21 January 2009

A New Day

Hi all,

Just doing a quick post today. Its been an interesting last few days as I have been shooting local Obama Inauguration events. I'm probably going to be off the blog for a while as I have edits to work on like crazy. It was fun, though. Watching the President being sworn in was an amazing thing, but shooting other people's reaction was priceless. So give me a week or so to sort things out and let things calm down.
Its going to be interesting to see what the future holds.
Be back with you soon.

14 January 2009

Kodak Still For Film

Well, I hope everyone's new year is at least getting off on a good foot. Mine has at least opened up with opportunities that have some potential. All they need is a little cultivation and some time. Hopefully it won't be long til they each come to full bloom. I at the very least feel like I am making some headway into getting myself launched in the general direction I want to go. I've been giving some considerable time and thought to this.

So far this year has begun with me not having any pending projects on photos in the queue waiting to be processed. I'm caught up! I don't know how long it will last, but I'm not behind. I've been giving a little more attention to my job hunt and thinking about what I want to do with my web site. I'm in need of some updates...a new look and a new feel. I need it to say that I am more than just my nude work. Then again, I am starting to think about putting together a whole new site for non-nude and more conventional photography. I could do that. I still need more content which showcases exactly what I can do and what I can specialize in. I already own another domain name so maybe that can be the way to go. At any rate, the goal is to retool everything in order to maximize my flexibility. I know I want to be able to promote myself as a shooter for whatever I think I can do and do well. At some point in the near future, I plan to narrow that scope significantly in order to specialize in 2 or 3 things. So for the time being...its increase and maximize revenue streams. After I get that down, I'll then concentrate on those things that I am most successful doing. So we'll see.

My roommate, Jeff is in the hospital. Without going into specifics, he's been out of it since before the holidays started. By New Year's he was hospitalized. Without much local family, I've had to do what I can to help take care of him. Felix and Summer also help as we go by to visit most every day and try to do what we can to make him comfortable while he's down. It can't be easy lying in bed for two weeks. I'd go nuts. Pray for a speedy recovery for him.

Film vs. Digital... how many times has this war of opinions been waged? I recently came across an article from imaginginfo.com, "Even Still, Kodak Clings to Film". It was an interesting read about the commitment of Eastman Kodak to the ways of analog.

"You come back in 10 years, there will be a film business here," said Joel T. Proegler, general manager of film capture and a vice president in Kodak's film, photofinishing and entertainment group. "It'll be smaller. Maybe there will be a bigger space between innovations."

Now that's a bold statement on a prediction a decade away. I'm under the impression they may have to re-evaluate in 3 years, but then who's to say. Personally, I miss it. However without access to a darkroom, I'm less inclined to do a shoot and then hand over my film to a lab for processing. The darkroom is part of my love for film. I recently mentioned that a few posts ago regarding the Sally Mann DVD. But this commitment to film does indeed seem creditable or at the very least, I believe Kodak will try to remain faithful, hopefully not to their ruin. I recall a few months ago when they rolled out the Ektar 100. I bought a few rolls from Edda at B&C Camera. I still go there every Saturday morning to shoot the breeze with other photo comrades. I wanted to test it out and see what it can do. As of yet, I have not finished a roll of it and that was back in October. The problem is that I keep forgetting about it when I shoot. I bring it along and don't realize til after I'm done that I didn't get too many shots with it. And when I did shoot with it, out of habit, I'd inevitably try to view the shot on the "missing" LCD after every shutter release.

How much longer does film have? Especially since the higher megapixels are becoming cheaper. I almost liken film as I do with Evander Holyfield, who is still looking for that champion's belt in boxing. He still puts on a good fight and a good show when he comes to fight once a year. But inevitably they end in his disappointment. You love the guy. You love, respect, and admire his heart. But inside, you wish he'd just stop fighting before he gets himself hurt. The Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali stayed in the ring to long. Kodak can end up doing the same thing. Granted they don't have the company's future tied to film, I wonder how investors feel about the company still diverting assets and resources to it.

