Thursday, February 25, 2010

Colour My World...

Citrus, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

Yes, the famous slow-dance song by Chicago from the 1970s. But also the new mantra of a formerly black & white only kinda guy.

My wife brought home some tangelos and lemons given to her by one of her friends. The colors were so intense I had to photograph them. I picked up a couple of dark limes from the store to finish out the palette. Then I put them in a mahogany bowl I made in high school. I love this bowl. Years after I moved out of my parents house I came by one weekend when my mother was having a yard sale. And there was MY bowl... on sale for a nickel! Well, I couldn't stand the thought of that bowl in some stranger's house so I bought it back. Anyway...

I set everything up in the afternoon shade in our back yard and photographed it on Fuji Velvia 100 with the 4x5" camera. These colors are not fake, even though they might look it.

I have always told my daughter that you can't be a famous artist until you do a bowl of fruit. Now, I am famous!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker...

Tower Liquors, Phoenix, AZ, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

I remember that line from one of my favorite movies as a child (and as an adult)... Willy Wonka.

One thing that sticks in my mind about that movie is the color... it is everywhere and not shy. Anyone who knows me as a photographer knows that if I shoot color film it has to be ABOUT color. Everything else is a bonus.

While my wife and daughter were at a Reba concert last week, I took the opportunity to try a little night color photography. There are these two liquor stores in Phoenix that have the most amazing colors at night. Tower Liquors (above) has more earth tones and a pastel quality to it. I had tried photographing this last fall with the 8x10" camera and transparency film but was off in my exposure and did not like the result. So I went back last week and tried using 4x5" color negative film to try and bring out the pastel qualities more. I think it worked.

I scouted the other liquor store, The Liquor Wheel, but it was too busy (constant drive-thru traffic) and I'd have to be across the street about a hundred feet away. I could use the 450mm lens to bring me in, but this is also not in the best neighborhood. This store has more cool tones in it and looks like a Christmas tree all lit up. I may try it again with some backup.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Inspirations #25: Ansel Adams, Riverside

Seven Springs, AZ, 2010 by Richard M. Coda

OK, since attending the Ansel Adams preview last week I have him on the brain. There were many wonderful prints of both his well-known and not-so-well-known images. Two of my favorites are Merced River, Cliffs, Autumn, 1939 and Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain, 1948. There were several prints of each at the show.

Merced River, Cliffs, Autumn, 1939 by Ansel Adams

Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain, 1948 by Ansel Adams

On my recent field trip with John Prouty and Juan Garcia to the Seven Springs Campground and Tonto National Forest I took the first "landscape" I have taken in a very long time. By landscape I mean something Ansel Adams might have taken. Most of my work in the past five years has been urban in nature, and, as I have stated before, as I approach 50 I find myself being drawn to the comfort of landscapes.

This image was actually my first image of 2010, taken with the 8x10" on TMax 400. Of course, mine is no comparison to Ansel's images but when I saw it I immediately thought of these two images. The more I look at it I wish I had made it a horizontal image. I remember doing that initially and something bothered me so I switched the back to vertical. I just can't remember why... I guess I'll have to go back and photograph it again.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ansel Adams: Discoveries at PHX Art Museum

Michael Pesselato views "Monolith" in its various incarnations.

Last Friday I had the privilege of attending the opening of the "Ansel Adams: Discoveries" exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. Accompanying me were Michael Pesselato, from Phoenix Country Day School, John Prouty, and the Famous Larry Golsh and his wife, Sharon. This was a special opening for museum Circles members and members of our support group, InFocus.

This expansive exhibit was curated by Dr. Becky Senf of the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, where Ansel's archives are located. The usual suspects are present and, in some cases, in forms you may not be familiar with. One of the highlights of the exhibit was Ansel's color work, which is not widely seen. Although interesting, it just doesn't have the impact of his black & white work.

The reception featured wonderful food and drink and lots of photography talk.

The Famous Larry Golsh, Randy Efros, Judy Zuber and Juan Garcia (l to r)

John Prouty, Juan Garcia, Sharon and the Famous Larry Golsh

The "Moonrise" section... negative, straight print, early and later finished prints

There was a video of Ansel in his darkroom.

Some of Ansel's color work, much of it from Arizona Highways.

The exhibit is up until June so I plan on visiting it several times where I can go at my own pace. If you're in the Phoenix area make a point to see this important exhibit as it will not be traveling.