Still, until such a time as I can get a handle on this stuff and believe that I can comply with it, I am going to put photographing nudes on hold. As I wrote before, I have plenty of other photographic stuff to keep me busy and, in fact, I really need to take a break for a while.
So, what are some of the things that I want to do? Let’s see.
Develop film: I still have about 24 rolls of film to develop. A dozen or so are nudes that I photographed at the Community Zoe get-together in California last September, and the rest are photos of the two models I worked with in my home studio set-up in November and February. Of course, I’ll also have to take the time to file those negatives into pages, along with the 51 (yikes!) rolls that I’ve already developed but are awaiting filing.
Scan film: If my readers here want to see the photos I’ve developed, I’ve got to scan them, too, which can be a rather time-consuming process. I also want to begin a project to scan all of the negatives that I’ve made into fiber prints over the years to create a catalog of what I’ve done.
Catalog my files: Not too long ago I put labels on all of my negative page binders, both a sequential number and an overview of what’s contained on these negatives. The next step would be to catalog those pages and put them on a spreadsheet, so I can easily look up something if I want to find it without having to search too much.
Work on my new website: Yes, I’ve been working on a new website for my photos, too. Actually, it’s mostly set up already. I just need to scan more photos and prep them so I can populate the new site with a representative sampling of both my art nude and travel work – and that takes time.
Prepare a magazine presentation: I’ve recently subscribed to LensWork magazine – a publication that presents portfolios of fine B&W photography – and I’d like to put together a presentation to have them publish some of my work. The question is: which subject? I haven’t really seen them publish many (if any) nudes, so my travel work would be the obvious thing to submit. At first I was thinking of my photos of Japan, but that might a bit too broad a topic, so right now I’m thinking of the portraits I’ve made of people in Southeast Asia. That would seem to fall in line with some of the things I’ve seen them publish already. To do this, I’ll have to scan more negatives, print them all out (probably on my inkjet printer, as the prints are just for review) and make some non-digital prints of some images to match the scans with the prints for publication – all in all, a lot of work.
Produce some books: I’ve made a lot of photos over the years, and I figure that it’s time that I worked on a book or two. It seems like nearly everybody else have. I do plan to start small. The first black & white book I want to work on is an album of the photos I took at my cousin’s wedding several years ago. I created an album on DVD with photos and music that I gave to my cousin and my aunt, but never anything in print. Doing this will familiarize me with layout out a book and such things, and it’ll give me idea of the quality of the company’s B&W printing. As it will be private, I won’t have to worry about marketing it, either.
The next thing I’m thinking of doing is to put together a not-too-large book of some of my color photos from my trips to Asia. Most of these were made with my pocket digital cameras – though during the first year of my recent Asia travels, I was using my trusty little Olympus Stylus with film. This should give me more experience with the book creation process, and as the subject matter is not private, I will make it available for sale. Right now I’m planning to use Blurb, in part because its books can be put up for sale on its website on a print-on-demand basis. (The photos I’m posting today are from my 2004 trip to Japan and made with the Stylus. These scans were made from 4×6 inch prints, but for a book I’ll have to scan the negatives.)
Of course, the main things I want to put out in book form are my B&W nude and travel photos. For the nudes, I’m thinking right now of putting together a career retrospective of my images from 1995 to 2009. With that many years to cover, I will need to do a helluva lot of scanning as well as a helluva lot of editing – so don’t expect to see this any time soon.
I’d also like to try to do something with my Asia photos – possibly a book of my photos of Japan (I’ve made two trips there and hope to return for more) and one of Southeast Asia, which I have visited three times so far. If I make some return trips to Tibet, that’s a possibility, too.
Printing: I’ve only printed photos twice during the past five and a half years and I really need to get back to it. That is, ultimately, the primary goal of my photographically – to make beautiful prints.
Travel and photograph: Of course, just because I’m putting my photography of nudes on hold, it doesn’t mean that I have to stop my travel photography, too. I already have one major trip in the works for this year and I may have enough vacation time at work to take a shorter trip later in the year, as well.
So, as you can see, even if I don’t photograph any nudes for a while, I’ve got plenty to keep me busy photographically – and that’s in addition to going to work, doing laundry, shopping, cleaning, going to museums, galleries, concerts and – occasionally – sitting back and relaxing!
Most immediately, my photographic interests will be concentrated on viewing, as the annual AIPAD photography dealers show takes place from Thursday to Sunday at the Park Avenue armory here in New York. I’ve read that this is the oldest and largest photography fair in the world, with 75 galleries and dealers from around the world coming to New York to show and (try to) sell their prints. Nobody is obliged to buy anything, of course, though if I see something that I like (I’m sure I’ll see plenty) at a good price I can afford (that’s another matter), I may end up adding something to my collection.