Thursday, December 30, 2010

LAST DAY! $10 OFF Primordial: 2010

$10 OFF Primordial through Dec. 31, 2010. Use the promo code CHEER at checkout.
hardcover price after discount: $64.95
softcover price after discount: $46.95

Also the last day to order a signed/numbered limited edition with print copy at the pre-publication price of $325. Price increases to $425 on January 1, 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign…

Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign
– Five Man Electrical Band

I went out photographing with friends John Prouty and Juan Garcia early Sunday morning on October 31. I had a few places I wanted to photograph before they disappear, as things tend to do after I photograph them.

We started out on McDowell Rd. just west of Rt. 51. I had been wanting to photograph this sign for some time as we are bombarded by "Gold" commercials on TV these days.

After I made the exposure on my 4x5 I looked a few feet away and saw this chain link fence with lock and chain.

After these two I drove down the road a block or two and got this image I had also been wanting to photograph. Three images in 30 minutes… not bad.

A few more blocks west was this building that John had been wanting to photograph. John used his 8x10 while I used my 4x5.

After that we went downtown and found a few more things before calling it a day.

This was the first day out photographing after a long hot summer and it felt good to just get out and have some fun. Coming soon, some 4x5 images made at City Center in Las Vegas over Thanksgiving week.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the Codas – Rich, Michele and Lindsay!

Click on the image for an animated version.

Photograph by Lindsay Coda (c) 2009

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

$10 OFF Primordial: 2010 through Dec. 31, 2010

$10 OFF Primordial through Dec. 31, 2010. I just received an email from with this discount. Use the promo code CHEER at checkout.
hardcover price after discount: $64.95
softcover price after discount: $46.95

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Conscientious | Nothing New Under the Sun?

Conscientious | Nothing New Under the Sun?

Joerg Colberg over at Conscientious has hit it on the head... current contemporary photography is all the same and has all been done before. I don't know what they are teaching these kids in college but if I see one more series of "deadpan" portraits of teenagers or generation-X, Y or Z, taxidermied animals in unnatural or unrealistic settings, out of focus miniature figures, or HDR/InfiniteDOF, I think I will lose my lunch.

At this point photography is essentially dead. And with Kodak increasingly putting more nails in our coffins (film photographers) I may just give it up and try painting or pastels.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Primordial: 2010 – Photographs of the Arizona Monsoon book now available

constituting a beginning; giving origin to something derived or developed; original; elementary

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my first book, Primordial: 2010 – Photographs of the Arizona Monsoon.

I have always been fascinated by clouds, as I’m sure most people have been at one point in their life. As children we see bunny rabbits in them, maybe Abraham Lincoln’s profile or an alligator. As I grew older, though, I started to think more metaphysically about what I was looking at. Was I witnessing Creation itself? Or possibly the Apocalypse? Whatever I was witnessing, it was awesome. I don’t like using the word awesome because it is so overused today by young people that its meaning has been diluted to the point where it means nothing, but I am truly in awe of all the science that has to happen for these cloud formations even to appear and to produce the beauty that results.

My inspiration for this project comes from many sources. The two main influences have been the Impressionist painters of the 19th century and, believe it or not, the Hubble Space Telescope. The Impressionists’ use of color to create form reminds me of the cloud formations I see every night. And some of the images of distant galaxies and stellar “events” that the Hubble has provided are truly amazing. This mix of science and art creates a sense of seeing something at its beginning, something that has never been seen before and that cannot be broken down any further. These images are, to me, Primordial.

The book is 80 pages and contains 57 images. It will be available in two editions – a special signed and numbered limited edition of 15 books, plus 1 artist copy, 1 presentation copy and 3 artist's proof copies. This special edition features a foil-stamped linen cover with dust jacket and includes a signed and numbered 8x10" matted/mounted print of the cover image. This edition will have a pre-publication price of $325 with a publication date of January 1, 2011. Shipping is included. After that date the price for this edition will rise to $425.

The other edition is available from as either a hardcover with dust jacket for $74.95 or a softcover for $56.95, but is not signed or numbered. Signed copies are available for an additional $25 but must be ordered through me (not blurb).

To view a larger flash presentation of the book, please click here.

To view prints for purchase, please click here.

Ordering Information:
For more information, please email or call
480-247-6401. To secure your limited edition book now at the pre-publication price, please click here. To order the non-limited edition from blurb, click here for the hardcover or here for the softcover. To order a signed, non-limited edition copy, please click here or call.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Notecards make great Holiday gifts!

