It’s been over a week since my last posting. If there are any people out there who really miss reading my ramblings, I do apologize. To be honest, I really haven’t done much photographically in recent weeks. I decided to take a break during holiday time earlier this month, and I just haven’t gotten back into doing things again. Lord knows I’ve got a ton to do, and as I’ve got a lot of photo-taking planned for the upcoming months, I should try as best as I can to take care of what I’ve already got.

As with many things, though, the hardest part is often just getting started.

The biggest event since my last posting was going to a free concert at Temple Emanu-El here in New York last Wednesday. It was an opera concert (with piano accompaniment rather than orchestra) sponsored by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation featuring singers from the Metropolitan Opera. Some of the singers were well known, others less so.

The concert began with an attractive young American mezzo-soprano named Kate Aldrich striding on stage wearing a red, sleeveless, strapless to sing the "Habanera" from Bizet’s Carmen. She later sang the “Nacqui all’affanno” from Rossini’s La Cenerentola. When I was leaving the temple, I waited a few minutes for her to come out so I could say hello. I told her that I actually have a ticket to hear her sing Carmen this summer at a location outside of New York, so she told me to drop by to say hello after that performance. Perhaps I will.

Other highlights included hearing and seeing the always beautiful Barbara Frittoli (photo, left, from several years ago) from Milan, Italy, singing the "Ave Maria" from Verdi’s Otello and the tenor Matthew Polenzani singing “Una furtive lagrima” from Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (which I ‘ve written about earlier) and Franz Lehar's “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz,” along with the veteran bass Samuel Ramey singing “Old Man River” from Showboat.

Photographically, about the only thing I’ve done recently was to prep some photos of Vietnam for the new website that I’m working on. The website is pretty much fully designed. I just need to prep the photos and upload them (a very time-consuming task) and design a home page.

Otherwise, I've finished reading the current issue of American Photo magazine. This issue is devoted to the digital age, and includes a segment on Flickr and what it calls Flickr superstars – people who regularly get tons of hits. I haven’t looked up any of them, but what struck my curiosity was that one of the photos – by a German fellow who mostly photographs his girlfriend – was a full frontal nude image. I’ve seen topless shots in American Photo before, but never before a full nude. What could be going on in their editorial offices?

Still, I gave up on Flickr long ago. I used to post stuff, but when I’d posted ten nudes and ten travel images and got only one comment (or so) after several weeks, I decided that it was pointless, so I took everything down. I also seem to remember Flickr having the right to use posted photos for their own purposes; I don’t know how true that was/is, but apparently that’s the way it is with Facebook – one reason I don’t post photos there.

The other problem with Flickr was the sheer volume of photos posted there. Digital cameras are great for taking lots of photos, so apparently people go out, shoot lots of photos and then they (seem to) post them all on Flickr. If I were running such a website, I would institute this rule: a maximum of one (maybe two) could be posted per week. That’s what I do with Community Zoe and Deviant Art, as I think that anything more is just overkill.

It’s ironic that the same issue of American Photo has a review of a new book about Robert Frank’s classic book, The Americans. It said that during his trips across the U.S. from 1955 to 1957, Frank shot more than 27,000 photographs and edited them down to just 83 for inclusion in the book. I think that’s about a third of one per cent. If the people uploading to Flickr shot 27,000 photos, would they post all 27,000 – or would they be able to edit it down to only 20,000 or so???

At the top: another Holga image made on Prince Edward Island in 2006.

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