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Since I have started a second career as a Semi-Professional-Childcare-Amateur, my career as a Semi-Professional-Blog-Artist has really slowed down as many of my four readers can attest, but I decided to neglect my child now to post the invite to Karine Laval’s new show at the Bonnie Benrubi gallery. I did a very interesting interview with Karine several months ago, that is very, very slowly getting transcribed and is going to make it onto The Heavy Light one of these months. In the meantime, check out her show, it’s gonna be well worth it.

Karine Laval: Altered States
April 18 – May 24, 2013
Opening reception April 18, 6 – 8PM
Bonni Benrubi Gallery
41 East 57th Street 13th Floor

For her 4th solo exhibition at Bonni Benrubi Gallery, the Brooklyn-based French artist Karine Laval will present a selection of new photographs as well as a video installation that marks the gallery’s first foray into moving images. The title of the exhibition references different states of transformation such as physical transformation and distortion, altered states of consciousness and perception, mythological metamorphosis, but it also evinces the transformative power of the camera. Laval continues to explore the vagaries of subjective perception and challenges the way we see by combining performance and the mechanics of photography itself (light, perspective, chemistry and optics). She tests the limits of the photographic medium by using water as a distorting lens and choosing a stark color palette – the result of her signature chemical processing of the film – to generate images that oscillate between representation and abstraction and blur the boundary between photography and painting.

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Even though this dark time of year usually makes me feel a bit of
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and today’s sh**ty ass weather fills me with
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I also feel
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because the good people at the UPI gallery (Laura, Sam and Dave), who inspire much

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in me, held an open call for this here group show
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and after I showed them
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they’ve sent me an email of
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for this body of work.

The opening is on Valentine’s Day and if the prospect of doing the same thing as the last 15 years fills you with
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or the crazy lines expected in restaurants make you feel
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then you should come and check out the show. And of course, don’t feel
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if you don’t have a date, cause we look forward to seeing you with much
Emotions-021012-33958.

United Photo Industries HQ is located at:
111 Front Street, Suite 204
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

IT’S A THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE
THE 2013 EDITION
HATE: February 14 – 26
Artist Reception: Thursday, February 14, 6-9PM

Our two-part photo invitational has returned!

Exploring the twinned themes of Love, Hate, and the rugged terrain between them, photographers are invited to submit individual images exploring either (or both) elements of our exhibition’s emotionally conflicted theme.

On the surface, love – and its flip side, hate – might seem simple subjects to capture. Our daily lives are filled with mundane declarations of love, and mindless acts of hatred. But love and hate run deep. Look beneath the surface and you will often discover them masquerading as each other.

Please join us for the opening of “LOVE” (February 1, 6-9PM) and “HATE” (February 14, 6-9PM) in homage to February’s emotional roller-coaster and celebrate with us the wonderful work of :

Mariette Pathy Allen
Dirk Anschutz
Susan Barnett
Christopher Capozziello
Alejandra Carles-Tolra
James Carroll
Jodi Concecpcion
Stephanie Diani
Alessandro Falco
Akihiro Furuta
Glenna Gordon
Barbara Habenstreit
Alice Hale
Jamil Hellu
Howard Heyman
Cereal Lab
Ma Liang
Marcia Lloyd
Jennifer Loeber
Meg Lyding
Darius Mccallum
Nick Meyer
Peter Miraglia
Godelieve Mols
Keren Moscovitch
Laura Noel
Julie Nymann
Dominica Paige
Michelle Pedone
Alexis Percival
Hana Pesut
Thalassa Raasch
Jamel Shabazz
Ingrid Spangler
Maria Sprowls Cervantes
Sarah Szwajkos
David Taffet
Colin Todd
Rafael Vargas
Brennan Wesley
Vikky Wilkes
Laine Zimmerman

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From the Toot-My-Own-Horn-Dept.:

I’m very happy to announce that Upstream Brooklyn is going to be in the DUMBO Arts Festival 2012.

