New Mexico Nude, 1998, #4
I found out last week that one of my photos has been selected to be included in the Photographic Nude 2016 exhibit at the LightBox Gallery in Astoria, Oregon. This is an annual show at the gallery, and last year one of my photos happened to win the juror’s top award.
My good friend Dave Levingston also had one of his photos selected, and you can see it and read about it on his blog here.
Still, I have not written about it here until now because I wasn’t able to write earlier. Why? My computer monitor basically died on me last week.
That old monitor came with the computer I had before the one I’m currently using. This current computer is about half a dozen years old, and I probably had the previous one for almost as long, so I guess that monitor was at least ten years old.
Anyway, when I turned on the monitor one day last week, the screen stayed on for a second before it turned black. I rebooted the computer and the same thing happened. Then I tried turning the monitor on and off. I did this about a dozen times, and on each occasion, the same thing happened – on for about a second before turning black.
The next day, I unplugged the monitor from my computer and attached it to my laptop computer to see if the same thing happened. It did.
So, I knew it was time to get a new one, and on Saturday I went to Best Buy, where I bought a 23 inch HD widescreen monitor by Acer to replace the old 17 inch standard screen Dell monitor. I have to get used to looking at a widescreen monitor, but so far I like it a lot. It almost feels like I’ve gotten a new computer.
Getting back to the photograph chosen for the LightBox exhibit, “New Mexico Nude, 1998, #4” (top), it was made at a ranch near Santa Fe where I had been during some classes I had taken at the Santa Fe Workshops. In 1997, I took two art nude workshops there – the first with a local artist named Louise Roach and the second with Greg Gorman, the well know celebrity photographer.
In 1998, I had planned to take another figure workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik. However, when one of my travel photographs won first prize in its category in that year’s Assignment: Earth competition, sponsored by the Santa Fe Center for Visual Arts, one of the prizes was free tuition to a workshop in Santa Fe. I could have used it to pay for the workshop with Elizabeth, but instead I decided to stay for two weeks and use it to pay for the Joyce Tenneson workshop the following week.
This photograph was not made during either of those workshops. The year before, I saw that some of the other participants had decided to stay a few extra days to work with some of the workshop models, so this year I decided to do the same, and this photo was made during one of those extra days.
2015: The Juror’s 1st Award winner
The southwestern desert is blessed with beautiful, clear sunlight. I think we had been photographing for nearly five hours at the ranch before we came to this spot on the upper level of a two-storey adobe building. It was late afternoon, with the sun getting close to the horizon, projecting beautiful light straight across the scene. I saw the beautiful shadow that the model’s figure was casting on the wall behind her, and I made a series of photographs.
At one point, though, she put her hand in front of her face to shield her eyes from the blinding sun, and I knew that I had my best image right then and there.
The southwestern desert has been good to me, actually, as the photo that won first prize last year, “Nude, Nevada, 2006, #1” (above) was also made there.