Friday, March 17, 2017

Photo Adjustments

Deep Fried Lobster
Chicago, March 2017

North Beach
San Francisco, 2013

We Buy Gold
Chicago, 2017

Post production is a necessary part of working in digital Photography, akin to darkroom work in film Photography. Just as in darkroom work, there isn't a right or wrong way to process any photo. It's more a question of finding what works and how you want the photo to look. I've been experimenting with creative and nonstandard photo adjustments for a while now. I'm basically going beyond what I would normally do when post processing a photo, trying various visual effects, etc. It varies from photo to photo. Sometimes, the manipulations are pretty minor. Other times, there is a lot of manipulation, even if the end result may be somewhat subtle. I've also made a few which are heavily manipulated (and look like it), and some that are pretty close to (but not quite) collage.
Here are a couple recently adjusted photos. The one in the middle has the most adjustment, it was kind of a crappy photo to start, but I liked it, and wanted to see if I could do something to make it work. The top and bottom ones were shot a few days ago, when an unexpected snowstorm hit Chicago.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Lenscratch 2016 Favorite PhotoExhibition

Lenscratch is a really great photo blog. Every year, they have an open call for people to submit their favorite photo of the year.
They just published this year's exhibition. I have a photo there, it's in the middle of page four. Take a look at all the entries, there's a lot of great work in a wide variety of subjects and styles.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Favorite Photo 2016

Carniceria, Lima Peru 2016

I just submitted this photo to Lenscratch. Lenscratch is a really great photo blog, full of really interesting photographic work. They do open submissions several times a year, and their current one asks for the favorite photo you shot this year.

This is my favorite from this year. I shot it on the last day of an amazing vacation in Peru this summer. It was shot in Mercado Centro, a huge market hall near Chinatown in Lima's old city center full of narrow hallways crowded with vendors selling all sorts of foodstuffs.

The day I shot this happened to be Fiestas Patrias, the Peruvian national Independence Day. It was also inauguration day for Peru's newly elected president. About 25 feet away from this booth, there was a tv hanging from the ceiling that was broadcasting the inauguration ceremony live (the ceremony was actually occurring just a few blocks away).  The butcher was so intently watching the inauguration on the distant tv that I don't think he even noticed me snapping his photo.

Lenscratch will publish their best of the year exhibition on Jan. 1. I'll post links here when it does (assuming my work is there-I actually submitted this a day late!).

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mountain Fog

Mountain Fog
Digitally manipulated photograph, 2016

T-shirts, prints, mugs, etc. here.

I shot this photo a couple summers ago while hiking in Sequoia National Park in California. It was a fun hike-above 9000 feet, it was hailing part of the way which turned to rain at lower altitudes, washing out the trail in a gravely part at the top of a ravine. Had to crawl on my hands and knees to avoid slipping and falling 50 or so feet down the ravine. Ended the hike freezing, wet and cold, but the scenery was spectacular!

Friday, December 9, 2016

My Social Media

I recently opened an Instagram account. I resisted for a long time; but gave it a try as a way of seeing new and interesting work and possibly getting my work seen by a wider audience. I know that’s not how most people use Instagram, but I’m pretty selfie-adverse. I just don’t see the point of posting endless photos of myself or what I’m eating or doing. I prefer to savor life’s experiences without feeling I need to document every bit of it, and would rather show you something interesting than show you a photo of myself for the 10,000th time.

Anyway, the new Instagram account made me realize that I actually have a fairly large online presence. I also realized that while there is overlap among all my social media accounts, I try to have a different focus with each one, and that might not be very clear. So, to to sort it all out, here are all my social media accounts and how I use them.

I think of this as an online cocktail party. Light conversation, sharing laughs with friends, and casually sharing things with a wide variety of people, most of whom I’ve met personally. Sometimes I get political, but try to keep it in check. More often, it’s just everyday goofiness and things I find interesting for one reason or another.

I maintain a separate Facebook page for my work as an artist. Everything on here is related to what I make and where I show it. Follow the page to see what I’m up to creatively, and view a large selection of my work.

This is my blog. I started it when on sabbatical several years ago, as a way of documenting what I was working on. Since then, I’ve kept writing posts, although somewhat infrequently. Most of my posts over the past couple of years have been the same examples of my work I post on other social media, with occasional short discussions about my work and art in general. I keep thinking I should write and post more here, and probably would if I thought anyone was paying attention. Do you read this blog? Let me know!

I basically use Flickr as an online photo album of my creative work. No personal or family photos here, it’s all work I want to share with the world. Probably broader in scope than the work on my Facebook artist page, I’ll post vacation photos (ones I think turned out pretty good) and other photos here that I generally don’t on the Facebook artist page.

My Tumblr page. The description on the page reads “absurdity, ephemera, and art”, which sums it up pretty well. I post things that inspire me to make art, as well as the creative fruits of that inspiration. Don’t expect much personal stuff, I don’t use Tumbler in that way. Expect lots of kitschy ephemera-scans from old books and magazines, etc. along with examples of my work, art and design by others I find interesting, and the occasional video clip, piece of music, or geeky repost of whatever pop culture I’m currently obsessing over. It’s everything that goes into my mental slow cooker, and the finished dishes that come out.

The baby of my social media accounts. Still refining what I want this to be, but it’s looking like it will be mainly posts of my creative work along with occasional photos I shoot with my phone of things I find interesting when I’m out and about. By the way, don’t be offended if you follow me and I don’t immediately (or maybe ever) follow you back. I don’t want my Instagram to be a rehash of the same stuff I see on Tumblr and Facebook. I want it to be more focused on art than on snapshots, and I have Facebook and Tumblr for seeing and sharing casual, fun posts.

Society 6 is a site that sells prints, t-shirts, coffee mugs and a bunch other things with images I’ve made. They do all the printing and shipping, and I receive a payment whenever someone orders something I’ve made. An easy way to sell my work, even if I make next to nothing doing it.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Magritte's Lover

Magritte's Lover, 2016
Collage on paper
Prints and other stuff here.

Friday, October 7, 2016


Maquette, 2016
Collage on book cover
Prints, shirts and other stuff here

I made this collage last weekend. Finding titles for my work is one of the more difficult parts of being an artist. When working on this, the word 'maquette' kept getting stuck in my head. A maquette is a sketch or model used by sculptors when designing a piece. I don't know why this reminded me of a maquette, but not long after I finished it, I remembered the Spirit of Detroit sculpture by Marshall Fredericks. It's been easily a couple of decades since I've seen that sculpture in person (it's in downtown Detroit), but I looked it up on Google street view and took a screen shot:

My collage doesn't really look like the Spirit of Detroit. It does have a mid century feel, however (Spirit of Detroit was completed in 1958), and the green of the book cover reminds me of verdigris, so I titled it Maquette.