New and Contemporary

P1000352.jpg

There is little that can lead you to treasure good photography than to look at a lot of bad photography, interspersed with an occasional gem. Which is exactly what I was doing a few weeks ago on (where else?) flickr, where I was editing group pools.

When I started the New Black and White group, back in flickr’s early pre-yahoo fog, there were no editing or moderation tools, it was slow and painstaking to remove each and every pic I felt didn’t belong. And at first that was fine, as there were very few pics submitted. Two or three a day. I stopped messing with it, left it fallow – came back to find a thousand pictures.

Edited those down to a few dozen, watched it fill up quickly again. Eventually the flood was far more than I could manage as anything less than a full-time job, so I ignored it for months until there were more than 55,000 photos in the pool, most of them “flickr noise” of the cute kitten variety.

Rather than even try to deal with all that, I started another group, Contemporary Black and White, and invited a few select members. I thought: at least I don’t need to edit them (and I don’t – they’ve been contributing good stuff). But then I started wondering about the old one…..

5 min read

The Critique

So many good books recently, and some good ones that I've never sung about here though I've had them for many months. There has been a special bounty of books that have no or very few photos, though they are indeed photography books. I'd like to mention four (well, four and a half) of them.

And a video.

7 min read

Rethinking Gorman

It's been a couple of years now since I wrote this entry on digital Black and White conversions. I'm still using a variation of the Caponigro conversion described there. What prompted me here was a combination of events, including reconciling the many scripts and actions I had on several different Photoshop-equipped computers, each of which had diverged from ts brethren; meeting Bob Carnie at Elevator Digital in Toronto, thanks to Dinesh; this APUG thread, which also included more info from Bob; and the latest edition of Digital Photo Pro magazine, which has run B&W articles as its cover story quite a lot over the last year or two, and this one was no exception. What surprised me was that DPP were freshly touting the old Gorman/Holbert method (aka the Gorman Method).

7 min read

Contact Photo, Pt 2

Toronto_MG_1104cr.jpg

For my Contact Photo weekend, I’d expected the Sunday to be the shorter of the two – instead under the bright sun I was able to visit MOCCA, the remaining Queen Street galleries, the Gladstone, the Drake, drive across town to the Corkin, and still take a leisurely pace back to the airport.

Of the work I saw, there were only a few standouts, but they were well worth the trouble…

2 min read

Toronto Contact Photo 2008

_MG_1095cr2_807.jpg

Spent most of the day running back and forth through the rain to see as much of Contact Photo as the rain would allow, and last night chasing around the Lanch Event. Tomorrow I’ll hit the MOCCA portion before returning home. Fell asleep – coffee in hand – just as the early-evening weather outside my hotel room was surging past the drizzly form shown here into a real driving storm.

I also had the pleasure during the morning of driving across town to visit the Bob Carnie & Kevin Viner at Elevator Digital, where I got to see their big print line including their digital fiber-print mural-scale line, which they believe was the world’s first. These are large-format images, printed on black & white traditional darkroom paper – a good deal bgger than what the well-known Devere digital enlarger can produce.

I also got a glimpse at the results from the Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9100 60” printer, which delivered gorgeous B&W results straight our of the bx – that is, on the supplied Canon profiles without tweaking.

To my surprise, when I awoke two hours after dozing away, the view was dazzlingly different: the towers lit by an orange sunset and framed by a deep blue sky. Surprising what a couple of hours can do if you’ll just willing to stay put (sleeping helps).

What about the photographs? I’ll write more about them in the next entry.

1 min read