Monday, December 31, 2007

The Eyes have it.

After watching the Rob Thomas video of "Little Wonders' (see previous post) many, many times in the past few months (even tho' it actually struck me pretty early on, but I'm nothing, if not quiet about these things sometimes!) I found that I was not only impressed with the song (sounds) and the lyrics, but the performance, as well (forgetting about the Disney part, tho' cute it is . . . ). Thomas, the great E-NUNC-I-A-TOR, really has those "
Depressor supercilli" working the words to that song. I'm reminded of the great bassist, Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) and his virtuosic performances of the "bass eyebrow" - see clip here - incidentally this performance also took place on a rooftop, like the Thomas video.

A side note here: the Airplane's 1968 performance of the doomsday "House at Pooneil Corners" on a New York rooftop preceded the famed Beatles
rooftop concert (seen in the "Let it Be" movie) by a year, and was captured on film by Director Jean-Luc Godard (the film was never released). Especially watch for those eyebrows between the 3-4 minute and the dervish-like delivery at the 5-6 minute mark of the clip!

(Don't think Marty said "S-uckers" - maybe something that sounds like that . . . )

Saturday, December 29, 2007

These Small Hours . . .

"In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain."
("Little Wonders" - Lyrics by Rob Thomas)

Don't know if it's the "season," an end-of-year SAD episode, too many "Best of 2007" lists, or just a character flaw, but this song, this idea that we hold onto small bits of time (like our lives depended on it, in midst of "all this"!) and how this phenomenon relates to what we do with NPy, have struck me of late.

And, the song "Little Wonders" by Rob Thomas illustrates that thought or feeling perfectly, I think - could it be a sort of Night Photography anthem?

It really goes back to a post in this space last June(!) re: "Long Moments" - rather poetic, I'd say, now that I'm just returning to that initial thought. Perhaps, like a camera, accumulating light over a long exposure, only now have I got together enough small bits of time for a "long moment?"

Later, in August and September, Joe Reifer, on his Blog -
here, here, here, and here - posed some similar ideas re: time management, balancing a life complete with teaching, work, other commitments - and how it all shapes up, as well as how we describe just what it is WE DO with this NPy thing.

Still more - in October, Gabriel Biderman of delved into the topic further on his
blog, really hitting the nail on the head regarding this NPy thing we do with this segment: "Tom Persinger says: 'The artifacts of motion revealed by extended exposures show the world as fundamentally impermanent and constantly changing.' He refers to this as a continuity of moments." and, this: "Instead of capturing the moment, you are seizing time itself!" Well now, that puts some perspective on things - small hours, long moments, the 'long now,' the actual numbers designating the 'dead of night' - 1am, 2am - all small hours - what we're dinging around with, is time itself.

During the 1980s and a 'fatal attraction' of mine with video production, I was keenly aware of devices called "
timebase correctors" (used to corect or 'sync-up' errors or drift in video tape playback and recording - ) now, I think we can describe this type of photoograpy (and it goes beyond rust-belt ruins and full moon work with star trails - think of some of the more ambiguous time frames seen in the work of Michael Kenna) as time-based photography. Now I know ALL photography is based on time (some fraction (or an accumulation) of it, but I propose that, by labeling what we do thusly, we "put it all up front" - no apologies.

"All of my regret
Will wash away some how
But I can not forget
The way I feel right now."

(Small Wonder . . .)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Surf's Up . . .

As I stood at the edge of Crissy Field (Closed), watching the cleanup crews and apparatus, the sad, melancholy
sounds of "Surf's Up" by the Beach Boys kept ringing in my head . . . what to make of the lyrics, what to make of this mess? Beaches closed, wildlife down, Angel Island State Park (one of our faves) closed. It's all about incredible ('cos it could have/should have been avoided) loss . . .

This "
largest oil spill in San Francisco Bay in more than a decade" (a horrific, complacent statement on its own!) this tragedy for the Bay, its wildlife, and residents has sparked an outpouring of concern from citizens who want to know how they can help.

The best direction to turn seems to be Save the Bay - - for immediate action, and they promise "to provide more information on how the community can help as it comes available." There is also the Marine Mammal Center in the Marin Headlands - at Rodeo Beach (now closed 'cos of the oil spill - see above image by Michael Macor)

("To a muted trumpeter swan / Columnated ruins domino")
Tales of Another Island Shipyard

This definitely relates to the previous post. As seen recently on Conscientious - Jörg Colberg's weblog about fine-art photography - we find this fascinating snapshot ("Topography of Titanic") of the work of German photographer Kai-Olaf Hesse: "an extensive photographic survey of Queen's Island sites related to the making of the Titanic; the historic marks, remaining buildings, and suggestive blanks left by rapid demolition and transformation." Sounds familiar, no?
The depth of this study - in to addition Hesse's images, there are articles, vintage photos, audio, education links - is amazing. Find out more at the "Belfast Exposed" source.
(Thanks to the ever-Conscientious Jörg Colberg)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mare Island Regional Park Task Force Final Report

As you know, we continue to sponsor more events on Mare Island (recently holding our semi-annual AlumNight here - view work on Flickr, tag is "nocturnes071027"), so we thought this news items might be of interest to you all.

