Or, as John Szarkowki wrote about work he liked:

... form and subject are defined siultaneously...indeed they are probably the same thing. Or, if they are different, one might say that a photographer's subject is not its starting point but its destination.

The second part of the question seems to me to question how I stand on his pictures inasmuch as I have only ever viewed them as digital representations rather than as my preference for analog, aka: printed, objects.

I like Tyler's picture very much. I visit his site whenever there is a new entry. Dispite the fact that that is how I have viewed / experienced his pictures, the thing I value most, that which pricks my eye and sensibilities, in a picture-visual energy and the form (relationship of lines, shapes, color, tones) in which it is presented-is readily apparent in both the digital and analog viewing mode.

That written, and iMo, I prefer viewing prints simply because a tangible / tactile object, to and for my eye and sensibilities, conveys a much more sensuous feeling than a device screen ever will.

civilized ku # 3613 / adirondack snapshot project # 396 ~ risky business

unused lamps on unused radiator ~ (embiggenable) iPhone

another roadside attraction ~ (embiggenable) • Canon 4mp G3

Nearly every morning as I sit at our kitchen island counter sipping coffee and having a breakfast-like nibble, I steer my iPad to my "regular" rota of a handful of photo sites.

One of my regular stops along the way is the site, DON'T TAKE PICTURES. The site is dedicated to showcasing pictures which are, for the most part, straight photography. That written, the site has a regular feature, RULE BREAKERS, along the theme of ...

..."I never want to see another picture of ________.” Industry veterans share their pet peeves on themes in contemporary photography. In this series they present their “rule” along with five photographs that break the rule in an effort to show that great work is the exception to the rule."

The site is one of my "regulars" simply because I am in constant search of pictures which "break the rules". Or, as Elliott Erwitt has written:

"To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them."

Or, as Brooks Jensen wrote

"Most people see good pictures and photograph bad ones. Real photography begins when we let go of what we have been told is a good photograph and start photographing what we see"

My morning rota is just a handful of sites because I find that there are-or seem to be-precious few picture makers out there who are "breaking the rules" / "photographing what they see". Maybe I'm not trying hard enough to find them but it seems that even most "serious" picture makers just can't break out of the box.

I have my suspicion as to why that is ... the lack of imagination / confidence to let go of the rules. I think of it as a kinda pandering to the masses or what could be labeled as the conventional taste(s) of the masses. After all, if one is looking for lots of "likes", playing it safe is the way to go.

Adk Snapshot Project # 1-7 ~ antiestablishmentarianism

all images embiggenable

Following up on yesterday's entry, re: why I am so excited-beyond the mere fact of being accepted-by this exhibition opportunity.

Obviously, being accepted to have a solo exhibition of my work is somewhat exciting as well as an affirmation that someone believes what I am doing is worth hanging on a wall(s) for the public to view ... Happy, happy. Joy, joy. However, I am equally excited about what was accepted. That is, my intent in creating the snapshot prints for this project was to kinda/sorta thumbing my nose at the "Art Establishment" by ....

1. displaying prints that are the modern day equivalent of dime store / drugstore prints.
1a. displaying a huge number of prints in a hodgepodge fashion that appear to have no common theme or organizing principle.
. displaying work that is not of the limited edition variety.
2a. no high priced prints - viewers will be encouraged to "steal" a print or 2 from the loose prints in the jewelry boxes.
3. making art that doesn't look like "Art"....
3a.... i.e. pictures which appear to casually made rather than with "serious" intent
4. viewers will be directed to view the work as if they were looking at someone's vacation pictures rather than looking at them as they would art.

All of that written, I assume that the work was accepted because the juror (or jurors / commitee) at the Center for the Arts perceived that the work is, in fact; a "serious" undertaking, a cohesive body of work, has a cultural / historic relevance to the early 20th century Adirondack "postcard" photographers and is a unique and heretofore unseen manner of presentation of Adirondack pictures. I also assume that, in addition the aforementioned considerations, he/she/they believe the the body of work is, indeed, Art.

So, once again .... Happy, happy, Joy, joy.

Adirondack Snapshot Project ~ up against the wall


On and off over the past 4-5 months I have working on my Adirondack Snapshot Project. The work involves culling pictures-approximately 400 at this point-from my 4,000+ collection of pictures made in the Adirondacks. The pictures are then resized and placed-using Photoshop-on my custom-made snapshots border. Then, in each case, dating the picture in the traditional manner on the print border. My goal is to create 256 snapshots.

