Wide Angle (photo exhibit)

Wide Angle (photo exhibit)

University of Kentucky Museum of Art
Lexington, Kentucky

Here is a wide-angle view of the photo exhibit Wide Angle that is presently on display at the UK Art Museum.  I’ve learned today that it will travel to the Huntington Museum of Art this fall.  It’s a pretty complete exhibition in terms of giving the viewer an education on the different styles of photography as well as a long list of important (and famous) photographers.    From the UK museum website:

“From the Art Museum’s extensive collection of more than 1,300 photographs, this exhibition examines the history of American photography through the work of artists like: Ansel Adams, Van Deren Coke, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, Lewis Hine, Helen Levitt, Russell Lee, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Cindy Sherman, Aaron Siskind, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Doris Ulmann, Andy Warhol, and Carrie Mae Weems.”

An important and interesting part of the exhibit is the discussion about the old Lexington Camera Club, the tie-in being photographs and money left to the museum by Robert C. May who was a club member and a University of Kentucky employee.

The club existed from at least 1936 until 1972 but had it’s peak sometime in the 1940s with greater than 100 members.  When May died, he left the museum about 1,200 photographs and a substantial amount of money (per the Lexington Herald Leader) that has been used to host an annual photography show and to bring noted photographers to the campus for an annual exhibit and lecture.

 

Mannequin, Charleston WV

Mannequin, Charleston WV

Charleston, WV

I had coffee recently with another photographer when the subject drifted around to the difficulty in developing an individual vision for art and photography.  I believe this difficulty is why many people take the easy road and develop such a glut of instructional texts, videos, and community presentations on technical matters and nearly nothing on exploring style and vision.  It was even pretty difficult to talk about, even over good coffee.  As the coffee disappeared, the above image became the topic.  Photographers, as well as most other artists, seem to carry around a mental checklist entitled "Those Subjects That Maketh a Good Photograph", and for me it includes mannequins.  The most cliche subject (or would that be abandoned buggies or waterfalls?)   My point of the conversation was that photo classes are pretty much like the typical camera club as far as artistic development goes because they seem to drive people into taking the same style of photographs.  If you want something refreshing, give your camera to a 9 year old and see what they find interesting in the world.  Not all agree, I know you are surprised to hear that.

So I pulled my copy of David duChemin\’s Photographically Speaking down from the shelf, hoping to give it another look to see if it could be developed into some sort of class that would be helpful.  It still seems to be a lot of art babble.   Maybe more later, after coffee and chewing on the subject some.

 

Fisheye self portrait with poster, 2007

Fisheye self portrait with poster, 2007

No new images for today but it\’s raining and we are lovers of odd weather around here.  I\’m hoping for some warm weather next week, with this rain then maybe the spinach and lettuce will sprout in time.  The fellow at the farm supply store (a real one, not the fake chain store) said I had poor chance of spinach sprouting in this county even when planted at the right time with proper weather.  We\’ll see.

The above image is a recycled one, this morning I restored the June 2007 pages and found probably the most sorry collection of the lot. Mike Adkins and I had a disagreement on how to approach bad images during this restoration project, when I find a photo that I dislike then I tend to just think about making an improvement with a black and white conversion, though a quick one in FastStone.  Often, maybe more often than not, I\’m happier with it.   Mike says taste changes and I can\’t chase my present likes or dislikes as it will again change in the future.  Let the past remain as it was, he says, though I take liberty in paraphrasing our conversation.  Going back to the image itself, I think this is a great example of why even beginners should shoot in RAW.  You will never know how technology changes and having the RAW file will give you a bit more chance to allow your images to change with it.  I had shot this one in JPG which was often the case in the early years (this one predates even 2007 since I see it was shot with my 2004-era Pentax), if I had a RAW capture then Lightroom 5 could make a very fast and very nice defished image of the scene, giving me a bit of flexibility in the presentation.

 

 

Burgers in Lexington, about 2010

Burgers in Lexington, about 2010

Here’s a photograph of a place we used to visit both for burgers and the atmosphere.  There’s a lot of things in life that are not logical and wouldn’t make much sense in some cultures or generations.  One of these is going out to eat for a purpose other than eating.  Thomas Jefferson certainly had a grasp on the idea, which is nicely presented in the book Dinner at Mr. Jefferson’s.