From the Times-Herald, November 2, 2007:
"Interested parties are invited to attend a community briefing concerning the Mare Island Regional Park Task Force Final Report at 7pm on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the the Mare Island Conference Center, 375 "G" Street (at the West end of Causeway Bridge), Mare Island.

"A tour will be provided of the future regional Park, leaving from the Conference Center parking lot at 4pm the day of the meeting.

"Please RSVP for the tour to 707-557-9816."

It would be nice to REALLY FILL the room for this important meeting - to show the interest in the project and the future of Open Space on Mare Island!

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is there anybody out there . . . ? (the sequel)

Calling all Nocturnes! Well, it's that time again! - For our 14th AlumNight (now a semi-annual) event, sponsored by The Nocturnes Night Photography Web site, at a "secure undisclosed location" in the SF Bay Area, on October 27th.

We have a number of announcements to make, much to talk about, and work (from you!) to see. All this, and a few more surprises - should be a another great AlumNight! So-o-o, if you're an Alum, be sure bring your latest work, promo pieces, 'leave behinds,' and just news of what's goin' on in your photo-life!

We are posting this notice here to catch a few of our "fair-weather Nocturnes," whose email addresses may have changed since our last event - in the hope they'll catch the news here!

If you're alumni, and for some reason have NOT rec'd email re: this event - please contact us (you know where to find us . . . ) re: the details for AlumNight. Or, if you know of an Alum who fits this category, give them a buzz, won't you?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Death Valley

"As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity.

"I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

"And each time I feel like this inside,
There's one thing I wanna know:
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Oh-h-h
What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?"
(Lyrics by Nick Lowe via Elvis Costello)

Hey, we've got lots of hi-tech weaponry and computers (and schools to teach us how to use them) - who needs arts and humanity, anyway? The answer, of course, if you're reading this - is YOU do!

And, while our Joshua Tree Workshop (offered thru the now-long gone, I'm afraid, Arts and Humanities program at U.C. Santa Cruz Extension - see
below) has been cancelled, there is still a great opportunity to photograph at night with The Nocturnes, in the California desert, coming up over the Thanksgiving Day weekend (November 23-25, 2007). This workshop will be held in the spectacular, surreal, extreme landscape of Death Valley, and while the ghost of Gram Parsons might not be roaming the hills with us on our Nocturnal treks, there are plenty of other characters* that might be present at night!

Dream Date #3, Death Valley by Tim Baskerville

Death Valley, at more than 3 million acres, is the largest National Park in the contiguous United States. From Telescope Peak (11,049 foot) on the west to Dante's View on the east (5,475 foot and offering a vista of nearly all of Death Valley), the park features spectacular desert scenery, unusual wildlife, and is an area of great geological, historical, and cultural interest to many. Badwater is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere (282 feet below sea level). The average high temperature during the day in November is a very mild 76 degrees, followed by cooler nights at around 50 degrees!

This is the dramatic landscape we will find ourselves visiting this November, during the Full "Frost" Moon - to photograph the nocturnal beauty of Death Valley! We will photograph around Furnace Creek Ranch, and such sites as the Ghost town of Rhyolite, Zabriskie Point under the light of the full moon, and the majestic Sand Dunes near Stovepipe Wells, near the north end of the Park.

Deadline to register with us and reserve accomodations down at Furance Creek is October 19th - more info at: AND

*(various 'free spirits' and raconteurs like Charley, Scotty, etc.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

"Studio Nocturne"

"Fortunately, art is a community effort - a small but select community living in a spiritualized world, endeavoring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh."
(Allen Ginsberg)

(Image by Tim Baskerville)

Once again "Studio Nocturne" returns to Fort Mason. The Nocturnes will be hosting 10 photographers at Fort Mason, October 13 and 14, in building “A.” This is the fifth "Studio Nocturne" exhibit at Fort Mason. While this group of photographers can usually be found practicing their art under the full moon or city lights, they will again brave the daylight to show their work as part of San Francisco Open Studios 2007. "Studio Nocturne" is always one of the larger groups of artists showing their work at Fort Mason, but there is plenty of other art to be seen there during San Francisco Open Studios as well. As in years past, visitors to "Studio Nocturne" will have an opportunity to purchase fine art photographs at studio prices.
Why not come on out and have a look?
(See us blogged on Andy Frazer's NPy Blog this past Sunday)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

.edu [Adieu]

"I got the call today, I didn't want to hear.
But I knew that it would come."

