A Walk in Chengdu

Man with a Hat, Chengdu, China, 2016

Inertia can be a difficult force to overcome.  Once you get accustomed to not doing something, it becomes very difficult to begin to once again do that something.
That “something,” in this case, is scanning film.  Making scans of my negatives is something that I need to do in order to see my photos as positives and to post them here online, among other things, but I had not done so for quite a while.  How long I really can’t say, so long it has been, but I’m pretty sure that the last time I scanned some film was before I got my new computer a couple of months ago.  (I believe this as the custom scan settings that I had made on Photoshop Elements were no longer to be seen, indicating that I had reinstalled the software since then.)
Still, enough is enough, and having been back long enough now to have given myself enough time to mostly recover from my recent trip to Egypt, it was time to get back to scanning again – and I did so last night.

Shop, Chengdu, China, 2016

Of course, with so much film to take care of, the question was:  what should I scan?  I chose to go back to the photos from my trip to China a couple years ago – a trip during which I had made a lot of photos but from which I have scanned very few.
The secondary question then was:  which photos from China should I scan?  I decided to go with some photos that I had made in the city of Chengdu in Sichuan province.  (Yes, the same Sichuan with the spicy cuisine and where the giant pandas live.)
For this particular set of photos, I had taken a walk with a woman on my tour to visit a Buddhist temple within walking distance of our hotel and also to do some souvenir shopping.  I chose last night to scan three for this post.  One is of an interesting looking shop, with two proprietors sitting in front – one looking at me and the other with his attention engaged elsewhere.  Another shows a small girl passing the time sitting in front of a building inside the temple grounds.

Girl in Buddhist Temple, Chengdu, China, 2016

However, the one that I most wanted to scan was the last photo on the last roll of film that I shot during the walk.  On the way back to the hotel, I saw a man wearing a nice hat (and the kind I like to wear), with the hat highlighted by the late afternoon sun against a dark background.  I knew that I had to move quickly before the man moved or turned away, and with just one photo left on the roll, I knew that I had to get it right the first time.  Seeing the scan, I think I did.
I’ll try to scan photos more frequently now, including more photos from China and my other travel destinations, plus my art nude work, too.
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Opening Night Tomorrow

New Mexico Nude, 1997, #1

A quick reminder that the opening reception for the “Patterns and Shadows” juried exhibition, featuring one of my photographs – “New Mexico Nude, 1997, #1 – will be held tomorrow at the Jadite Gallery, 413 West 50 Street, here in New York City on the west side of Manhattan.
I should be there, so if you’re in or near New York, please come on down to join me.
The exhibit, sponsored by the New York Center for Photographic Art, will be on display through April 14.
You can see an online gallery of the photos here.
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Ice Water

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I made my first posting in over a month last week, following my return home from a two week trip to Egypt, so to begin posting once again on a more frequent basis, here’s another one.
For this, I’m going back to my trip to Iceland in 2014.  My last posting (here) from that excursion showed Rebecca Tun modeling near and on some small icebergs, so now we move onto some photos of her modeling near some large icebergs in a well known glacial lagoon on Iceland’s south coast.

I had stopped by this place on my 2013 trip to Iceland, but the weather was very rough at the time and certainly not suitable to any art nude modeling.  Still, I had planned to go back, and envisioned a model on the shore with the icebergs serving as a backdrop in the lagoon.  As you can see, I did make such a photo.

However, I had not thought of asking any model to actually go into that freezing cold water, but when Rebecca said that she wanted to do so, I cautiously agreed.  The image of her in the water, bent over forward, has earned some accolades, including publication in France’s PHOTO magazine a few years ago.  (Rebecca, always wanting to create great images, also said that she wanted to swim out to one of those icebergs, but I said no to that for reasons of safety.)

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On the subject of PHOTO magazine, the new contest issue has finally reached the United States, and I’m glad to say that my friend Dave Levingston has had another of his images published in it.  I, on the other hand, knew for certain that none of mine would be in it – because I missed the submission deadline.
The magazine’s website said that the contest was open through November 1.  As I was working a lot of overtime at work then, I had to wait until October 31 to edit and finalize the photos for my submission, but when I tried to upload them that evening, I was unable to log in and then got a message saying that the contest had closed!  The next day I saw that the final open day for the competition had mysteriously been changed, post fact, from November 1 to October 31.
I guess the only consolation that I can take out of this is that I already have a set of photos ready to submit for next year’s contest issue.
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Up In The Air

Sunrise, Luxor, Egypt, 2018

I returned home yesterday from a two week trip to Egypt.  I normally try to write a few posts ahead of time before I leave and then schedule them to post while I am away, but I just didn’t have the time to do so on this occasion (especially as I had also gone away the weekend before this trip began).
So, although I am still feeling very tired, I thought that I would post something this evening to make up for my recent absence.
The photograph seen here was made with my pocket digital camera on Sunday morning, taken from a hot air balloon while the sun was rising over the town of Luxor – the home of famous monuments like the great temple at Karnak and the Valley of the Kings.  I chose to frame the image with the sun on the lower right and to include another balloon on the upper left as a counterbalance.
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Georgie Girl

