Archive for July 2008

This will be a quick post for me tonight, as I need to get to bed very shortly so I can get up in time very early tomorrow. I’m flying out to Denver, Colorado, and then driving up to Fort Collins to attend The Artful Nude. That’s the name of both the exhibit that includes two of my photographs that’s currently there and the name of the workshop with Kim Weston that I’ll be at.

Both of these things are sponsored by the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins. The first reason for my deciding to go for the weekend was to see my two prints on the wall - it’s been a while since I’ve had prints on the wall in a gallery – and to attend the reception for the show.

I figured that while I was out there, I should try to make some more artful nude photographs, but being unfamiliar with the area and the local models and not having much time to researching both, I decided to just sign up for the workshop.

This way I also have the chance to get some of the cost reimbursed, as the union to which I belong does that for people who attend classes and workshops, even if they’re not work related (and this workshop definitely is not!). I’ve never been turned down asking for reimbursement for any workshop before, but I’ve never tried to do so for one with the word ‘nude’ in the title, and lord knows what some people may think. As my friend Steve Anchell has said, when people in Europe hear the word ‘nude,’ they think of Rodin and Renoir; here in America, they think of Penthouse and Hustler.

Anyway, the reception will be on Friday, August 1 (tomorrow night at this time of writing) from 6 to 9 pm at the Center for Fine Art Photography (in the Poudre River Arts Center), 400 North College Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80524. Any readers in the Fort Collins area are welcome to come down to say hello and talk about photography (or whatever). The exhibition continues through August 9. The displayed photos can be seen online at by clicking here.

Oh yes, I’ve been scanning photos lately, so at the top you’ll see one of my recently scanned images – Charlye Rayne and Nemesis on a farm in Ohio way back in 2005.

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Model: Martina Pavlovska
Designer: Biljana Karan
Collection: Glamourology 07/08
Photos: Jane Temelkovski
Make up: Igor Petreski
Place: Night club "Midnight"

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It’s Sunday morning here in the city called New York, and I thought I’d take some time to finally make another blog entry, six days after my last one. The truth be told, I’d wanted to post something three days ago, but I’ve been busy scanning negatives recently and was also just feeling too tired. I even wanted to develop some film but was too tired for that, too. (I do think I’ll have the energy to get some of that done today, however!)

The reason I’ve been busy scanning is to have enough images – and the kind of images I want – to put together my slide show DVD to be shown at the Community Zoe gathering in California in September. Putting together something like this that combines visual imagery with audio is something that I really enjoy doing, as I think the combination of visuals with music can be very powerful. Stanley Kubrick knew that, and that’s why he’s one of my favorite film directors. (Just think of how the space ship docked with the station in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the sound of Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz, or how the still images rapidly intercut with each other to the scherzo of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in A Clockwork Orange.)

Years ago, I even invited my aunt and uncle over to see a slide show (with a slide projector in those days) of the photos I’d taken at their son’s (my cousin’s) wedding a few months earlier. While projecting the slides I also played the wedding march from Mendelsohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the stereo, and the combination of the photos with the music was so effective that my aunt started crying all over again.

I’m trying to include different varieties of my nude figure work in my computer slide show, and that includes the work I’ve done in the studio. Right off the bat, I need to say this: I do not consider myself to be an especially good studio photographer. I’ve seen the work of photographers who do terrific studio work but whose outdoor figure work is only so-so. I think I’m the opposite of that – good work outdoors but only mediocre inside.

Here’s one example: I’ve recently scanned eleven photos from the studio session I did with Carlotta this past April, and I have to say that I am only happy with two of those eleven. (You can those two, with the black background, at the top here.) These images are from the first three rolls that I shot with her, and while I’m hopeful that the work from the last three rolls will be better, I had hoped to have gotten more from those first three. (On the other hand, I guess I should be happy if I got anything I’m satisfied with.)

If I don’t consider myself to be much of a studio photographer, why do I do it? Basically, out of necessity. If I want to do some figure work when it’s too cold outside to do that (which is most of the year here in the northeast), I’m basically relegated to my living room studio here at home. I don’t mind working in interesting interior spaces, but I don’t know of any that I could use. Even in the warm weather season, as I imagine I’ve written before here, it’s tough to find good outdoor spots around here with nobody around, so it’s no surprise that most of my nude work is done on the road.

Another problem hampering my studio work are the spatial limitations. I’ve seen some good studio work that looks like it’s been done in a reasonably sizable space, but here in my living room it’s pretty cramped. (I even have to move one of my stereo speakers out of the way just so I can have enough room to set up my tripod!)

I had the opportunity last weekend to photograph a recommended model here. Sadly, she had to cancel her trip to New York, but before she did, I really was pondering whether or not I should do another studio session, as I wasn’t feeling very happy with or inspired by my studio work. If she re-schedules her trip here, I guess I’ll have to make that decision again. Perhaps I just need to take some time to look over my studio work and see what works and what doesn’t. I’m also posting some photos of Natalia, made in my studio a couple of years ago as part of my mask series, that I am fairly happy with.

