Tag Archives: Photography

Meet And Shoot – Columbia Heights

Today was my session of the “Meet & Shoot” class I co-teach with several other instructors at Photoworks. The class is a five or six session workshop on street photography where each instructor takes a group of students out for a guided photography excursion to a location of their choosing. Students can sign up for all sessions, or pick and choose which ones they want as their schedule and/or instructor preference dictates.

This time, I had three new students and three repeat students from the last time I taught this class. Due to some last-minute scheduling snafus, three of the students were unable to make it, so it was a very intimate walkabout, and I was able to teach as much as I was playing shepherd.

We met at the Columbia Heights Metro station, and once the crew was collected, we took a walk up to the little plaza in front of the Tivoli Theater where a saturday farmers market was in full swing. My three students, seen below (L to R: Matthew, Suzan and Bobbi) wandered around and took full advantage of my guidance for the session to use color as a foundational theme. The farmers market was a perfect opportunity, with all the fruit and vegetables on display.

Columbia Heights is an ethnically diverse neighborhood, with a strong Latin-American presence. This is very obvious in the colors and styles of signage on shops and restaurants, and makes for a great subject for a color-based exercise.

Here Bobbi, Suzan and Matthew are examining some signage on a Dominican restaurant on Park Road.

We continued along Park Road over to Mount Pleasant, another neighborhood in Washington DC that also has a significant Latino presence. I took the opportunity to discuss including graffiti and public sculpture in your work as a “street” photographer. If you’re going to include other peoples’ art in your photography, make sure that you have a solid reason for doing so- it’s fair game as documentary, or if your capture and interpretation is transformative (abstract/close-up, for example), but if you’re planning to exhibit and market photos of other peoples’ art, even if it is displayed in public, you’re at best in an ethical gray area, and potentially in a copyright violation scenario.

Street photography is very much about found images – you’re not setting out to intentionally create compositions, but rather responding and reacting to things you encounter, like this poster that fell into the street and got run over until the rough pavement surface pierced through turning the whole thing into an abstract composition.

We had a great morning of shooting, and wrapped up for a chat at a cafe on Columbia Road in Adams Morgan (another neighborhood bordering on Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights). I’m very pleased with my students, and I’m looking forward to seeing their images from today at our recap class in three weeks.

Alternative Process Revolution – Philip Jessup

Another artist interview from the Alt Process Revolution series – this one with Philip Jessup, another Canadian photographer. One of the great things about this touring show is that it brings greater visibility of Canadian photographers to the US audience – I think many US photographers are aware of many other photographers from their own country, but with the possible exception of Yusuf Karsh, most could not name a single Canadian photographer living or dead.

Philip Jessup

Tell us a bit about your photographic work:

  • How did you get interested in photography?

My landscape photography is an extension of my professional work over the years advocating solutions to climate change. Many of the effects of climate change—rising sea levels, warming global temperatures, increasingly erratic precipitation patterns—are placing wilderness and communities that depend on them under unbearable stress. Many of these areas are likely to vanish, like low-lying atolls in the Pacific. I see my job as documenting such areas, so that if they do vanish or change in some unrecognizable way, humankind will remember them.

  • Do you feel your work is influenced by other media/periods/genres? If so, which ones, and why?

I’ve been influenced stylistically by other landscape photographers whose work I love. Eliot Porter, who was the first landscape photographer to work extensively in color, has always inspired me, his ability to find the abstract in the real. Other photographers who work I admire include: Fay Godwin, Harry Callahan, Brett  Weston, Toshio Shibata, Wynn Bullock, and the Canadian Edward Burtynski, who has taught us to find beauty even in the devastation being inflicted on the environment.

  • What is your experience with analog photography? Digital photography?

All of my early work dating from 2003 was shot with medium format film, Fujifilm’s Velvia 50. I love its wide color gamut and detail. From the start, however, I had my reversal film images scanned at high resolution and then printed on a Lambda using Cibachrome and later Fujiflex media. Today I shoot with a digital camera, process the images myself, and print on my own Epson P7000. I’ve been able to achieve rich, long lasting color prints this way. I would go back to Cibachrome if the media were available. Today, I occasionally shoot using film just for the pleasure and self-discipline, but in Canada availability and processing is limited and quite expensive.