The good people from United Photo Industries (that’s the same folks, who organized the very exciting Photoville extravaganza over the summer) will be giving me a shipping container to show my portrait series of Brooklynites with disabilities.

United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (the great organization I partnered with for this shoot) arranged for transportation for the models, so that they can check out their portraits first hand and mingle with the art crowd in the wheelchair accessible container.

Dear reader, I really hope you can make it to DUMBO this weekend to check out the show, see the prints, meet the models and meet the artist. Also, United Photo Industries announced privately that if they’re not happy with the attendance they will lock the artist in the container and make him winter in Elizabeth, NJ. So, please!

Upstream Brooklyn

Portraits of Brooklynites with Disabilities

Part of United Photo Industries’ foto/pods at the DUMBO Arts Festival 2012

Main Street between Water and Plymouth Streets
DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY

Friday, Sept 28th 2012 6PM to 9PM
Saturday, Sept 29th 2012 10AM to 9PM
Sunday, Sept 30th 2012 11AM to 6PM

Upstream Brooklyn is sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC).

United Photo Industries

Many thanks to

United Cerebral Palsy of New York City

and

Upstream Arts

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From the Toot-My-Own-Horn-Dept.: I’m proud to announce that this image from my Dead Indian Pass series made it into the PDN Photography Annual 2012. And just like Julius Caesar, who got images into the PDN Photography Annual 49BC and again into the PDN Photography Annual 47BC, I’ve got a nice set of laurels to put on my head. Well, actually they’ve only send me a jpeg of them, but I’m sure the real wreath is in the mail and you’ll see me sporting it shortly.

Previous post about Dead Indian Pass.

To see the whole series click here.

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Some of the regular highlights of my New York existence are the amateur soccer games I play in Chinatown. Some fellow kickers and I started to get together quite a long time ago for a midweek pick-up game on a 7 a side pitch at the edge of Barrio Chino. The game proved to be very robust and survived the cold winters, hot summers, stretches of low popularity, stretches of too much popularity, and many personnel changes for over a decade now. Even though soccer has its fair share of whiners, complainers, braggers, spoiled brats, bullies, people teetering dangerously close to sanity, as well as people that are all of the above, we managed to keep the game clean, competitive, friendly and fair.

Out of this pick-up game a weekend league named Groupstage evolved thanks to the efforts of Matt

and Tomas.

Matt and I have been bouncing the idea of a photo shoot around for quite a while, partly to promote his league, partly to promote my business, but also to do something creative with people we like to hang around with. As a matter of fact we’ve been talking about it for so long that it got kind of embarrassing. So this November I finally got my derriere in gear and picked a date for the shoot. Production becomes much easier with a deadline.

I started off with a location scout. The shoot had to be on a weekend or an evening when people would have a bit more time, and I don’t really like working in the evening, since then’s when I do my deep thinking. Field time on weekends is at a premium with tons of leagues competing for space. We decided on a field in Brooklyn that had good turf and was big enough to claim a corner for the shoot even while people were playing. Since the budget was midgety and since I’m still a bit confused about the (not so)new NYC permit process I decided to chance it and shoot permission free.

Since I was going to take action shots, flash sync speed became an issue. I normally shoot with a RZ67 with a 1/400 sync speed. I usually like to get a little blur, since I’m kind of bored with all the full freeze shots out there (if you can’t do something, it’s usually best to pretend that you wouldn’t want to do it anyway), but at that speed (1/400th that is) it’s sometimes hard to get just the right amount of movement. My pal and fellow photographer Juergen Frank was nice enough to loan me his Phase One 645 body and I rented a new Schneider lens with a sync speed of 1/1600. Beside the lens I rented a Profoto 7b with 2 heads (in addition to the 2 packs and 4 heads that I have), and a ton of sandbags. The rentals this time came from Nucleus in Red Hook.

The right amount of blur.

I worked with Chris as my one and only assistant and we set up a grey muslin backdrop that I had stuck in the dryer twice and ironed (!) the night before just to decide that we didn’t really like the grey for this set-up. Emotionally it was hard for me to let go, since I really don’t like ironing, but eventually I agreed with Chris and we put up a black cloth.

