Archive for May 2010

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I just returned home a few days ago from a 12 day trip to Japan. No, I didn’t do any blogging from there as I have on my other recent trips. This was my third trip to Japan – the first two having been in 2004 and 2005 – but the first on a tour and the first with my mom coming along.

I went with her on a tour of Hong Kong and Thailand five years ago, so I told her I would take her someplace else this year and Japan was the choice as she’d never been there and as I had recommended it. I figured that a tour would be easier all around for such a visit, and things went pretty well. Finding time to blog was not a priority, but now that I’m back, I can write about it a bit.

Most of the places the tour visited I’d been to before – Tokyo, Kanazawa and Kyoto – but we also visited the Hakone region, which offers some beautiful views of Mount Fuji, which I had never seen before. I was also lucky to see it this time, as the mountain is notorious for being shrouded in clouds most of the time, but when we were there that famous conical top was clearly visible, though the cloudy backdrop didn’t allow it to stand out as much as it would on a clear day. (Still, no real complaints from me.)

You can see one of my photos of Fuji-san, as the Japanese call it (never Fuji-yama!), made with my new Canon S90 pocket digital camera. At the top here is one of my favorite photos from the trip – a plant in a window on a beautiful street in Kyoto called Shinbashi-dori.

I even went back the following night with my Pentax 67 camera and a tripod to photograph it with black & white film – even though it was pouring rain. (As I explained to people, photographing at night can be difficult and photographing in the rain can be difficult, but photographing at night in the rain can be very difficult indeed!) Regarding film, in the 12 days I only shot 13 rolls of 220 BW film – much less than usual on a trip to a place like Japan – but the trip was more about being with my mother and taking her to someplace new.

Still, on those 13 rolls, I think there are some good images. One day, when the film is all developed – whenever that will be – I’ll scan some and post them here. In the meantime, I’ll be posting some photos from the new pocket camera. I also have loads of film to still scan from my earlier trips to Japan. Stay tuned.

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I've started printing photos again recently, and while I plan to continue printing nudes, I really want to get started printing a lot of my travel photos. Before I stopped printing regularly in 2003, I had printed mostly nudes with some occasional photos of Europe thrown into the mix.

However, I started travelling to Asia regularly in 2004, so all of those photos are pretty much waiting to be printed. Here's one that I like that I want to print.

I made this image in the mountainous town of Matsumoto in Japan. I went there on a day trip, and what a difference a few hours can make. Tokyo is a huge metropolis of concrete and steel, but going just a few hours by train took me a quiet town of cool, fresh mountain air.

The main reason I went was to see the beautiful castle there, but there are many beautiful temples, as well, and I took this photo of a garden with a curvy pavement there. When I look at it, the paved section almost looks like the shape of a nude woman, with the curve of her hip in the foreground and the outline of her shoulder beyond.

I'll let you know when I've printed it - but who knows when that will be.

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Just a quick posting today to stay in touch with the bloggie world out there. My time these days has been mostly taken up with entertaining my visitor, but I wanted to find a few minutes to post something.

I haven't had much time lately for scanning, so I'm presenting another photo of Arctica from our recent session. As before, the image was made with my new Canon S90 pocket digital camera. (My film from the session will be developed when it will be developed.)

Arctica is wearing one of the masks that I bought on my trip to Venice last year. It makes me think of Batgirl for some reason. The mask also deposited a bunch of little sparkles on her face. I think she's still getting a kick out of it.

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Hello again, everyone.

Yes, it has been several weeks since I’ve written anything here. It was just a matter of being busy, running around trying to do a lot (mostly seeing art) and preparing for the arrival of a visitor who’s staying with me now.

One of the other things I did was to photograph a model named Arctica (above). She has a slim fashion model kind of figure, so I guess my photos will look closer to fashion imagery than to the glamour type that one might get with a curvier model. I won’t know, of course, until I develop the film (whenever that will be), but for now, here’s one of the snapshots I made with my new Canon S90 digital camera.

I wrote last time about seeing the Picasso exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Well, as it turned out, it was just the first of five Picasso exhibits that I’ve seen since then. The first, as I said, was the Met show – and I even went back to see it a second time the following weekend. (As it happened, I went to the Met three weekends in a row – something I can’t recall ever having done before.)

I next went to see a show of about 200 prints by Picasso at the Marlborough Gallery on West 57 Street (which I would also see twice), followed by the exhibit of Picasso’s at the John Szoke gallery on the same block. The fourth Picasso exhibition was the one at the Museum of Modern Art, which I saw this past Friday night (along with the naked people in the Marina Abramovic performance art retrospective) before I headed on over to the Metropolitan Opera to see my final opera of the season – Rossini’s “Armida.”

Finally, I had enough time available to drive across the George Washington Bridge to Englewood, New Jersey, to see the show of Picasso prints at the Midday Gallery. I guess it’s just a time for Picasso in and around town right now, and there’s more coming. On June 27, the Met Museum will host a series of lectures (followed by a film) about Picasso. One of the scheduled speakers is Francoise Gilot, Picasso’s former lover. I will try to be there.

Another Picasso event I attended was a lecture by Lucien Clergue about the artist at the Throckmorton Gallery. Lucien is one of the pioneers of art nude photography and I’ve known him since 1995, when I attended one of my first figure workshops with him. He was also a friend of Picasso from the 1950’s until the artist’s passing in 1973, and his talk shed some light on the artist’s personality (though obviously not all sides of it).

While the photos exhibited at the gallery included some photos of Picasso, the vast majority were art nudes. They were well worth seeing. (You can see an online version of the exhibition by clicking here .)

On a final note about Lucien Clergue and Picasso, I bought a copy of Lucien’s book, “Picasso Mon Ami” from Lucien when I visited his home town of Arles, France back in 1996. I was there to attend the annual photo festival, the Rencontres International de la Photographie – an even that Lucien helped to found. I made an appointment to visit Lucien in his office, and on the way I stopped into a bookstore where I saw the Picasso book for sale for about $60.

I told this to Lucien, and he said that he could sell me a copy for $40. I told him that I would have liked to have had it, but I said (quite truthfully) that my suitcase was already very full and very heavy.

“So what,” he responded. “You sit on it, you squeeze it in!”

I bought the book, which he signed for me. I’m glad I got it - and yes, I was able to squeeze it in!

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