(Don Henley, "Heart of the Matter")

Sad to report, but U.C. Santa Cruz Extension has decided to
dismantle the Arts and Humanties Program (including
Photography Courses) at the end of the Fall quarter 2007
(actual translation: NOW) citing accumulated debt and
corrective actions needed for financial viability.
Personally (and for all you Nocturnes out there) this means
the trek to Joshua Tree for Full Moon NPy is not going to
happen in October.

This mirrors somewhat the situation with U.C. Berkeley, when they decided a few years back to close the historic Laguna Street Extension Campus, therby gutting their Photography Program and Darkroom. Now, I still teach Night Photography(over on the Berkeley Campus - major history there . . .!), but the Photography program is but a shadow of what it once was.

As Mark Citret (another instructor with the program) points
out: "It's the end of a great program that has seen the likes of Ansel Adams, Ruth Bernhard, Al Weber, Henry Gilpin, Morley Baer, among others, teaching over the last 40 years. That leaves the Northern California photography
community with no University level workshop programs."

And, finally - in what appears to be a new, cold low in
announcing break-ups, closures, etc. - the way instructors
found out about this was via a . . . PDF!

Just an email that read (in full):
"Dear Art and Humanities Instructors,

Please see the attached letter from our Vice Provost.
[Letter to Instructors of A and H.pdf] "

That's it! CLICK! on this link to read the bad news.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Nocturnal Visions

A few of the "usual suspects" from The Nocturnes are featured in a group show of artists who "use the cloak of night to paint images that explore the curios of the dark." (See list below)

The site is ARTworkSF - 49 Geary. Suite 215 (Cross St: Kearny) in San Francisco; thru September 22, 2007. Opening Reception onThursday, September 6, 5:30-7:30pm.

Featured Artists:

From The Nocturnes: Tim Baskerville, Andy Frazer, Ethel Jimenez, Richard Sintchak

With: Tamar Assaf, Blazin Sidney, Bogorad, Jorin Bukosky, Will Bullas, Christine Cianci, Natasha Dikareva, John Edwards, Barbara Elliot, Jane B. Grimm, Dean Gustafson, Anthony Kurtz, Dean G. Loumbas, John Paul Marcelo, Wendy Robushi Phyllis Rockne, Ann Simms, Erengo Suto, Blake Tucker, Carol Van Zandt

Jo Farrell, Guest Curator
Matt McKinley, Chief Curator, ARTworkSF

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Random Notes

"Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

(Original lyrics by Leonard Cohen)

More news of the Digital Nocturne (for better or worse) and various angelic YouTubes:

- Read Jim Goldstein's rant - "
Why I Hate HDR: Photo Technology Porn" - Mathematics vs. Aesthetics.

- For the opposing view, see Apogee's 3-part
article on the merits of HDR and the ensuing debates brought about by its use (abuse), by Jim Austin. Left brain vs. right brain.

- See some of the above-mentioned abuse

- On a completely different note, see Brandi Carlile on YouTube
here (Hallelujah), here (Creep), and here (SONY video of "The Story").

- Finally (courtesy of
TOP) view Max Roach's 'high-hat solo' as performed on The Tonight Show (date unknown) on YouTube.

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

"How do you know when you're in Texas?"

This thing (CLICK! to enlarge) has me in stiches! On a recent trip fellow Nocturne Manu Schnetzler captured the images necessary to create this panoramic view of a Texan landscape.

His story (presumably he's sticking to it) follows.

"Landing in Houston early August, the first sign that we're now in Texas is the heat, and the humidity - even at 1am, in the middle of the night. Picking up my rental car, the real sign that we're in the oil capital of the US is the row of cars waiting patiently under the Avis signs.

"Like a tame herd of gas guzzlers, the red, white and blue (patriotic?) - and a few yellow (the ribbon?) - monsters are lined up patiently waiting for proud drivers to pick them up. What can a herd of Hummers stuck in an Avis parking lot be dreaming of?

"I think I'll stick to my compact car."
(Thanks to Greta for the title)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Random Notes

"And we speak of things that matter
In words that must be said.
Can analysis be worthwhile?
Is Photography really Dead?"
(with apologies to Paul Simon, "The Dangling Conversation")

News of the Digital Nocturne, the Language of NPy, and accidental notes:

- Quite a lively discussion recently on theonlinephotographer re: tone-mapping (isn't that something that Jack Casady is famous for {:<)} - again, with the musical references!) initiated by The Nocturnes printer, Rob Reiter of the LightRoom, Berkeley, CA.

