Arnold Newman Dies

Sad Sad News!

Arnold Newman, died earlier this month.

From Wikipedia.

Newman graduated high school in Miami Beach and attended the University of Miami studying painting and drawing with an introduction to ——Modernism. Unable to afford continuing after two years, he moved to Philadelphia, PA to work for a studio making 49-cent portraits. His time there taught the importance of interacting with his subjects and allowed him to developed his technique.

Newman returned to Florida in 1939 to manage a portrait studio in West Palm Beach. Three years later he opened his own business in Miami Beach. In 1946, Newman relocated to New York, opened Arnold Newman Studios and worked as a freelance photographer for Fortune, Life, and Newsweek.

How the hell did I miss this one?

Well anyway even though I am not much of a portrait photographer, I always remember with fondness being introduced to him and his importance within the history of photography

Wating... Waiting...Waiting...

Today is the 30th of June.

"So!" I hear you say!

Well today is important not because it being the end of the tax year, but because, I am waiting to hear about a gallery appliction lodged with the CCP and a competiton I have entered at the MGA.


Needless to say I doubt much will get done around here today!

A dip into the flickr archives then for this image of Eureka Tower.


New Bodies Of Work?


Not only is the light really nice at the moment, but I've started a new series of images based on some discoveries,one of which was at a local croquet lawn.

Chairs and shopping trollies are the two things that seem to most turn up in the oddest of places.

The kind of places I've always enjoyed 'hanging around' seem rife with them.

My sets are growing. This is something that I've been contemplating in terms of my output as an artist,can I justify producing work that is a culmination of an experience [walking around with a camera], rather than having some idea in my head and making images about it, the idea?

Is the idea of exploring an external world in an inner way justification enough? After all, Marcel Proust said,

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

So seeing and make images of my own local area with new eyes, or in a way that is interesting is this enough?

While we're on quotes, here's another again by Proust, that speaks volumes,

Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments. An artist recreates those aspects of reality which represent his fundamental view of man's nature.

The site where the quotes are from? BrainyQuote.com, a great site indeed


More Winter Light

topography; like fabric; tactile & functional

While we're on it, more winter light.

Again part of the maps project




Another example of the gorgeous winter light to be had sometimes in Melbourne.

This sight seems so common, abandoned furniture in obscure pockets of big cities, I don't understand how. Our local council has regular hard rubbish collections and a 6 day a week tip that allows locals to dump their rubbish quite easily.

Despite the light this shot sums up the occasional state of mind I find myself in these days. Hence the title.

Not that that is a bad thing really?

Bollywood Director?

Wanna be a TV producer, of a Bollywood classic?


2006 Winter Light

Winter light sweeps though my house in amazing ways.

It days like this that really make me appreciate what it is "I do"

Even better that I get paid to "do it".


You do remember don't you?

we are not what we remember of ourselves.
we are what people say we are.
they project upon us their convictions.
we are nothing but blank screens.

So sayeth casoulbyrd, indeed a powerful sentiment.

There were many reasons I like the look of flickr when I signed up, irregulargirl's images was one of the reasons, so here's a peek at her set that just keeps on growing.

"it was electric... so frightfully hectic"

archaic rituals

Recently experienced an interesting 'spectacle'. A Dance competition!

Several things that struck me were that this kind of event even existed, that it was actually a competition between 4 dance studios owned by the same company, that folks could get so into the whole competition idea in the first place.

Photographically I new I didn't have a hope in hell of subtle or nice lighting, so I resorted to my one of my favourite techniques in this kind of situation, 'Flash & Blur'. It can be a bit hit and miss, especially over longer distances, but when it works it works well.

Tech specs, f4.3 0.5 sec 400 ISO, flash set to -2. According to my EXIF data in Photoshop.

Here is the EXIF data pulled from the file using Graphic converter.

  • Image title:
  • Make:-NIKON
  • Model:E5400
  • Orientation of image:1
  • X resolution:300.0 ppi (pixel per inch)
  • Y resolution:300.0 ppi (pixel per inch)
  • Resolution unit:inch
  • Software:E5400v1.4
  • File date and time:2006:06:24 20:40:51
  • Y and C positioning:co-sited
  • -- Exif IFD --:
  • Exposure time:1/2 s
  • F number: 4.3
  • Exposure program:Normal program
  • ISO speed rating:400
  • Exif version:0220
  • Date and time of original data generation:2006:06:24 20:40:51
  • Date and time of digital data generation:2006:06:24 20:40:51
  • Meaning of each component:YCbCr
  • Image compression mode:4.0
  • Exposure bias:-0.7
  • Maximum lens aperture:3.0 APEX = F2.8
  • Metering mode:Pattern
  • Light source:unknown
  • Flash:Flash fired, auto mode.
  • Lens focal length: 10.3 mm
  • Color Space:sRGB
  • Valid image width in pixel:2592
  • Valid image height in pixel:1944
  • File source:reserved
  • Scene type:reserved
  • Custom image processing:Normal process
  • Exposure method: Auto exposure
  • White balance:Auto white balance
  • Digital zoom ratio:not used
  • Focal length in 35 mm film:50 mm
  • Scene capture type:Standard
  • Gain control:Low gain up
  • Contrast: Normal
  • Saturation:Normal
  • Sharpness:Normal
  • Subject distance range:unknown
  • Compression scheme:JPEG
  • X resolution: 300.0 ppi (pixel per inch)
  • Y resolution:300.0 ppi (pixel per inch)
  • Resolution unit:inch
  • Offset to JPEG SOI:4596
  • Bytes of JPEG data:6819