 

 

 

 

 

a the Bluebird, 2007

a the Bluebird, 2007

Bluebird Cafe in 2007
Nashville, Tennessee

I was searching for some new music this morning and noticed that Charlie Worsham had an album on I-Tunes.  Pictured above is the band Kingbilly during a quiet evening at the Bluebird- Charlie has his back toward us in this photo and the show was made up of a group of young singer-songwriters, all struggling in the sense they had not been contracted by the music industry.   If you\’ve followed this blog for awhile, you might remember that we made a few trips to Nashville over two or three years to photograph the town and enjoy the music culture.  My good friend Mark Pennington (who passed away a few years ago) and I sort of stumbled across the town while roaming around on a photography road trip and found that we really enjoyed it even though both of us were not at all country fans at the time.  The town was photography friendly as you either pass as a tourist or somebody important. 

We\’ve been watching the show Nashville on Netflix recently.  I found it really interesting to see many of the areas that Mark and I used to visit.   Here is a Wikipedia article on the Bluebird and also a link to their website.   Of all the places that I\’ve traveled to photograph, I would place my Nashville trips high on the list and would love to return someday.  It was a nice mix of music venues (especially the honky tonks), nice museums and art galleries, and great food to find and explore.  A few months before Mark\’s death, his illness had progressed to the last stages but he was able to go out for lunch and remarked that one of the things he really regretted was missing one last trip to Nashville.

My old blog site is down, maybe for good as we have had no contact with the folks in charge.  Luckily I made an offline copy last year and I\’m able to continue the transfer.  So if you click the link above for the older images, you might find it dead (at least for the time being).

 

at Jackson Lake (Ohio)

at Jackson Lake (Ohio)

Jackson Lake
Jackson, Ohio

A few weeks ago, we took a drive and ended up with a picnic on the shores of Jackson Lake.  I remember doing a similar Sunday picnic some 45 years ago.  This one is an I-Phone Hipstamatic shot made with the Loftus lens (for the vignette blur) and the W40 film (for the border, the interior black border is the image and the white border is the web-site template presentation), then converted to black and white in Photoshop.

 

 

at the Fatima shrine

at the Fatima shrine

Our Lady of Fatima Shrine
Ironton, Ohio

Here\’s another I-phone shot from the recent stop at the Fatima shrine.  This one is an adulterated Hipstamatic image taken into Lightroom for dodging/burning, and conversion to BW. I left this version neutral in tone, I have a yellow one that I liked but the noise seemed to be more obvious in it.  I have never been a fan of the Hipstamatic oval frame and the world seems to agree, I don\’t see that many examples of it.  Having said that, I look at these oval masks and wonder if we have opinions that are just victims of following the crowd.

 

Perhaps all this is so much B.S. and there are no
real answers.The late Bill Jay advised us:  “Beware of
these two fallacies of photographic appreciation:

You like a photograph because you think/have been told it is good.
You think a photograph is good because you like it.”

(from an interview I did with Fred Huff,
a member of our local photography club OVCC)

(full text found here)

 

 

Brough to you by the number 6

Brough to you by the number 6

Lexington, Kentucky

Took advantage of the weather today and picked our first green beans of the year, plus a small load of tomatoes that made 8 pints of pizza sauce and about that many quarts of frozen tomatoes.

The corn that I had planted in April, when I posted this photo, is all harvested and should get cut down this week to get ready for a crop of fall greens.  It was a great year and hardly took any effort at all.

As someone said this weekend, when was the last time you had green grass in August here in Kentucky?  Since I worked in the garden today (Monday), it’s appropriate to mention that it is Wendell Berry’s birthday.

“Do unto those downstream as you would
have those upstream do unto you.”

Wendell Berry

 

Donation Box

Donation Box

Lexington, Kentucky

Quite an interesting and inventive donation box, I’m surprised that more places haven’t thought of it.  I shot this one too tight, should have given it some space to breathe at the bottom but still thought it is an interesting subject.

 

I never had to choose a subject-
my subject rather chose me.”

Ernest Hemingway

 

 

Building Number 20

Building Number 20

Lexington, Kentucky

This was probably the most interesting building of the whole day, problem is I didn’t realize this until reviewing my shots after arriving home.  I just love the old detail and patterns here, if you look on the far right edge of the frame you can see what we left behind unphotographed.  Nice old locks, windows, and ironwork.

Listening today to an old CD by Warren Zevon, the last one that he recorded when he was sick with cancer.  Now a good quote that we can identify with on most days.