- Another take on coaxing that extra little bit (or a lot) of detail - "Hidden in the shadows" - this from Brian Chapman's blog.

- Joe Reifer continues his translation of the language of NPy - on his blog.

- A couple of good books - re: b/w work and digital printing - also mentioned on TOP.

- There is a rather ominous post on, once again, TOP.

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Meet The Nocturnes / Meet the Press

It's been a banner couple of days for nocturnal reading, of late!

First, we received word that an interview with our own Tom Paiva is now available online at in their Night Photography Issue. You have to register, but it's free for a huge PDF of the entire issue.

Next word is, that the July/August issue of Architecture Boston is devoted to the "night" - with an article on "The Tradition and Technology of Night Photography" penned by our East Coast affilliate, Lance Keimig. Lots of PDFs here as well - Lance's piece is entitled "Shooting the Moon."

Finally, none other than the Victorville Press (CA) ran an article about Troy Paiva's desert excursions with a camera and cadre of illuminants.

Can you match the article to the image of author above?

Look for the promised follow-up to the "Long Moments" post below - in the next few days . . .

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Long Moments . . .

Continuing with the theme here - Musician/artist/composer/futurist Brian Eno -
- premieres his "77 million Paintings" for three nights only (June 29-30, July 1) at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco's museum district. Sponsored by the Long Now Foundation, the self-generating ambient sounds and visuals ("Visual Music") Eno presents are part of a world tour that bears little resemblance to his rock'n'roll days with
Roxy Music. Read the full SF Gate article here. Our favorite Eno quote from article: "I can't bear the rock music tradition," he says. "So much of stage work is connected with the presentation of personality. It's about, 'Oh there he is, that's him,' and I've never been interested."

Still more info about the project
here, and at the official 77 site.

All of which got us to thinking (seriously!): about the "slow movement" (be it food, 'de-stressing,' reducing the frantic pace of life, in the creation of art, etc.) and Night Photography's relation to that idea. Call it the "long moment" (with a nod to Henri Cartier-Bresson's"
decisive moment"), the compressed moment, "these small hours" (with some tasty Rob Thomas to follow soon), or these expansive moments (as in long, time exposures) - it's all related to photography (light) - over time. And, which is more important: the light, or the time?

More to follow . . .

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)
"Take a picture here . . . "

Photo by Graham Nash

"This land is the land of ours, this river runs red over it.
We are not your allies, we can not defend.
This is where they walked, this is where they swam.
Take a picture here, take a souvenir.
Cuyahoga, gone." (Cuyahoga lyrics by REM)

In a special issue of American Photo magazine (July/August 2007) Guest Editor Mark Seliger hightlights various musicans-turned-visual artist (and vice-versa). A natural course, we thought, here at The Nocturnes! Now on newstands everywhere.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Still Lost . . .

It's not like he needs the press, nevertheless certified Nocturne/Raconteur Troy Paiva has a one man night photography show simply called "Lost America" installed at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Some 33 pieces in the exhibit, it runs there thru July 15th. More info here.

Friday, June 01, 2007

"It was forty years ago today . . . "

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released 40 years ago today (in the U.K. - U.S. release two days later) coincided nicely with the "Summer of Love" here in San Francisco - "now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall."
Tho' not the first "concept" album (Frank Sinatra did "In the Wee Small Hours" - one of The Nocturnes faves - in 1955), Sgt. P. is considered one of the most influential albums of all time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

We're all Photographers on this bus . . .

There is an interesting lecture happening May 31, 6pm at the Main Library in San Francisco - part of an exhibit, Breakthrough: An Amateur Photography Revolution. that studies the cataclysmic changes in the praxis of photography in the digital age.

With a guest panel that includes Caterina Fake (!), Co- Founder, Flickr - it should prove to be an interesting night/discussion. Surely someone will bring up the whole Icelandic photographer Rebekka Guðleifsdóttira (Flickr name rebekka) episode with Flickr/Yahoo, et al. (backstory here and here) - and if not, they, should!

All the details re: show and lecture are at: and

(thanks to Halle Merrill)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Collective Memories

ACCI Gallery (Berkeley, CA) is showing some of my Mare Island night work (6 prints), as well as some b/w work (six prints, done in the daylight hours!) of San Francisco's Historic Streetcars, in "Collective Memories," part of their 50th Anniversary Celebration. The work is up thru June 2nd, with a big reception on May 19, 2007 from 6-10pm. Merchants in the "gourmet ghetto" of North Berkeley are participating in the ArtWalk festivities which mark the ACCI anniversary, as well as the 40th anniversary of the Berkeley Art Center, where we are also members.

