Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Daily Dose: 5.30.13

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California. 
©2013 David W. Sumner

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Daily Dose: 5.29.13

It's interesting the things you see while walking the streets with a camera. You do tend to see things most other people probably never notice. That's one of the big attractions to photography for me: seeing the usually unnoticed and thus becoming better aware of the world I live in.

When I saw this store window on Powell Street in the process of being dressed I realized that it is indeed rare to see a commercial space in this state of transition. Window dressing seldom takes place during business hours. I was also struck by how these mannequins were so much more life like in their features than most clothes dummies. I made a couple exposures of the scene aware of the reflection of the posters in the H&M windows across the street and at the same time trying to eliminate my own reflection all together.

The very next day I'm reading Brad Evans' blog and what do I see...the very same window and mannequins in vivid color with the ghostly reflection of the photographer in a subtle overlay. It's no surprise that another photographer who often works the streets of downtown San Francisco should see the same scene and be moved to photograph it. But I found it fascinating how we treated the situation so differently. 

I see things in Brad's image that also appear in mine but through Brad's perspective I see a dimension of awareness not conveyed in my image. That's to be expected because we are each unique in our vision and approach to making pictures. That's why we continue to got out there looking. And that's the beauty and power of photography.

Photo: ©2013 David W. Sumner

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Daily Dose: 5.28.13

 Metro entrance, Market Street, San Francisco, California. 
©2013 David W. Sumner

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Daily Dose: 5.27.13

A Daily Dose is a new feature to my photography blog.

Each day, if everything goes as planned, I will post a new image here on Photography News & Notes.

For years I have been doing this on my Flickr page, but in light of the recent changes at Flickr I have decided to use platforms that will better serve my needs and remain flexible enough to accommodate those needs as they change.

Starting today, with this post, my daily image upload will appear here. Sometimes it will be accompanied by an extended caption or a regular blog entry. More often it will have a simple caption and possibly some technical information included.

I will continue to use 500px as an online portfolio so you will be able to see an ever growing and larger group of my images there.

You can also follow more of what's going on at BogCrow Studio by dropping in on the new BigCrow Studio tumblr blog. There you can follow the everyday workings of how Anna and I go about our creative pursuits.

I think this move will certainly motivate me to communicate more via these media and hopefully be in closer touch with all of you. Remember, comments are always welcome and intelligent discussion encouraged, so make comments, ask questions, start a dialog.

I'm looking forward to seeing you here.

Photo: Market Street, San Francisco, California. ©2013 David W. Sumner

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Where is Winogrand?

I visited the Garry Winogrand exhibition at SFMOMA four times and I found less in the exhibition each time I went to see it. But I think its biggest problem is that so much of it was work Winogrand never saw or more likely would have never wanted the public to see.

I think a lot of his photography was for no one but himself. I don't believe he would ever have intended much of that work to be put on public view.

I also think curators are failing to understand that he used photography to serve many purposes in his life. It will take considerable effort to distill his images into the work of "Garry Winogrand, Photographer" and put the rest of his images into an archive for the biographers and psychoanalysts to use in their research. No one has attempted that yet. Admirers and groupies are still trying to figure out how much of a pedestal they can prop him up on.

Even Rubinfien admitted that in the course of putting together the SFMOMA exhibition he realized that Winogrand's best work was done in the 50s & 60s. The amount of work he did is simply too overwhelming to get a clear picture of who Winogrand actually was as a photographer. But I think a hint of it creeps through in the current exhibition. Sadly that hint is given in only about five or six images in the show, but it's enough to make me think of Winogrand's photography as more of an archaeology project than anything else.

There's a lot of crap to dig through to get to the true and the meaningful. I keep thinking it's like an accordion player on Fisherman's Wharf who goes home to his baby grand and works on writing a symphony. That symphony may be performed only a few times and the sheet music ends up lost in the piles sheet music for accordion. Or the poet who writes romance novels for a living. Winogrand could make good pictures, good compositions, moving images. But he was also an unhappy middle aged divorced man who got his kicks taking sneaky pictures of women and girls. Miroslav Tichý was made famous for that simply because that's all he did.

This is a tough one. I'm still wondering where is Winogrand the photographer in all this. He's in there some where. We just can't see him yet.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Back to My Old Ways

After about twenty years of using chromogenic B&W film to avoid having to mix chemistry at home, I have taken to processing my own B&W film again.

I wanted to use silver based films again to bring back a little texture to my images and to be able to take advantage of the differences in emulsions that exists among the films available today.

The process is fast and the chemistry is reusable over a long period of time so it has a lesser environmental impact than the developers I used twenty years ago. It’s also extremely economical as are the films I’m using. They are much cheaper per roll than the C41 processed film I was shooting on a daily basis. So I’m saving quite a bit of money and bringing my photography more in line with my current yet ever evolving tastes. 

Photo: ©2013 David W. Sumner