Sunday, August 27, 2023

Start to Finish Again

Nearing the junction the Rio Pueblo and Rio Grande an epic cloud appeared on a frigid January morning.

There's more drama to the toned black and white Alpha Cloud in this version according to me. Of course I am a black and white kind of guy. Mostly.
At day's end we hiked to the height of land in blissful Bargeme France where we encountered the ruins of a medieval castle.

It is called Sabron du Ponteves.

One shady afternoon in San Miguel I made half a dozen photographs of a facsimile of one of Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders.

A bit more pop in this iteration of the Rough Rider.

Continuing our examination of the wonders of spot color these are three more exemplars of the dark art. Immel + Immel Side by Side will open Saturday evening at Wilder Nightingale in Taos between 5 and 7 pm and we look forward to seeing you there. As was the case last week you’ll see the original unprocessed image side by side with the artfully altered finished photograph. It seemed clear to me last week that the finished image called Pozos Gold is a significantly better than the original file. That was my perception at until my dear friend the wonderful photographer Daryl Black told me she was torn between the drab, unfrittered with Pozos Gold and the glowing Pozos Gold of my dreams. To me the transformation was startling in a good way.

I told her “It goes to show that preferences in art are in the eye and heart of the of the beholder. It’s completely subjective.”

I wonder what Daryl will think about these three twosomes.

Here's hoping this post arrives Monday morning instead of Wednesday afternoon.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Start to Finish. A day late and a dollar short

As shot in the charming Mexican village Mineral de Pozos.

It became Pozos Gold.

When Peggy and I started to develop a theme for our September show at Wilder Nightingale we chose the title Side by Side. As detailed in previous posts the name refers to our long coupledom and to our artistic partnership. Beyond that I’m always looking for a new wrinkle. Two years ago the wrinkle was squares. Everything was in a square format. That was a first for me, for sure, and rare for Peggy. And further I featured spot color and used white frames, also firsts. The trifecta worked biggish time and I’ve been riding the spot color horse ever since. Then this year I proposed that Peggy display her original field study or preliminary sketch next to some of her finished paintings. And I, in turn, would display the original unprocessed file next to the finished photograph in some if not all of my work. That was this year’s wrinkle.

While photographing with photography master David Michael Kennedy last year this happened.

Now it's Windows to the Sky.

It's fine in color but....

But better when the Turn Signal dominates.

On Thursday I awoke to the reality of that premise. I’d have to find the original file. I worried first and mostly that I wouldn’t be able to find all the originals and, second, that the untouched file right out of the camera would be better the one that I massaged to death. I didn’t agonize over that prospect, but it concerned me a little.

I am happy to report that I was able to locate and print the original file of all the images. And I’m pleased with the journey the photograph made from gestation to adulthood.

Today you’ll see some of the before and afters. Maybe next week, too. I must acknowledge that all of these images began as rectangles. Only two landscapes in the show are horizontals. They were way stronger in their full frame glory.  

I didn’t crop for 60 years and have been entirely too boastful about composing in the view finder and printing full frame. Now I’m cropping like a man possessed. How far I’ve fallen.

If you've read this far you deserve to know that my mail burner, the enterprise that sends the email announcing the latest post, failed due to an expired credit card which I've tried to update for three weeks and counting. The issue, it seems, is with the mailburner's payment processor which wouldn't accept any cards though they're valid. Today I attempted a work-around using PayPal which accepted the card instantly. PayPal and its payment processor have sent receipts for my payment and my hope it that you'll get this post on the morrow or sooner.

Good luck to us all.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

The camera in my pocket, Part Two

The shadow of the tree across the street drapes over a sprawling adobe on Hinde Street in downtown Taos.

Continuing our journey through the forest of iphone images that have supplanted full frame photographs are these examples. Not to fret. I have three SD cards at the 10:00 o’clock position in my field of vision just waiting to be processed. So, the real photo dry spell referenced last week will have ended for the time being.

This is the gate to the historic Couse House on Kit  Carson Road in Taos.