Also, John Vias, one of The Nocturnes' "usual suspects" and East luminary is presenting a lecture on Night Photography at Elephant Pharmacy (just across the street from ACCI) on the 19th at 4pm. For a full calendar of events Click! Here - tickets are $5.

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Variations on a theme

Continuing with the theme (see below), I remember the late Steve Goodman's attempt to write a song that included all the necessary ingredients of the "perfect country western song" (back when it was called "Country and Western") - it was an added verse to a song he had already written - at the suggestion ("mention Mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or gettin' drunk"), of David Allan Coe.

The lyrics go something like this:
"Well I was drunk the day my Momma got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
My Momma, she got run over by a damned old train."

Well, that got us thinking - can those requirements be updated a bit? The Dixie Chicks come to mind, but their Suite: Sweet Revenge anti-war anthem NRTMN(tho' an apt choice considering the current mood of the country, circa early May 2007), IS missing a few key elements as described above. No, we think the most likely candidate for that mantle is Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood (American Idol, she!) - including some of the time-honored elements present in Goodman's piece (trucks, drinkin'), other generally agreed upon themes like two-timing cheats, white trash, whiskey, pool, and "righteous revenge of the heart" (how 'bout that, Alanis?) and finally, a reference Goodman would be particularly interested in - mention of a "Louisville Slugger")

Introductory verses to the song:
"Right now he's probably slow dancing with a bleached-blond tramp,
and she's probably getting frisky.
Right now he's probably buying her some fruity little drink
cause she can't shoot whiskey.
Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool-stick,
showing her how to shoot a combo
and he don't know . . .

"I dug my key into the side of his pretty little souped up 4-wheel drive,
carved my name into his leather seats.
I took a louisville slugger to both head lights,
slashed a hole in all 4 tires.
Maybe next time he'll think before he cheats."

Plus, it has fiddles! And, in the
video, there are fireworks and a smashing up of a vehicle - as we head into the summer months, how American is that!

(What's a cowgirl to do . . . )

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Desperados under the eaves . . .

"And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will,
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill.

"Don't the sun look angry through the trees.
Don't the trees look like crucified thieves.
Don't you feel like Desperados under the eaves.
Heaven help the one who leaves."

The New York Times just ran a review of the Warren Zevon biography by his estranged wife - "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" - describing it as a "no-holds-barred oral history that captures a lovable but wildly aberrant personality, draws upon a fascinatingly diverse cast of characters and peers into the heart of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter community in its prime."

A fascinating character, sort of a literary "musician's musican," whose work I first came upon in the early 70s (yikes!) when he was relatively unknown, with a song of his, "Tules Blues" ("It's a sad song that we always seem to be singing to each other . . .") which was being covered at the time in perfomance by folk singer Victoria - who used to play for free at the old Cannery in San Francisco, and who graced the cover of Richard Brautigan's "The Abortion: An Historical Romance (1966)" - Oh! god, another Hemingway-esque tragic artist/hero!

Is that enuf name-dropping for a single post? Anyway, the book sounds very interesting, as does the new "Preludes" release.

"I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was listening to the air conditioner hum
It went hmmmmmm . . . . . . . . .
Look away . . . . . . .
. . . Look away down Gower Avenue, Look away . . . "
(published by Warner-Tamerlane/Darkroom Music BMI, 1976)

(Hm-m, Desperados, Space Cowboy - we're sensing a trend here . . .)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Announcing an exciting new photo location!

"I'm a space cowboy
Bet you werent ready for that
I'm a space cowboy
I'm sure you know where its at
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

Image credit: ESO

A European team of astronomers today announced the discovery of an earth-like (hopefully not too much alike!) planet - a mere 20.5 light years away from us. Named "Gliese 581c" (after the tiny red star it orbits) we think it will provide excellent photographic opportunities in the future for all you Nocturnes out there. A word of caution tho': in true Bizzaro alternate reality-style, things are, well a little different, on 581c. On this tiny planet, Frank Zappa was a member of "The Monkees," there are no digital cameras, and you'll be forced to render your night-scapes on way-outdated - best of 70s film technology - Tungsten balanced Kodak 160 transparency film - it's either that or Kodacolor 400 print film - a struggle even for the most devoted "reality-based" photographer!

"I was born on this rock
And I've been travelin through space
Since the moment I first realized
What all you fast talkin cats would do if you could.
You know, I'm ready for the final surprise.
There ain't no way around it
Ain't nothing to say
That's gonna satisfy my soul deep inside.
All the prayers and surveyors
Keep the whole place uptight
While it keeps on gettin darker outside."

