Sunday, April 18, 2021

North Central University's 2021 Juried Art Exhibition

Recently, I had a few pieces accepted into a small exhibition at North Central University. I saw the flier around campus asking for work:

I dropped off 3 pieces:

I use quilts to transport work. The middle piece is under the blanket.

Here are a few images from the "2021 T.J. Jones Library Juried Art Show:"

[click each image for a larger version]

My pieces on the middle of that wall.

A final shot of my 3 photographs.

Friday, April 16, 2021

"Be an Artist!"

The Warhol quote... ha!

Friday, April 09, 2021

North Shore Holga Photographs

It had been nearly a year and a half since I last got out my Holga. But when the boys and I took a drive up the North Shore 10 days ago, I had to pack a few rolls of film. Here are some images made as we headed north along Lake Superior.

[click each image to enlarge]

Gooseberry Falls.

Black Beach (with my boys climbing those rocks back there...)

Sugarloaf Cove.

The backside of Sugarloaf.

A windier day at Sugarloaf Cove (we stopped there twice).

A gale warning in Grand Marais

A few waterfalls along the Cascade River.

My Holga all taped up between outings at our Airbnb.

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Photographer's Copyright Case with the Met

A lot of photographers have strong opinions about this. An old image by photographer Lawrence Marano was used in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and now 2 courts have ruled that the Met can use Marano's image without his consent.

The "Frankenstein" guitar used by Eddie Van Halen. Photo: Don Emmert / AFP via Getty Images.

Here's more on the issue from ArtNet:

A panel of judges has ruled in favor of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a copyright case over the institution’s use of a photograph of Eddie Van Halen.

A 1982 concert image of Van Halen shot by Florida-based photographer Lawrence Marano was used by the museum in an online catalogue for the 2019 exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock and Roll,” which featured the late musician’s famous “Frankenstein” guitar.

Marano sued the institution for copyright infringement that same year, arguing that he never granted permission for the photograph to be used.

In July 2020, the lawsuit was dismissed by a U.S. District judge who ruled that Marano and his attorney “failed to show why the Met’s use of [the image] is not protected by the fair use exception.” Because the museum employed the photograph for educational purposes, it did not violate copyright law, according to the judge.

Marano appealed the case, but last Friday, three judges in New York’s Second Circuit court upheld the previous ruling.

“Whereas Marano’s stated purpose in creating the photo was to show ‘what Van Halen looks like in performance,’ the Met exhibition highlights the unique design of the Frankenstein guitar and its significance in the development of rock n’ roll instruments,” the judges wrote in a five-page summary order.

They further decided that the Met’s use of the image could not “in any way impair any other market for commercial use of the photo, or diminish its value.”

“The Second Circuit’s decision in the Marano case is an important one recognizing that museums, as cultural institutions, have the freedom to use photographs that are historical artifacts to enrich their presentation of art objects to the public,” Linda Steinman, an attorney for the Met, said in a statement.

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art values the contributions of all artists, including photographers, and also appreciates that fair use is a key tool for the visual arts community.”

“The mission of the Met and all museums,” Steinman continued, “is to provide the public with access to art—and this important decision protects, indeed strengthens, this important societal role.”

Marano’s attorney did not respond to Artnet News’s request for comment.

In both decisions, the ruling judges looked to the 2006 Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., case for precedent, Courthouse News points out.

In that case, which had to do with the republication of decades-old concert posters in a coffee table book about the Grateful Dead, the Second Circuit court ruled that the publisher reprinted the posters as “recognizable representation” of the band’s concerts, saying the case fell under fair use doctrine.

There's a lot of gray area in here, but I would agree with the ruling in the end. The US Copyright Office defines "fair use" as "a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances. Section 107 of the Copyright Act provides the statutory framework for determining whether something is a fair use and identifies certain types of uses — such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research — as examples of activities that may qualify as fair use."

Here's the court's ruling for the July/Aug 2020 dismissal if you'd like to read their words.

My biggest issue is that after all of this, Marano's name still does not seem to appear next to his photo in the exhibition. You would think the Met could at least acknowledge that they are using his photo, but as of this moment, they don't seem to be doing that.

Saturday, April 03, 2021


Saturday, March 20, 2021

Mississippi River Photos from the iPhone 12

I recently got an iPhone 12 Pro. It's the first time I've really had "new" and "current" equipment - my normal camera is about 15 years old, and I'm generally a "use what you've got" sort of photographer. When I was out along the banks of the Mississippi River with my boys last week, I started playing with the wide angle lens and a few of the effects.

Here are a few images that are straight from my phone. I always at least gently edit my images, but these have not been cropped or had any density/contrast adjustments. The most I did to them was adjust the exposure as I was in the process of making the photo; I did nothing in post.

[click image to enlarge]

River Tree

Rail Bridge

Washed-Out Ash


Rain-Splattered Beaches

Tiny Waves


Driftwood and Ice

Frozen Pebbles


The "silvertone" effect in these images makes the images a little too painterly for me: click on and zoom in to some of the larger images to see the over-sharpening happening at the edge of higher contrast areas. But I like the overall contrast it provided, although the middle values get a little lost (which kills me a bit as a photography professor who's always preaching about proper tonal range).

We'll see if I end up playing around more with my phone in a professional manner...

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Bryant Lake Bowl Drone Video

You've all seen this. I know I'm late to the party. But I just HAD to make sure I shared this here, as it's fantastic.

This was posted on YouTube less than a week ago, and as of posting here, it has 1.2 million views there, as well as more on Facebook and Twitter. (As of 2 days ago, the Star Tribune was saying it already had a total of 2.8 million aggregate views. One of the original versions on Twitter has 6.8 million views as of today.)

This may be updated over time, but here's a link on the Bryant Lake Bowl website that shares some of the media attention that the video has recieved:

A drone video shot in a Minneapolis bowling alley was hailed as an instant classic. One Hollywood veteran said it “adds to the language and vocabulary of cinema.”

















I've been seeing it EVERYWHERE on social media:

"Guardians of the Galaxy” filmmaker James Gunn tweeted the clip to his 800,000+ followers, saying he wanted the filmmakers "to come with us to London later this year when we shoot Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3." And Elijah Wood commented "HOLY SHIT" in his retweet of the video to his nearly 1 million followers.

Nice work, Rally Studios! (Jay Christensen cinematographer, Anthony Jaska director)

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Curtains Create Pinhole Camera

There are many instances of pinhole cameras being formed in darkened rooms to project the outside on a far wall. (Abelardo Morell has done work like this for example.) Two days ago, someone on Reddit shared what was happening with their curtains, and it was pretty fun:

That's the street below being projected sort of "accidentally" on his ceiling as a pinhole camera would do. Here's a video of the street below "moving" on his ceiling:

Click here to see it on Reddit if that embedded video doesn't work.

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