The next problem was surprisingly sync speed. Even though the lens can handle 1/1600, we could only get it to work properly at 1/800th. I’m still not sure why. One theory is that the radio slaves wouldn’t work that fast, but if anybody can think of another explanation, let me know. Luckily 1/800th gave me just the bit of blur I was looking for, so whew.

Bad backdrop, bad sync, good assistant.


Between these two issues we were still in a bit of a scramble by the time the first player showed up. Fortunately nothing else went wrong and we could start to concentrate on taking pictures. I set up 2 cameras, the 645 with the 110 mm and a Phase One P45+ at a distance for the action shots and full portraits and the RZ with a 90mm and my own P25 for close-ups. The RZ is a beautiful camera for tight portrait work and it cut down on time for lens changes.

Shooting action with an unfamiliar camera proved also to be not so easy. The shutter release point was way further back than in the RZ and the ball was often already in the fence when I took the shot. There was definitely a larger than usual blooper reel:

For lighting we set up 2 7B packs with 4 heads with regular reflectors from the front and the sides. We had another 7B with 2 heads coming from behind the models from each side and there was also a bit of sunshine from high and right.

The postproduction was minimal except for darkening the backdrop, and dealing with a bit of glare we sometimes got from the backlights, because the players didn’t always end up in the same place, and removing the shadow of a light or two on the floor, and cropping, and sexyfying the color, contrast and saturation a bit.

au naturel

a la vogue

If you’re thinking about joining a league in New York and playing against some of these handsome devils here, you might want to check out Groupstage.

If you want to read a roaming, eclectic, soccer-inspired blog, with league news thrown in for good measure, check out the Groupstage Blog.

If you want to read ( and I mean read) a roaming, eclectic, mildly melancholic, soccer-inspired blog, without league news but in German ( I know you Germans are out there), check out Freitagsspiel.

If you want to see the entire Chinatown Ballers series, click here.

Hope you all have a high scoring 2012.

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There’s a new gallery on my website with portraits and action shots of some of my NYC soccer colleagues. A more in depth post will follow shortly. In the meantime a big “thumbs up” to Matt Penrose at Groupstage who helped organize the shoot, posted it on his blog, and runs a terrific league, in case you’re looking for a game.

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Here’s a little reminder that the American Photography party will be happening tomorrow night. Since I was lucky enough to get four of my images in the book I will, of course, be there. The price of admission is 50 recession ignoring bucks (unless you’re a very important VIP) but for that kind of money I promise to dress nicely, behave well, and make you feel special (within reason).

November 10, 2011
Angel Orensanz Foundation
172 Norfolk St (off E Houston)
Lower East Side
7-11PM
Open Bar and Food

RSVP here

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While I usually get mild to severe anxiety attacks when the name Getty is mentioned these days, it is important to point out that there is a whole other Getty that also has nice images but isn’t trying to sell them for a buck fifty. I’m talking about the Getty Museum in the fair city of Los Angeles.

The Getty Center was made possible by the incredible riches accumulated by this guy:

J. Paul Getty (painted by Gerald L. Brockhurst).

J. Paul figured out a way to sell a gallon of gas for roughly three times the price of a well produced stock image and found himself almost immediately in a fancy villa in Malibu, from which he collected an amazing amount of sweet, sweet artwork. (That’s the short version of the Getty success story).

In any case, the Misses and I went on a little CA road trip recently and one of the stops was LA. I wanted to see the Getty for quite a while now and we made a bee line for it the first chance we got. It sits on a great hilltop overlooking the metropolis that has more smog than a German bar in 1985. The buildings are marvelous designs by Richard Meyer and, together with the campus, the gardens, the sculptures and the view, form a near perfect setting to view art.

