civilized ku # 3526-29 / ku # 1441 ~ living on the edge

all pictures ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

During yesterday's early afternoon wander around my neighborhood a number of scenes pricked my eye and sensibilities. I returned from my ramble with about 20 pictures with which I am quite pleased, 5 of which are presented in this entry (more to follow).

The picture making ramble felt a bit weird inasmuch as it was my first, in very long time, leave-the-house and go out in pursuit of a specific picture making "task", i.e., making pictures of autumnal leftovers / remains. Embarking on a such a pursuit is somewhat contrary to my "normal" M.O. of just making pictures of what I see as opposed to trying to see a specific thing.

The difference between the 2 picture making M.O.s is, for me, like the difference between deliberation and spontaneity. When I am in the deliberative picture making mode, it sometimes feels like I am "forcing the issue". Whereas, when I am in the spontaniety mode, I make pictures of stuff that "surprises" me when I see it.

That written, I can't really write whether I have more or less picture making success either way. But, I can write that deliberation feels more like I am on assignment (work?) whereas spontaneity feels more like I am making art (play?). That written, I don't why I feel that distinction because, in either case, my creativity, imagination and aesthetic awareness to what I see works just fine.

In any event, that weird feeling aside, the other weird thing about yesterday's picture making was that, in my professional picture making life-a significant slice of that life was story-telling assignments (annual reports, magazine feature stories, et al)-on which I went out on assignments loaded for bear, gear wise. One never knew what picture making challenge one might encounter and, since one had to come back with the goods, one better be prepared for any contingency.

Yesterday however, when I went out on my self-assigned assignment, I was, relatively writing, buck naked, gear wise. It was just me and my little ol' iPhone .... actually, truth be told, on the backseat of my car were 2 µ4/3 camera bodies and 5 lenses. They were on the back seat in an effort for them to be out-of-sight and out-of-mind, but they were there, "just in case."

As it turned out, the µ4/3 stuff stayed out-of-sight / out-of-mind and the iPhone 11 PRO MAX carried the picture making load. For most picture making situations, I used the "normal" (slightly wide angle) lens. In a couple situations I did use the "tele" and the super-wide lenses.

Suffice it to write, once again, the iPhone met and exceeded my picture making needs.

the new snapshot # 249-53 (or there about) ~ simple is as simple does / the mind's eye

water # 1-5 ~ all pictures embiggenable • all pictures µ4/3

Continuing with the last entry's questions.....

c.1930-31, Georgia O'Keeffe agreed to a debate with the editor of NEW MASSES, a leftist periodical, over his denouncement of O'Keeffe's new exhibition as being an example of bourgeois individualism. In an era when the debate in the art world was centered around the idea of whether an artist-in a time of economic crisis, aka: The Great Depression-should be creating social / cultural relevant art, O'Keeffe felt obligated to respond to his criticism in order to defend her work and the Stieglitz group's aesthetic.

During the debate, the editor, Mike Gold, contended that art needed to engage with and reflect the issue of the day which he believed to be the plight of the oppressed. When pressed by O'Keeffe, re: if women were oppressed, he answered that only working-class women qualified as such. O'Keeffe rejected that opinion and went on to state that artists were perfectly capable of expresssing their woes / concerns without creating the "glorified cartoons" that were in vogue with the editor and readers of the leftist periodical.

At that point-and herein is my point re: the last entry's questions-O'Keeffe when on to state:

"The subject matter of a painting should never obscure its form and color, which are its real thematic concerns."

OK. Anyone who has followed this blog most likely knows that O'Keeffe's statement pretty much explains my picture making M.O.. Color and form, independent of the depicted referent, is what / how I see and picture. For the most part, re: my "serious" picture making, the depicted referent is just a visual vehicle that I use to illustrate color and form-shapes, lines, colors and tonal relationships as organized within my imposed frame.

O'Keeffe went onto state, re: meaning ...

"So I have no difficulty in connecting that my paintings of a flower may be just as much a product of this age as a cartoon about the freedom of women-or the working class-or anything else."

That statement again pretty much reflects my feeling about meaning that may or may not be found in my pictures. Viewers of my pictures may intuit / interpret / deduce any meaning therein according to the sensibilities they bring to their viewing experience. Or, none at all.

In most of my "serious" picture making, I have one simple intent. To create for the viewer a visual encounter / stimulation. That written, I am aware that many viewers do have reactions to my pictures that go beyond the visual. Hell, when viewing my printed work, I have reactions that were not present in my mind's eye as part of my picturing activity.

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.

civilized ku # 5328-30 (kitchen sink / ku-ish) ~ it's all relative

Spring snowstorm ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone (no effects applied) / the house’s rear porch, pillars, windows/doors are a mural painted on plywood

in the kitchen sink ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

in the kitchen sink ~ (embiggenable) • iPhone

Been rather too busy to post-prepping for my upcoming Adirondack Snapshot Project solo exhibition. However, I have followed a recent post on TOP, re: cell phone picture making.