Untitled Nude, 2017

 I thought I’d make a quick posting today, so as not to go too long between postings as I have done recently.
The photo I’m displaying today was made at a workshop last August in upstate New York, at a farm in the Catskills region.  The model is a lovely young lady named Georgie Smith.  If you speak with her, you might think from her English-sounding accent that she comes from England, but you’d be wrong.  She is, rather, from the island of Guernsey (technically, the “Bailiwick of Guernsey”) in the Channel Islands, and while that island may be a Crown Dependency, it is nonetheless not a part of England or even part of the Commonwealth.
Georgie did, however, go to school in England, at the Slade School of Art of University College London, so she is an artist herself, too.
For the set of photos of which this is a part, I was photographing Georgie in the hay loft of the barn, making my usual art nude photographs. Still, Georgie was a lot of fun to work with, and she has a wonderful laugh and smile, so I just felt I had to capture her that way in at least one photo.
This is the result.
I’ll show more photos of Georgie and the other models in this workshop in upcoming posts.
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More from The Eternal City

Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, 2017

About a month ago, I posted some photos (here) that I made last June in Rome – “The Eternal City.”  I think it’s about time that I posted some more, so…well…here are some more.
Italy is a place that I can easily visit every year (if only for the food), and I believe that I made a lot of other good photographs there last year. I just need to find the time to scan more to show them here.

Bearded Face, Rome, 2017

 

Tables and Chairs, Rome, 2017

 

Turn Left, Rome, 2017

 

Lion in the Middle, Rome, 2017

 

Fountain, Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, 2017

 

Shops, Rome, 2017

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On the subject of time, I have spent a lot of it recently working on creating a new website for my photos, being that the old one suddenly died recently.  I have most of the work done to display what I consider to be the minimum number of galleries needed, but I still have more work to do.
I also ordered a new computer recently, as the current one operates pretty slowly at times, frequently freezes up and seems to crash and shut itself off at least once a day. Once I have the new one and have it set up, I will hopefully be able to work faster and get more things done.  (Let’s see.)
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Model on Ice

Nude, Iceland, 2014

I’m continuing now with my photos of Rebecca Tun in Iceland in 2014.  In my last post from that trip (click here), we had not yet crossed the great black nothingness of the Skeiðarársandur flood plain, but for these new photos we had, moving into an area with no large settlements but plenty of large glaciers.
The area where we went to photograph, trying to get away from a touristy crowd, was by the shore of a glacial lake.  The large glacier was on the other side of the lake, but on our side some small icebergs had washed up on the shore.

Rebecca was accompanied on this part of the trip by a friend, so I said to her traveling companion standing next to me, in a voice loud enough for Rebecca to hear, “Do you think I should ask Rebecca if she wants to get onto the iceberg”?  Before her friend could answer, Rebecca said to me emphatically, “Yes!”   So, I turned to her and asked directly, “Do you want to get on the iceberg?”  Once again, my question was answered by an emphatic “Yes!”

Modeling nude in a place like Iceland can be arduous work, so it’s always good to have a model like Rebecca who is willing to go a step further (or more) to try to create a good photograph.

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In other news, it’s been a while again since my last post, but for this I have a reason:  my website went down suddenly, and I have been spending most of my free time recently creating a newer, better site.
In a way this is a good thing, as my website had had problems and as such I had really not updated it for several years, so I had been wanting to create a new one, anyway.  Hopefully it will be finished in a week or two (I still have a lot of photos to go through and edit), so be ready to see something new.
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To Rome, With Love

Behind the Pantheon, Rome, 2017

Well, I guess that most or all of you know that it’s pretty cold in much of the United States now.  It certainly is here in New York.  Yesterday was actually a fairly nice day – sunny, no wind and up to around 30 F – but today brought snow and wind and tomorrow it is expected to get very cold (beginning with 9 F tonight) and stay that way for a couple of days.
I suppose that the best way to beat the cold is to go someplace warmer for a while (though I used to have a theory that one should actually go someplace even colder than it is at home, so that when you finally return home, you can say “thank goodness I’m back to someplace warmer”).

Papa Francesco, Rome, 2017

Of course, most people can’t do that, so perhaps the next best thing is to think of a time and place where it’ll be warmer – and what better place than sunny Italy in the springtime???
With that thought in mind, here are some of the photos that I made in Rome on my trip there last June.  I had posted some of my color digital snapshots before, but here are some of the black & white photographs that I made on film.

Il Capriccio, Rome, 2017

Rome – “The Eternal City” – is a place that I can go back to again and again, with camera or without.  Having a camera, though, gives me something to focus on (both literally and figuratively speaking) and it seems that it makes me see things just a bit more clearly than if I had it not.
Stay warm, everyone.