There were so many great paintings that I’ve decided to focus on the portraits for this here blog post and so now, without any further ado, some personal favorites from the other Getty:

Isabella of Portugal, Workshop of Rogier van der Weyden Flemish, Flanders, about 1450, later additions about 1500

Portrait Study, Théodore Géricault, French, about 1818 - 1819

St. Bartholomew, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn Dutch, 1661

Portrait of a Bearded Man, Jacopo Bassano, Italian, about 1550

Portrait of Barbara Kressin, Unknown, Netherlandish, 1544

An Old Man in Military Costume, Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Dutch, about 1630 - 1631

Pope Clement VII, Sebastiano del Piombo, Italian, about 1531

Portrait of Alfonso d'Avalos, Marquis of Vasto, in Armor with a Page, Titian, Italian, Bologna, probably January-February 1533

Head of a Woman, Michael Sweerts, Flemish, about 1654

Portrait of the Marquesa de Santiago, Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Spanish, 1804

Portrait of Anthony Valabrègue, Paul Cézanne, French, about 1869 - 1871

Euclid, Jusepe de Ribera, Spanish, Naples, Italy, about 1630 - 1635

Four Studies of a Male Head, Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish, about 1617 - 1620

Self-Portrait, Yawning, Joseph Ducreux, French, before 1783

J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1687

Phone: +1 (310) 440-7330
Fax: +1 (310) 440-7751
E-mail: (for general Museum inquiries) gettymuseum@getty.edu

http://www.getty.edu

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So the good news is that that image above from my Dead Indian Pass series received an honorable mention at the International Photo Awards (the Lucies), but the bad news is that nobody mentioned it to me. I had to find that out all by my poor pitiful self. The same thing happened already last year. My Giddy Up series placed second and I was definitely told about that. I even received an official certificate that I could frame or fold up and keep in my wallet in case I’d ever run into an art director. So last year I was checking out the winners’ gallery and, still basking in my own glory (even though my old coach said placing second only makes you the first loser), moved on to the honorable mentions gallery just to stumble upon The Sultans there.

I didn’t make much of it. I figured it was an honest mistake or maybe they didn’t think I could handle two successes at the same contest without my head swelling up to a grotesque size and exploding and soiling that nicely framed certificate on my wall.

But this year they did it again, not mentioning my honorable mention that is, and now I think they might be doing it on purpose.

I know, it’s not exactly earth shattering news (to be the 7th loser in the 32nd category) and they would have to send out a lot of emails (my picture is about # 1487 from the top) but still, every little bit counts and that’s why we enter contests:  To brag about winning (or being mentioned, honorably at that), to go to an editor or art buyer and proudly proclaim: I’m not just something the cat dragged in, no sir, I’m an award winner, you can trust me with your multi-dollar shoot.

For every photo contest already out there, there are 3 new ones springing up, blunting the effect of all of them.  Generally they charge quite a bit of money and it’s becoming very questionable if entering (and winning in some fashion) any of these is actually worth it, but what’s not questionable to me is this:  If you decide to have honorable mentions in your contest than you should put in the effort to let the mentionees know.  You’re welcome, don’t mention it.

You can check out the winners and honorable mentions here.

 

 

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During a short and sweet road trip with the missus through Wyoming last year I noticed that there were a lot of bikers out and about and after a while it dawned on me that they were on their way to the big yearly meet-up in Sturgis, South Dakota. Most of them have been on their bikes for days and you could see in their faces the effects of the wind and the sun. It seemed like we could do a nice little portrait series.

The first day we wanted to do the shoot was too rainy and we decided to use the time for a thorough location scout. We drove out of Cody and took the Chief Joseph Byway to the Beartooth Highway, which took us all the way up into Montana. One road was more spectacular than the next. We decided to set up shop the next morning at a place called Dead Indian Pass.
The spot overlooked a beautiful valley where Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce faked out a pursuing US Army on their (painfully close but unsuccessful) run towards the Canadian border.

We set up lights at a pull-out and asked the bikers that stopped there if they wanted to sit for a portrait. I think we got a nice collection of Amurrrican (and a few Canadian) archetypes.

To check out the entire series, click here.

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