Archive for March 2010

read more

I made prints from three negatives in my darkroom set-up on Sunday. This followed making prints from two negatives two weeks ago. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue printing at an average rate of once a month, though I may try to do it twice a month if I have the time and if I feel like doing so.

The three negatives that I printed were from those images that I submitted into a photo competition recently. I’ve now made prints of all five photos that I entered, so that if I’m fortunate to have any chosen for the exhibition, I’ll be ready to provide them.

Still, things could have gone better. First off, I should have gone to bed earlier the night before so I could have gotten up earlier and started earlier – and not felt so tired. Then, when I finished making my third good print from the first negative, I looked over the print and decided that one corner was too bright and needed to be burned in (that is, darkened). So, I took those first three prints, tore them all into pieces and angrily shoved the pieces into the trash. The lesson: look over the print carefully the first time and not after you’ve made three of them.

The print of the third negative (see a scan of the negative above) also required a lot of burning in to even out the tonality of the image, but in the end, it was worth the extra time and effort.
Overall, I was satisfied with the results. All of these pictures were nudes, so maybe I’ll try printing up some of my travel images from Asia next time.

I wrote last time about how I spoke with some of the dealers and gallery people at the recent AIPAD photography show. What I didn’t mention was that I also spoke with the photographer Kenro Izu. Kenro is the founder of the organization Friends Without a Border, which built and continues to support the Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia.

I told Kenro about the book project that I was involved in that is donating all profits from book sales to Friends Without a Border, and he was happy to hear about our support. The group that put the book together, f-eleven, will soon be releasing a second volume to benefit a different charity, so I thought it would be an opportune time to remind people of the first volume, which is still for sale. You can see the cover here (with one of my photos on it), see a full preview and get more information by clicking here.

read more

Hello again, my friends out there in bloggie land. Yes, it has been over a week since I wrote. I had decided not to write until after I attended the event of which I am about to write. However, my new iPod Touch arrived this weekend, and since then I’ve been taking the time to copy music for it and, of course, try to figure out just how it works. (I’m copying CDs as this write this, too.)

So, let’s get down to business.

The annual New York show of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) is something that I have come to look forward to each year. I attended my first AIPAD show quite a few years ago when it was held on two floors of the New York Hilton hotel in midtown Manhattan. I didn’t go to buy, but rather just to look at the many fine examples of original photographic prints, dating from the 19th century to more recent years. I can remember how my head was spinning when I left, having seen so many prints.

In subsequent years, I bought some inexpensive prints for my collection, but then, for some reason, I stopped attending. The event eventually moved to a new location – the Park Avenue Armory on Manhattan’s east side – and last year I finally went back to attending the show.

I have begun to take my collecting of photography more seriously over the past few years, but at a show like AIPAD, I must say, the vast majority of prints are beyond my affordability. Still, I have managed to find some things now and then that fall within my budgetary limits, with an occasional splurge.

I do have to say that there is definitely a difference in attending an event like this when you are a potential buyer rather than just a looker. As a looker – well, price really doesn’t matter much because you’re not planning to take anything home. On the other hand, when you are on the lookout for something, it stings a bit more when you see something you really love but you see that it’s out of reach.

This year things stung a bit more. Having seen my television set, computer and MP3 player break down in short succession, with my digital camera also on the blink and all of them needing to be replaced – well,I’m afraid there really wasn’t much left in the till for buying art.

Perhaps that’s one reason why I only attended this past Thursday and Friday after work. I usually go on Saturday for a full day to see as much as I can – and last year I went Thursday through Sunday – but this time it was just two days, though those two weeknights were not as crowded as it usually gets on a weekend. (I also needed to take my car for a good ride, as the battery had become depleted through lack of use and needed to be recharged., which I did on Saturday.)

In the end, I did take home a couple of inexpensive prints from the Czech Center of Photography, and I saw a lower priced print from an American dealer that I may be able to get later in the year if I can actually save some money. All that aside, I spent some time looking at beautiful photography and talking with people from the fine art photography world. There are worse ways to pass the hours.

Here are some photos I made at the show of some photos I admired and dealers I spoke with. My comments are below them.

Dealer Alex Novak of Vintage Works from Pennsylvania, standing in front of a print by Arthur Tress, an artist he represents.

Some classic prints at Alex's booth, including the iconic "Satyric Dancer" by Andre Kertesz on the left.

