Posts Tagged ‘digital


Of Mozart and Light

Ok.  New work.  Let’s talk.

This is the branched off version of my Edge of Vision series that I started sometime last year (I think!).  Still making these, and I’m awful at titles, even when I’ve finished a project, so for right now, I’m referring to the new work as Mozartova Light, because it is literally about this light in my flat on Mozartova (a street that once had the honor of having Mozart reside there!).  Anyway, here is one of my new favorites, in terms of the images:

I like that they are confused, in that the overlap of light and shade make understanding the exact space not straight forward.  They don’t let you sink into them.  Yet I’m drawn to these glowing things.  Who knows.

Now, let’s talk big picture, because this has been one of the things I really wanted to work on while here in Prague.  Photography is like breathing to me.  I’ve been doing it for 15 years seriously now, and I just “get it” as a medium – translating light into a two-dimensional images, how that transformation relates to space and time and sense of being.  Moving on – sound and any other medium, not so second-nature.  I love working with sound, listening to things and I think that eventually, working with sound will come more easily.  But right now, I have these sounds, these ideas of how sound will occupy and interact with a person, and sometimes it gets stuck.  I don’t quite have the language down to get things out the way that I want.  Frustrating.

But it’s coming.  The past week, I’ve really been working on my sound piece for my open studios.  I’m going to do a post on it once it’s finished.  And it really is coming out close to where I want it to be.  This translation of the light of the space, but layered in a different way than the images.  It literally is a translation of one of the photographs – this is the foundation of this idea of installation that I’m working on – digital is malleable, and information can slide from one medium to another, providing an alternate interpretation of something.

Let me simplify: I make a photograph.  I translate it into numbers.  I use those numbers to create MIDI notes in sound software.  I compose a sound piece using those notes as my foundation, plus some direct recordings of sound from the space where the photographs are taken.  E Viola!

And to add just another challenge this go round, I’m adding in video.  I’m about to go process this beast in a minute here, so let me wrap up.  This thing with light and sound has legs.  It could go somewhere.  Visually, it’s almost the other end of the spectrum from my silver skiagrams – the bright shiny white to the dark mysterious shadows.  But the bones underneath, those are the same.  Translation, interpretation of a space and how it resonates for me.  Because this is really what it’s all about.  What do I think, how do I feel in a space.  That’s at the heart of this.

Off to play with videos and sound!


After a Brief Hiatus

So, I’m back.  Brief break there.

New images.  Different, but still mostly in the same vein as where I’ve been.  I like the ideas of line, pattern, color, texture, shape and how they formally fit together.  I think I’m a bit old school in that sense.  But I also love the idea of looking at something, specifically a photograph of something or somewhere and not being able to quite place what it is that I’m looking at.

So.  Here’s a small sampling of the new guys.  Not sure what to call them.  Everything at the moment seems a bit cheesy – topographies, charting somewhere, blah blah blah.

They’re still a bit weird for me, as they are actual photographs, taken with a camera, in focus with the bare minimum of tweaking done to them, as opposed to altered six ways to sunday or pulled out of the air with chemicals or some other process…..  I’m kind of enjoying it.


The Edge of Vision

So.  These guys are back.  Minimal, pale, not-quite-there.  I keep wanting to take them.  It’s very strange too, because for the first time, I’m generating work that I have no real desire to print.  Normally, I am all about the tangible print, that thing you get to hold in your hand.  But with these, there is something about seeing them on screen – with that disturbingly beautiful glow lighting them up.  I guess that could be coming from the fact that these really are about light, and how the camera sees light, so having them be backlit makes a lot of sense.  And right now, this moment is when I wish I was a millionaire so that I could just go buy light boxes to display them on.  *sigh*

Anywho, here are a few of the newest in the series….  I went softer than the last group, more organic in the lines and a little darker too.


Moaning, whining and other despairing noises

Ok, this totally stinks.

I do photography in some semblance or another for a living.  Teaching, creating, making, thinking.  It’s up there right after “Eat, Sleep, Breathe.”

So, when I start investigating my known locales for the best of the best black and white, yummy silver gelatin paper to work on the next stage of my long term project, it is beyond crushing to discover that in the course of one year, my options have been shrunk, yet again.  It was bad enough with Agfa disappeared.  Now Kentmere seems to be dwindling in their offerings, as well as Efke.  Ilford is not my fav, and is crazy expensive these days.  Now granted, I am looking for REALLY large paper, but seriously folks, do you know anyone who can afford to spend $700 on photo paper?!?!  Certainly not me.

