civilized ku #3591-97 (1 picture window + 2 diptych) ~ there and back again

Otsego Lake / Cooperstown, NY ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Madonna / Dylan ~ Fenimore Art Museum - (embiggenable) • iPhone

McCartney / Gillespie ~ Fenimore Art Museum - (embiggenable) • iPhone

my most colorful lunch ever ~ Cooperstown, NY - (embiggenable) • iPhone

A 3 day getaway to Cooperstown, NY has keep me away for my computer for a while. Next up this weekend is a trip to Middlebury, VT. for a college graduation event. Followed by a 4 day wedding event trip the next weekend to north Jersey. All of these trips are on-demand trips, aka: your presence is requested kinds things.

Cooperstown-the birthplace of baseball-was a "working" trip for the wife to attend a County Attorney Continuing Ed. conference. There was plenty of time for us to enjoy the sights together.

One unexpected pleasure was had at the Fenimore Art Museum where the first ever currated exhibit of Herb Ritts photographs was on view. While I entered the exhibition, Herb Ritts / THE ROCK PORTRAITS, with a bit of skepticism-I was never a serious Ritts fan-the exhibit was a masterly currated collection of drop-dead gorgeous BW portraits of rock music artists. Impressive on many levels, to say the least.

The exhibition is on view until Sept. 2nd. Since there is a exceptionally nice golf course, Leatherstocking Golf Course, on the shore of Otsego Lake-I played it while in Cooperstown-adjacent to the Fenimore Art Museum, I have 2 reasons for a return visit to Cooperstown.

Leatherstocking Golf Course ~ Cooperstown, NY- (embiggenable) • iPhone

civilized ku # 5350-53 / ku # 1414-17 ~ a body in motion tends to stay in motion

All pictures embiggenable

rainy Adirondack Spring day ~ µ4/3

back when all was right with the world ~ iPhone

this morning / reflected light ~ iPhone

This Tuesday past was the start of the better part of a month of travel. It seems that, while I am traveling, I make a lot of pictures and that propensity has held true over the past few days.

Tuesday and Wednesday were local-ish travel days. Tuesday was a 180 mile round trip to Blue Mountain Lake where I meet with Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts gallery director to discuss the details of my upcoming exhibition. Picture wise, the result of that venture was the landscape pictures above. All of those pictures were made in the rain.

Yesterday, it was another 180 mile round trip to Glens Falls (just outside of the southeast corner of the Adirondack PARK) to transport my grandson Hugo to an endodontist appointment. After that we drove by the Hyde Collection Museum to check out what was on exhibit and, as chance would have it, the featured exhibit was of Kodak Colorama pictures. I had seen a similar exhibit at the Geoge Eastman House, aka: Eastman Museum, but at the Hyde there were quite number of Colorama pictures I had not seen prior.

I must admit that, at this aged perspective point in my life, I found the pictures to be somewhat humorist-as in,if you don't laugh, you might cry-and full on depictions of innocence-lost naivete. They brought to mind the lines from the song Kodachrome:

They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day

In fact, there were quite a few pictures of sunny days but, figuratively writing, all of the pictures implied that every day, indoor or out, was a "sunny" day. Ahhhh, the grand and glorious American '50s when all was right with the world.

Travel wise, next up-this Sunday-Wednesday-is a 4 day visit to Quebec City with Hugo for our annual Grandpa / Grandson Spring Break Trip. The following Sunday, the wife and I depart from NYC on our train-around-part-of-America trip - the Southern Crescent train to New Orleans (30 hours w sleeping compartment and dining car) for 4 days to include the Jazz Festival. Then The City of New Orleans train to Chicago (20 hours w sleeping compartment and dining car) for 4 days to include lots of blues music, "legendary" Chicago steaks and a 2 day car trip to Racine, Wis. to tour the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Johnson Wax complex. After which, it's back on a train, The Lake Shore Limited (20 hours w sleeping compartment and dining car), for the return to NYC.

There will be pictures.

the new snapshot # 252 ~/ diptych # 238 /,oldie but a goodie ~ maybe too much information

the intrepid snow shoveller ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • iPhone

Yesterday's snow storm brought 18 inches of snow. Today's weather brings temperatures of -5˚F and -20˚F wind chill.

In the past such weather was cause for me to pack up my winter backpacking gear and head out into the High Peaks for 3-4 days of wilderness backpacking. However, at this point in time, such weather is cause for me to wish I could pack up my winter backpacking gear and head out into the High Peaks for 3-4 days of wilderness backpacking.