"I'm a space cowboy
Bet you werent ready for that
I'm a space cowboy
I'm sure you know where its at
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah." (by Steve Miller Blues Band)

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Campus News - on a positive note . . .

The SF Chronicle's Paul McHugh did a very interesting piece today on the Stanford ('the farm') open spaces, trails, history, etc. - with another great map (CLICK! pic to enlarge). Back in the day, Lance Keimig and I had travelled back in toward the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) dish, to photograph at night - quite a hike with tripods, gear, etc.! - haven't been back down there in years. I would be interested in finding out if anyone has been back there at night recently, say post 9/11?

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)
Uncommon Knowledge at City Hall

Image by Tim Baskerville

This news, from Eliza Hemenway, whose film, "Uncommon Knowledge: Closing the Books at UC Berkeley Extension" you've read about here before:

"Today's the day for Public Comments regarding the UCBE campus. If you want to make your comment in person, show up at Meeting of the Planning Commission, Room 400, City Hall around 6 PM this evening. It should be fairly lively.

"If you can't make it in person, you have until Monday to send in your written comments.Write to Paul Maltzer, Environmental Review Officer SF Planning Department 1660 Mission Street #500 San Francisco, CA 94103

"And, some news: The SF Bay Guardian ran an editorial about the campus, KQED aired a piece on The California Report this morning (including an interview with yours truly), and yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board voted 6 to 1 in favor of the Local Landmark Designation of the UC Berkeley Extension Laguna Street Campus."

Let's be careful out there . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

PhotoJournalism, Commercial/Architectural NPy

Reading/seeing Andy Frazer's Blog post (Chris Hondros - "Photojournalism at Night") got us thinking - that and an announcement of the winners of Calumet's "Morning, Noon, or Night - In Your Best Light" competition. There are many photographers working in the commercial, architectural, and industrial fields, whose work is as worthy of mention as any others on The Nocturnes (or any other) Web site[s].
Ken Fischer's image, "Reservoir Bridge, W94," taken in Central Park, was winner of the Calumet competition and a perfect example of what we are speaking of. Part of his award includes an article on his lighting techniques, published in the April issue of Studio Photography - Look for it!

Image Copyright Ken Fischer

Closer to home, fellow Nocturne/Educator Tom Paiva's commercial work fits this niche nicely, bridging the gap between maritime/industrial photography and fine art Night Photography (how he talks his clients into this, we're not sure!).

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Two sides of a story . . .

From the last couple of days - two very different perspectives on two unique landscapes (again different, but similar) in the Bay Area - The Presidio and Angel Island (areas well known and cherished by The Nocturnes).

In a Times-Herald (Vallejo) article, Steve Geissinger paints a picture of State Parks in peril - due to severe lack of funding, and interviews Dave Matthews (no, not that DM!), Supervising Ranger at Angel Island State Park - read the article here.

Image by Charity Vargas

On a more postive note, yesterday the Chron ran a front page item by Chuck Squatriglia, Chronicle Staff Writer, about a 'big gift' the Presidio recently rec'd for more trail development, overlooks, campgrounds, etc. Including a great new map,you check out that article here.

This might be as good a moment as any to mention one of our other local favorites - Photographer Charity Vargas (image of the Internet Archive, from her Presidio project, appears above) who has a special affinity for the Presidio, as do we. Charity was in my U.C. Berkeley Night Photography course last fall, and is part of the rather active (maybe hyperactive?) Night Lights Photo Group - and, she also has a blog!

Friday, April 06, 2007

No Stopping - Nocturne Crossing

Image by Tim Baskerville

Done on location for our nighttime shoot at Yerba Buena gardens, this image is from the current Night Photography Workshop, held at RayKo Photo Center in the Museum District of San Francisco. Class runs thru April 19, 2007. (Click! on image to read the fine print).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nightvisions, eines meiner Hauptthemen

I think that German Photographer Peter Leyendecker was/is somehow linked to the photographer in the previous post - Darius Klabisch - certainly they are kindred spirits.

Definitely worth a visit (to their Web sites, not Germany! - Oh-h, I dunno, after looking at these images, maybe Germany . . . )

Both gentlemen will be added to The Nocturnes O. Winston Links page, soon enuf!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Acid Nocturne

Speaking of the
Bechers (Bernd and Hilla) - see previous post, below, I recently happened onto a photographer, Darius Klabisch, whose work resembles mostly what the Bechers work would look like, if done on acid!

See for yourself: (click to enlarge)

New Topographics, revisited

The work of photographer Henry Wessel is currently featured at SF MOMA - "Henry Wessel: Photographs" - thru April 22. No stranger to Night Photography (Google his book "NightWalk" for more info), he is more noted for his work in the West, along the lines of the New Topographics "style," if you want to call it that.

