Photo Lounge Meeting 6: PHONE OR NO PHONE.

VickyMartin14
© Vicky Martin, from the project “Not in Kansas.” This week’s featured artist.

That which is most personal is most universal.

– Henry Nowan

PHONE OR NO PHONE?

It’s quite easy in this digital age to discredit our telephones for the silly contraption that allows us to take snaps with selfie sticks.  I avoid using my cell phone camera like the plague, and am certainly not the only guilty person to roll my eyes at a series of people taking a terribly lit photograph of their breakfast.  But when I do these things, I’m taking for granted a tool that I have at my disposal.  Cell phones produce a better quality than any of my first-ever photos taken with a digital point-and-shoot, and the convenience of having a camera on us at all times can often be forgotten to the “wise ones” who know the true value of a beautifully framed image with shallow depth of field. No, there’s no mistaking that a SLR has the easiest manipulation factors, but this weeks series of images truly reminded me that a photograph taken with a phone is better than all of the thousands of photographs I’ve chosen to pass up and not take at all. Can you spot which one of ours are sneaky cell phone pictures? We were certainly surprised by some.

NO SERVICE IN KANSAS.

This week, due to my poor planning skills, we didn’t discuss our featured photographer of the week. The second democratic debate was held on this night, and I realized just how much time our discussing the work of others takes up in our evening.  I’m not quite sold on the idea of NOT sharing work that doesn’t belong to our members, but re-formatting seems to be in the works. If you were interested in learning more about those sparkly heels I skipped over, look no further!

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED ARTIST

This week we looked over the project titled “Not in Kansas” by Vicky Martin.

“Not In Kansas is a staged series of photographs inspired by the tenacious, self-reliant character Dorothy from the story The Wizard of Oz. Having grown up watching, admiring and being inspired by this character, whose journey of self-discovery overcomes fear and loneliness to become empowered and assertive in a strange land, I chose to create narratives which blur the boundaries between fantasy and truth, offering scenarios within which the protagonist wrestles with feelings of confidence, determination and boldness but is conflicted with ideas of isolation, loneliness, detachment and fear.

The series is photographed in different locations and contexts to explore, illustrate and emphasise these feelings and themes. In each image the protagonist portrays emotional uncertainty, from which the viewer is drawn to interpret the scenario depending upon their own personal perceptions.
The images are composed to simulate a sense of simultaneous coalition of elements of a before or after moment, with a deliberate ambiguity which only the viewer can resolve and further contextualise.”

VickyMartin_NotInKansas_3VickyMartin_NotInKansas_9VickyMartin15

Read the Lens Magazine article interview and see more of her work here. 

THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSIONS

Anna Latino

Austin Soares

Dan Kendricken

Kayla Bertucci

Kylie Harrigan

Lauren Robbins

Maddie Maddox

Jess Voas

Photo Lounge Meeting 5: AW, SHOOT.

gunculturefeat-800x512
© Kari Wehrs, from the project “Shot.” This week’s featured artist.

If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge

– Twyla Tharp, “The Creative Habit”

SHOOT.

We get lazy. We don’t feel like going out. It’s too hot, or it’s too much snow. The light just isn’t right. We’re great at making excuses for not creating. This month I asked everyone to bring one new photograph- a task that sounds simple, yet can be daunting if we don’t prepare ourselves to create.  As artists we have dry spells, and it’s a normal part of the process. Another part of the process is getting out and shooting something new, no matter how difficult that may feel.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED ARTIST

Wehrs_01
This week we looked at the project titled “Shot” by Kari Wehrs.

From her artists statement:
“Present day ideologies surrounding the gun in America contribute to a cultural civil war. I have engaged in this work to better inform myself and to actively question others who support these various ideologies. Most of these photographic encounters have resulted in open and thoughtful conversation surrounding views of the gun, and nearly all have concluded with a verbal exchange of gratitude.

Throughout the varied experiences with participants for this project, the driving desire has been to push notions of disagreement directly in contact with notions of reconciliation. Just how close can these concepts get, and what, then, is found at their intersection?”

