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PIXelations 19

It’s back!

by fotofinish , 01-15-2008 at 08:33 AM (308 Views)

I received my Canon 1D Mark III back from the Canon service center yesterday. They had it since Christmas Eve. No more Error 99, and they also fixed the mirror sub assembly problem so widely publicized. And they cleaned and lubricated it. Like new again…

I am submitting two of my photos to the local Audubon Society’s annual photo contest like I did last year…

There is a local Hartford tourist publication that contacted me and said they may like to use a few of my pictures. I don’t know what that means yet until they are ready for image selections. They had asked what I charge, but all I told them was that I’m sure we could come to some arrangement once they decide which ones they want to include. At this point, if necessary, I would give them the photos, just for my publicity, just to get my name out there in the city…

A lot going on…

by fotofinish , 01-28-2008 at 07:43 PM (250 Views)

I have a number of photographic events going on right now:

I signed up for another class that starts this February:
Advanced Seminar in Photographic Composition
This class is for experienced photographers who want to take their skill one step further and learn “the art of photography.” Whether choosing to shoot a realistic, large landscape or create a close-up abstraction, this class you help you “design” a better photograph. We will study in depth the different elements of composition, such as light and shadow; the use of line, form, patterns, texture, and color theory; and both black-and-white and color photography. Students will be expected to complete assignments for each class.

It is also taught by the same teacher I had in the Fall, Mallorie Ostrowitz. She is well known in the state photography circles and has shown nationally for years.

Since I was a student of hers last Fall, she has invited me and ten other students to participate in an official gallery showing in March. More to follow about this in an upcoming blog.

I was invited to send in some of my best Hartford images for possible inclusion in a Hartford business directory, coffee-table book publication, a directory of Hartford area businesses. The deadline for submission is February 8, after which they will decide which images from area photographers they will include…

I also submitted two photos for this Friday’s annual area Audubon Society photo contest. I didn’t get anything last year; will this year be different?

Last weekend, Jayne and I went down to St. Petersburg, Fl, to visit with friends. Before we stopped over our friend’s house, we took a side trip to Big Cat Rescue, 15 minutes from the Tampa airport, an animal shelter for lions, tigers, etc. The hour and a half tour we took was well worth the visit. These are magnificent cats that were once raised as pets but owners no longer wanted, abused, etc. The staff there is very knowledgeable and passionate about their non-profit work. And although these cats were, obviously caged, a few of my pictures still presented an interesting side of their personality. Here are a few examples:




You can view the rest of my gallery here

Positive results

by fotofinish , 02-03-2008 at 12:34 PM (272 Views)

The Connecticut Audubon Society had its annual nature photography contest. This year I was fortunate enough to get an honorable mention for this picture:


Then, as one of the students of Mallorie Ostrowitz, I was invited by her, as well as Stan, a friend of mine, and four others to include three of our pictures in her upcoming show at a gallery in downtown Hartford, starting March 5. Her show is called “Forgotten Places”. These are the pictures she selected of mine:




So far, 2008 is off in the right direction!

Gregory Vershbow

by fotofinish , 02-08-2008 at 05:13 PM (214 Views)

A week ago at the XG, I had the priviledge of meeting photographer Gregory Vershbow. His work is currently being exhibited at the XG. His work is a series of photographic polyptychs and single images, like a photo montage. Greg is a masterful storyteller and very passionate about his work. The ingenuity and creativity he brings to his work is nothing I have ever seen before.

A lot of his pictures use models which he designed and built to further a storyline he portrays. He has used mostly film but is beginning to use digital as well. His fanciful creations have the look and feel of something out of Leonardo DaVinci’s sketchbooks. Viewing his website only gives you a taste of what his series are all about.

Greg also indicated that he teaches a one day workshop on story telling through photography, which I may be interested in attending.


by fotofinish , 02-24-2008 at 01:05 PM (278 Views)

Last week I entered two images in our local photography club’s monthly competition. I am always looking for feedback on my images. One of the reasons I joined the club was to learn and improve my work. The feedback I got last week was just what I was looking for. Here is the first image:


When I asked for comments from the judges, what they told me was that the pine tree in the middle of this photo was found to be distracting and divides the picture. This creates almost two separate pictures, leaving the image without a central point of interest. This hit me in the head like one of those V8 juice commercials on TV. They are exactly right.

And here is the second image:


The comment on this one was that the wagon did not have enough room around it to “breathe”. If I had stepped back ten feet, it would have been better. This was also helpful to me, especially since it made me realize that everything today seems to have to be “in your face” for fear that it may not been seen.

On another topic, I made an attempt to capture the lunar eclipse last week. Except for this mediocre picture below…


…my attempt failed miserably due to the fact that the moon moves quicker than I had thought. Most of my exposures were longer than one second. Even though I was on a tripod and had used my 100-400mm with 1.4 teleconverter, all of that magnification only helped to over-emphasize the speed at which the moon was traveling. Lesson learned…

In class again…

by fotofinish , 03-08-2008 at 10:49 AM (181 Views)

My class on Advanced Photographic Composition with teacher Mallorie Ostrowitz started this past week. Our first assignment is about the importance of light. We were asked to provide for Monday’s class a couple of pictures of an object of our choosing that would demonstrate the impact of different qualities of light. This picture below was shot at noon:

… and this one was shot about 45 minutes till sunset:

In both cases I used a 50mm 1.8 lens at f11 to do the job. We have a field trip tomorrow morning (weather permitting!) at a local state park. We will be photographing shadows in order to show the importance that shadows can have in an image. Should be fun!

