Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How ya gonna keep 'em down on the Preserve? 
Hope you all enjoy the above image, taken a few nights before Christmas down on the Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve. Some of the hardest-working, visionary voluteers on Mare Island have set the mile-long trail to the Spirit Ship aglow with festive lights of the Season. The lights will be on every evening 5-8pm, until New Year's Day - see their Web site for details!

Check out more work from this location, this Season - visit us on Facebook ("Downon the Preserve" album) -

If you would like some music (Hey, it IS The Nocturnes!)to accompany the viewing of this image, visit The Nocturnes Blog for a special "20th" commemorative posting (just below this one!).

Enjoy this season of peace, warmth, remembrance, and kindness.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Saturday, December 24, 2011

For Christmas - Nocturne No. 20

As we close out 2011, our 20th Anniversary year, for our customary Chistmas Nocturne, we find it apropos to feature a Nocturne composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830 - No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth., Lento con gran espressione.

Performed here by Wladyslaw Szpilman at home, in Warsaw in 1997. (Cameraman Jaroslaw Mazur / Copyright 1998 by Andrzej Szpilman) Wladyslaw Szpilman (Wladek) played this music in the last live broadcast for the Polish Radio on 23.9.1939 . An hour later German bombs destroyed its power supply and Warsaw Radio was closed for the next 6 years. This Nocturne is featured in the Roman Polanski film The Pianist, and in its entirety, in the soundtrack

It's been a busy, heartening year with all "TheNocturnes@20" events! Enjoy this season of peace, warmth, remembrance, and kindness.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Friday, November 18, 2011

Yo - Hardly strictly . . .

Music video by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile & Aoife O'Donovan performing Here and Heaven from the Goat Rodeo Sessions

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Saturday, November 05, 2011

"It was twenty years ago today . . ."

Hard to believe, but it's been twenty years since a small band of photographers presented their best work to an unsuspecting world in an auspicious exhibit simply titled "The Nocturnes." From those humble beginnings, the mission of The Nocturnes as a group - no, make that "a gathering" - of Night Photographers has been one of education, community building, and the showcasing of evocative nocturnal photography.

This exhibit, which opens at the Harvey Milk Photo Center, in San Francisco, is part of a year-long celebration of their 20th anniversary, and features (amongst others) the work of legendary Night Photographer/Educator and mentor, Steve Harper - as well as work by Harvey Milk Center Instructor and Director of The Nocturnes, Tim Baskerville.

November 9 to December 3, with a Opening Reception for the Artists on Nov. 9 from 6:30 to 9pm; 50 Scott. St at Duboce.

(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog
Taken this past weekend at Studio Nocturne 2011, Fort Mason Center, in San Francisco.

(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Call for Docentry . . .

We are just about ready for our Ninth Annual "Studio Nocturne" event (part of  SF Open Studios) held again at Fort Mason Center, Oct 22-23, 2011.
Did you know that we are looking for docents to help out (in 2 hour shifts, both days)? It's a fun, well attended social event and we need your help to keep things running smoothly and in a friendly, sociable manner.
We are trying to get people to commit to these 2 hour shifts:
11am - 1pm / 
1 - 3pm / 2 - 4pm  or  4 - 6pm
Just let us know if you want to cover any of these, either day. Contact us directly at studio [at] thenocturnes [dot] com if you can free up some time this weekend, 
From all the artists participating in "Studio Nocturne" -

Friday, October 14, 2011

"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 Center. The Nocturnes will be hosting 10 photographers at Fort Mason, October 22 and 23. in Landmark Building ‘D,’ Ground Level. This is our ninth "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 2011.
"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. Visit to see the roster of artists for this year’s event.
Why not come on out and have a look?
(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Rush Ranch Nocturne
Still a few spots left for our Return to Rush Ranch - Monday Sept. 12 starting at 4pm. Benefits the outreach and education programs of the Rush Ranch Educational Council. Details here - may be best to call us at the number listed, if interested . . .
From The [not so] Daily Nocturne
Portrait of the artist as a Nocturne
A follow-up to the previous post - this one by Shulee Ong, a student in my "Postcards from San Francisco" series of classes, offered by the Harvey Milk Photo Center - done during a visit to Chinatown on July  21st.
Production notes: for this relatively short night photo, a small, powerful Surefire G-2 flashlight was bounced off the wall to my right, with another flashlight used as fill light, front and center.