One of my favorite prints in Alex's inventory, a photo taken on the Paris metro, I believe, by Brassai.

Alex mentioned my blog coverage of last year's event in his newsletter, and he also sent me a free pass for this year's event (as I had purchased a print from him in the past), so I told him that I'd feature him on the blog. Here he's holding a 19th century print of the Step Pyramid of King Djoser at Sakkara in Egypt. This was the first pyramid built by the ancient Egyptians, around the 27th century BCE.

The lovely and charming Mel Etherton of the Etherton Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. I happened to mention that I missed the chance to hear Robert Frank speaking a few months ago at the Metropolitan Museum of Art because I had a ticket to see Mozart's "Marriage of Figaro" at the opera (the "other" Met) that night. It turns out that she's an opera lover, too, so we had a lot to talk about other than photography. She was impressed by my tales of being on stage with Pavarotti at the Met.

That's a Joel-Peter Witkin print on the left at Etherton - proof that he can make a photo that doesn't turn one's stomach. This one, as you can see, is quite lovely, actually.

Some more prints at Etherton, by Flor Garduno (left) and Helmut Newton (right).

I usually prefer black & white fine art photography over that in color, but this fashion photo by Norman Parkinson certainly caught my attention.

The men from Prague: Jiri (right) and his assistant of the Czech Center of Photography.

A beautiful nude by Irving Penn.

Burt Finger from the Photographs Do Not Bend (PDNB) Gallery in Dallas, Texas.

A Gallery for Fine Photography, from New Orleans, had this very large print by Helmut Newton on display. It certainly looked impressive. Even a small Newton print is beyond my budget, but I can always dream about winning the lottery and getting something like this. (It would look great above my sofa.)

Something by Sally Mann, if I recall correctly, as is the photo at the top.

A couple of large prints of some New York landmarks.

So, that's it for this year's AIPAD show. This is by no means an exhaustive review of the event, but rather the show as seen from my point of view. If you're interested and want to find out more, view the blog of DLK Collection - a serious collector - by clicking here.

read more

It was a long time since I’d printed any photos – nearly three months – so I thought that yesterday would be a good day to break that streak. In addition to wanting to finally print again in general, I had recently entered some photos into a competition and wanted to print up my submitted images on the odd chance that something might actually be selected for the show.

Things were against me from the start, as Saturday night was when we had to move our clocks forward an hour, meaning that I’d basically wake up an hour late yesterday. (Yes, I know. We all woke up an hour late, but this is my story.) I also didn’t feel like setting my alarm, so I woke up even later than I normally would on a printing day.

Then I had to get everything set up. By the time I was ready, it was lunch time. So, I had a quick bite to eat and then got down to printing.

Well, I would have gotten down to printing, except for one thing – the timer connected to my enlarger was broken. When it was set to the print position, instead of the lamp being off and going on for the set time when I pressed the proper button, the reverse held true. The enlarger’s lamp was on the whole time, and would turn off for the prescribed time when I pushed the button!

“What the @#%&*!!!,” I thought to myself. “Now this, too?!” After my television set, computer, MP3 player and digital camera all suffered problems requiring replacement, did my enlarger’s timer really have to join the club, too?

Let’s not forget that I hadn’t printed for three months, I’m all set up and ready to go – and then I’m stuck. I felt like I was all dressed up with no place to go. Still, I wondered if it might be a wrong button accidentally pushed, so I pushed a lot of the buttons seeing if anything would change, but it didn’t. I ended calling up a friend who’s a photographer, and he thought it odd that it would work in reverse. Not working at all, yes – but working backwards did seem really odd to him.

Well, it seemed odd to me, too, so before throwing in the towel and putting everything away, I told myself that I’d try just one more time to get it working properly. Guess what? It worked! For some reason, there is a button on the timer that has the lamp on except for when the timer is activated. I have absolutely no reason why such a thing is necessary, but it’s there, and I now know to be wary of it. As I still consider myself to be in the ‘trying to get back to normal’ mode as far as printing is concerned, I wonder what other pitfalls await me.

By this time, it was around 3 p.m., so I set out to make some good fiber prints from just two negatives rather than the hoped for three, and that’s just what I did. The competition is being held by a gallery in Manhattan’s East Village, with the topic being beds. So, the two I printed were of a model on a bed in a California motel room.