What a day…

by fotofinish , 03-11-2008 at 05:15 PM (278 Views)

This past Saturday was a good day. First thing in the morning, I found out that the article I was asked to write about regarding my photography was published here in the photozo photography forum newsletter. What an honor, and very flattering. Thanks guys! I guess hard work will pay off, at least once in a while!

Then, that evening was the exhibition opening of my teacher Mallorie Ostrowitz in downtown Hartford. As part of her exhibition, a few of her students, including me, also had displayed three images which she picked. This was my first group show. Many people came to the gallery, so it was very exciting to see. Mallorie and the others had wonderful images related to the theme of “Forgotten Places.” My wife, son, and daughter also attended to help make this a special evening for me, the conclusion of a very good day, indeed!

The next morning, Mallorie’s class had a field trip where we had to shoot something that demonstrated the power of shadows in photographic composition. Here were a few of mine:

… and these I shot on my way back home, I stopped into the building where I worked:

… and this one:

Onward to the next assignment!

A day with a master

by fotofinish , 03-16-2008 at 01:02 PM (186 Views)

I have decided to seek more formal help with my art. Michael Reichmann has agreed to help me as part of his Printing One On One workshop for a day in the middle of April. This will be a unique opportunity for me to get personalized help and assessment on my art from a technical as well as an artistic point of view. Although I am very excited about meeting with him at his Toronto gallery, I am also slightly intimidated. Anyone who has ever visited the Luminous Landscape knows that Michael is truly one of the leaders and one of the most respected icons of current photography. I am hoping that he will help me make my work more professional and give me some food for thought on my art.

In preparation for this opportunity, I sent him some stuff about me and my goals for this workshop:

When I started
Started taking pictures with a Minolta 102 back in 1975; stopped in early 1980’s (when the kids came along!); took it up again in January, 2002 to see if I still liked photography. Became serious in 2005.

Who I am
I enjoy hiking and taking pictures when I hike; enjoy “intimate cityscape” architectural; I shoot high school track meets from time to time.
My current active project involves exploring abstractions of the night: long exposure zooming with some defocusing.
I prefer the “intimate landscape” and tend to shoot with my Canon 70-200mm.
Member at a local very active Photo Club for the last 2 years.
Recent Member of a photo club hosted by a New Haven photo gallery.

Current equipment
Canon 1d Mark III; Canon 20D
Canon 16-35L 2.8
Canon 50mm 1.8
Canon 70-200L IS 2.8
Canon 100-400L IS
Epson R2400
Spyder monitor calibration.

I have had a solo 2-month show at the Hartford Arts Council of my city archetural shots.
I am currently studying under Mallorie Ostrowitcz :Advanced Photography and Advanced Photographic Composition.
Participated in a show of hers “with students”.

What I need help in
I need a candid critque of three of my portfolios which I will bring with me, including how to select the keepers. I will also bring several of my prints as examples of my current print skills. I’d like to think that all my readings, etc, have gotten me pretty close to where I need to be with my print workflows.
How to best process what I took and compensate for any technical weaknesses.
How to process for my web gallery so it best showcases the image, considering it is just a thumbnail.
How to get the best out of my printing.
Assuming I have enough images for a showing, suggestions on the steps and etiquet to use when soliciting a gallery to show your stuff.
Weakness at telling when an image is overdone; suggestions on how to improve my eye for color, composition, processing.
Weakness at refining an image before I take it.
How to come up with ideas for projects; how to put together a portfolio to show to a gallery.
The value of having a “mentor”; how to get one.

Out of my comfort zone

by fotofinish , 04-01-2008 at 07:14 PM (282 Views)

This past weekend I participated in a photography scavenger hunt in New Haven, sponsored by the Exposure Gallery. The event was called Film Speed. We were given a 27 exposure Kodak film throwaway camera. There were 24 topics and we had to shoot in order so that camera shot 1 was topic one, etc. Obviously, no room for error or retakes. And I never knew if the shot came out. We were given the first 12 topics at the start, then had to meet after 2 hours at a restaurant to get the final 12 topics. The first one to finish picked up extra points. I happened to be the first one to finish, too! But that may not have been a good thing…

I was way out of my comfort zone. My goal was to force myself to be creative, and think out of the box; a major stretch for a conservative, traditional guy like me. Yet many pros advise doing something out of your comfort zone. How else can you learn something new.

My approach was to look at 2 topics at a time: while looking for the first one, keep in mind for the second one. Also, if I saw something that caught my eye that seemed to satisfy the topic at hand, I took the picture. I did not keep looking around trying to find something better. We find out on April 12 the results. I won’t be holding my breath till then…

Here are the topics
1. Self portrait (with your camera number somehow involved)
2. cracked
3. sweet
4. full
5. details
6. spring
7. falling
8. together
9. flyer
10. activity
11. speed
12. sound
13. loose
14. laughing
15. perky
16. inside
17. microscopic
18. grain
19. ethnic
20. through glass
21. wide
22. open
23. comfortable
24. reflection

Good luck, you say? That’s what I said too. But I did it!

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