Thursday, April 16, 2015

Five April Photo Links

I haven't done a "news" post in a while... click each link in each story for all the details.

• 1: Kodak film will be alive in the cinema a bit longer. Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, NBC Universal, and Warner Bros announced that they will keep using Kodak film even as most studios go digital.

• 2: The public recently got a look at the first photo book ever. It's called "Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions" from 1843 book by English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins. It's considered to be the first book ever to be illustrated exclusively with photographs (well, cyanotypes actually).

• 3: Here's a great list of movies about photography that every photographer should see.

"One Hour Photo" was at the top of the list.

• 4: Want to shoot a film only lit by candlelight? You are now able to rent a Zeiss f/0.7 lens - the largest aperture len ever seen in the history of photography.

In the 1960s, NASA commissioned Zeiss to make 10 of these lenses to use on the moon. In the end, 3 were bought by Stanley Kubrick and used in his 1975 film "Barry Lyndon" where he shot some scenes only lit by candles:

Short documentary on Kubrick’s use of this lens. Direct link:

• 5: Photographer Troy Wayrynen caught a photo of a high school cross country runner snapping a selfie, and it won him first prize in the "Sports" category in this year’s "Best of Photojournalism" contest by the National Press Photographers Association.

Close-up of winning image.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

MAKING a photograph vs. TAKING a snapshot

Local metro photographer/instructor Doug Beasley recently posted some great insight into MAKING A PHOTOGRAPH vs TAKING A SNAPSHOT. I'm going to be sharing these tips with my students:

There is nothing wrong with taking snapshots. They are a great record of where we went, who we were with, and what we saw. For those who aspire to make photographs rather than take snapshots, here are some guidelines to help tell the difference:

– The snapshot is made by pointing the camera at what one hopes to ‘capture’ + clicking
– The photograph is composed in the viewfinder

– In the snapshot what you see is (hopefully) what you get
– The photograph is pre-visualized as to how the scene will translate into a photo

– The snapshot is a record of what the camera is pointed at
– The photograph is an interpretation of what is seen, thought or felt

– The snapshot doesn’t acknowledge the relationship between foreground and background
– The photograph deals with the relationship between foreground and background

– The snapshot is primarily about the subject and isn’t aware of the rest of the frame
– The photograph is responsible for the entire frame and all it’s contents

– The snapshot does not pay attention to the corners and edges of the frame
– The photograph pays extra importance to the edges of the frame and the corners

– The snapshot is only about what is visible
– The photograph is often as much about what isn’t seen as much as what is

– The snapshot is taken at the aperture chosen by the camera
– The photograph is made at the aperture chosen by the photographer

– The snapshot has its’ depth-of-field dictated by the cameras’ choice of aperture
– The photograph has its’ depth-of-field dictated by the photographers choice of aperture

– The snapshot has its’ perspective dictated by zooming in or out
– The photographs perspective is dictated by choice of focal length + distance to subject

– The snapshot can be fixed later by cropping, so careful composition is not valued
– The photograph is cropped in camera and can be fine-tuned later, if necessary

– The snapshot only needs enough light to take the picture, or flash can be added
– The photograph is aware of the quality of light falling on the subject and background

– The snapshot does not go beyond technique
– The photograph transcends technique to reveal vision

– The snapshot is usually a reaction to external stimuli
– The photograph is often guided by internal stimuli

– The snapshot is often taken as a one-of-a-kind reaction to a subject
– The photograph is often made in the context of ongoing concerns in larger body of work

– The snapshots beauty is on the surface
– The photographs beauty often lies below the surface

– The snapshot has no metaphorical meaning, unless unintentional
– The photograph often contains intentional metaphorical meaning

– The snapshots intent is pure in that it is only interested in ‘capturing’ the moment
– The photograph’s intent is often murky in that it understands that nothing can actually be captured...

All of these parameters of what constitutes a snapshot can and will be intentionally used by individual artists making incredible fine-art images, and those adhering to all the parameters of fine-art photographs can be perfectly boring, so there are no absolutes!

And even with all of this, it is easy to find examples of fine-art photos made by point-and-shoot and cell phone cameras in the hands of artists, so it is still not technical mastery that makes the difference but the skill, vision, intent and execution of the photographer.

Check out more about Doug Beasley here.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Faribault County at Easter

While visiting family for Easter, I drove a few back roads in Faribault County as my 11-month-old son napped in the backseat. I pulled over a few times to make some iPhone photos:

Rosenberger's Slough

Three Pines near Walnut Lake

Wells Municipal Airport

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Night of PechaKucha Talks Hosted by CVA Action

Saturday was another great event hosted by CVA Action (the nonprofit where I'm the vice president of the board). We held a night of PechaKucha artist presentations by 8 former CVAers. Basically, a PechaKucha lecture is where you present 20 slides that automatically advance every 20 seconds - once the presentation starts, you have to keep up with the rapid-fire slides, and then you're done 6 minutes and 40 seconds later. They were informative, inspirational, and entertaining. We had the pleasure of holding the presentations at Rosalux Gallery where Val Jenkins (former Chair of Fine Arts at CVA) was in a 2-person show.

Here are a number of photos that show a bit of what the night was like:

Photo from Josh of Val, me, and Shannon (board president) shortly after starting to get set up.