One of them is the photo that I have called “Banned by Kodak,” as Kodak refused to print it in a book of nudes I had put together in 2007 because they felt it was too racy. (You can read my blog postings about it here and here.) Well, if it got Kodak’s attention, then maybe it’ll get the juror’s attention, too – and as it’s the East Village and not Rochester, hopefully it will be looked upon favorably. I’ll try to make prints of the other three submitted photos in a couple of weeks.

At the top is a photo I made a few years ago in the old studio of my friend Dave Levingston. The model is _G_. I photographed her last month in Dave’s new studio, but as I haven’t developed that film yet, here’s an oldie for you.

read more

Martina PavlovskaMartina Pavlovska

Martina PavlovskaMartina Pavlovska

Martina PavlovskaMartina Pavlovska

Martina PavlovskaMartina Pavlovska

Martina PavlovskaMartina Pavlovska

Model: Martina Pavloska
Clothes Designer: Jovan Petrovski
Photographer: Sashko Manev
Make up: Lucija Stefanovska
Jewelry: Goran Ian

read more

I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently developing film from my trip to Ohio last month. So far, I’ve gotten about two-thirds of the way through it, though I probably won’t be able to finish the rest for a few weeks. So far the results look pretty good, and I thank my good friend Dave Levingston once again for allowing me to use his new studio.

Here’s one of the images that I made in that studio, with the face of model Revielle hidden behind a mask that she brought with her. This photo was made with natural afternoon light coming into the studio through its large windows.

Part of the time that I was photographing in the studio, Dave L was working hard to repair the broken cyclorama that’s on one wall of the studio. I’m glad that he’s finally finished the repair and can now finally enjoy the fruit of his efforts. To read about Dave’s efforts there, see his blog here.

I just want to remind people that "f - eleven," a book that I and many other fine photographers participated in compiling, is still available for purchase through Blurb. (That's one of my photos on the cover, too.)
All proceeds will go to Friends Without a Border, a non-profit organization that supports the Angkor Hospital for Children in Cambodia. To get more information about the book and to see a full preview, click here.

read more

I’m sitting here now, writing from my new computer. Yes, my life is returning somewhat to normal now, though I do have a lot of catching up to do with things that got backed up due to my lack of a proper ‘puter.

I got the new machine last Friday and hooked it up over the weekend. I was concerned that there could be major compatibility issues between my software and the new Windows 7 operating system (my old computer having XP), so I took a philosophical deep breath when I tried to install the first program, Pentax’s ACDSee photo browser. The software loaded and installed without a problem.

Then I tried installing Photoshop Elements. More precisely, Photoshop Elements 2.0, which is a pretty old version of the program. That also installed without a problem. Next was the software for my scanner – also no problem. So, things were going well. Then I hit a snag.

I tried to load the drivers for my printer, an Epson Stylus Photo 820, but I got a message saying that the software was incompatible. Oh, well. I’d been planning to get a new printer anyway. Then I mentioned it to someone I know, and he suggested that I go to Microsoft’s Windows 7 page to look it up. According to that, no downloads were needed. So I thought, “What the heck” and tried to print something. It worked! So, I can hold off on getting a new printer if I want.

The only problem I can discern is that I don’t know how much ink I have, as this printer uses one color cartridge and the new printing page has the indicator for multiple color cartridges. I’m also trying to figure out how to get the computer to give me a page preview for each thing I want to print as my old machine did.

Finally, I did hit an impass. When I tried to install my Roxio program for burning and editing CDs and DVDs, etc., it refused to load. The software is just too old for Windows 7. So, I have to get something new. I was thinking of getting the new Roxio Creator 2010, but according to an online review from a major publication, the software automatically deletes the audio for video files that one wants to use to make DVDs or Blu-rays, for some strange reason. That is not what I want – though I wonder if I misunderstand the review and there’s a way to get around that. I wish there’s a way I can find out for sure short of buying the thing. (I’ve had problems synching the audio with the video on my earlier Roxio programs, but it’s hard to imagine that they’ve tried to solve the problem by simply doing away with the audio!)

Last night, I tried to scan some negatives with the new machine for the first time. You can see one of the resulting images at the top – a photograph of shadows on a foot bridge over a canal in Venice, made on my visit there last year.

Expect to see more.

read more

Ana Isaieva, Wallpaper for March 2010

Photo: Vladimir Georgiev

Technorati Tags: , , , , .

read more