Now available in time for the holidays are two sets of 6 notecards. The first features six of my Primordial images. Cards are 4.25x5.5" and include envelopes.

Primordial Notecard set - $15 plus $1.50 s/h

You can click below to purchase via PaylPal or with your credit card.

Also available are a set of six of my daughter, Lindsay's, Western Portraits including a watercolor of a Blue Ribbon horse and five pastels of Cowboys.

Western Portrait Notecard set - $15 plus $1.50 s/h

You can click below to purchase via PaylPal or with your credit card.

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 Fundraiser Print Auction for InFocus at Bentley Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, Nov. 9

2010 INFOCUS Fundraiser

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 • 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Bentley Gallery • 4161 North Marshall Way • Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

Join us Tuesday, November 9th between 5:30 and 8:00 pm at The Bentley Gallery in Scottsdale for our Annual INFOCUS Fundraising Auction.

The INFOCUS auction is a great opportunity to see the work of nearly twenty photographers, shop in advance of holiday gift-giving, and show your support for the Phoenix Art Museum’s INFOCUS support organization. This event is targeted at the new collector and bargain hunter, with silent auction bidding beginning at just $150. Historic and contemporary works will be sold and some of the photographers will be attending the event. A range of photographic media, subject matters, and styles will be included so there will be something for everyone. It is a wonderful occasion to get involved with the Phoenix photographic community, and is open to the public – all are welcome!

The auction will feature three framed showcase photographs: an Edward Curtis gravure of San Xavier, a Cole Weston cibachrome of kelp, and a Harold Jones gelatin silver print of an Arizona monsoon sky, with higher starting bids and buy it now prices.

Light refreshments will be served.

A PDF of the flier can be downloaded here:

Phoenix Art Museum
1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004-1685
For more information about INFOCUS please call (602) 307-2079 or visit us online at

I am also very honored to have been invited to donate a print.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm a Book Publisher!

I was recently asked to design and publish a book by friend Randy Efros. Randy was Brett Weston's last assistant. The book is a portfolio of 10 platinum prints made during Randy's last trip to Scotland in 2008.

We had talked about all the current self-publishing options out there. Blurb was considered, but I have yet to see a Blurb book that I considered a quality product. Quite a few of my photographer friends have gone this route and all have consistently had quality issues. Another thing that made me cringe was that, until very recently, you could not design your own book. You had to use their software which did not leave much room for being in total control of the design. We finally went with Edition One in Berkeley. They are a small boutique shop utilizing the latest technology (HP Indigo, same as Blurb), but with a personal touch and a traditional book publishing background. Overall, we were very pleased with the quality of the product AND we had total control over the design. The book features a linen cover, foil stamp and dust jacket.

I did all the scans of Randy's original platinum prints, spotted them and adjusted the contrast. I then did a test with Edition One, sending them both RGB and CMYK images for some test prints. The CYMK images ended up looking most like the original platinum prints.

The book is available as a limited edition of 15 (plus 1 artist copy, 1 presentation copy, and 3 artist proof copies), signed and numbered book with an original 4x5" platinum print made by Randy. It will be available as a non-editioned book, as well. The limited edition is priced at $300 for pre-publication orders, and $400 post-publication. Currently there are 10 copies already pre-sold. Non-edition books will be in soft-cover and sell for $50. Books are available by contacting Randy directly at

Next up is a portfolio of 8x10 silver prints from his Hawaii Portfolio, which will be available for pre-publication in December with a publication date of January 1, 2011.

If any of you out there are interested in this book design service, please contact me at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Inspirations #26: The Hubble Space Telescope

Primordial 2827, 2006 by Richard M. Coda

Maybe I should credit the Cosmos, the Universe, or God for this one, but the Hubble Space Telescope is the vehicle to the stars.

I have always been fascinated by clouds, as I'm sure most people have been at one point in their life. As children we see bunny rabbits in them, maybe Abraham Lincoln's profile or an alligator. As I got older, though, I started to think more metaphysically about what I was looking at. Was I witnessing Creation itself? Or possibly the Apocalypse? Whatever it was that I was witnessing was drop-dead beautiful.

The Pillars of Creation, Hubble Space Telescope

Primordial 4245, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

M17 - Omega Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope

Primordial 2878, 2006 by Richard M. Coda

PS16 Orion Nebula, Hubble Space Telescope

Primordial 4148, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

In the past 5 years I have taken few cloud images because I was too busy. When I lived in New Jersey these types of skies were rare, but again, I was too busy. This year I am still too busy, but something clicked in me to take 15 minutes at the end of my day and hunt for clouds. Almost all of these were taken from either my back yard or my front yard, occasionally a hundred feet or so down the road… but never far. That is one of the things I love about this series. And the Arizona skies are a far cry from those in New Jersey. They are dramatic and sometimes you can see for 50 or more miles (try that in Jersey).

