Friday, March 28, 2008

Japanese Gardens May 2003

I took this picture almost 5 years ago with my recently acquired Mamiya C220. It was the first time since High School I'd worked with the square format. I try to visit the Japanese Gardens at least once a year to take pictures there. I am drawn to the Eastern aesthetic.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On being framed, hung, and sold.

After submitting my entries to the juried exhibit yesterday I began to think that perhaps it would be better to have the pictures properly mounted and matted by professionals rather then risk damaging the prints by doing it myself. Of course to do this I'd need to give the frame shop time to do the work and that would mean having the work started before I even knew if my pictures would be selected or not. The deadline for submitting work is tomorrow and two weeks after that the pictures selected will be announced and two weeks after that the pictures need to be submitted to the gallery and the show opens a week after that on May 2nd. When I submitted the pictures for consideration I had to declare a sale price since all work submitted had to be offered for sale. The gallery would take 40% . Trying to price something that has no real value I figured that I would price my pictures based on what costs I would incur to present the picture. Since I make the prints myself the cost of photographic paper, chemicals would only be a few dollars and my time has no real value since I'd be making the prints whether I could sell them or not because I enjoy working in the darkroom. The only additional cost would be the price of a standard wood frame which for an 8x10 print would be about 20.00. So I priced my pictures so I would with the gallery commission make 25.00 to cover my costs and submitted my entries. Then I decided to seek professional help. I went to a neighborhood place and the young woman there was very nice and helpful. She was a photographer herself and she praised my work and she even gave me an artists discount. I'm an idiot. If, and its a big IF, any of my pictures are selected I will have to price them for about three times what I orginally would have sold them for to recover my costs. At my orginal price I could just see someone buying the picture just for a good deal on a frame. Can't have that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Well I've done it. I just submitted my photographs and artistic statement and bio to the 23 Sandy Exhibit, Resurrection: A New Look at Old Photographic Processes
I completed the process entirely online, paying the entry fee, submitting my application and images electronically before I could change my mind. I had known about this exhibit since January and I started immediately putting together photographs and trying to write an artists statement and bio. I was encouraged that this was an exhibit for "Real Photography" but I wondered if my work fit the theme of the show primarily because I don't consider what I do as "Old Photographic Processes" but the only photographic process that can yield serious results. I kept changing my mind though about submitting. The deadline was in two days and I was still conflicted. The electronic filing allowed me to stay in my comfort zone and since I had to pay the fee before I submitted the work once I did that I was pretty much committed. It doesn't hurt to try at least once a year to put your work up for consideration. So I've done it. I feel okay about it. I think.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Being reflective

I really enjoy ponds. Here some photographs taken around a favorite of mine that was near Hwy 101 at the turnoff to Barview park near where my Mother once lived.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The pear blossums in the yard are just about to open up.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring is here.
Spring is Here From I Married An AngelLyrics by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers

Once there was a thing called spring
when the world was writing verses
like yours and mine.
All the lads and girls would sing
when we set at little tables
and drank May wine.
Now April May and June
are sadly out of tune
life has stuck the pin in the balloon.
Spring is here!
Why doesn’t my heart go dancing ?
Spring is here!
Why isn’t the waltz entrancing?
No desire, no ambition leads me,
Maybe it’s because nobody needs me.
Spring is here!
Why doesn’t the breeze delight me?
Stars appear,
Why doesn’t the night invite me?
Maybe it’s because nobody loves me.
Spring is here I hear

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Genji Days by Edward Seidensticker.

I had a friend once who was enamored with 'The Tale of Genji' a long narrative, some say the worlds first novel, written by a woman in Japan in the 11th century. I was encouraged to read it and it is on my list of "Books I will try to read before I die." Genji Days was a collection of excerpts from a diary kept by Edward Seidensticker while he was working on the first complete and modern translation in to English of the work. This was a job he first started in 1965 and completed in 1974. The diary entries are from 1970-1974 while he was teaching at Ann Arbor. Back in the 80's I managed to borrow a copy of the book to loan to my friend. It was an autographed edition that had been given to someone I met who had once worked with Seidensticker with the occupation forces in Japan after WWII. I never got a chance to read it myself but I was told it was an interesting and rather shocking account at times more revealing about the personal life of Edward Seidensticker then the book he was working on. I managed to find a copy on e-bay and just finished it. It is an entertaining account of the world of campus politics in the 1970's, his annual visits to Japan, his dreams and his struggle to adapt the work of an 11th century Japanese woman to a 20th century English audience a task that some thought impossible if not futile.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Photography and Zen. I recently finished 'The Way of Zen' by Alan W. Watts. One of the last chapters in the book deals with Zen in the Arts. The expression of Zen through the arts can make the concepts of the philosophy more tangible. Black and White photography like calligraphy and haiku is well suited to illustrating Zen concepts. I have said before that the act of taking a photograph is creating a silver gelatin fossil of reflected light in a matrix of time. Photography creates a physical manifestation of that moment an eternal now. The process of negative to positive also reflects the harmony of opposites of yin and yang.
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