work for hire ~ diversity

fashion shoot ~ Italian Designer clothing

journalism / death in the ER ~ from hardbound photo book, A Day in the Life of an Urban Hospital

hand-colored still life ~ Pittsburgh Symphony brochure

photo illustration ~ magazine article on modern art

still life / food shoot ~ hard-bound cookbook

still life / product shoot ~ Italian Designer fashion accessories

I'm rooting around in boxes of my ancient-history commercial work selecting pictures as candidates for the bio section in my work-in-progress photography book. The idea is to represent the wide range of divergent genres and styles which defined my commercial advertising / marketing life in photography.

Represented in this group of selections is (top to bottom); fashion, journalism, still life (hand-colored), photo illustration, still life -product and food. On many ocassions, I was advised by art directors and graphic designers to become a specialist in one genre / style. Most often that advice was specifically regarding my food photography.

However, I couldn't imagine that I would enjoy limiting my work to just one specific type of picture making. I really enjoyed the diversity and the diverse challenges which came with it. Needless to write, the challenges presented by fashion work as opposed those presented for picturing the near frentic activity and eventual death in an emergency room are quite different.

The cameras used to make the pictures presented here range from 35mm format camera, 2 1/4 format camera, rotating lens panoramic camera, to various view camera formats (4x5 - 8x10). Each of those formats also present their own unique technique / technical considerations.

As I continue unearth more selections I will present them for you, the viewing audience, to enjoy. Any questions?

manipulated # 1 / early ku ~ finding it

manipulated polaroid / c. 1990~ click to embiggen 

A recent photo book review, QT Luong's Magnificent Project, is responsible for a host of thoughts banging around in my head. Thoughts I haven't had for a long time and thoughts - more like nagging gripes - I thought I had gotten over ...

... Almost 2 decades ago, when I moved to the Adirondack PARK - technically not a park but rather a forest preserve - it was in my head that I would now have the time to be able to create grand landscape masterpieces, Photography Division wise, of the the park's natural environment. However, in very short order, a number of things emerged which worked in opposition to that idea.

First amongst those things was the realization that every mountain, mountain top view, lake, pond, river and stream had been pictured in the grand landscape style many times over. Pictured in a manner of making pictures just like what one has been told is a good picture - "perfect" light, "perfect" picturesque scene, "perfect" composition according to the so-called rules of compostion and, most often, color saturation dialed up to a 12 (on a scale of 10). Pictures which, iMo, most men, women and children would respond to - like Pavlov's salivating dogs - the romantized rendition of the natural world.

Springing forth from that realiztion (the second thing) was a reinforcement of the fact that, in my commercial / advertising picture making career, my success was built upon the a foundation of making pictures that were not like those of other picture makers. Pictures which had my personal stamp all over them. Pictures which separated me from the crowd. Therefore, why in the name of all that's holy (picture making wise) would I want to make pictures which blended into a sea of smaltzy, romantized and, iMo, cliched sameness?

Try as I might, I just could not come up with any reason to do so.

The third and most important thing which emerged, not from the aforementioned things, but rather, from getting out and making non-grand landscape pictures, was the realization that my eye and sensibilities are naturally - one might even say, preternaturally - drawn to referents which are most often seen but overlooked, visually complex and which are, in a very real sense, the genius / beauty to be found and seen in the "details" of the Adirondack PARK.

early discoveries / c. 2002 ~ in the Adirondack PARK (click to embiggen)

This discovery / realization had a profound impact on nearly every picture I have made thereafter that picture making epiphany. Whether a picture is of the natural world or the man-made world, vitually all of my pictures are of what, iMo and to my way of seeing, the genius and beauty to be found and seen in the mundane / ubiquitous "details" of the world all around me.

kitchen sink # 38 ~ 2 choices

green beans, fork, napkin ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (click to embiggen)

Excerpts from 2 picture maker statements. Which picture maker do you think makes the most interesting visual statements?

My work is an exploration of my own psychological landscape ... As I navigated through my internal landscape I was able to discover beauty in my journey back to living.
My motive in creating ... was to create a visual record of the area before it is all sanitized by shopping malls and frozen yogurt stands.

civilized ku # 5011-15 ~ finger licking good

Hattie's Chicken Shack ~ Saratoga Springs, NY (click to embiggen)

Hattie ~ Saratoga Springs, NY (long ago) (click to embiggen)

Wall crack with OOF sweetener packets  / Hattie's ~ (click to embiggen)

painting / Hattie's (click to embiggen)

Chicken cooking guy / Hattie's (click to embiggen)

Another hockey weekend, this time around Albany, NY. The games were spread out in 3 different rinks. Midpoint in the 50 mile drive from one rink to another, the wife and I stopped in Saratoga Springs for cigars and lunch.

Saratoga Springs is a target-rich environment for restaurants, options galore. I had just been reminded about a restaurant - Hattie's - which has been a Saratoga Springs' institution since 1938. Common wisdom has it that Hattie's offers the best fried chicken in the known fried chicken universe and after my fried chicken lunch I was more than inclined to agree with that assessment.

Writing of after lunch, for dessert we were treated to Hugo's game winning goal with only 5 seconds left on the afternoon game clock. It was very sweet indeed.

FYI, you can read all about Hattie Here.

selective focus # 5 ~ working the shtick

I'm starting to get the hang of making selective focus pictures. That is, recognizing what makes them "work" for my eye and sensibilities.

Nevertheless, I still consider that the pictures are a work-in-progress inasmuch as I am still learning to see referents that will make good selective focus pictures. My current "success" rate is about 1 in 5 pictures.

In any event, I have created a NARROW FOCUS / OVEREXPOSURE gallery on my WORK page. I will be adding to / deleting from that gallery frequently since I am kinda focusing on getting this picture making M.O. right.

civilized ku # 5009 ~ temporary edifice

ice castle entrance / Saranac Lake Winter Carnival ~ Saranac Lake, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (click to embiggen)

Missed the women's frying pan toss on Saturday. It's a great, really really great, event. Of course, there were so-called judges. Sad.