Saturday, February 28, 2009

An exercise in composition and color...

We had a class field trip to Miami, AZ last weekend. It was my first time there and I enjoyed the trip immensely.

I started out in black & white and made a few exposures with both the 8x10 and 4x5 cameras. Then my friend, the famous Larry Golsh, started egging me on, "When are you going to take some color photographs, Rich?" He said, "Why don't you take a color photograph of those trees over there?" The location was a bare lot between two old buildings... there once was a structure here but it had been torn down long ago. I looked at the trees, and as it IS winter and they were bare and gray, I initially said no thanks. Then I started looking at the colors "around" the trees. I stared at this scene for what seemed like an eternity, mesmerized by the simple yet incredible colors. The green carpet of clovers and grass was like none I have seen yet in Arizona. As I am color-blind I didn't even know what the color of the wall was. The light was very diffuse and there were no shadows. I thought that maybe this could make a great color photograph.

THEN the composition hit me. I tidied up a few things, removing some errant downed branches and twigs. Then I saw the feather. There was only one and it was originally to the left of the trees. I moved it to the base of the center tree. I set up the 4x5, made one color exposure and one black & white (yet to be developed).

I showed this to my mentor, Rod Klukas, this morning. He asked if he could use it as an example in his "Aesthetics and Composition" class at Photomark next week. I guess it worked out.

Thanks to my friend, the famous Larry Golsh, for making me take this photograph!

Superior photographs... well, at least I think so!

Just some miscellaneous photos from two recent trips to Superior.

Below is a black & white from my 8x10" camera on one of our class field trips. I was drawn by the strong horizontal lines, as well as the "dino" and the "ICE" painted on the boarded up window. (We actually had to remove a realtor sign to make this, but we put it back after we were done... ssshhh... don't tell anyone, especially the realtor!).

Below are the color images I have wanted to make for a long time, after seeing my friend Juan Garcia's beautiful black & whites from this magnificent, but decaying historical mural. I made these on a trip to Superior with my friend, the famous Larry Golsh.

The first is a wide shot but does not include the entire wall. The other half of the wall didn't speak to me as much as this half.

Below is another image, a detail from the mural. The piercing eyes are what made this photograph for me.

Thanks, again, to Rod Klukas' color zone system, and an overcast day!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

11x14 - Super, man... in Superior

We had a class field trip this past weekend. Started out in Superior for breakfast at the Buckboard Cafe... That's Picasso, I mean Eddie Patelson having his usual pie with ice cream dessert AFTER breakfast! What a guy!

After breakfast we went to Miami... not THAT Miami... Miami, AZ. An old mining town that has definitely seen better days. There are lots of interesting old things to photograph. As soon as I develop my film and scan I will post some images.

After lunch we photographed some more and then headed back home. Along the way we stopped back in Superior to photograph the "wall" with the 11x14.

Taking the big boy out for the first time, with Rod Klukas (left) and Joe Trevino (right).

After setting up the image on the groundglass, inserting the film holder for the first time.

Making sure everything is tight. Click. Done. Now I just have to develop the 154 sq. in. piece of film!

Thanks to my good friend, the famous Larry Golsh for the photographs of this historic occasion.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gallery Talk - Frederick Sommer - SMoCA, Feb. 19, 2009

I attended a Gallery Talk at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) last night. The current exhibit is "At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer." The talk this night was on Frederick Sommer and was presented by Claire Carter, the co-curator of the show, and Naomi Lyons and Jeremy Cox, co-trustees of the Frederick & Frances Sommer Foundation. The talk was very informative and, of course, the prints were beautiful.

I recorded the gallery talk and have an MP3 file (30MB, 1 hr. 4 min.) linked here (please excuse the first few seconds as I was fumbling to start the recorder after they started talking unexpectedly).

The exhibit continues through May 13, 2009 and is worth the trip.