For now, though, it’s time to do some more scanning.

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In my last posting, I wrote about and included some photos of my trip out to Utah to photograph the model Tamara. Today it’s my turn to write about my photo shoot near San Francisco with Kat Love. I last worked with Kat back in 2004 at Joshua Tree National Park and it was good to see her and work with her again. Kat’s a big girl – six foot two – and now that she has some hair on her head (which she didn’t have before), I guess we can add a little more to that height.

I didn’t rent a car in San Francisco, so Kat was good enough to pick me up at my hotel and drive me to the locations at which we photographed. (I did pay her for the cost of gas and tolls.) We had chosen to go to two spots in Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge north from San Francisco.

Our first destination was the Muir Woods, a very beautiful place with huge redwood trees. I’d wanted to visit this spot before but never made it, so this was a good opportunity to finally get there. As we were doing this on a Saturday, when there would likely be a great deal of visitors (it is a popular place, and justifiably so), we chose to go here first.

Kat picked me up at my hotel at 6 a.m. so we were able to get there before 7:00, at which time we didn’t really see anybody else around. I pretty much worked with one eye on Kat and my other eye on the lookout for other people, but fortunately, we were able to work relatively undisturbed for about an hour and a half. I had thought that we might have to go off of the main trail (which people are asked not to do) to have some privacy, but that really wasn’t necessary. All of our photo spots were right next to the trail.

Eventually, inevitably, more people kept arriving, so the time finally came to pack things up and head back to the car. On the way back, I passed a very interesting set of wooden stairs built into the hillside and would have loved to have photographed Kat on them, but there were just too many people around to do so. I made some photos of the stairs with my big camera all the same, but hopefully if I make it back I’ll make some photos there early on while I still can!

Next, we drove up Highway 1 to work at a small, rocky beach near Stinson Beach. I think Kat said this beach is called Red Rock Beach, but I gave it the name “Mussel Beach,” as there’s a sign by the path down asking people not to disturb the mussels that are growing there. Kat said that this is understood to be a nudist beach, but most of the people we saw were rock climbers, I think. (Sounds like a good place for Tamara, who I wrote about last time – she can combine naturism with rock climbing.)

The weather, as it had been at the Woods, was a nice overcast, which yielded beautiful soft light, and I think it helped me to make some good images with Kat. (You can see some of the snapshots I made with my pocket digital camera in both locations here.) Sadly, just as we began the long, high climb back up the parking lot, the sun came out and began to heat things up! Just another hazard of being a photographer, I guess.

In other news, I’m continuing to develop film. I’ve decided to alternate my figure work with the photos from my trip to Asia, so I’ve taken care of six rolls from Laos, along with three rolls each from my photo sessions with Tamara, Carly Champagne and Maria Eriksson. Three more from Laos should be coming up next.

Earlier today, I also decided to replace my photo editing program, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, with a newer version, Photoshop Element 4.0. I’ve had the new program for a while now (I think it came with my new scanner), but I was reticent to make the change as I feared I might not be able to figure out how to use the new version. Today, though, I gave it a try, as I read that the new edition is a major upgrade over the older one, and I figured that Adobe would no doubt make it very simple for users of the older program to understand the new one. Right?

Well, as it turned out, wrong!!! I uninstalled the old version and installed the new one. The first thing I noticed was that I could not see two or more images together on the work screen at the same time – making it difficult to compare images side by side. I also tried to overlay one image onto another using the Layers function, but again, I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Certainly, it didn’t work doing it the way I did it before – as this way requires both images to be up at the same time, which the new version doesn’t allow.

So, after trying several times to get it to work (I use this function to add the black border around my images), I decided to throw in the towel and gave up. I uninstalled 4.0 and re-installed 2.0. While the new version may do more things, I really don’t need all of that stuff. All I need is a basic image editing program that will allow me to crop, adjust for contrast, dodge and burn, etc. These are the kinds of things that I can do in a darkroom, and I’m not really interested in fancy ways of digitally doctoring things up.

Most importantly, I need a program that I know how to use, and right now, I haven’t got the time to figure out how to use a new one when I understand the old one and it works just fine.

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Well, I’m back home here in Brooklyn, having returned to New York on Sunday afternoon. The flight into JFK on Delta actually landed about 15 minutes early. That was the good news. The bad was that once we touched down, we had to wait an hour and ten minutes to get to the arrival gate! (Seems that the little tug truck that pulls the planes around was broken.)

Making things worse was the fact that the kid behind me was screaming almost the whole time on the ground (not to mention during the flight) and his parents did little to try to quiet him. I told the flight attendant before I left the plane that every aircraft should be equipped with a brick to deal with such situations. The fact that I had gotten absolutely no sleep the night before didn’t help. Why no sleep?