  • What brought you to participate in the APR show? 

I’m always interested in exploring new ways to create an image that deepens the experience of my work with the viewer. Multiple gum over palladium produces a highly subjective final print that feels to me like a memory or a remembrance of something that is past or lost. The theme of my own work, which is trying to capture the beauty of landscapes and communities that may vanish, is a good match for this process. I also like the extreme longevity of these images. Again, it is a good match for my own goal, which is to memorialize imperiled landscapes so future generations won’t forget.

  • Do you see a continuing role in your photography practice for alternative processes?

I’m keen to explore the potential of alt processes to emotionally charge the images I place in front of the viewer. The exhibit at Glen Echo is the first step.

Alternative Photo Revolution – Alan Dunlop

Alan Dunlop

I sent interview questions out to a number of the Alt Process Revolution artists. Artists, being artists, don’t always respond in exactly the way you expect 🙂 So I didn’t get answers to my questions in a literal, 1:1 response, but here is the photo of Alan Dunlop and his bio/response.

My name is Alan Dunlop. I currently live in Toronto, Ontario.

Photography has always been a part of my life. I remember my dad taking photographs with his Rolleiflex and watching him develop prints in the closet of our tiny apartment. I wasn’t hooked, however, until I was studying advertising art and one of my teachers handed me a camera to experiment with. I eventually became a news photographer and worked for a number of local papers for more than two decades.

In my personal work, I always like to push the limits of photography and explore new perspectives and alternative realities. Over the past decade, my focus has been on collaged images. My work is influenced by my background in technical illustration and advertising art. I am also inspired by the works of contemporary artists David Hockney and Robert Birmelin. I am especially fascinated by how these two artists blend multiple images together to elicit a sense of movement and space to convey the myriad complexities of a single moment in time.

The image I submitted to the APR show is from a series of self-portraits shot over several months exploring reflections. It was created in camera, not Photoshop.

I grew up with film and spent many hours in the darkroom. The move to digital photography was an exciting one which I embraced wholeheartedly. I now work only in digital and do my own printing. The immediacy of digital allows me to explore and create images in a way that film never could and gives me more control over the final results.

After becoming familiar with Bob Carnie’s approach to alternative processes, I was curious to learn more. I am drawn to the richness of the images created using this method. I have spent time with Bob processing a number of images, including some of my own, using alternative processes.  The results were quite intriguing. The alternative process prints have a uniqueness of their own and have a very tactile feeling about them. I am curious to see how this will work with more of my own photos.

Alternative Photo Revolution – Kevin Kelly

Another one of our artists participating, Kevin Kelly, has been working for a long time on a series of images concerning gender and sexuality. I wanted to present a short video concerning his work here (if you pay attention, you’ll get to see the Dylan Ellis Gallery space in Toronto, where the show is going in May for the Contact festival).

Kevin Kelly GENDER PreDoc 1080p from Simon Haworth on Vimeo.

 

Alternative Photo Revolution

Glen Echo | Glen Echo Park in the Ballroom, Backroom

March 28
Viewings will be taking place from 1-9pm with a formal reception from 6-9pm. Admission: Free

New Orleans | L’Entrepot

March 31-April 1
Private reception on Friday March 31st from 6-9pm.
General admission is $10
VIP Collector ticket is $30 admission + chance to win a unique permanent print
Stay at home ticket $25 for a chance to win a unique permanent print
Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.
April 1st, viewings will be open to the public from 1-9pm. The Julia Street First Saturday event is from 6-9pm with all gallery’s in the area having receptions

Toronto | Connections Gallery

May 15-June 17
Opening May 18 from 6-9pm
The Toronto portion of the exhibition is a part of the Contact Photography Festival

#ContactPhoto #202Creates #202Fotos #acreativedc #glenechophotoworks #photoworks #altprocessrevolution #DylanEllisGallery #ConnectionsGallery #Toronto #NewOrleans #NOPA #KevinKelly

AltProRevSponsors

Alternative Photo Revolution – Interview with Brittany Fleming

As some  of you may remember from my Rendering the Spirit show, I interviewed the artists participating in the show via email. For APR, I did the same. With 40 artists participating and a quick turn on the time-frame, I’m only posting a few interviews.