Wehrs_Kari_11-1Kari_Wehrs_Shot-PhotogrVphy_Magazine_02shot_05

Read the International Photo Mag, Lensculture article,  Aint-Bad interview, Photo-Emphasis interview, and see more of her work here. 

THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSIONS

Alex Mancini

Austin Soares

Coelynn McIninch

Screen Shot 2019-05-29 at 6.36.28 PMScreen Shot 2019-05-29 at 6.36.46 PMScreen Shot 2019-05-29 at 6.38.12 PM

Dan Kendricken

Maddie Maddox

Dan McCarthy

Lauren Robbins

Jess Voas

LAST LINKS

Lastly, here is a list of resources elaborating what we’ve mentioned during this meeting. If you missed or did not understand any references from our last meeting, please contact me. I’ll gladly add them.

Photo Walk Wednesdays – A group of Boston photographers that gather with models every Wednesday to take photographs and work on their skills.

Photo Lounge Meeting 4: FIX IT IN POST

Goodluck_Contrails-1
© Kalen Goodluck, from the project “Contrails of a Fever Dream.” This week’s featured artist.

A useful lesson I’ve gleaned over the years: I am not responsible for my first thought. I am responsible for my second thought and my first action.

– Beth Pickens, “Your Art Will Save Your Life”

FIX IT IN POST

The four words that any editor, video or still image, dreads: “fix it in post.”  The digital age has changed the way we view image taking in general, we’re nervous by our cameras and shoot as many frames as we can in hopes we actually captured what we wanted.  Analogue photography encouraged it’s user to slow down and be careful with the frame they chose.  Older processes embraced the idea that you had to get it right in camera, because there was no other choice.  During our fourth Photo Lounge meeting, we took a look at some before-and-after photographs, highlighting these aspects.  There were some cleverly chosen compositions presented that leave the need to edit at a minimum. We also had examples of mistakes that had to be covered up in post.  I won’t tell the secret of which is which. It was fascinating to also see the power that photo editing allows us to have in our times of peril.

SIZE, AND DESTINATION, MATTERS.

A member brought an image that’s meant to be printed as a poster, which highlighted some truths of printing.  When you’re working with editing an image, there’s a need to consider the size at which it’s meant to be viewed. What someone does to edit a photograph meant to be viewed on a telephone is completely different than something that’s meant to be printed as a large poster.  Our considerations as viewers shift, and certain aspects of a photograph will be highlighted more: grain becoming more prominent, depth of dark tones, and overall perspective.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED ARTIST

Trenton_horses_small

This week we looked at the project titled “Contrails of a Fever Dream” by Kalen Goodluck.

“Lissa Yellow Bird-Chase searches for the missing and murdered in North Dakota. An Arikara woman, she is a Three Affiliated tribal member of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. From 2006-2014, an oil boom rocked the small reservation, attracting thousands of transient workers…and crime.
KC Clarke, a trucker for oil company, went missing February 22, 2012. His boss, a hitman and a driver all took part in his death and lonely burial, deep on the badlands.
The homelands of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara turned into a prairie of flares, oil pads and money. Yellow Bird has been searching five years. KC Clarke is still missing.”
Our contrails dissipate behind our bodies in clouds of heat and turbid memory. In the delirium of life we find no cure for this fevered dream and no relief from unqualified impromptu awareness, perception.”

Parshall_large_flare2_small

Goodluck_Contrails-2

Goodluck_Contrails-2

Read the Lenscratch interview and see more of his work here. 

THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSIONS

Dan Kendricken

Kylie Harrigan

DUB_STREET_4_2019_0223_MG_9386DUB_STREET_4_2019_0814

Emma Kurman-Faber

Anna Latino

Maddie Maddox

Dan McCarthy

Lauren Robbins

Steve Sheridan

Austin Soares

Jess Voas

LAST LINKS

Lastly, here is a list of resources elaborating what we’ve mentioned during this meeting. If you missed or did not understand any references from our last meeting, please contact me. I’ll gladly add them.

