Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Old School

Twice, in the last few weeks, I have been referred to as "old school" (and I'm just certain the 'pointer-outers" meant that in the best possible way!) - once by a parking lot attendant (who I'm sure was skimming off the parking revenue, by not charging me for parking) - I gave him half the normal parking fee as a tip, saying: "What goes around, comes around." He replied: "Oh, Old School!"

Then (and this is not the 2nd 'old school' reference), upon re-reading Joe Reifer's blog posting on the "great sharpening debate" in which Joe says: "I appreciate humorous anecdotes from old school curmudgeons [Ed. Note: referring here, I think, to Brooks Jensen of Lenswork] as much as the next guy. Maybe even more. I’d actually like to be an old school curmudgeon myself one day." Well, that got me thinking - Joe, it's not too late to start on that path - and some training might be in order. The logical starting point would be to google anything on "The Curmudgeon's Hero" - Walter Matthau - especially his work with Jack Lemmon in the "Grumpy Old Men" series. Maybe even rent one of the flicks this weekend!

General tutorials to get you started . . .

BTW, Matthau was once described in the English press as looking like "a bloodhound with a head cold."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sharpen This!

We were duly impressed with Alumni Joe Reifer's review of the text: "Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2" that appeared recently on Mike Johnston's Blog, The Online Photographer, as well as the response by another Nocturnes alum, Richard Sintchak: "These books, and the different aspects they cover, are the what the zone system, developer process and darkroom process were in the pre-digital age. You can dive in as deep as you want or just wade into the shallows up to your knees. But as in the past, it seems the waders are generally the ones who seem most frustrated in why their work never seems to go over the top or be all they want it to be."

I agree with both contributors in theory, but being a fierce "non-tinkerer" (more interested in the process than the product) I am more inclined to comment along the lines of the blogger "Photo-essayist" who commented on TOP Blog that he just wanted "to go throw cold water on my face." Adding that: "I, too, will pass on Fraser's book. Does anyone else wonder how it is "progress" when we increasingly make everything more complicated?"

Brooks Jensen, Publisher of LensWork takes a similar stance in his "Audio-Blog" - he nows call them "podcasts" (Oh-h-h boy! Got pods?) - pointing out that photography has become "an obtuse and arcane pursuit" in terms of technology. We agree with Mr. Jensen that photography should be about the photograph - and how it affects our emotions, thinking, and how we communicate with each other.

"The arcane raised to new heights -- or lows, you be the judge." (Brooks Jensen)

Coming from a publishing background myself and having spent WAY TOO MUCH time in front of a variety of computers (various platforms, too) and far too many vers. of PhoShop (starting with Photoshop vers. 2.0.1: in 1991), I feel I've lost a crucial sanctuary - photography (for that's what we came here for, no?) - from all that "stuff."

Here is the link to Brooks's commentary ("A Book I Won't be Purchasing" - Copyright, LensWork 2006) - BTW, if you haven't listened in on any of Jensen's photographic commentaries, you might might visit the LensWork Web site and try some out. You can also subscribe to receive them in your email - they're free, too!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Like rolling off a Blog . . . (part two)

From within the Blogosphere - first off, we got the nod from Andy Frazer on his blog - http://gorillasites.blogspot.com a while back.

Then Michael Johnston, on his excellent Blog, The Online Photographer suggested that people who wish to study the rich field of NPy, should "not miss The Nocturnes Gallery." The post included an image by our own Adam Moore.

Recently, Thomas Hawk blogged The Nocturnes as "one of the best night photography resources on the internet" - in his post, reviewing the work/site of u.linder.

Photo Copyright u.linder
The Landscapist recently suggested that you check out The Nocturnes, if you are likewise fascinated with Night Photography!
Guess we'll be here for a while!

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Not Ready to Make Nice

Image Copyright www.cmt.com

Read yesterday's review by Joel Selvin of the SF Chronicle of the Dixie Chicks controversial film, "Shut Up and Sing" at SFGate

Great review (obviously preaching to the choir) - loved the part where Mr. Selvin included the following movie advisory - "Advisory: Newsreel footage of actual politicians is included. " - now, that IS disturbing imagery!

And in related news - Public approval of George's War in Iraq now at a record low of 31% - according to the latest Associated Press-Ipsos poll - http://www.ap.org/

Also, visit The Nocturnes Web site - www.thenocturnes.com - a Call for Entries for our latest (and most political) online show: "The Nocturnes: Not Ready to Make Nice" has been posted -

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Night School

Here is a project dear to our hearts (we organized a series of photo shoots at night a few years back for a possible show - "Night School" - and I provided the above image of the Angel Mural, done in a darkened hallway at Richardson Hall, "painted with a flashlight"). "Uncommon Knowledge: Closing the Books at UC Berkeley Extension," a film by former UCBx staffer, Eliza Hemenway, enjoys a Special Preview Screening at the Roxie Film Center in San Francisco, 3117 16th St., San Francisco One Night Only! Thursday, November 16, 6:30 PM. Hemenway's haunting film documents the abrupt closure of UC Extension's Laguna Street campus in San Francisco.

Guest Speakers include Producer and Director Eliza Hemenway, Best-Selling Author Gray Brechin (Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin) and SF City Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.

Sounds like an evening not to be missed!


To view the trailer on Youtube:

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)