After the snapshot "conversion" is complete, sets of 20 free 5x5" prints and 1 8x8" soft cover photo book-32 picture pages-are ordered from Parabo. ASIDE re: free - Parabo offers free 20 4x4" picture sets ($8US for shipping). I pay $12US per set for a size upgrade to 5.5x5.5" prints, making my "free" print cost (shipping + upsize) $1US/print. The photo book cost is $18US. END ASIDE

In any event, a few months ago I received a call for submissions-from the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts-for solo-exhibition consideration. Submissions had to include samples of my work (see pictues above), an Artist Statement (read below) and a CV ....

The Adirondack Snapshot Project
Here, there and everywhere

My summer visits to the Adirondacks, or, as it was called in my family, The Woods, began in 1952 when I was 5 years old. My earliest memories are of sitting in back passenger-side window seat of my parent’s car watching the woods, waters and villages go by. Until the hotel closed, circa 1961-62, our destination was always the Arrowhead Hotel in Inlet on Fourth Lake. Post Arrowhead Hotel, a house rental in Old Forge was our Adirondack getaway. Those early years instilled in me an enduring appreciation and love of the Adirondacks.

Over the past 40 years, more so since my move to the Adirondack village of Au Sable Forks, I have been making pictures-over 4,000 pictures-of life in the the Adirondacks. During that time, I adopted an affinity toward, and a time-distant camaraderie with, the early 20th Century Adirondack village photographers of the so called postcard era. Photographers who made pictures of quotidian life as seen throughout their region of the Adirondacks. Although my picture making encompasses all of the Adirondacks lands and villages within the Blue Line, my pictured referents-commonplace Adirondack people, places and things-have a shared commonality with those of the early 20th Century Adirondack village photographers.

While a number of my pictures and individual bodies of work have been exhibited in regional art galleries, art centers and craft galleries, that work is but a tiny representation of my Adirondack work. My desire to exhibit a much larger representation of my work is problematic inasmuch as solo exhibitions are typically space-limited to 20 prints. A solution to that issue, instigated by my parent’s albums of snapshots made during our Adirondack visits, emerged in the form of The Adirondack Snapshot Project.

The 132 pictures in the Adirondack Snapshot Project have been culled from my 4,000+ Adirondack picture library. After selecting the pictures, I “converted” them into a snapshot format reminiscent of the snapshots found in my parents family albums. Pictures which were made with no artistic intent. They were simple records-snaps-of vacations and time spent in the Adirondacks. Over the years those records have become the instigators of memories-some remembered, others reawakened by viewing the snapshots. Consequently, they now possess a preciousness that transcends the intent of their making.

My intent in presenting this work in a snapshot format is to create a sense of pictures made without artistic pretense. That is, a visual presentation which is somewhat antithetical and a deterrent to the idea of viewing pictures with a “serious” demeanor and an eye toward discernment of meaning and artist intent. The snapshot aesthetic invites a more relaxed and intimate approach to viewing the work. An approach that will help to foment a sense of the work as revealed personal memories. Mementos which I expose to / share with strangers in an attempt to abet their remembrance of similar Adirondack experiences.

While this project was undertaken to create an interactive art experience, it is my desire that the viewers of the work will not approach this project as “serious” art. But rather as an exhibition of shared personal pictures which are a celebration of all things Adirondack.

NOTE: Dependent upon space alotted, the exhibition would consist of 4-5 27 5.5x5.5" (magnetic) photo rope groupings, 9 pictures/rope. Each grouping is accompanied by a 32 picture snapshot album which mirrors each grouping and a jewelry (or similar) box picture "find".

....yesterday, I received this response:

Congratulations, you have been selected to have an exhibition at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts (Arts Center) in 2019. I will be contacting each artist individually to schedule their show ....

Laura Smith
Education and Gallery Coordinator
Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts

More in my next entry concerning why I am so excited-beyond the mere fact of being accepted-by this exhibition opportunity.

FYI ~ adirondack snapshot project


Work on my Adirondack Snapshots project is at approximately the halfway point. To date I have completed 6 volumes (33 pictures in each) with accompanying 6x6 prints.

Last week I attended a small gathering at an arts organization at which Summer season planned events were introduced. Just for the hell of it I brought one of my Adirondack Snapshot volumes with the accompanying prints to the event. The intent was to show it to a few people in order to get some feedback. As it turned out, the interest and comments were overwhelmingly postive. In fact, it not be an exaggeration to write that most were absolutely mesmerized the pictures, the presentation and the concept.

Consequently, there will soon be an exhibition-a work-in-progress event-in the organization's gallery. Date to be determined.