Anyway, every day now I am on the prowl. I am in the process of editing these down to a portfolio of 10-15 prints and am working on a book/print package. I may do one every year because the subject matter is endless and never the same.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Special Primordial Clouds Print Offer - $25 11x14"

I have always been fascinated by clouds. Originally in black & white, and recently in color. The annual monsoon season here in Arizona can provide some spectacular skies in both the mornings and the evenings.

I started a series this year and hope to add to it every year and whenever else the heavens oblige. In honor of this new series I am offering 11x14" Special Edition Prints (8x12" image size) for a special price of $25 plus $5 S/H through midnight, Saturday, August 28, 2010. This is a great deal and you know you've always wanted one... so visit and pick out your favorites today.

Remember, the sale ends at midnight, Saturday, August 28, 2010.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cell phone "photography"

I was at the Appaloosa Library in Scottsdale with my daughter yesterday. This is the newest library in the system and one of the coolest buildings. It is one of those "green" buildings. Anyway, while we were walking in I noticed some neat geometric lines... the kind that you see often in my work. I did not have any cameras with me... so I [brace yourself] took out my cell phone and made an image with it. [horror... shock... quiet came over the room...] I did have to have Lindsay show me how to do this ;^)

OK, calm down... I only did this so I would have a visual record, remember, I'm 50 now and my memory is going south. I plan on going back with the 4x5 and 8x10 cameras to get this puppy in both B&W and color. I have actually photographed this building before, earlier this year and on the other side, with the 8x10 but haven't done the film yet. I'm saving developing for when it's a little cooler.

I have several "library" images and plans for more, hopefully producing a portfolio next year. Anyway, back to cell phone "photography".

When I was photographing the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles a couple of years ago I remembered going into the gift shop the year before on a short vacation. They had "Cell Phone Photography" of the building on display and for sale. $125 for a 5x7" inkjet print. I remember all the BS in the artist's statement about how great this work was. It was crap.

Now, after making my cell phone image I feel even more strongly about this. The image from my Motorola Razr came in at 320x240 pixels (77kb) at 72 dpi. The color was awful, too. To put this amazing image quality into perspective, my 4x5" camera's "native" resolution is approximately 20,000 x 25,000 pixels (500MB). My 8x10" is 40,000 x 50,000 pixels (2 GB) and my 11x14" is 55,000 x 70,000 pixels (3.8 GB). My smallest camera (4x5") has 6500 times more resolution! I don't even want to get into the math for the big cameras!

A color corrected (best I could do) version and a B&W version are below.

My conclusion on this subject is that I'll have to go spend tons of money on a new iPhone so I can get some better photographs! ;^)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Photographs: Revisited

Every once in a while I like to, as George Tice would say, crack open a bottle of wine and look at [my] photographs. Revisiting photographs is a great way to see things you didn't see previously, to think about new or different ways to make the print, or just plain reminisce.

Many of the great master photographers revisited their hunting grounds on a regular basis. Edward Weston moved to be within walking distance of Pt. Lobos so he could have un-fettered access to it. Ansel Adams spent a great deal of his life in and around Yosemite NP. George Tice has produced two monographs of work on Paterson. The list goes on...

I started thinking about revisiting my photographs this past week due to two things. First, one of my sisters got a new job just a few blocks from some of my early photographs in Paterson, NJ. So, I decided to look up some of the locations I used to photograph on Google Maps. I was expecting for these places to be gone... bulldozed, burned, replaced by vanilla structures. Much to my surprise (and delight) they are still there!

Foundation, Paterson, NJ, 1983 by Richard M. Coda

138 Getty Avenue, Paterson, NJ, 2010, via Google Maps

Garage Doors, Paterson, NJ, 1983 by Richard M. Coda

62 Grove Street, Paterson, NJ, 2010, via Google Maps

Garage Doors, Paterson, NJ 1983 (uncropped) by Richard M. Coda

Second, I was driving up 32nd St. in Phoenix yesterday and noticed one of my photographs has once again "disappeared" (this is the second time for this particular image). It was previously overpainted an ugly black, brown and green striped pattern. Now it is solid red and yellow. I will be sure to go back and make another image soon.