Toward the Light, Rome, 2017

 

Gate. Rome, 2017

 

Shop Window Fashion, Rome, 2017

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2017: What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been

The Great Pyramids, Giza, Egypt, 2017

So, once again, as it happens every year, New Year’s Eve has arrived.  The new year of 2018 is less than two hours away as I write this here in New York, and I’ve been spending the day doing my traditional New Year’s Eve activity of making charitable donations that I’d been putting off doing until now, or had simply forgotten to do.  I also prepared and submitted photographs to a competition which ends tomorrow night (or is it tonight?)
I’m also due to make a blog post, so I guess it’s appropriate that I do a review of the year as I sometimes do, especially as 2017 has been a fairly busy for me as far as photography is concerned.  The primary reason for this is that I worked a fair amount of overtime last year at work for comp time, which gave me more time to travel this year, and I definitely made use of it.
My first trip of the year was to Egypt in February for a bit over two weeks.  Getting there seemed a bit dubious for a time, as there was a snowstorm in New York the day I had to fly there, but there was no problem in reality.  I had been to Egypt once before, way back in 1980, and I had been wanting to go back, so I’m glad that I finally did.  I was last in Egypt 37 years before, which may seem like a long time, but to a place like Egypt it’s but the blink of an eye.  I also visited a lot of places that I had not been to the first time, and I am planning to go back another time to see more places that I have not been to yet.

Temple of Hathor, Dendera, Egypt, 2017

The second trip of the year was to Italy in June for three weeks.  The beautiful land of Italy is a place that I can visit every year (if only for the food), but I was last there in 2009, and while it may not be 37 years, being away from a place like Italy for eight years still seems like a long time.  As in Egypt, I visited places I had been before (Rome, Florence, Venice) but also went to new places like the Italian Riviera and Bolzano up in the German speaking south Tyrol region, which is an interesting mix of Italian and Austrian cultures.

Piazza della Rotonda, Rome, 2017

My third international trip of the year was to England for almost a week and a half in July.  This was a different trip than the others, as I primarily went to attend a language class in London for five days, but I also brought my camera equipment with me – not to do travel photography, as I did on the first two trips, but to photograph my first art nudes of the year.  I had never photographed nudes in England before, so it was a bit of a treat to finally doing so for three days – one working with a couple of models in a large studio setting north of London, one photographing a model in an artist’s large apartment in East London and one wonderful day spent with another photographer and three of England’s best models at a number of outdoor locations.

Nude, England, 2017

My art nude photography didn’t end there, as in August I attended a two day workshop near Woodstock, New York, run by George Holz and Kim Weston.  I don’t usually attend workshops that much anymore, but occasionally I do if I don’t have the time to organize some photo sessions of my own, and it gives me a chance to meet some new models and other photographers.   Going upstate in the summer for some photography is also a good excuse to get out of the city for a few days.

Untitled Nude, 2017

 

The following weekend happened to be the 22nd anniversary of my first art nude photographs, so I was able to set up an anniversary photo session with one of the models from the workshop, who modeled for some photos with a beautiful mask that I had purchased during my trip to Venice this year.

Studio Nude, 2017

That was all of the photography that I was able to do this year, but there was some more activity on exhibition and awards side of things.  The year had gotten off to a good start with one of my photos being accepted into the annual Photographic Nude exhibit at the LightBox Gallery in Astoria, Oregon.  This was the fourth year in a row that I had gotten a photo in the show, and I am now hoping for fifth.  (One of my photos had won first prize in 2015, too.)

LightBox Gallery

I didn’t enter many juried shows this year, but I had submitted some photos to the annual Black & White Spider Awards competition at the end of last year, and when the awards were announced in October, I saw that one of my photos had won an Honorable Mention in the amateur/nude category –  the second time in three years that one of photos had this distinction.

Black & White Spider Awards

Most recently, one of my  photos was chosen to be included in the “Patterns and Shadows” exhibit, sponsored by the New York Center for Photographic Art, to be held at a gallery on the west side of Manhattan in February.

Patterns and Shadows

Finally, in March I published my first book or art nudes via Blurb, covering 20 years of my figure photography.  (You can see it, in two sized, by clicking here.)

So, there you have it.  A year of photography for me. What will be next?  Time will tell.
Have a happy and healthy new year, everyone.
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At Long Last………China!

Imperial Palace, Beijing, 2016

Once again, it’s been a few weeks since I last made a posting here.  This is due to my having been away last week visiting family and my having worked a lot of overtime at the office recently.
I had been thinking of posting here, however, and with that in mind, I scanned a few photos from my trip to China last year before I went away.  (That trip was in July 2016, and yes – 2016 was still “last year.”)  That trip to China lasted about three weeks and yielded a lot of good photographs, but for some reason, I had never really gotten around to scanning them, other than a couple of random images.  I am trying to change that now.

As my trip began in China’s capital, Beijing, I’ve decided to begin scanning the photos from there.   The images I’m showing today were made at the Imperial Palace (aka the Forbidden City).  On my first trip to China in May 1989, I was not able to enter this place due to the student protests that were going on at the time.  I was able to visit for a short time in 2007 on the way home from a trip to Tibet, but last year was the first time that I went on a proper tour.
As it’s a popular place, filled with lots of visitors (mostly Chinese), it’s difficult to get photographs of the architecture there without a lot of people in the way. Instead, I decided here to concentrate on photographing some of the ornate art work that’s carved into the ground, without any people walking over it.
I do, however, have a lot of people photos from China, and those will be coming up in future posts.

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