And on a final note, I think I need to get back to shooting. I've been feeling a little uptight lately. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, Melissa. Coffee?

05 January 2009

"Dina Vierna, Model and Muse for Art's Masters"

"You must search for happiness in your life. Don't get discouraged. Look ahead with hope."
- Dina Vierny, art model/ art collector/ art dealer/ owner, Musee Maillol

This is my first post for the new year. I'm still not quite used to writing 2009 on everything I have to date just yet. I don't think I'm going to start blogging about everything I plan on doing this year or how I hope to achieve some specific goal. You'll forget about it after you close out of your browser and so will I before the month is out. Instead I'll just dive right in instead of talking about it.

One interesting thing I'll note is that Chris St. James reposted one of my blog entries...The Mature Woman. He seemed to like the points I made and added to them. In addition to the model Susan, who posed for this project, he also made mention of Unbearable Lightness who is also a model of maturity. Check out UL's blog post. I think she and Chris called it a woman in full bloom. Well I can tell you there ain't nobody on the planet blooming like Unbearable Lightness. She's so hot ... well, never mind. I digress. My point is that its really cool and gratifying to an artist when he or she is recognized for their work. I'm a photographer and I try to produce images that people appreciate. However its also gratifying to be recognized for what I write. It sort of validates one's work to be recognized so. All vanity aside, don't you think this is what every artist seeks? To share one's work and have one's efforts recognized and appreciated? Granted, there are some who create simply for themselves as an outlet or means of expression who have no desire to show anybody. There are exceptions to every rule. But is it not true that recognition is the greatest desire for an artist?

On a totally different matter, I've been tracking the work of Alex, another beautiful model in full bloom, on deviantArt. I've talked about her before on here and since then, I've made it a point to keep tabs on her work. A very unfortunate event has unfolded between her and another photographer over photo rights. I don't know the whole story on the matter, but the results were that she had to take down every photo that he took of her from her profile, which were quite a few and very good, I might add. All this took place over a misunderstanding which were not ironed out in a model release. Instead of being embarrassed about the event or demeaning of the photographer, I admire the way Alex chooses to take the high road on the matter. She treats it as a learning experience and then chooses to share this with everyone who will heed her words. Isn't that extraordinary? I can tell you that I make it a rule that I don't release the shutter with a model in my viewfinder unless I have a signed model release in my possession. There have been about 3 times that I've not abided by that rule and there have been 3 times when not having a release came back to bite me in the ass. Coincidence...? I think maybe so. Make sure everything is spelled out. I am also more than positive that, because Alex chose to take the high road on this issue, deviantArt has seen the light and she's in the clear with them.

And finally, I finish with another model who has now matured. A week or so ago, The Morning Edition on NPR did an segment on Dina Vierny entitled, "Dina Vierny, Model And Muse For Art's Masters" by Susan Stamberg. Dina Vierny is most noted for being an art model for sculptor, Aristide Maillol and painter, Henri Matisse. She started as an art model for Maillol, who was 73 at the time, when she was 15 years old. The article goes on to tell the story of how Vierny became the inspiration for Maillol's for the next 10 years. Later, when she is arrested for helping other artists and intellectuals escape France during the German occupation, it was Maillol who hired a lawyer and got her released. He then helped send her away to live with his friend Matisse to keep her from any further trouble. Well, now Vierny has opened a museum with Maillol's work. As it turns out, this art model had become an art dealer after being so encouraged by Matisse. In 1996, she opened and now runs Musee Maillol. You have to admit...this is a great story. I found it to be inspirational and was grateful for the lesson in history. I used the last line in her article as my above quote for the day.You can also check out another article in the NY Times on her entitled, "A Sculptor's Obsession, A Model's Devotion", written by Vicki Goldberg.

I thought I'd put up a few more images from my work with Erica. Sweet, huh? Enjoy.