I get that this is a business.  That people have to be able to turn a profit to keep a company running.  It just makes my heart hurt a little when long time folks in the biz drop out because they’ve shifted their “priorities” to digital (ahem, I’m thinking of you Kodak).  Again, no knock on digital.  But does it seriously have to be such a racket???

Here’s what I see, mostly while teaching.  People can now afford nice digital cameras.  But the way that information is presented, or sold to you, you will always be lured and seduced to spend more, upgrade, enhance, get new software, get new firmware, buy a bigger camera with a full sized sensor, get a new lens, get that fancy new printer, buy more ink for the printer, etc etc etc.  You don’t have to do any of that, but can you imagine the way that the bottom line guys would salivate over their profit margins in this world?!  There will always be something new as technology advances, so someone, somewhere will always upgrade and spend more money.

It just doesn’t work that way with film, at least not in my mind.  I have old cameras, that I love because I know intrinsically how they work.  I buy chemicals for the darkroom.  I buy paper and film.  Fundamentally, these things won’t change.  There may be variations between brands that I would experiment with, but the technique, the process is set.  Technological innovation will not change how I work in the darkroom.  Which means less money to the big guys.  Which means fewer options for me, the little guy.

As my mom would say, “Life is not fair.”  True, but I still feel like complaining today, and I’ll say it just to get it out of my system.  This sucks, and it’s SO not fair.


Sustaining Anger

This is a hard thing to do.  When I started making my images that were a response to what is going on in the Gulf of Mexico, I was beyond outraged.  I was devastated.  Wrecked.  There was no way for me to wrap my brain around what was going on, the long term implications, and the stupidity and ass-covering that was going on by politicians, CEO’s and everyone else.  There is OIL gushing into a body of water.  Fundamentally, oil and water don’t mix.

More than anything, I was really really pissed off.  Now, here’s the tricky thing.  I just can’t sustain that level of pissed-off-edness.  I’m too nice a person, and I’m trying to cut down on my stress levels as is.  So, I’ve been going a lot slower with new images, and occasionally, they feel really forced.  But then I see a new image, or hear something really dumb, or read about scientific experts who are terrified that this will not end well, no matter what happens, and a little spark comes back to life.

Anyway, the images are still there.  They keep coming.  And until they stop, I’ll  keep posting my attempts to work through this.

As always, thanks for taking a look!


More Images from Deepwater Horizon Series

One of my good friends was visiting me this weekend, and we were talking about the process of making art.  We went to grad school together, and we frequently spoke about how frustrating it was to constantly have to explain everything when we were there.  Granted, that is one of the major goals of grad school in my opinion, to teach you how to think things through, learn to defend yourself and your work, be able to contextualize what it is you create.

But, holy crap is it liberating to just make.

I am thinking about these images, but I’m only thinking about how they look, are they accurately portraying how I feel, things like that.  And to a large degree, I think that is because I am making them to satisfy something inside me.  All the work I make satisfies something in me, however, it often is doing double duty, and satisfying the heart is tempered by satisfying the head.  This series is me, purely responding to something I can’t comprehend.  Period.  Very little brain here.  A departure, if you will.

Anywho, enough talking.  More pics.


Art Born of Anger

So.  This may the fastest that I’ve ever turned out images.  It’s kinda weird, and I don’t know how to talk about them at all, mostly because they have only existed, even in my brain for less than 24 hours.  Having a beer last night with the husband and friend, we ended up talking about the situation down in the Gulf of Mexico with BP and Deepwater Horizon.  I realized that I had been ignoring the news regarding this horrific event because I knew how angry it was making me, even subconsciously.  There is a very large part of me that believes that as a civilization, we will not change our ways until the damage we do is beyond repair, and this will forever change how human beings live on this planet.  I guess I’m feeling a bit glass-half-empty.

As we were talking though, ideas for images started to creep in.  I wanted some way to engage with my despair, but also to somehow work in that I was disconnected, distanced from reality with regards to this situation.  I’m not down there.  I haven’t seen anything first hand.  I have roots in FL, and it terrifies me to think that one of my favorite places on earth could be damaged by this stupid accident.  There are a lot of conflicting emotions.  So I sat down today at the computer, and these started to come out.

More than anything, I think is my way of coping with my own perception of what is going on.  Filtered and distorted through distance, emotion and a failing idealism (I used to be so naive!). Anyway, enough rambling.  At this point, I think the images make more sense than the words….

Deepwater Horizon

as always, thanks for looking.  comments are awesome, and welcome.

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