That written, the plain fact of the matter is that, my being in my 7th decade on the planet, I have a condition which makes winter backcounty camping a problem. While I am phyically able to undertake winter backpacking (albeit over gentle terrain), my bladder is not ...

... nearly every night, I need to make at least 1 visit to the toilet. Some nights more. That being a fact of life (for me), the thought of crawling out of a toasty warm down sleeping bag (in-a-protected-from-the-weather winter tent) to pee in the snow is not high on my list of things to do. And, it should be noted that winter backpacking camping requires the consumption of lots of warm liquids which could only make the situation worse.

That written, hope springs eternal, re: maybe it's time to give it a try.

near the top of the 2nd highest Adirondack peak in a blizzard ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

civilized ku # 5304 / diptych # 237 ~ there's reason I haven't posted in a while

frozen pumpkins ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Xmas present project ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Been kinda busy of late. Hockey and building our cherry-butcher-block-topped kitchen island. A project which is one of my Xmas presents for the wife. The island, while not complete (needs finish work - trim, paint, etc.), is in service and ready for the Holidays. Finish work happens after the Holidays.

And, to be honest, with all of the aforementionded and other general getting ready for the Holidays, I really haven't had much time for picture making. However, things are slowing down and I'll be able to get out and about more frequently. Consequently (+ hopefully), there will be more picture making.

PS, Paul Ralphaelson wrote an interesting comment on my last entry, EITHER / OR ~ MEMORY OR ART OR BOTH. If you haven't read it, you should.

either / or ~ memory or art or both

WIldwood Pier ~ Wildwood, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

picture window ~ Stone Harbor, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

bakery window ~ Middlebury, VT (embiggenable) • iPhone

Earlier today I listened to a LensWork podcast in which Brooks Jensen held forth on the difference between an image and a photograph. His conclusion was that an image is what a picture maker creates on his/her choice of light sensitive material. A photograph is a physically tactile thing. Which is to write, a photograph is a material thing (substrate) onto which an image has been afixed.

I am in agreement with Jensen's conclusion. However, as is often the case when opining about such things, Jensen goes all wonky and commences to introducing ideas such as ... a picture maker, aka: a photojournalist, makes images for publication. When those images are afixed on paper in a publication, are they photographs? My answer would be in the form of another question - what the hell else would you call them?.... hey, did you see those reproduced-by-non-photo-methods images in the recent issue of ....? Whatever.

In any event, in today's entry I am addressing the idea of picture making intent ....

To do so, I have placed 2 pictures of the same image side by side, albeit that the images have been processed and presented in different manners as related to my picture making intentions. In the case of these 3 pictures, my intentions were 2-fold:

intent #1: to create art
intent #2: to create memories

Everyone will have an opnion, re: whether or not my conventionally processed and presented pictures are art. Although, I am certain that most would concede that they represent (at least) an attempt to make art. In my defense however, I would like to note that the bakery window picture was accepted for inclusion in an art gallery juried exhibition.

That written, I believe that the snapshot presentation of the same pictures would be immediately seen and perceived as an attempt to create memories of things seen or experienced. While my intent, memory making wise, was to make pictures that would stir memories for me (and others who may have been with me at the time of their making), I also believe that those pictures are quite capable of stirring similiar memories in others who have no immediate connection to me or the specific depicted referent.

Based on my belief that others who have no immediate connection to me or the specific depicted referent could be incited by the depicted referenets to have feeling relative to their own experiences of similar places or events, and, considering the words of Joshu Reynolds ....

The great end of all arts is to make an impression on the imagination and the feeling.

.... is it possible that my snapshots are art?

An answer to the question could be had in my aforementioned comment that the bakery window pictures was accepted for inclusion in an art gallery juried exhibition .... I forgot to mention that it was the snapshot version of that picture which was excepted.

civilized ku # 5294 / diptych # 236 (ku # 1425-26) ~ risk, trust, reward

porch candle light ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

yesterday / today ~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3 (L) / iPhone (R)

Re: yesterday's promise to "address what I consider to be the most difficult challenge in picture making" ....

First, let me refine my idea of "dificult challenge" by writing that it is not about the difficulty of climbing Mt. Everest in order to make a picture from the top of the world. Or, as Bill Jay put it:

...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.

So, let me rule out any picture making which requires strenuous physical endurance or dexterity. In addition, there are a host of picture making endeavors which require a very high degree of technical / specialized skills or equipment. However, I don't consider the acquisition of those skills or equipment to be all that difficult. Time consuming and/or expensive, yes. Difficult, no.

