I’m working through a wealth of images from Italy–it’s literally a photographer’s paradise. (And let’s take a moment to extend our heartfelt sympathy to the lovely people of Italy at this very difficult time.) It’s going to take me awhile before I’ll get the best of the Italy pictures together, but here’s a handful just from Rome. All were taken with the fabulous Canon G10. If you click on the image, you can see it in greater detail.
So I’m in that puppy love stage with the new Canon G10 and kind of wanted to test its resolution and quality under optimum conditions; so I figured I might as well mix it with my other recent passion in the arts and photograph my Stratocaster. (It doesn’t move around much or complain that I’m taking too long setting up the shot.) Anyway, at the moment I’m very pleased with both.
The Other Art
Artist @ Work
My photographer friend Katherine Pollak (in NYC and responsible for the infamous “Artist @ Work” picture) has her photo site up and running, featuring both her photographs and her high-end black & white processing/printing services. Nice website and some cool photos. Check it out at: Katherine Pollak
Waiting on the Object of Desire
Trying to get back to a human schedule now that “Dead of Winter” has closed. I have a bunch of scripts to read, I’m rewriting my 1991 play “Bombardment” (more on that to come), also revising a one-act called “Farmhouse,” and I have two more plays waiting in my notebooks to be typed up. Not working on anything new at the moment…I’m such a slacker.
But…I am hoping tomorrow that the new toy arrives: a Canon PIXMA Pro9000 inkjet printer, which will mean I can make color prints up to 13″x19″ with archival inks. In other words, I can hang them for a show and sell them. The 9000 is supposed to be a superb machine…all the reports I’ve been reading is that you can’t tell its quality from a pro lab, and you can print on heavyweight museum stock, art papers, etc. Pretty thrilling prospect since I’ve always felt my work looks better in a larger format. I still love the traditional silver process for black and white, but this is like having your own color lab, and that’s just…too cool.
Inner Demons, Generous Angels
In addition to being a playwright and theatrical producer, I’m also a photographer. Reasonably serious–had a couple shows and some stuff published. Have my own darkroom and just recently made the shift to digital. (After a certain point, resistance really is futile.) Going digital has been very convenient as a theatre occasionally asks me to shoot PR photos for them or someone wants a portrait, and it’s a lot easier and cheaper to do a little sharpening and color correction, burn a CD, and be done with it.
Awhile back, I ran across an L.A. gallery’s call for submissions on the theme “Angels or Demons?” I didn’t have anything suitable for submission, but I thought: hell, what a fascinating theme. And a project took shape.
I’d been working on a lighting set up for portraits and thought I’d found the right combination to give me the look I wanted. What would happen if, knowing many actors, actresses, and other photophilic people, if I invited them to collaborate on the theme, shooting the pictures with a consistent lighting and backdrop scheme, with the variable being the look–costume, make-up, and attitude–the subjects brought to the project?
So far, I’ve shot five sessions, and the results have been simply wonderful. The images have all been remarkably individualistic, unique, and reflective of the subjects’ creativity. And the lighting is gorgeous. I have more shoots in the works, but we’re working on the ever-challenging matter of scheduling. With the holidays coming up and “Dead of Winter” going into production/rehearsals for next February, I figure I’ll be shooting well into next year. The ultimate goal will be a show, I suppose, ideally in a gallery, but right now it’s just fascinating to see what one can do with a simple backdrop, a couple of hot lights, and some creatively crazy collaborators.
Before sessions, I often sit on the porch and look through photographs to sort of “tune up” my eyes, the photographic equivalent of stretching before playing sports, but I find my attention wandering to: good Lord, what will my next subject bring to me and can I make a good photograph of it?
Happily, so far, the answers have been, respectively, “nothing I can predict” and “yes.” Making art dosn’t get much better than that.
(Note: if you live in Portland, have some Monday or Wednesday evenings free, and feel like getting in touch with your inner angel or demon, drop me a note. It addition to participating in a project that subjects seem to enjoy, sitters will receive a couple e-mail sized images, plus a CD and a couple finished prints.)