2320, Phoenix, AZ 2008 by Richard M. Coda

I am sometimes torn between photographing new locations and going back to old locations. While "change" is inevitable, I am torn between letting things be and rejuvination. Letting them be can become urban blight, which can be great for a photographer, but not so nice for the people who live nearby. Updating things can make them "plain vanilla" and visually uninteresting. Sometimes I get lucky and get both!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Work of Art

I heard the most ridiculous thing yesterday morning...

Lindsay was watching "Work of Art" on Bravo (kind of like project runway only for artists). The challenge was for a "shocking" piece of art and one of the guest jurors was Andres Serrano ("Piss Christ")... a hack IMHO. He was critiquing a piece and said, and I quote, "The piece failed for me because I didn't get it. It had to be explained to me..."

Now, wait one damn minute... here's a guy who's made his career shocking people and leaving them scratching their heads, telling us that if "he" doesn't get it then the art has failed. In that case most art fails.

We went to the Cave Creek Art Festival's "Adult" showcase (no not that 
kind) last week and there was this guy there with a sculpture 
"explaining" it to people who obviously didn't get it. "Oh, there's 
three drops of real human blood here because..." The sculpture was very "interesting" (to paraphrase my friend Joe Trevino), but, give me a break.

BTW, Lindsay had all three of her pieces (one watercolor and two pencil drawings) accepted in the Youth Division of the Visual Arts Competition in the Cave Creek Film and Fine Art Festival this year. She also had one of those pencil drawings selected as a finalist. We find out this weekend which prize she has won. Side note... the quality of the work in the Youth Division was VERY high this year. For the most past, the work was as good, if not better, than some of the Adult division work. Please support your local youth arts organizations.

I hope to start posting more very soon. Work has finally picked up and I don't have much time for photography or anything else. I also turned 50 in June and was planning a big post on that but it will have to wait. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 28, 2010


So now it's getting late, for those who hesitate, got no one,
But they don't understand and no one hears the sound,
It's like a waterfall, it's an illusion.

Love is all, waterfall, love is what you are,
Pulls you in, takes you down, it's a sad affair,
But you know as you hold back the power there without the friends
And lovers you could never go on living.

Across the waterfall that's falling evermore down on you,
Cascading through the days, and flowing on it's way,
That's how it has to be, just an illusion.

–Electric Light Orchestra

It's been a while... work has finally picked up... and I am thankful. That doesn't leave much time for photography. Anyway...

I went to Arizona Falls a few weeks ago early on a Sunday morning with the 4x5" camera. It's a very interesting place. I could only spend 45 minutes there and will go back, but these are my first images from there. One is just soft as I was trying to get a certain effect in the water with timing and just couldn't get the depth of field I wanted shooting wide open. I'll try again with a longer exposure and stopped down more.

Arizona Falls #3, by Richard M. Coda, 2010

The other two were from behind one of the falls, each with a different shutter speed. I prefer the shorter exposure (top) over the longer exposure (bottom).

Arizona Falls #1, by Richard M. Coda, 2010

Arizona Falls #2, by Richard M. Coda, 2010

I also took these all in Black & White but haven't developed the film yet. Anyway, it felt good to be under the dark cloth again and hopefully I will get to spend a little more time now that my daughter's school is out.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Prescott Chalk it Up 2010...

The website for Prescott Chalk it Up 2010 is now up and running.

Check it out... there are lots of photos and a lot of good chalk art. The local fire department took some overhead shots in Album 7, too.

And, again, congratulations to our daughter, Lindsay, on winning the People's Choice award!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


John Wayne, in progress, by Lindsay Coda, chalk on pavement, 2010

Pronounced PRES-skit. Make sure you don't say PRES-skot in town... you will be laughed all the way back to Phoenix.

Anyway, while my daughter was painting her John Wayne portrait at the Prescott Chalk it Up festival last weekend, I took an hour each day to just wander around town with my wife and grab some breakfast. During these walks I found a few things to photograph. I had the Nikon D300 with me during breakfast.

They also had great entertainment, including these young ladies.

I also brought the 4x5" and 8x10" view cameras with me, just in case. Good thing, because there were two images I couldn't pass up. I took both of these with the 4x5" on Velvia 100.

Hugo's, Prescott, AZ, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

The Warehouse, Prescott, AZ, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

VOTE!, Prescott, AZ, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

And, last but not least, don't forget to VOTE... For Lindsay by tomorrow, and in November... and remember, "VOTE THEM ALL OUT!"

Public Art...

My friend, Juan Garcia, is very interested in "public art"... not the kind that is funded my cities and states, but the kind that is sometimes legal, sometimes sponsored, and sometimes good. Graffiti, in other words. He has amassed quite a body of work on this genre and is working on a photo book.