Photo from Diane of Caroline and I working on some lighting.

A photo that CVA Action Instagrammed showing that the food truck had arrived just outside the gallery.

People starting to arrive.

Photo from Josh of some of the ENKI growlers of beer.

[click image to enlarge] - Diane's panorama of Shannon getting the night kicked off!
You can see me standing near the front, as I was about to be introduced as the emcee for the event.

Things got underway, and (after we got the projector turned on) the night went off without a hitch. Board President Shannon and I both snapped crappy iPhone photos of the presenters from either side of the gallery:

Pascal Staub was our "remote" presenter presenting from Switzerland. Here's video of him
presenting on the computer screen, with his work being projected on the wall behind him.

A photo from Josh from the back, showing the projection and a pleasantly crowded gallery.

Joseph Kuefler working to inspire us.


DC Ice sharing her work.


Another photo of DC from Kolean P, former professor at CVA sitting in the front row.

Jehra Patrick discussing the work she's done with and the Walker Art Center.

Jehra from the back.

Abby Haddican talking about her design process.

Abby (and yes, that's Ryan Gosling on the computer screen...)

Ben Levitz sharing how he worked towards opening his printmaking shop "Studio on Fire."


Marc Stephens sharing a mini-retrospective of Aaron Purmort's work.


Jamey Erickson getting ready to entertain us with stories of starting/closing his design firm,
astro photography, sending cameras/weather balloons into space, and his newest start-up.

Jamey was too expressive: all of my photos of him look something like this.

[click image to enlarge] - Our 7 presenters: DC, Abby, Joseph, Marc, Jehra, Ben, and Jamey.
(Not pictured: Pascal from Switzerland.) Thanks you 8! You were amazing!!

People hung around to talk with the presenters and to eat more tacos afterwards.

Photo from Josh of people mingling post-PechaKucha.

As the CVA Action board cleaned up, we finished the last of the ENKI beer.

Rosalux was put back to normal to showcase Val Jenkins and Laura Stack's work by 10:30 p.m. What a night!

Stay tuned for maybe 1 more post from the PechaKucha talks once some more images come in. And check out CVA Action's website and Facebook page for more info.

p.s. The day after the PechaKucha talks, the REVERBERATIONS show at Form+Content and Traffic Zone Galleries came down. Here's CVA Action board member Diane B taking out some nails as Lynda and Kaitlin take a piece off the wall:

Never mind my son in the foreground...

Here are some photos from the REVERBERATIONS opening, and here are some photos of the show itself.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Crazy Good Photoshop Skills

As seen on 9gag, here's someone who's a Photoshop wiz:

Someday, I hope to be that good in Photoshop. Someday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pecha Kucha Artist Lectures

CVA Action is hosting a night of PechaKucha artists lectures at Rosalux Gallery THIS SATURDAY, March 21, 2015.

From the CVA Action Facebook page:

What is a PechaKucha you ask?

PechaKucha is a simple presentation format of a set of 20 slide show images, each image advances automatically every 20 seconds as the presenter shares their work. We are thrilled to have 8 artists and designers who attended the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN share a snapshot of their work since their CVA days!

PechaKucha presenters are DC Ice, Jamey Erickson, Abby Haddican, Joseph Kuefler, Ben Levitz, Jehra Patrick, Pascal Staub and the late Aaron Purmot, whose work will be presented by his colleague Marc Stephens.

See you there!

In addition to the quick 6 minute and 40 second presentations, we will have food from A La Plancha Taco Truck available for purchase, and beer from ENKI Brewing. Here's a photo from CVA Action on Instagram from earlier today:

Some of our growlers from @enkibrewing for our #PechaKucha talks Saturday night.

Here's a flyer we passed out at the "Reverberations" opening reception with brief bios on the presenters:

[click the flyer for a larger version]

To attend, you do NOT need to be someone who went to CVA. We're doing this as a way to highlight the great artists who came out of CVA. So come to this if you're interesting in hearing about designers, illustrators, printmakers, and arts administrators talk about their work and their life in the arts. Or simply come because you like Mexican food and beer.

Rosalux Gallery, Saturday night: 1400 Van Buren Street NE #195, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Here's our Facebook event page. See you there!

Friday, March 13, 2015

"Reverberations" Exhibition at Form+Content and Traffic Zone Galleries

I recently stopped by Form+Content and Traffic Zone Art Galleries to photograph the CVA Action "Reverberations" show. Here are a few photos from Form+Content:

That's my piece to the far left.

[click the image to enlarge]

[click the image to enlarge]

[click the image to enlarge]

And here are some photos from Traffic Zone:

The traffic light outside of Traffic Zone Gallery.

The desk in the middle was part of a performance at the opening by Aki Shibata.

[click the image to enlarge]

[click the image to enlarge]

[click the image to enlarge]

If you missed it, CLICK HERE to see lots of photos from the opening reception of "Reverberations" from earlier this month. And stop by to see the show before it comes down next weekend.

UP NEXT for CVA Action events is a night of artists talks coming up next weekend. Here's the Facebook event page. I'll post more about this next week. We'd love to see you for tacos, beer, wine, and artist lectures on the 21st!

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