Pioneer Title at nightfall after the quite incredible Robert Plant and Allisson Kraus concert in Kit Carson Park. Peggy was there for Plant's leather pants while I attended for the music.

The stoplights at the corner of Paseo de Pueblo Sur and CaƱon Road in Taos.

Hay bales and the obligatory Taos Clouds as seen at Casa Immel.

One card is of photographs I took at the recent opening of photographer Bill Davis’s show at the Barreis Gallery in El Prado, NM. The second is of the recently hayed Immel rancho. And the third is from a portrait session with my dear friend Lindsey Enderby and his companion and caregiver Pam Morgan. That one, I hope, will be worth the wait since Lindsey and Pam requested the session and formal portrait thingies are nervous making. The photographer, moi, feels considerable pressure to produce photographs make them happy; namely that they look better than they actually do. I know that’s what I want when I’m photographed. This portrait ordeal, I mean session, proved to be a test. I’m usually adept at getting subjects to relax and to give me a beaming smile. For the most part Lindsey wasn’t having that smile nonsense.

When I described the session and the lackluster results Peggy asked if I remembered the portraits I took of our elderly Minnesota neighbors Helen and Tom in 1972. I said that I did. She reminded me, “Those portraits were pretty severe. Tom and Helen didn’t smile at all but the portraits were really handsome.” I can only hope that history will repeat itself more than fifty years later. And handsome is better than happy anyway. Or is it the other way around?

But for now, you’re saddled with a handful of smart phone pics from the camera that resides next to the car keys in the right front pocket of my jeans.

I do wish I could find Helen and Tom’s portrait, the one made with a Kodak 2D 8”x10” view camera built in 1941. That’s when I was born, too.  I’m still here and I still have that handsome 82 year old camera.          

Sunday, August 06, 2023

Is that a camera in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

La Favorita Dance Hall, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

Sad to say I haven’t photographed much with a real camera this year. But for my four-night road trip to Lakes Powell and Mead in June it’s been a dry patch. My attention has been focused on what I’ve already done and what I need to do to get ready for an upcoming show, a submission to a show with an August 16 deadline and a magazine article due at the end of month. Please refer to Lakes Powell and Mead, the subjects of said article with the operating title of High and Dry.

Nightfall on La Loma Plaza, Taos, NM.

Master of All I Survey, a shadowy figure photographs his front pasture. Casa Immel or Ranchito Sin Vacas. Your choice.

A very abstract Umbrellas at Orlando's while lunching with my painter friend Damien Gonzales.

Even more abstract is Swirl, the crescent glow of a solar powered light at the entrance to Casa Immel.

So, to a too much too large extent my go-to device has been the at the ready iphone in my pocket. Or in my left hand if I’m running. That’s been five early mornings a week during this two-month run of 90-degree days. There was a time when I would have braved the 90s but the one time I tried that this summer I barely made it up the final hill to the hospital. Literally. That’s where I park for my favorite one hour out and back route. And you never know when an emergency room will come in handy.

Tuesday I was running on a different out and back route out NM 518 in Ranchos Taos. So, I passed Paul’s Bar twice. On the return leg I stopped for all of two minutes to photograph the long-closed dive bar. It has been closed for the twenty years we’ve lived in Taos. An Instagram follower commented that it’s been closed since she arrived on our shores 32 years ago. But photographer Geraint Smith, from Wales by way of Pasadena, commented that he and his comrades used to stock up on beer on Saturday nights at Paul’s in 1988 when Taos County was dry on the Sabbath. I know that I’m highly annoyed I didn’t have a chance to quaff a cold one at Paul’s. I do love dive bars.

But I prattle on. Turns out that the spiffy little number above which I call La Favorita Dance Hall was the most liked image I’ve ever posted to Instagram. And that’s after 1,200 something posts. So, by that metric, the “best” photograph I’ve posted was one from a smart phone while I was doing something quite unrelated to photography. It just seems wrong. 

That said, all of these pics are from the camera in my pocket. Are you happy?