That written, it is the within idea of "artistic expression" (as the result of a personal "vision") where the true difficulty resides.

However, iMo, not all artistic expression is all that difficult. It is very easy, easier now than ever, to point a picture making device at a conventionally pretty / pleasant referent - person, place or thing - and create an "artistic expression" which would be viewed quite favorably by a large segment of the population. ASIDE: I am not suggesting that this is a bad thing but, rather, that, for most, it is not a particulary difficult form of artistic expression to achieve.END ASIDE

All of the above written, what I consider to be the most difficult challenge in picture making is that of making interesting (aka: visually engaging) / beautiful (the print-not the referent-in and of itself) pictures of the quotidian life around us.

The primary reason I believe that making pictures of the everyday life around us is difficult is that it involves risk. The out-on-a-limb risk of rejecting what you have been told is a good picture and making pictures of what you see all around you. In addition, there is most certainly the risk of the rejection / lack of appreciation of one's pictures by a large segment of the population.

However, I believe the most difficult hurdle to overcome in the pursuit of picturing the mundane is developing trust in one's vision. That is, that one tuly believes that what one sees, the manner in which one pictures it and presents it is, indeed, both interesting and beautiful.

civilized ku # 5263 # / diptych # 235 ~ for your perusal

Schellengers Restaurant ~ Wildwood, NJ (embiggenable) • iPhone

sill sitters ~ embiggenable) • µ4/3 / iPhone

Presented above are 2 pictures of the same referents, one made with the iPhone camera module (JPRG format, HDR setting), the other with a "real" camera (Olympus E-P5 / RAW format). The pictures were made with approximately the same focal length lens.

While the pictures are not identical inasmuch as I would have had to use a much smaller aperture on the Oly picture in order to mimic the same DOF as the iPhone picture. Nevertheless, in terms of native resolution / sharpness (none applied to either in processing), color fidelity, dynamic range, et al, the results are very close to identical. In fact, when viewed as 20"x20" prints from a normal viewing distance, they are identical, image quality wise.

FYI, tomorrow I am heading out to our camp for the month of September. I will respond to Julian Behrisch Elce's request-I’d love to hear you unpack "I am desperately trying to avoid going all the way,” on Sunday or Monday at the latest.

civilized ku # 5262 / diptych # 234 (the new snapshot) ~ no apologies needed

Hugo posing ~ Ottawa, CA. (embiggenable)• iPhone

motors ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

As my picture making slowly slides into the iPhone realm-I am desperately trying to avoid going all the way-I must admit that the idea of "ultimate image quality" has faded even further in to the background of my picture making mind set than it already was.

Specifically, since I acquired a digital camera capable of making RAW files-c.2003-I have been a full-on maker of RAW files. Nary a camera-made JPEG file has ever darkened content of my hard drives. While the fact remains that, whenever I use a "real" camera, I still shoot only RAW, my iPhone camera module picture making is full on JPEG format.

ASIDE I do have a iPhone camera app which allows me to make pictures in the RAW format, I have yet to spend any significant amount of time trying to grasp the techniques (shooting+processing) to do so, or, if it is even advantageous to do so. And, the fact remains that I most likely never will ... if I want RAW, I'll use a "real" camera. END ASIDE

The reason for that belief is simple ... I want to keep my iPhone picture making as simple as possible in order to adapt my iPhone picture making mentally into a "snapshot" frame of mind. That is, as close as possible to the original KODAK advertising slogan of You push the button. We do the rest. While I do the rest, it is done on my iPhone with, again, the idea of keeping it as simple as possible.

In shooting JEPG format with the iPhone and processing it on the iPhone, I have been pleasantly surprised at the image quality that it is possible to obtain with careful shooting and processing techniques. As mentioned previously, the image quality is such that I can make a print of one of my "serious" photograph-made with the iPhone-for which no apology is needed, quality-wise.

FYI, for newcomers to this blog, the genesis of my recent the new snapshot awakening can be found in the book, The Art of the American Snapshot ~ 1888-1978. Specifically in the following excerpt regarding the 1944 MOMA exhibition, The American Snapshot:

.... the pictures "constitute[d] the most vital, most dynamic, most interesting and worthwhile photographic exhibition ever assembled by the Museum of Modern Art" .... [P]raised as being "without artistc pretensions" and coming "nearer to achieving the stature of true art than any of the inbred preciosities in the museum's permanent collection of in any of its previous shows," the photographs were applauded as "honest, realistic, human and articulate."

I really like making pictures which are honest, realistic, human and articulate.