I attended the annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival for two nights, and the late movie on Saturday night ended around 12:15 a.m. I hurried out of the theater and made the 12:30 streetcar from the Castro area back to Fisherman’s Wharf, a few blocks from my hotel. With a 6:30 a.m. flight, I figured that the restaurants at the airport might be closed that early, so I went to a 24 hour IHOP in the Radisson Hotel and had a big stack of buttermilk pancakes with hash browns between 1:00 and 1:30.

I got back to my hotel room at the San Remo around 1:40 a.m., then spent the next hour-plus packing my bags and getting ready to leave. I pretty much finished that around 3:00, so for the next half hour I rested atop the bed without closing my eyes – fearful that I might doze off and miss my 4:10 shuttle bus pickup for the airport. The bus was on time and things went fairly smoothly except for the screaming kid and his almost equally loud older brother. That put an end to any thoughts of sleeping on the plane, so I watched some episodes of Doctor Who and Space:1999 on my portable DVD player (though I did doze off numerous times).

Still, I did get home safely, which is the most important thing. I guess the pilot ordered the plane to be filled with enough fuel, after all.
As for photography on my trip, I photographed models on two days – first a day trip from Las Vegas to Utah to work with Tamara, then a morning spend with Kat in Marin County, north of San Francisco. I’ll write about Kat another time, so I’ll concentrate on my session with Tamara now.

I had never been to Utah before, so I was excited at the chance to photograph around Zion National Park, which I’d heard is quite beautiful. Before getting to Utah, I had to drive through the Nevada desert, much of it cruising around 80 mph in the 75 speed limit zone – something I’m definitely not used to doing here in the east. When I made the turnoff from the main highway in Utah to head out to Zion, there was a sign naming number of restaurants nearby, most of them with American sounding names like Rancho Canyon Grill or some such thing. Among those names, however, I noticed the one for Hunan Chinese Buffet. “Yes,” I thought to myself. “No place can call itself truly American without a Chinese restaurant there.”

Actually, I was nearly late meeting Tamara. We had agreed the day before to meet at 3 p.m., so I figured that with an estimated two and a half hour drive, I’d leave Las Vegas around 12 noon or so. Later that evening, though, I realized that I’d forgotten to ask her one thing: are Nevada and Utah in the same time zone? I didn’t want to be an hour late, but I didn’t want to be an hour early, either. I couldn’t get in touch with Tamara the next morning, so I called the Las Vegas AAA office and I was told that Utah is indeed one hour ahead. I wound up leaving around 11:20 a.m. and arrived in Tamara’s town just a few minutes before 3.

As for the photo session, I first had lunch with Tamara and her boyfriend Matt. Both are avid rock climbers and they lead me to a great spot just outside Zion National Park that they’d found on one of their climbing adventures. I shot eight rolls of 220 BW film and I think the images I got made the long drive worthwhile. You can see some of my digital snapshots of Tamara here now. It was fairly late when we started, so the sun was below the horizon by the time we finished, though thankfully there was enough light to navigate the dirt road that connected up with the main roads. We had dinner afterwards but I didn’t start heading back until around 11:00 p.m. I finally got back to Vegas around 1:00.

As for the film I shot, you’re probably wondering when (or if) I’ll ever get around to developing them. Well, as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise! Surprise!” I actually developed three rolls from this session last night. I normally develop film in the order in which it’s shot, but as I’m planning to put together a somewhat lengthy slide show for the Community Zoe get-together in September and I want to include new work, I’ve decided to develop some of this year’s nude images along with my photos from Laos and Cambodia (the first in line) right now. So far, the negatives look good, but I’ll have to find a lot of time to scan them.
Finally, the day is now past July 11, which means that two of my photos should now be on display in the Artful Nude exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado. The show runs until August 9. You can see the images selected for the exhibition by clicking here. (My photos are all the way at the bottom, for some reason.) The reception for the show is the evening of August 1. I’m planning to be there.

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I thought I'd take a few minutes to make a relatively quick posting today. I haven't written anything recently as I haven't had access to the internet until now. I've spent the past six days in Las Vegas visiting family and today I arrived here in the City by the Bay - San Francisco. I was last here nine years ago and it's good to be back.

After arrival I finally got to speak again with Kat Love. We had scheduled a photo shoot for a few days from now and at last we were able to talk to finalize arrangements. I'll also be attending several screenings at the annual Silent Film Festival here this weekend, which I am really looking forward to attending. I've been a fan of silent films for some time, but I've never seen one (or as the present case is, three) in such grand circumstances.
Back in Las Vegas I met my friend Terrell Neasley for breakfast one morning and as usual we talked about photography and models. I only photographed for one day but it was quite a day: a long day trip out to the vicinity of Zion National Park in Utah, where I photographed the model Tamara. She and her boyfriend are avid rock climbers and they took me to a fantastic location where I think I made some very good images. I'm even tempted to move these rolls of film to the beginning of the queue for the film awaiting development! Overall it was a very long day, as I think I drove about 400 miles all told.

Tonight I'll be having dinner with some people who live here in San Francisco who I met on my trip to Southeast Asia earlier this year. It'll be good to eat some San Francisco food once again!

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