As I followed the comments, I become both amused and annoyed. Amused by the ignorance, re: cell phone picture making capabilities, and by the predjudice toward "real" cameras as the only device for "serious" picture making. Annoyed, as my amusement, re: the presceeding, gradually turned into annoyance. That written, I am pretty good at reading between the lines and what I read there is, iMo, very telling, re: the 2 main types of picture makers.

CAVEAT re: the 2 main types of picture makers. What follows could be considered as a gross simplification. Nevertheless ..... iMo, there are 2 types of picture makers (excluding pro photogs), "serious" amateur photographers and artists. The difference between the 2 types-independent of the kind of pictures they make-is found in their respective additudes toward their picture making equipment.END OF CAVEAT To wit ....

A. "Serious" amateur picture makers have a serious relationship with their gear. They search out and acquire / use-a never ending quest-the "best" of everything, picture making wise-sensors, cameras, lenses, processing software, color printing profiles, printer, et al. For the most part, they believe the "best" pictures can only be made with the "best" equipment inasmuch as the "best" pictures must exhibit both technical and technique virtuosity.

CAVEAT # 2 Lest anyone think I am casting aspersions on "serious" amateur picture makers, in my defense let me write that I am a firm believer in Julian's grandmother's adage that, "For every pot there's a lid." And, picture making has many pots.END OF CAVEAT

B. Artists-Medium of Photography and Its Apparatus* Division-tend to pick a camera (selected from any and all formats / types), a lens (yes, most artists use but a single lens) and a single preferred manner of printing their work. Then they forget all about it and go out and make pictures.

FYI, the 1 thing that the 2 types has in common is that they both choose the equipment that best suits their picture making intensions.

So, reading between the lines, my point is this .... "serious" amateur picture makers consider cell phone picture making to be an inferior system for the making of "serious" pictures, suitable only for making snapshots and visual record keeping. On the other hand, artists are open to any and all picture making systems in the pursuit of their picture making because, for them, it's all about the end result. That is, it's not about the gear, it's all about expressing their unique vision.

CAVEAT # 3 Have no doubt about it, I am not a fan of those pictures made by "serious" amateurs picture makers. That works tends to follow along the line of what Brooks Jensen labeled as making pictures like what one has been told are good pictures. He also opined that "real" photography begins when one stops making pictures like what one has been told are good pictures and begins making pictures of what ones sees.

* in this context, "apparatus" means, a complex structure within an organization or system.

landscape # 7-11 ~ come what may

all pictures ~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3

FYI, considering my last 2 entries, re: my thoughts on landscape picture making, I thought it wise to post a few pictures which most might consider to be "traditional" landscape pictures.

To be clear, I do not avoid making "traditional" style landscape pictures when an opportunity to do so presents itself. However, such pictures are surreptitiously created, never planned or sought out. For that matter, very few of my pictures are deliberately sought out inasmuch as, whenever I am out and about (and even when I'm not), I always have a picture making device at hand and I tend to picture whatever pricks my eye and/or sensibilities. A picture making condition that I refer to as discursive promiscuity.

landscape # 6-9 ~ a sense of place

all pictures ~ (embiggenable) • µ4/3

In order to understand my current landscape and Adirondack picturing M.O., allow me to mention a few items.

item 1: The Adirondack PARK / region. The Adirondack PARK is defined geographically by the Blue Line. A line drawn - yes, drawn with blue ink - on a NY State map circa 1892. Within the boundaries of that line is an area that is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined. Also within that area there are 102 towns and villages with a year round population of 130,000 residents.

item 2: how item 1 has influenced, in particular, my Adirondack picture making. CAVEAT all of my picture making is primarily influenced by the manner in which I see (literally) the world. I refer to that as my eye and sensibilities (ME&S) (not learned but intuitive). My intuitive (preternatural?) ME&S determines my picture making vision but my brain, influenced by item 1, determines my picture making intent.

My Adirondack picture making intent is to make pictures which convey a sense of place. While most Adirondack picture makers concentrate, to the exclusion of all else, their picturing on the Adirondack natural world, that world is but a part of what makes the Adirondack PARK an interesting place - one might even say an important place in today's world.

Why important? Simply because the Adirondack PARK is a place where, by intent and design, humankind and the natural world co-exist in a harmonious relationship. The intent in the PARK's creation (1892) was to protect the natural environment within the Blue Line. The design of that intent was the so-called FOREVER WILD Amendment added to the NYS Constitution which decreed that all of the public lands* within the Blue Line would be protected as forever wild ... at the time, a very progressive visionary experiment which has proven to be very successful.

All of the above so stated, my Adirondack picturing intent is not to depict the Adirondack PARK as a romanticized virgin landscape free from humankind's existence. Rather it is to depict the Adirondack PARK as it is .... a place where humnankind co-exists with, protects and preserves the natural world in a relationship which benificial to both.

*approximately 50% of the land within the Blue Line is public land although the state does acquire vast tracts private land from time to time and adds it to the public land holdings.