Oklahoma, 1975 by Henry Wessel

In conjunction with the show, there is a program entitled "Art and Conversation: Henry Wessel and the Social Landscape" with Terri Whitlock, curatorial associate, photography, SFMOMA. March 30, 2007, from Noon - 1:00 p.m. Koret Visitor Education. From the MOMA site: "Whitlock discusses the social subtext of Wessel's pictures. In particular, she considers his photographs within the discourse of New Topographics, an important exhibition organized by the George Eastman House in 1975 that included examples of his work. The program concludes with a visit to the exhibition galleries. Free with Museum admission."

At this time, we would like to direct you over to Joe Reifer's blog, where he is in the midst of an ongoing investigation of the New Topographics exhibition of 1975. In his journey, he has covered work by Lewis Baltz, Robert Adams, Jeff Brouws, the Bechers, and others. Definitely worth a 'look-see!'

Maybe another "Nocturnes Field Trip" - to see the show - is in order, eh?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Flash[light] Mob descends on Bay area - Part Three

Image Copyright Roberto Renzetti

The third portion of the progam for this year's Early March of The Nocturnes AlumNight/Etc. festivities involved a late night 'shoot' Sunday night, over at China Camp - never an easy task, as it turns out! Despite assurances by all the uniformed entities, we STILL had problems with staying in the park after dark to photograph (never confuse getting permission with getting a PERMIT!). It all worked out tho,' and a great time was had by all (see above image). But I would say this: "Don't try this yourselves, kids!"

So that is what we'll do for next time - "get it in writing" - we have the Liability Insurance, so that's covered, and we've done this before - our Angel Island Photo Camp, Yerbe Buena Gardens, the Joshua Tree 'Shop in the fall, etc - so we're not alien to the process. Just thought we could bypass some of this 'red tape,' somehow. Alas, that seems a pre-911 dream . . . (the BLM is even getting into the Act - for our upcoming Death Valley Workshop!)

So if there was ever any doubt as to where all your hard-earned Nocturnal entertainment dollars are going - there's your answer . . .

End of "China Camp Massacree" rant.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Flash[light] Mob descends on Bay area - Part Two

Image Copyright Dan Mitchell -

This past Saturday (Full Crow Moon) nearly 40 intrepid Nocturnes took to the streets of Mare Island to photograph 100-150 year-old brick buildings, massive ship-building equipment, historic mansions, etc. - all part of our annual AlumNight event.

We will be posting work from the group on Flickr in the next few days - check back here to learn the top-secret tag!

With that green glow in the windows, what do you suppose they did in that building?

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Flash[light] Mob descends on Bay area - Part One

Image Copyright Roberto Renzetti

As the East and North Bay reeled from recent earth rumblings (yeah, we felt the recent rolling Earthquake out here on Mare Island) and memories of the Zodiac re-lived (the movie stirs a lot of memories in the Vallejo/Napa area), a mob of Night Photographers fell upon the San Francisco Bay area for three nights, the first weekend of March, under the Full "Crow" Moon.

This image was part of a group shot with Tim Baskerville's
College of Marin NPy course - lots of painting with flashlights at Battery Mendell in the Marin Headlands! Looks like the Zodiac was up there, lighting this scene . . .

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Is there anybody out there . . . ? (part two)

Calling all Nocturnes! Well, it's that time again! - For our 13th AlumNight (now an annual) event, sponsored by The Nocturnes Night Photography Web site, at a "secure undisclosed location" in the SF Bay Area, on March 3rd.

We have a number of announcements to make, much to talk about, and work (from you!) to see. All this, and a few more surprises - should be a another great AlumNight! So-o-o, if you're an Alum, be sure bring your latest work, promo pieces, 'leave behinds,' and just news of what's goin' on in your photo-life!

We are posting this notice here to catch a few of our fair-weather Nocturnes, whose email addresses may have changed since our last event - in the hope they'll catch the news here!

If you're alumni, and for some reason have NOT rec'd email re: this event - please contact us (you know where to find us . . . ) re: the details for AlumNight. Or, if you know of an Alum who fits this category, give them a buzz, won't you?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In the wee small hours . . .

Come Commit Suicide With Frank Sinatra

This Valentine's Day, while lesser San Francisco nightspots are jammed with nauseating couples and disgusting Cupid kitsch, a different aesthetic will hold sway at the 540 club: Suicide Sinatra!

In the 1950s, Frank Sinatra recorded four incredibly gloomy all-ballad albums: In the Wee Small Hours, Only the Lonely, No One Cares, and Where Are You? The Chaperone will spin the grimmest tracks from these masterpieces, along with other appropriately gloomy selections from Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Johnny Hartman, and other wrist-slitting characters who know what Valentine's Day is really about.