I was trying to capture the movement colour and light from the whole night and this is the best I could do. Several things impeded me. The table settings were PACKED in as much as possible not allowing much freedom of movement in and out of them, and being a 'guest' I didn't want to put any noses out of joint by jamming cameras at people in the wrong place or wrong time, besides anyone who knows me will know that a people/portrait photographer I ain't.

The town hall itself was an interesting old building and worthy of several hours of wandering with a camera and tripod. I didn't shoot much by my standards only a dozen or so shots, but the colour and movement seemed well captured, even if I do say so myself.


All Done - For Now!

12 proofs

Well all done, now 6 rolls of film to process and given the light and me being at home all day, I think that number will rise!

Next the flattening & the numbering, then over the coming months, the perusing, to see if anything is worthy of further exploration or printing even?

Photoshop may even fall into the equation at some point, if only I had access to a nice printer like the Epson 7400! The 9400 would be even better though!

Something that I of course have forgotten about is the waste, over 50 rolls of film in the last few months, equals 50 test strips and 50 proof sheets, not counting a pair of rubber gloves, no end of hand/paper towel, several empty plastic bottles and assorted packaging, oh dear. analog indeed!


1 of 13


One down 13 to go, several ideas on this one.

Kent's Portrait involving fabric and bodies, headless bodies, as well as some ideas i'm tinkering with in realtion to flat surfaces and shadows, and the usual urban landscapes too.

Of Course!


90,000 Plus

So more than 90,000 views. I'd like to se my work get that level of exposure at the NGV.

Speaking of the NGV, maybe I should write an exhibition review of a show I've seen lately?

American beauty at the NGV international at the moment has got to be one of the best shows I've seen since the Bill Henson show of 2004, or was it 2005? Anyways, Lee Freidlander Walker Evans and Robert Frank have got to be in my top 10 of favourite Overseas Modernists photographers from the last century. Lee Freidlander I'm told shot enormous amounts of film to get the kind of 'visual' treats he achieved, and Walker Evans, documenting life with an 8 x 10 camera, with the most superb compositions and drawing that I have ever seen. Robert Frank well I'm almost speechless here. His controversial book from the 50's 'The Americans', even has an introduction by one of my favourite poets/authors, Jack Kerouac. The space at the NGV international is small, so sadly the amount of work on show is scant, but several of my Favourite Lee Freidlander shots are there, the one with the triangular cloud over the stop sign, and the shot of the tourists at Mt. Rushmore, are moments never top be repeated, slices of time that say as much about what is being photographed as the photographer and the time and place, and managing to be funny as well!

This show is a must see, just for the ideas it portrays, which is an idea close to my heart. 'The Vernacular'.

“I speak of the things that are there, anywhere and everywhere – easily found, not easily selected and interpreted.”
Robert Frank

13 May to 22 October 2006
Photography Gallery, Level 3
Admission free


One of the Elite!

So I took an Art Fag test?

Go on I dares ya!


Suburban Gothic

still life at red hill south [Saturday 10.06.2006]

Still no sign of the proofing beginning.

This is from a scanned neg, and I am pleasantly surprised at it's success.

We have been experiencing a little fog here around Melbourne on and off for the last few weeks and finally I got out into it and made a couple of shots, which by the way will fit perfectly into, my Winter Mornings series/idea.

Despite the apparent low contrast in this scene, there was still enough to justify a contraction development of one stop.

The old adage that "everything in photography is a trade off" is even more telling these days. When I was shooting only 5x4 film, no compromise required, each sheet/shot/scene could be developer as required. Now that I'm back using roll-film minutes hours and even sometimes day separate shots so a compromise is often needed. One of the things I've learnt with T-Max film is. NEVER overdevelop under normal lighting situations.


We're all pilgrims on the same journey-but some pilgrims have better road maps.

We're all pilgrims on the same journey-but some pilgrims have better road maps.

Well the process of proof printing is yet to begin, here's a worked scan, in the interim, of an image shot in the back streets of Carlton. A cursory look at the negs on a light-box and already I'm pretty impressed with the results.

One aspect of this way of working that I had completely forgotten about was the whole surprise factor when you pull a wet roll of film out of a tank and scratch your head and wonder where did I shoot this?

The magic of that moment of surprise and realisation is one to cherish that's for sure.

I have so far managed to scan a handful of shots, from the 13 rolls, more to come as I work them. Subject matter ranges from portraits to the abstract to my usual landscapes.