Today’s interview: Brittany Fleming

Tell us a bit about your photographic work: * how did you get interested in photography? 

Born and raised in rural Ontario, Brittany spent most of her adolescence outside experimenting with a camera. It was during a three-month backpacking trip to Europe that her interest in travel and photography was sparked. “Being able to combine my passion for travel with photography opened up a new way of thinking. I came back to Canada knowing what I wanted to do.” 

Leaving Fergus behind, Brittany left for school in Ottawa where she completed a two- year photography program at Algonquin College. Before graduating, she started her career as a Lifestyle Photographer with Union Eleven, where she currently works. 

* what kind of work do you produce (how would you categorize your work)? 

I currently work for a studio in Ottawa, Union Eleven where I`m a lifestyle photographer. The work I show for galleries is my Street photography & Photojournalism. 

* what themes or subjects inspire you? 

I am currently working on three projects that are close to my heart. The first is about urban development and the ever changing cityscape. I document this environment through street photography. The second is an ongoing project about agriculture – showcasing farmers from our past, present, and the future of farming through a photojournalistic lens. Lastly, I am combining street photography and photojournalism to bring light to the human rights issues of our time, specifically women’s rights. 

How do you see your work in relationship to the larger art world:

* did you come to photography from another medium?

no

* do you feel your work is influenced by other media/periods/genres? If so, which ones, and why? 

On backpacking trips I was able to connect with locals. I have the ability to connect the camera to the heart, to feel the subjects and their story. An anthropologist at heart, my aim is to show the social landscape of my time. Deriving my photographic influences from Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand, and Lee Friedlander, I always try to keep the human condition in focus. 

Could you talk a bit about the piece you submitted to the APR show? 

We all want to feel equal. My work is strongly influenced by this innate desire, and I’ve chosen to expose it through a female perspective. 

Captured in this photo are a group of people at the women rights march. Showing the young girls looking up to their mothers sparked a strong emotion. Thinking about this young girl, her past, present and, future. 

I too, yearn to feel accepted and equal. My hope, by sharing this image, is to show how truly brave these women are and how grateful they are for their rights and freedoms. We all have the power to go ahead and face our fears, follow our passions, and do so with grace. Our successes and failures are what will shape the generations of tomorrow. 

What is your experience with analog photography? Digital photography? 

When i was in school for photography we uses 4×5 cameras. Other then that I primarily shoot with my DSLR. 

Do you normally print your own work, or have others print for you? 

Bob and the team at Alternative Photo Services do an amazing job at printing my work for me. They are experts at bringing my images to life. 

Have you ever worked in alternative processes before? 

No this will be my first time 

 Brittany Fleming

Glen Echo | Glen Echo Park in the Ballroom, Backroom

March 28
Viewings will be taking place from 1-9pm with a formal reception from 6-9pm. Admission: Free

New Orleans | L’Entrepot

March 31-April 1
Private reception on Friday March 31st from 6-9pm.
General admission is $10
VIP Collector ticket is $30 admission + chance to win a unique permanent print
Stay at home ticket $25 for a chance to win a unique permanent print
Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.
April 1st, viewings will be open to the public from 1-9pm. The Julia Street First Saturday event is from 6-9pm with all gallery’s in the area having receptions

Toronto | Connections Gallery

May 15-June 17
Opening May 18 from 6-9pm
The Toronto portion of the exhibition is a part of the Contact Photography Festival

#ContactPhoto #202Creates #202Fotos #acreativedc #glenechophotoworks #photoworks #altprocessrevolution #DylanEllisGallery #ConnectionsGallery #Toronto #NewOrleans #NOPA

AltProRevSponsors

Calumet Photo Update

I got a call from a friend earlier today letting me know the Calumet clearance sale was underway at our local Calumet stores. I went in after work looking for a couple of things, thinking at the least I’d grab some film if they had anything I used. They had a bunch of pro-packs of Tmax 400 left in stock (an emulsion I don’t use in 120) so I just grabbed the three remaining rolls of Ilford Pan-F. They had a 1000w hot light that was a companion to one I bought a couple months ago, and will come very handy for my class tomorrow that I’m teaching about shooting still life. The big score was a Calumet/Bowens Fresnel Spot attachment, which was in like-new condition, but because it had been rented (once!) in the past, it was marked down 40% off. 

