Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rodin - SoFoBoMo 08 - Is done!

Rodin - SoFoBoMo 08, in the can

Download Rodin, SofoBoMo 08 PDF (22mb)

It's done, just under the wire ... I could fuzz the month, but why stress on it. I just wich I could have done 2 in the fuzzy month to get a a Paul Butzi print.

I was a little rushed at the end to get the book finished, I will blog about the process ... after work.... :)

I just noticed that is running. It will be nice to have a place to host this and future SoFoBoMo'ers.

Update: Since I did not have the time to blog much while I was doing the book, I'll spend some time blogging it now, revising and extending my remarks:
SoFoBoMo wrapup part 1, Back to the beginning
SoFoBoMo Wrapup: Why I love/Hate to talk about gear
SoFoBoMo wrapup: Shooting Rodin
SoFoBoMo wrapup: Processing the files
SoFoBoMo wrapup: Creating the PDF with Aperture

Monday, April 28, 2008

(Sofobomo) Time is not on my side, but I sold a photo!

I want to finish! But time is slipping, into the future (A truism by the Steve Miller band)

I am close, I have edited the shots down to 108, and may bring them down further depending on how the layout goes.

Some amazing books going up. I hope I get mine done in time

In other news:
I sold my first photograph!

I am now a professional photographer... heh.... it was a framed and matted version of the pic below.
The truck where it happened, #3

It was the fist time I ever displayed my prints in public.

I played a show with my good friend Kenny Schick, we both displayed our prints. We had a great time playing, I opened the show, Kenny and Heather played, then all three of us did 4 songs together.

It was fun!

And there was a documentary crew there ... but thats a long story.
Kenny Schick - Live at the Blue Rock Shoot
Kenny was playing, my favorite, "Calling you" in this shot. The song involves some percussive guitar slaps, very cool. Check out his music

Tuesday, April 22, 2008



Today will be my last shoot for SoFoBoMo Book one. If it is not, I will never finish. I have enough shots to do it... so as one horse said to the other "Why the long face?"

I want perfection, it is in my nature. Perhaps it is even the reason I take photos and play music, it's all about the pursuit of the perfect moment. Well, it is for me at least.

However, if I don't finish, I fail. Failure is as far from perfection as one can get.

So... last shoot ... today.

And, for LeeAnne, I have had five shoots at an hour each so far and generally click the shutter around 200 times each time I go out (Filling a 2 gig card). However, I may only get 4 or 5 shots that are up to snuff, or none ... as has happened ... so while I have more than enough shots that *could* be used for the project, I'm not sure if I want to use them.

VIdeo on Flickr!

There is a groundswell of folks that are against video on Flickr, I am not one of them ... I think there are a lot of creative folks that will make some worthwhile statements using video on Flickr.

I think the quality to noise ratio will be much higher than YouTube, and other video sites, simply because the number of people that have developed sight, vision and composition skills is higher than the other sites.

(Video: Sky Trees and Sun, not pictured )

Then there is sound, which I think is the overlooked addition in this feature... Now I get to add all of my favorite creative pastimes into one expression.... and post it to my Flickr Stream.


Friday, April 18, 2008

SoFoBoMo Book 2, Neon, but first the internal editor and book one....

But .... must focus ... finish book 1.

And, it's not going well, so book 2 may not be in the cards for the fuzzy month. Right now I'm stuck in a space where my internal editor is yelling at me. Nothing I'm shooting seems to be good enough for her. The main complaints seem to center around:

  • Technical issues (blown highs, blocked lows, depth of field ...)
  • Matters of style and being consistently wishy washy about which style is right for the project
  • And qualifications, "You're not qualified to do this, you are not a photographer! You don't have an MFA!" she says.
I go through this a lot with music, and have had many recording sessions that sit on the shelf for many of the same reasons.

I just have to remember....
"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Of yesterday and today, SoFoBoMo

Pieces of "The Gates"

"If the artist only reproduces superficial features
as photography does, if he copies the lineaments
of a face exactly, without reference to
character, he deserves no admiration. The resemblance
which he ought to obtain is that of the soul;
that alone matters; it is that which the sculptor
or painter should seek beneath the mask of
features." A. Rodin

From the book "Art by A. Rodin"

I love google books.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sick of being sick, but it will not stop my SoFoBoMo plans!