Sensor Sizes – A great explanation of why your sensor size matters- and why it’s for a different reason than you previously thought.

Infrared Film– An Apogee Photo 3-part series on black & white infrared photography.

Photo Lounge Meeting 3: SHOW ME YOUR WORST.

Kiss_Goodnight-1000x750© Tabitha Soren, from her project “Surface Tension.” This week’s featured artist.

SHOW ME YOUR WORST

“You can’t be content with mastery; you have to push yourself to become a student again.”

– Austin Kleon, “Show Your Work”
“You make good work by (among other things) making lots of work that isn’t very good, and gradually weeding out the parts that aren’t good, the parts that aren’t yours. It’s called feedback, and it’s the most direct route to learning about your own vision. It’s also called doing your work. After all, someone has to do your work, and you’re the closest person around.”

David Bayles, “Art and Fear”

LEARN TO FAIL

What’s more vulnerable that showing a room full of people what you consider to be your “worst” work as a photographer? Of course that means we had to do it,  because I’m just that cruel.  Opening ourselves up in this way makes it even more obvious that there is a need to fail in order to succeed.  Sometimes these failures are just tricks that our mind plays on us, or a remnant ideology that’s stuck on repeat from our past. As artists we are hardest on ourselves, sometimes so harsh that we may quit altogether. Sharing our worst work was a way to see that it’s not as bad as we thought. It can be humorous. It can be the ultimate moment for growth. In fact, Tabitha Soren, the artist whose work we looked at this week, states that she’s “definitely attracted to mistakes and accidents”, “things that are imperfect are more attractive.”

THEN FAIL AGAIN.

While being mindful and having intention while photographing is a good way to start, there doesn’t exist a magic formula for getting it right every single time. (If there was, it would surely be commercialized by now. They certainly are trying.) Sometimes we’re dealing with an awkward client, sometimes you accidentally knock your tripod during a long exposure, your film didn’t roll properly, or you saved your file to be 100 pixels wide.  These are all just minor roadblocks, and excuses that your mind uses to try to get you to quit. In the end, the worst thing you CAN do is give up because of it.  Seeing our work as a “complete failure” block us from capturing the subtle nuances we can- and need- to learn from.  Our art is here to teach us, if we just listen. It’s the only way masterpieces can be made. Instead of berating yourself because of your art, try asking, “but how can I make this better?”

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED ARTIST

Ipad_2018

This week we looked at the project titled “Surface Tension” by Tabitha Soren.  I would like to graciously thank her for allowing us to share her work.

“There’s a connection between what troubles us and what distracts us.  We use what distracts us to evade what troubles us.
The Surface Tension project uses our gaze against us.  The images capture the harmful touch of police brutality; the human touch that causes lasting environmental damage, the touch that reduces stress, in reaction to technological overload.  They can be painterly and ghostly, but also violent and ominous. What unites the photographs, despite the resistance to unity inherent in their subject matter, is touch.”

SOREN_wishi’dkilledhim_twichty.com_oklahomatrooper,+2015

Read the Photographic Journal interview and see more of her work here. Additionally, don’t miss her upcoming Artists Talk!

55906318_10156843070483859_352523850434478080_n.jpg

THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSIONS

Nick Dart

CSC_1301DSC_1102DSC_1749

Kylie Harrigan

Dan Kendricken

01-102-1-103-4-1

Anna Latino

Dan McCarthy

Daniel Nova

Austin Soares

Jessica Voas

 

LAST LINKS

Lastly, here is a list of resources elaborating what we’ve mentioned during this meeting. If you missed or did not understand any references from our last meeting, please contact me. I’ll gladly add them.

Bracketing & HDR Photography – PHLEARN’s post that goes over all of the nuances of bracketing, and the ways it may be used to create an HDR image.

BRENIZER METHOD – Also known as Bokeh Panorama. This video from B&H explains the Brenzier method from its’ creator: Ryan Brenzier.

DYNAMIC RANGE – A video explaining Dynamic Range in layman terms.

VOLUNTEER MATCH – A way of using photography as a means of giving back to the community, you can find events in need of photography volunteers for meaningful benefits.

RICHARD AVEDON – This website, the Richard Avedon Foundation, commemorating the iconic portrait photogarpher who would wait patiently for his subjects to reveal an intimate, vulnerable moment.

CHARLES SHEELER – American painter who is best known for his precise renderings of industrial forms in which abstract, formal qualities were emphasized.
 

Photo Lounge Meeting 2: Big Places, Little People.

© Rana Young, from her photo book “The Rug’s Topography.” This week’s featured artist.

BIG PLACES, LITTLE PEOPLE

“I want you to think about the art, performances, music, books, and films that have made you want to be alive.  Think of how those artists, like you, probably felt overwhelmed by their lives– and the times they were living in– but made the thing anyway. Your future audiences need your work, so you need to make it.”

-Beth Pickens, “Your Art Will Save Your Life”

IN BEING A “PHOTOGRAPHER”

Our first meeting naturally presented the theme of “Big Places, Little People”, and while our images are a visual representation of just how small we actually are, our conversations are filled with the intense self-awareness of “the photographer” and the challenges the title brings when sharing work.
We looked at a photographer who has an unabashed way of sharing her work in progress. As image makers, we tend to fall into the (false) belief that everything we present to others should be perfect.  We are hyper-aware of how others might see us. Rana Young is open with her imagery, proudly announcing, “I have no idea what I’m doing” as she shares her new work in progress on social media. Her projects are astounding, but her humanity is humbling and unequivocally inspiring to fellow photographers.

CHANGES IN CAPTURING

As the role of imagery shifts in our culture, so does the orientation in which we choose to photograph.  The technologies we use on a regular basis inevitably have influence on the orientations we choose to present the world- videographers tend to veer towards landscape because of their comfort in that format. Paradoxically our cell-phone-centric society has a need portrait-oriented music videos. Though photography is such a young medium, it has seen incredible challenges alongside the advancements of technology. We would be naive to think that will stop any time soon.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED ARTIST

This week we looked at the project titled “The Rugs Topography” by Rana Young.  I would like to graciously thank her for allowing us to share her work.

The Rug’s Topography began with me photographing my intimate partner of six years. Simultaneously, we were facing an internal conflict: how we identified as individuals differed from the roles we occupied in our partnership. As we began to grow apart romantically, our anxieties rose in response to the distance widening between us. Our individual identities within a romantic context stemmed from the commonality of both having witnessed predominantly cisgender roles during our formative years. Our performance of those expectations was perpetuated by inexperience and an impulse to adhere to, or in my case “correct,” our potential family structure. Recognizing a shared inherent foundation opened our dialogue and together we began unpacking our preconceived notions regarding societal norms. Collaborating visually to express our reflections served as a catalyst for the reconciling of our emotional intimacy in the midst of separation. It is through the juxtaposition of gaze and gesture we create blended self-portraits, expressing our emotions in relation to who we were and who we’ll become.”

Read the Lenscratch interview and see more of his work and purchase her book here. (Really, purchase her book. It’s 30$ and amazing and you need it.)

THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSIONS

Kylie Harrigan

Dan Kendricken

Emma Kurman-Faber

Dan McCarthy

Daniel Nova

Steve Sheridan

Jessica Voas

LAST LINKS

Lastly, here is a list of resources elaborating what we’ve mentioned during this meeting. If you missed or did not understand any references from our last meeting, please contact me. I’ll gladly add them.

Rana Young – Author of “The Rug’s Topography.

“Your Art Will Save Your Life” by Beth Pickens. – “As a teenager visiting the Andy Warhol Museum, Beth Pickens realized the importance of making art. As an adult, she has dedicated her life to empowering working artists. Intimate yet practical, Your Art Will Save Your Life helps artists build a sustainable practice while navigating the world of MFAs, residencies, and institutional funding.”

