Monday, February 28, 2011

MOMA Confuses Me

 I have been going to the Museum of Modern Art in NYC for many many many years.  And their approach to photography baffles the living hell out of me.  It seems that they are, and have been for a long time, extremely fond of large, poorly composed, poorly printed, photographs of dubious subject matter.  These are the chowder-heads who pick and choose those who may enter the pantheon of photography as dictated by a set of standards I frankly cannot figure out.  But then, I'm no fan of Cindy Sherman or Diane Arbus.  Someone explain this to me  - we have truly great photographers to choose from:  Ansel Adams, the Westons, Cartier-Bresson, Avedon, Irving Penn, Robert Frank, etc.  whose work, prints and subject matter are staggering.  And yet, on display, prominently, there is a 40"x40", flat, muddy, poorly lit picture of an unhappy young man, in the obligatory Arbus awkward stance, wearing a red bathing suit.OK - there are a few good images, but the are drowned in the mass of crap that's hanging....    Someone explain this to me so I can understand why good art is being driven out by this stuff.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Wildlife of NYC

My hat's off to those wildlife photographers with the patience to sit in blinds for days, stalk moose through deep snow, and climb trees.  I just happened on these fellows, and they will be in an OIA show next month at NY Law School in Soho.  

Bee and Pollen
The Squirrel and the Butterfly (not to be confused with French movies with similar title, were shot with an Olympus 410.  The Bee was with a Canon 5d.
What was required was patience and more patience.  Especially the Bee - it was three hundred degrees and I was using a macro and had no depth of field to fall back on....after using the 5d for almost a year, I am surprised by the quality of the 10 megapixel Olympus images...and on a four thirds sensor yet.  To a large extent, it's still the person, not the machine.   

My spouse uses a Kodak point and shoot, and it makes for some amazingly good images within it's limitations.  Crikey, how things change and yet remain the same.  However, making images with a 21 Megapixel full frame machine is a little like shooting medium, and sometimes, large format film.  And I never had the energy to schlep a 4x5, film backs, and tripod for a grand total of 12 images.  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birds and Trees

There are times I wish I liked the cold weather because of the images one can get.  And it's slippery!!! 

I'm pretty sure that the Cardinal is wondering about that thing called protective coloration, and why he doesn't have any. 

The snow at this time of year tends to be fluffy and decorates everything real pretty-like.  
At least my fingers aren't freezing to the metal of the    camera  -  the Canon I use has a nice coating on it.
I am still getting used to this whole digital thing - especially the looong tonal range.  My mind still tends to go to film based thinking; and I get surprised by the shadow and highlight detail that I get.  

This allows for real control of black and white, which I prefer for most snow scenes, since I don't like the excess blue that tends to occur in color snow shots.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter's End

Melodrama with Trees
The temperature went up and the sun came out and the birds started singing today.  Winter is ending.

The scene on the left was nowhere near as dramatic as I made it... But the wonders of digital manipulation is too damn tempting.  I can see where people just hammer away at one  image  until their mouse falls apart.

The must to avoid in this situation is what I call the spin art syndrome.  Wherein one lets the machine do the work - some photoshop filters actually have icons of dice, allowing one to go for random effects.  All I knows is that I try to wrench as much form the image as possible, and doing so in as thoughtful a manner as I can.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day Come and Gone

A day late -
Been fighting off a cold and my memory for chores got a bit muddled (at least I gave one to my wife, otherwise this could well be an obituary column).
Been shooting more glass buildings.  It's odd how they seem to be empty even when they are  hives of commercial frenzy.
A Large Dark Building    
The stone walls that the older building are made of fascinate me, the pitting and erosion, as well as the cross lighting, remind me of the light in New Mexico.

Erosion and Light
And it will get warmer, tulips are starting to show up in florists windows, and the snow has melted a bunch...

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sometimes there's just no explanation...

Jailbreak Bear
And this is one of those times.  Who would dress a bear in a Department of Corrections shirt and stick it in a tree? Why?
While I am glad I (almost) always carry a camera, and can record stuff like this, it still leaves me wondering what the hell were they thinking?And they even added  a ball and chain, which I don't think is still in use.


This was on 96th street between Park and Lex.
In the meantime, I went to White Plains and caught the last light...

Since high rises are few and far between, the sky figures into the images a lot more than it does in NYC.
White Plains Early Evening
White Plains Early Evening BW
And I do love digital black and white!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hipster? Nah....

So I haul ass out to Greenpoint on Firday for the show at the Greenpoint Gallery.  Getting there takes crossing the Pulaski Bridge and one ends up in a section of Brooklyn that looks, at night, like something out of a Zombie shooter game.

                                Day time on the Pulaski Bridge

When I get to the gallery, I am surrounded by kids.  I have cameras older than most of these kids, I say to myself.  Spent some time staring at my feet and then looked at the art - floor to ceiling and it was just wonderful.Iam stunned, repeatedly, by the amount of talent and skill that is out there.

There's another show coming at NY Law School later this month...

Animals - here's one of them.

 Well, onwards and upwards.