This year, the grimness will be compounded by Ashely and Windy's morbid Valentines, Best Break Up Story Contest (complete with valuable alcoholic prizes!), and other distinctly a-romantic activities. They'll also take over the 'tables 'round midnight (when the Chaperone slinks off to slit his wrists) to spin gloomy '80s music from the likes of Morrissey and Joy Division.

Needless to say, the fantasitic 540 staff will be happy to satisfy all your needs with the stuff that satisfies all your needs: alcohol. And remember, you're not just drinking for yourself--you're drinking for the bitch/bastard who's not there, so make them all doubles.

It all starts at 9:00PM sharp at the 540 Club, 540 Clement (near Green Apple), and continues until the hours grow too desparate even for the desparate.

Please omit the flowers. Because you know, in the wee small hours, no one cares.

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed - thanks to SquidList)

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sweet Sweep Suite

So, do we think that a certain television, on a certain ranch, near a certain Texas town known as Crawford, was tuned into the Grammys last night? And what do you think a certain viewer of said television thought of the 'goings-on?' None other than Joan Baez (herself no stranger to 'shut up and sing' right-leaning directives) introduced the Dixie Chicks, who performed their hit anthem, "Not Ready to Make Nice" (NRTMN).

A great pop song, expertly tuned into a viewpoint (more prevalent, daily, I'm afraid) - the likes of which we haven't seen much of since the late sixties (remember "Ohio" by CSNY; or "What are their Names" by the same-mentioned David Crosby). And, not since Grace Slick's performances with the Jefferson Airplane have we seen such vitriol aimed at a president and an administration (also, it can said, in the group's more nihilistic period - toward a society, in general) - and the Chicks managed it without all the profanity that characterized the Grace Slick works!

As Natalie Maines (she, the author of those offending 15 words) said as they accepted the 3rd (or was it the 4th Grammy): “I’m very humbled and I think people were using their voice the same way this loudmouth did.”

Later, accepting their 5th Grammy, Ms. Maines added: "I think people are using their freedom of speech with all these awards. We get the message."

Indeed - let the discussion begin!

P.S. And was Gnarls Barkley's (DJ/producer Danger Mouse and vocalist/rapper Cee-Lo) performance great, or what!

NY Times Link to the story
And the backlash starts, yet again - here

Also, The Nocturnes:(STILL) Not Ready to Make Nice

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Is there anybody out there . . . ?

Did you know that I'll be leading an introductory NPy Workshop on Mare Island this weekend - as part of the SF Bay Area Flyway Festival?

Just to see if anyone is paying attention - we MAY have two or three slots available for this special (FREE) Introduction to Night Photography (Saturday, February 3rd, from 8-11pm in Mare Island's Historic Core) and my favorite place to photograph. So-o-o, if you respond here to this post, we'll put your name on a LITTLE sheet of paper, in a BIG box, and do a drawing to see who gets the slots (provided there are any - from the participants of the Flyway Festival).

Of course, if we get a flood of registrations from the Flyway, this offer will be void. The deadline for those people attending the Festival (and we're on the Honor System here, folks!) is February 1, 2007 - we can let you know if you're one of the lucky ones to go - we'll let you know by email that night.

Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Flickr this, my friend!

Image Copyright Tim Baskerville
NOTE: there's a theme contest: "Night Photography on Flickr" - for one week only (just announced today - 1/24/07)
See the site for more details.

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)

Monday, January 22, 2007

I feel like I owe it to . . . someone.

This box set of David Crosby's work - both solo work and that done with the various groups he's been involved with (Byrds, CSN, etc.) hasn't left my 'puter since X-mas (a gift: "from me to me"), as I labor away at the keyboard (note the title for the previous post . . . ).

Of course, the stuff he did with CSN, included on the first two discs is great; but the highlight, aside from the Byrds material (how great a song is Eight Miles High!) has to be Disc 3 - "Buried Treasure" with alternate takes and prviously unreleased works, including a version of Guinnevere, with Jack Casady on bass (to say he plays 'bass' is an understatement!) and Cyrus Faryar on bouzouki!

(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)
All along the Blue Shore . . .

Maybe Andy Frazer, in his posts to his NPy blog, and I are on parallel courses. No sooner had I rec'd an email from Toby Keller about his work/site update (deciding to link him to The Nocturnes links page) than we saw this posting on Andy's blog. Maybe it is a small World Wide NPy Web, after all!
Image Copyright Toby Keller

Anyway, be sure to read Andy's post, and visit Toby's site - now linked to our
O. Winston Links page - in the Resources Section of The Nocturnes!


(from The Nocturnes NightNews feed)