Failing, flailing at the SoFoBoMo
I have the flu, the 6 week one ... it's putting all my SoFoBoMo plans in jeopardy ...

I think I am closer to finding a consistent look and feel to the pics for the book.

* Warm tone B&W
* Add grain
* More mid tones than before

I also may put the G9 to use, the small sensor added DOF factor may be a cool thing.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thinking about Roy Decarava (SoFoBoMo)

Shooting Rodin is turning out to be much harder than I thought. The specular highlights make it hard to capture the detail in the highlights and the dark areas.

Roy Decarava would use the darkness to his advantage ... but I'm thinking about bracketing exposures and HDR ... then again ... there is Roy....

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Lies, damn lies and photography ... and SofoBoMo!

"It is the artist who is truthful and it is photography which lies, for in reality time does not stop, and if the artist succeeds in producing the impression of a movement which takes several moments for accomplishment, his work is certainly much less conventional than the scientific image, where time is abruptly suspended." - Rodin

That is why the only text in my book will be Rodin quotes....

(Photo: The Three Shades" B&W, Rotated 90 degrees, mirrored on the horizontal axis, with vignette added ... all lies)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Selecting a subject

(Photo: Rambling Jack Elliot, last night, my band opened for him... P.S. he hates having his picture taken while he's playing, and told me so right after this snap)

The book "On being a photographer" by Bill Jay and David Hurn has some great info on this issue ... (From memory here, I loaned the book out)

List the subjects you are interested in
1. Rank them in terms of how passionate you are about them
2. Rank them in terms of how "interesting" they are to your target audience
3. Rank them in terms of how accessible they are (Can you get to them often and easily)
4. Rank them in terms of how photogenic they are
5. Rank them in terms of how knowledgeable you are about them, how much can you say as an expert

At some point in the process the choice will become clear ...

"On being a photographer" is a great photography book ... it contains no pictures.... :)

This has nothing to do with how I selected my subject... I had a business meeting at Stanford and took a walk afterwards with my camera and ran into the Rodin installation.

It's amazing art that photographs well, but is still challenging to work with as it is black(ish) and the surface is shiny so you are mainly working with specular highlights, also because of the dark material managing exposure and dynamic range are tricky .... I digress ....

I decided that I wanted to learn more about Rodin, so it's my mission for SoFoBoMo to learn more about Rodin , then try and express what I learn thru photography.

That being said ... I think I want to try and do 2 books ... because I want a Butzi print and cant afford his normal prices!

I may implement the Jay/Hurn method to select book two, after I finish Book one.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

SoFoBoMo - First shots and research

I took my first set of shots yesterday. The first thing that went wrong was... I forgot to bring any of my zoom lenses. All I had on me was my low light kit 30mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 prime lenses. I stayed with the 30mm.

I shot for about 30 min, ate lunch in the car on the way over from work. 15 min to get there for a total of 30 min drive time. It fits into a lunch hour well.

I may have one keeper shot from this session, but I will reserve that decision for later in the process.

Meanwhile I have begun to research the artist and the works I'm photographing:
Wiki Page for the B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts
Musee Rodin
Rodin Wikipedia
Rodin Web

Pictured above is "The Martyr", part of "The gates of hell" but removed from that context and displayed larger and on it's own. It seems that much of the work from Rodin, done is his later period, springs from "The gates of hell".

As Mr. Spock would say ... "Fascinating...."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

SoFoBoMo Insomnia

I had SoFoBoMo insomnia last night... visions of shooting Rodin sculpture in various conditions....

* In the rain
* At night with flashes
* At night light painting with colored lights
* In the daylight with fill flash
* Macro abstracts

And the list goes on ... I am excited to the point of distraction about this project.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

SoFoBoMo Day 1

I made the decision to do it yesterday, I have my subject picked out:
The Rodin collection at Stanford University

I created a blog to document the process:

Now I'm looking at how to put together the book. I use Aperture for my workflow needs, Aperture has some crude book layout capability built in. You can position the photos on a page and output to a PDF.

The text layout and editing capabilities leave me a bit cold though, so I may do further editing in Illustrator.

As for a dimensions, I have selected: 16:9 ....

I have no illusions that I wlll actually print this book. So the target viewing platform is my computer, or my TV. Both of these are wide screen so 16:9 will take advantage of the real estate offered by both devices.

For more info go to: