civilized ku # 5052 (the light) / diptych # 217 ~ la la how the life goes on

AM light on empty wine bottle ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - ItAP (embiggenable)

emerging / receding ~ SUNY Canton - Canton, NY (embiggenable)

Plugging along working on refining my instragram-like "filter" which is actually a series of customizable image-bending steps. While I will be posting some examples as I go along, I am posting every instagram-like picture on instagram @ hobsonspictures.

Meanwhile, my eye is wide open and my sensibilities on alert for straight picture making opportunities. Next week I will be visiting NYC and the Boston area so I expect there will opportunities aplenty.

civilized ku # 5040 / diptych # 217 ~ cracks in everything

wood fruits ~ New York, NY (embiggenable)

shafts of light ~ Au Sable Forks, NY (inAP) / Amherst, NY (embiggenable)

The light. As picture makers, Photography Division, we "write with light" and much has been written about that endevour:

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography. ~ George Eastman.

Without delving into what "the light" means to individual picture makers, suffice it to write that it means many different things to many different picture makers. In my case, found / straight photography, I do not "chase" a particular type of light. Although, that written, I do on rare ocassion wait for light which will help represent a chosen referent in ... well ... the best light.

That written, I take great delight in finding / encountering light which emphasizes the painterly quality of light known as chiaroscuro. That is, strong tonal contrasts between light and dark to model three-dimensional forms, often to dramatic effect - a technique deeveloped by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Rembrandt.

Call it what you will, I like the phrase from Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem, which describes well that which creates the light in my shaft-of-light pictures:

There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

civilized ku # 4085 ~ my special can of hairspray

late afternoon light ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (click to embiggen)

Notice the can of Aqua Net hairspray in today's picture. Aqua Net hairspray was featured in John Waters' movie, Hairspray. If you look closely you can see Waters' signature on the can's cap.

That signature was obtained while talking with Waters during a totally serendipitous encounter with him in Baltimore. I had gone into a rather funky "gift" shop in the Fell's Point neighborhood and when I went to the cash register to pay up, lo and behold and much to my utter astonishment, there was John Waters manning the checkout. As it turned out, Waters was in the shop helping a friend, something he did on a fairly regular basis.

The shop was empty of patrons so we chatted a bit and, of course, I asked him for an autograph. Whereupon he reached under the counter and produced a can of Aqua Net - left over from the Hairspray movie production - and offered to sign it for $10., money which he donated to a local charity. I paid up and got the can.

civilized ku # 4056 ~ listening and evolving

wine rack / morning sun ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK (click to embiggen)

Many a "serious" picture maker - that is one who wishes to create a body of work with a unified theme and look - spends a significant amount of time pondering, fretting, agonizing and contemplating regarding what to picture and how to picture it. Or as Jörg M. Colberg wrote in a recent essay:

"As a photographer, you will probably have to address the problem ideas/intent vs. form/content simultaneously from both ends. This is difficult, because it’s much easier to have an idea and then produce something around it than to be able to have that idea evolve, based on what is coming out of the pictures."

While I certainly agree with Colberg regarding the necessity for a "serious" picture maker to to address the problem ideas/intent vs. form/content, I would disagree with his notion that it’s much easier to have an idea and then produce something around it than to be able to have that idea evolve, based on what is coming out of the pictures. To wit ...

A quick visit to my WORK page reveals that I have what I consider to be 18 differing bodies of work. That is, each body of work has its own unique-to-itself referent. The only traits they all have in common - PINHOLE excepted - are my adherence to straight picture making, the square format and my "standard" processing (vignette and black frame).

But, here's the thing about those separate bodies of work - not one of them began with a concept (idea/intent). The only concept involved was an intent to picture the quotidian nature of the world around me. That is to write, my picture making - any referent was fair game - was driven by attention to visual considerations. The bodies of work all began and evolved from listening to what was coming out of my pictures.

Over time, I identified, by looking at and listening to my pictures, referent material which pricked my eye and sensibilities. That is, a number of my pictures, which pictured very dfferent referents, suggested to me that pursuing, by intent, those varied referents could produce interesting but separate bodies of work. Or to state it another way, I did not intially intend to make a body of work which pictured, for example, decaying food or women in public or random arrangements of stuff in my kitchen sink.

Nor did I, at first, picture those varied referents in the exact manner (form) that has evolved - been refined - from those first picturing endeavors. Nor did I understand - as I do now - why it was that I was attracted to picturing (my intent) those specific referents.

In other words, I learned something about myself by listening to what was - and still is - coming out of my pictures. And, it is my belief that by listening and learning I have been able to make better pictures (re: content/form) which, by intent, express my ideas (concept) about those things which prick my eye and sensibilities.

places to sit / the light / rain ~ more WORK updates and a note re: RPP

wicker chair

the light


3 more updates on the WORK page - Adirondack places to sit, the light and rain.

The rain picture in this entry was processed (RAW conversion) using RPP. If your monitor isn't reasonably calibrated, the astounding level of detail in the dark areas of the picture might not be visible. In fact, that may be true unless your monitor is perfectly calibrated.

In any event and relative to yesterday's entry re: RPP, the developer's claim about RPP's ability "to obtain that dearly-looking film-like tonality in your pictures", if I understand the claim properly, is predicated on what they call "different development modes". Those "development modes" are selectable film-type simulation modes of processing which render a specific film-type look to the finished RAW conversion.

iMo, so far as I have tested them, the different development modes - B&W = Agfa APX 25, B&W = Kodak Vision2 50D, Technicolor 2Strip, Kodak Portra 160NC, Fujichrome Astia 100F, Kodachrome 64, Fujichrome Velvia 50, Technicolor System4 die Transfer, Kodak Ektar 25 - create reasonably accurate simulations of those specific film types.

While I have yet to zero in on a single film-type "development mode", my inclination is to use the Kodak color negative modes. Kodak color negative film was the gold standard for reproducing - inasmuch as film technology allowed - accurate, well balanced and neutral results (no strongly marked individual color emphasis - think Velvia greens). In my film days KODAK color negative films were my film of choice for my personal picture making (most commercial clients demanded transparency film). This choice was completely independent of the fact that KODAK was my biggest client.