“My memory is not even what most
people’s is, much less what it oughta
be for a discussion like this.”

Warren Zevon

 

601

601

Lexington, Kentucky

I was able to add a few shots to the “numbers” collection.  Having run out of photo ideas awhile ago, I figured the old cliche of shooting numbers is a never-fail idea since they are all around us.   With this one, I had in mind a black and white dark photo even at the time of shooting it but today I felt like a bit of color and so re-introduced some selective color back into the shot.

Today’s reading included the ongoing Hemingway short stories as well as an interesting New York Times article on the Stephen King family and all the authors that it includes.  I nearly always am more interested in the people and what makes them tick rather than their actions, so it was a pretty good read.

“I am the literary equivalent
of a Big Mac and fries.”

Stephen King

 

Tony at Studio 300

Tony at Studio 300

Lexington, Kentucky

We met several interesting folks on our photography outing, one was Tony Davis who turns used bourbon barrels into functional items such as cutting boards that are beautiful works of art as well.  Here is an article on Studio 300.

What worries you, masters you.

John Locke

 

the signs at The Village Idiot

the signs at The Village Idiot

The Village Idiot (Restaurant & Pub)
Lexington, Kentucky

I took a day trip with a couple of friends in search of photographs, art, bourbon history, and my never-ending quest for odd places to eat.  Our evening meal found us landing at a quirky named place called The Village Idiot.  As it turns out, the owners of this pub/restaurant also own Pazzo’s Pizza Pub where we have landed a good many times on similar picture-taking safaris, once with about 1/4 of the Ohio Valley Camera Club.  The Village Idiot is much different than the college-oriented Pazzos and I think we’ll have to make another trip to fine-tune our ordering skills to their menu.  We chose sandwiches rather than a proper dinner and  were surprised with unexpected eclectic twists on some common items like a BLT and hamburger.   We had a great time there.  Here is the newspaper article on the pub and here is the Urbanspoon page (81% thumbs up rating with 300 votes, as of today).  After looking at that page, I think it would benefit a diner to read the reviews before ordering.

“Bourbon doesn’t need to be any flavor other
than bourbon-flavored.  There’s a reason
people don’t put ketchup on filet mignon.”

unknown
(from an online comment to an article
about flavored bourbons)

 

Mural in South Charleston

Mural in South Charleston

South Charleston, West Virginia

I found a nice mural on the side of a laundry business in South Charleston while looking for a pottery supply business.  It\’s amazing to have lived an entire life in an area only to realize that any free travel time has been spent largely in a south to south-west direction.  Anything east of Huntington WV is less familiar to me than central Florida or Nashville.  South Charleston is a most interesting neighborhood, full of ethnic diversity and interesting scenes. 

After the whole world finished watching it, I was told about the show Firefly and watched all 13 or 14 episodes on Netflix.  Really a great sci-fi show, only proves that good stuff is often overlooked by the general population.

 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the road less traveled
by and they CANCELLED MY FRIKKIN\’ SHOW. I totally shoulda
took the road that had all those people on it. Damn.”

Joss Whedon

Church

Church

This old church has a great layout for the "amen" sections.  I attended churches like this one during my youth and the left and right seating areas were affectionately called the "amen sections".  Of course none of the seats were reserved but we all know that everyone has their usual seats in a church.  In the old time Baptist churches (well, many of them at least), the left side was for the men and the right side was for the women.  I\’m sure its still that way in many churches.  All of the seats in our churches back then were hard solid wood.   Well, the most elderly men of the church had this one pew in the back of the left amen section and after a number of years, someone noticed that the seat bottom had somehow become upholstered with nice padding.  All those guys are gone now but I still remember Ronnie Haney smiling about it.  A really good guy, I spent lots of time in the field trying to train dogs with him.

 

“For a very long time everybody refuses and
then almost without a pause almost everybody accepts.”

Gertrude Stein

 
 

Mad Mex

Mad Mex

Columbus, Ohio

Here\’s another shot from the trip to see the Annie Leibovitz exhibit.  I was using the Hipstamatic app on the I-Phone then did some color de-saturation.   Seems as though the Keeneland horse races have slipped up on me and I missed the whole thing, so no horse racing photographs this season.   

“It\’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what
we do is more important than what we are. Of course,
it\’s the opposite that\’s true: What we are ultimately
determines what we do!”

Fred Rogers