About a month ago Juan invited me out on a Sunday morning to show me some of the places he has photographed this public art in Phoenix. Our friend Tiffany Pacileo came along as well. He has also photographed in Tucson and Los Angeles.

One place in particular he took me to was behind the Barrio Cafe on 16th Street in Phoenix. This is a fine-dining Mexican restaurant, who's chef, Silvana Salcido Esparza, has been nominated for a James Beard Award this year. One of the neat features of this place is that the owner of the restaurant has commissioned a local artist, El Moisés, to paint a mural on the block wall that lines the driveway and parking lot behind the restaurant. This mural was written up in the Arizona Republic in December, 2009.

Barrio Cafe mural by El Moisés, 2010

There are many distinct sections to the mural and it incorporates Aztec, Chicano, Pop Art, and Religious elements. One particular element that caught my attention was the Lucha libre (free wrestling) masks. These are masks worn by "professional" wrestlers of Latino descent. I remember watching them as a kid, when pro wrestling was good. Remember Bruno Sammartino, George the Animal Steele, and the Iron Sheik? Those were the good ol' days. These look almost like those Power Ranger cartoon guys.

Barrio Cafe mural by El Moisés, 2010

Anyway, we checked out a few more places, and I came across this. It is an old window or something, that has been boarded up, and had bars put up over it. Then it was colorfully painted. The colors, textures and geometry were very interesting all together.

Painted Grid, Phoenix, 2010, by Richard M. Coda

After we called it a morning I headed to a place that I had found a week earlier, on Seventh Street just south of Roosevelt, a few blocks north of Chase Field. It is an old ad on the side of a building that houses Avant-Garde William & Co. It kind of reminds me of the Babbitt's Ad that I photographed in Flagstaff back in 2008, only this time black & white just didn't work for me. Actually, I want to photograph the Babbitt's ad in color as well.

803, Phoenix, AZ, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

All of these images were shot with 4x5 Velvia transparency film.

Remember, you have until Sunday to vote for Lindsay's John Wayne chalk painting at Prescott eNews. Vote and vote often!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vote for Lindsay!

Vote for Lindsay! The local Prescott newspaper is having an online reader vote. Lindsay can win a cash prize. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The People's Choice...

This weekend we went up to Prescott, AZ, so our daughter, Lindsay, could participate in the 2-day Prescott "Chalk it Up" festival. This is a street art festival where anyone could reserve a space in a parking lot and do a chalk painting. Sizes varied from 2x2 feet to 10x10 feet. Lindsay decided to take a 4x6 foot space. Originally her art club was supposed to attend and participate, but schedule conflicts canceled the trip. Lindsay decided she wanted to participate on her own. She had previously participated in the Via Colori national events (Scottsdale, 2009, and Glendale, 2010) and really enjoyed them. This is difficult and back-breaking work, too.

So, she had to pick a subject. She loves all things cowboy so she picked the most famous cowboy of all... John Wayne. She did all the prep work finding a photograph, overlaying a grid over it, and getting all her supplies together. We were very impressed. Seems a lot of other people were, too. Most could not believe she is only a sophomore in high school. One couple have even asked Lindsay to do a commission for their home... they are BIG John Wayne fans!

The weather was beautiful, in the 70s and sunny... a little too sunny it seems, as we all got a good pre-tan working. We went up on Saturday assuming that Lindsay could finish in one day. Well, she took her time (in a good way) and really worked the details. So we decided to leave around 3:00 PM on Saturday, get something to eat before the 1.5 hour drive home, get a good night sleep and make a strong finish on Sunday. She had the portrait done the first day and just had to fill in the background and fine-tune on Sunday.

There were between 100 and 200 participants this year, including some professional chalk artists from California and Colorado. Originally there were supposed to be a "Best in Show" and a "People's Choice" award, as well as several awards for the 12 and under artists. Due to budget restraints there was only a People's Choice award this year as we just found out... and the people chose Lindsay! We are so proud of her! Congratulations, Linds!

A note to any parents out there. With all the school budget cuts, especially in the arts and music, please have your children participate in these (mostly) free events. They also had entertainment featuring local students and residents, including a steel drum band, a children's marimba band, a senior dance group, a local high school freshman fiddler, belly dancers and hoop dancers. We found out that the marimba conductor, a school music teacher, had just been laid off. I hope that these casualties of the economy will see the need for extra-curricular classes and start businesses of their own. We have to offer them our support to keep the arts alive.