Photo Lounge Meetup 1: Hi, Hello, Nice to Meet You.


American Fraternity
© Andrew Moisey, from his photo book “American Fraternity.” This week’s featured artist.

EXPLANATION AND RECAP

“Artists quit when they lose the destination of their work, for the place their work belongs. For art students, losing the destination of your artwork goes by the name ‘Graduation’
– David Bayles, “Art and Fear”

Okay, Bayles, you got my attention. “Art and Fear had me moving immediately. I quickly picked up the marvelous technologies given to me in the form of social networks to create what is now known as the Photo Lounge.  Bayles convinced me that the death of the artist— any artist— is unfortunate and unnecessary.  I was that artist. But I am glad to say that I am now resurrected.

“Artists no longer make work when, abruptly, their work is no longer seen. No longer exhibited. No longer commented upon. No longer encouraged. The real killer is the lack of any continuing support afterwards.”
– David Bayles, “Art and Fear”

This sentence stopped me in my tracks. For over a year I have wanted to create a network for photographers, a safe place to show work and have the feedback that is lost upon graduation. Right here, in the good ole ‘artist’s Bible,’ my beliefs were validated. Graduation can be the ultimate death of a photographer. But it doesn’t have to be.

DIGITAL DEATH

The most interesting thing about social media is that while it is designed to share work, it is a hub for artists to hide behind their screens and project negativity towards others— jealousy masked as superior knowledge. People get discouraged when their photograph doesn’t get a “like.” But what is a thumbs up on an image in comparison to physically showing your image to a friend? Numerous times I have posted photographs without response— only to later share my work in person and have the viewer awe-stricken. To be honest, an image with hundreds of likes cannot compare to a room full of people giving you encouraging feedback and constructive criticism. So while it’s important to get your work out there, it’s arguably more important to let your work live in the real world. To print it out, hold it. Hang it on a wall and share it. And in order for that to happen, you have to make work.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED ARTIST

American Fraternity

This week we looked at the project titled “American Fraternity” by Andrew Moisey. I would like to thank him kindly for allowing me to post his work here.

The American Fraternity is a mysterious photo and ritual book that lifts the veil on America’s most influential male tradition. The text comes from a real decaying ritual manual from a prominent national fraternity. Untold numbers of American leaders have taken arcane oaths of chivalry and allegiance like the ones it contains. It is filled with dark power.”

American Fraternity

Read the Time coverage, Guardian coverage, and Insider coverage. See more of his work and purchase his book here. (No, really, purchase his book.)

THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSIONS

Kyle Daudelin

 

Jeff Dickerson

 

Dan Kendricken


Emma Kurman-Faber


Anna Latino


Daniel McCarthy


Steve Sheridan


Austin Soares

 

Jessica Voas


LAST LINKS

Lastly, here is a list of resources elaborating what we’ve mentioned during this meeting. If you missed or did not understand any references from our last meeting, please contact me. I’ll gladly add them.

Lenscratch – An online contemporary photography hub. Sign up to receive daily emails of emerging photographers work.

Art and Fear – “This is a book about making art. Ordinary art. Ordinary art means something like: all art not made by Mozart. After all, art is rarely made by Mozart-like people; essentially—statistically speaking—there aren’t any people like that. Geniuses get made once-a-century or so, yet good art gets made all the time, so to equate the making of art with the workings of genius removes this intimately human activity to a strangely unreachable and unknowable place. For all practical purposes making art can be examined in great detail without ever getting entangled in the very remote problems of genius.”
 
—-from the Introduction

Large Format View Camera Movement – Ray Larose explains the technicalities behind large format photography.

Andrew Moisey – Author of “American Fraternity.”

“Fraternity.” by Alexandra Robbins – “Two real-life stories. One stunning twist. Meet Jake, a studious freshman weighing how far to go to find a brotherhood that will introduce him to lifelong friends and help conquer his social awkwardness; and Oliver, a hardworking chapter president trying to keep his misunderstood fraternity out of trouble despite multiple run-ins with the police.”