Just added a neat little piece of javascript that pulls an artistic quote from another website - enjoy!


Forty Five Plus

I'm back after a refreshing weekend away for my birthday.

All 13 rolls of film are now processed. Next proofing, filing and contemplating. May do a quick scan of the negs for a look-see first as it'll be a few days before I can get into the darkroom for any extended period.


Small subtle coincidences are difficult to catch at times. This image from a set called three, is an example.


Swings & Roundabouts

Yesterday afternoon the light was again truly magic, so I headed off to buy more film and some other bits 'n bobs, from a store in North Melbourne Called Vanbars. It just happens to be very close to a the rail yards on the western edge of the city. There is a freeway overpass nearby, and creek as well. All the usual fodder for me and my camera. Alas, things just weren't quite firing for me, I shot a roll, but… Last week was a different story.

great location, great light,

Shooting or printing on Tuesdays will, over the coming weeks, be a bit of a ritual for me from now on, I hope. Last Tuesday for example was a beauty. This location is close to where I work on Tuesdays. After work on my way home,I decided to stop, actually I had decided the week before but was in a hurry to go somewhere else, anyway as I carry my film camera pretty much everywhere with me a habit picked up form digital I might add, I stopped on the way home last week. Well 3 or 4 rolls later and on one of those creative highs that make it all worth while, I arrive home. It was one of those days where everything just fell into place, the light, my mood, the subject matter, it was all there. So once the films are processed I'm sure I'll have a few good ones worthy of printing and exhibiting.

I now have 10 rolls waiting to be processed. At least the developer is made up now, and ready and waiting.




The beginnings of the series, looking at texture tension and 2d.

Shot in Sutherland lane, handheld with my 'blad, 1/125 @ f4 or f5.6, developed in D25, @ 24 ° Celcius for 13 minutes.[I need to stop being lazy and carry a tripod around more]. Besides these laneways seems to see very little light at the best of times!

Normally I wouldn't print this dark, but it seems to suit the location, and who knows how the idea will pan out over the coming months. I am already planning on writing a 2008 CCP application, as I am not holding much hope for the 2007 one.

I am glad photoshop, handles black and white better than colour, I seem to be drifting back towards it as a medium of expression. The lessons that I have learnt form foray into digital are still being rationalised in my head. This doesn't mean I will stop using it as a means of working, but certainly will change how I use it, and my approach as well.


Busier Than Ever

on the table

Got a bit going on at the moment.

Recently handed in my 2007 CCP solo exhibition application, and on Friday hand delivered my MGA competition application. Plenty to mull over, will know later this month on the CCP gig, and the 30th of June is the date for the MGA show/prize.

Meanwhile, my new Hasselbald is going great guns, still ironing out the bugs with D25, but once nailed they are going to be awesome shots.

Two things are going on with the 'blad at the moment. One. I am of course shooting in those incongruous places I've always shot, as they invariably have power-lines and all the usual detritus of modern life. Two, I am looking a flat surfaces and exploring a level of formal composition with those flat surfaces. I have discovered a series lane-ways in the CBD one of which is called, Sutherland Lane. This small pocket of Melbourne seems untouched, you can almost hear the horses and carts going about their business delivering and sending goods to and from the various places that commerce existed in Melbourne's early days. Texture and markings on the walls are both recent and ancient, and I hope to revisit there more over the coming months, several sections that see little light really draw me in, with the damp and brick and mould and small plants that barely survive.

One of the things that my forays into digital has also taught me is to really take my time with the 'blad. I mean isn't that the real attraction for a lot of people with digital, myself included, blast away from all sorts of angles and hope for a good one? Well no more, softly softly is the approach now, and with 12 shots to a 'roll' it is rare to finish a roll.

As of this writing I stil have 9 rolls waiting to be processed!


Dead Trolleys


Wandering home today, stumbled across a veritable shopping trolley graveyard.

Keeping your books organised online now could be the next big thing? Social elements to this software are not unlike de.licio.us, and another fun way to while away the hours?


Colder by the day


Final in this series of images from my flickr sets.

One of the reasons I use flickr and enjoy it so much is the ability to organise my work into sets, which is ultimately what good art photography is generally about, an idea an thought an emotion, and groups of images do that, really well they can use repeated visual elements to move the viewer beyond, oh that's a pretty picture of [insert assanine sunset or baby photo here]

Splashed out yesterday, bought two new books. Photography A Cultural History, by Mary Warner Marien, and Photography Reborn, by Jonathan Lipkin. Possible book reviews to come, Photography Reborn is not too heavy a read so that won't be too hard, the other is a thick historical volume and will take some time to read for sure. Books are another passion of mine and I use a little software app called Books, to keep a record of what I own and who I lend it too. The writer of the software I use now informs me that there is an online catalogue for books, so naturally I signed up.


First Day of Winter!


More from the 'formerly informal' series

First day of winter, how long before the winter blues set in? If the light keeps going the way it has been for the last few weeks never!

Might even shoot a shot today and upload it, we'll see?