One of the giant tragedies of the Calumet closing is the disappearance of camera gear rental from the DC marketplace. Jerry Smith, the rental department manager at the Tysons Corner location, is setting up his own equipment rental business to service the DC Metro area, in Reston, Virginia. 

You can find him on Facebook at  https://www.facebook.com/f8rentals

Jerry is a fantastic guy to work with and extremely knowledgeable. I’m so glad he’s going to take this on and revive an extremely valuable service here in the DC area.

Museum Exhibition Catalogs

While I was in Paris, I went to see a major exhibition at the Musee D’Orsay, Masculin/Masculin, a retrospective of the male nude in art from 1800 to the present. It was beautifully presented, almost overwhelming in size and scope, and extremely memorable. At the time, I thought about buying the catalog because it had outstanding reproductions of the work in the exhibit, including many works and artists I was unfamiliar with. I decided not to because of the size and weight of the catalog, especially considering that it was only available hardcover and my bags were already close to the weight limit. After I got home, I was kicking myself for not buying it after all. I got a second chance, however, when a friend who lives in New York told me he would be going in early December, and he offered to bring me back a copy. It arrived today, just in time to be a Christmas present to myself.

This got me thinking about museum exhibition catalogs. I generally try to buy them for exhibits I’ve enjoyed when I have the chance, because it serves as a reminder of the work exhibited, and it goes a long way to helping support the museum mounting the exhibit, especially when the museum (like all the galleries of the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art) does not charge admission. As a result, I thought I’d list the exhibitions I’ve collected catalogs from.

In rough chronological order, descending, they are:

  • Charles Marville, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 2013
  • Masculin/Masculin, Musee D’Orsay, Paris, France 2013
  • Photography and the American Civil War, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 2013
  • Faking it: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 2013
  • 40 under 40: Craft Futures, Renwick Gallery, Washington DC, 2012
  • Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2010
  • Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, 2010
  • Framing the West: The Survey Photographs of Timothy H. O’Sullivan, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, 2010
  • Truth/Beauty: Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art – 1845-1945, Phillips Gallery, Washington DC, 2009
  • Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, National Portrait Gallery, Washington DC, 2009
  • Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese: Rivals in Renaissance Venice, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Boston, 2009
  • Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 2008
  • All the Mighty World: Photographs of Roger Fenton, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2004
  • Segnali di Fumo: L’avventura del West nella Fotograffia, Castello Sforzesco, Milan, Italy 1994
  • Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Columbus, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, 1992
  • Treasure Houses of Britain, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 1985
  • Tutankhamen, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC 1977
  • The Family of Man, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1955*

*obviously I did NOT attend the Family of Man exhibit, as I wasn’t even a fantasy in my grandparents’ minds in 1955. But I do have the exhibition book.

Also note that I’ve listed where I saw the exhibit, not necessarily who published the catalog.

Perhaps the oddest is the Segnali di Fumo catalog, purely on account of the incongruity of going all the way to Milan, Italy to see photographs of the American West (well, I didn’t GO to Milan to see the exhibit, but happened upon it as I was leaving the Castello Sforzesco), with a significant body from the Amon Carter museum in Texas. Which I haven’t been to yet, but really ought to. It would also help close the loop on my France trip, for it is there that the first known photograph ever is held – Niepce’s first known heliograph of the view out his studio window at his estate near Chalon-sur-Saone (that I couldn’t visit because it was closed for the season). I’m sure I’m missing one or two from my collection, and my collection of catalogs is a pale shadow of the total number of exhibits I’ve been to either because no catalog was produced (producing an exhibition catalog is a major undertaking and not done casually or cheaply) or because I couldn’t afford it at the time.

Another day I’ll put together a catalog of my photography monographs, as I know this is of interest to some. It’s not a huge collection, especially in light of my overall library size, but it is a work in progress.