BTW, she got a well-deserved "A" for the class!

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Friday, August 26, 2011

Portrait of a Nocturne
At this year’s Night Photography Festival at Mono Lake, Instructor Scott Martin "felt compelled to make portraits of the photographers themselves instead of the ghost town [Bodie]."

On his Blog, he explains: "These are 1-2 minute exposures by moonlight where I’m adding light on the subject with a flashlight (not a flash!). Since I prefer side-lighting from two sides with a handheld flashlight, it was challenging for the subject to keep still during the light painting and throughout the rest of the exposure."

We know it was challenging - on both sides, the lens - but worth it! Click on the Blog link above to view some more of the "usual suspects." Enjoy . . .

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Mare Island Nocturnes"
NightWork by Alumni of The Nocturnes NPy Workshops and frequent visitors to Mare Island at night.
RECEPTION FOR THE ARTISTS: Sunday, August 14 from 2 to 4 pm at the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation Museum; 1100 Railroad Avenue, Mare Island

Mare Island Nocturnes” features fine art photography, done at night, utilizing long time exposures, by photographers from all over the SF Bay Area, many on return nocturnal “tours of duty.”  Chris Rasmussen, a member of the Save Our Sail Advisory Group, and one of the Jurors of the exhibit, has described the exhibit as “A marvelous array of images demonstrating the stark beauty of Mare Island, its industrious past now locked up in a great stillness.” We hope the public will come see these images of a seldom-seen side of the former Mare Island Shipyard, and help celebrate The Nocturnes Twentieth Anniversary – and five years on Mare Island! A portion of proceeds from print sales benefits the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation and its preservation, education, and outreach programs.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NPy (in five words or less)
"Forget it Jake. It's Chinatown."

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

(Off to teach a class in Chinatown . . .)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Open the pod bay doors, HAL . . .

Nocturnes Alum (and SOS Advisory Group Co-Member) Chris Rasmussen emailed me the link to this great image (seen on the APOD site - previously mentioned a few times in this space) noting that he couldn't recall ever seeing a shot quite like it. We have to agree - most of the images we've seen on the site fall into the straight-forward documentation area, or astrophotography. This one, with the longer exposure and blurring due to movement, falls right into The Nocturnes domain.

("Ground Control to Major Tom") 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

NPy (in five words or less)

Dimming of the Day

From The [not so ] Daily Nocturne

(Hardly strictly slowcore . . . )

Monday, May 02, 2011

NightNews for May 2011
Our latest newsletter (now monthly, to better cover all the festivities surrounding "TheNocturnes @ 20") can be viewed online. Among other items, it features important information about The Nocturnes Night Photography Festival: Celebrating 20 Years happening up at Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra, during the Full Moon period, June 12-15, 2011 - details here.

Above photo of the 2006 conference group by Joe Reifer, who is one of the many presenters at this year's event.

(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Warren Bates, Night Photographer
Susana Bates has informed the Night Photography community at large that a year has passed since the death of her brother, Warren. You might have heard of this already thru Andy Frazer's NPy Blog or Joe Reifer's Fbook postings.

Susana has created a revamped Web site of Warren's work (Road to Zzyzx), with a silent online auction of Warren's image "Bagdad" (image was mentioned here a year ago) - and there is an exhibit of Warren's work at the Left of Center Gallery in Las Vegas, thru June 4, 2011. All proceeds from sales go to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

("Call me Deacon Blues")

Friday, April 15, 2011

Photo Center Exhibit Friday Eve 
"The 2011 Instructors' Photo Exhibit" at Harvey Milk Photo Center (50 Scott Street in San Francisco), Friday, April 15, from 6:30PM- 9PM. Admission is free! We are showcasing images from over 35 photographers in both Black & White and Color.

(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just a little taste of Hot Tuna . . .

With a litle help from Charlie Musselwhite and G.E. Smith.

Susan, myself and two honorary Nocturnes are off to see the group tonight at the Marin Civic Center. Also performing: Jim Lauderdale - tasty combo!

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Monday, January 24, 2011

Need a few more Nocturnists . . .
                Image by former CofM student Roberto Renzetti

Looking for a few more people to round out the Night Photography Course I'm teaching over at College of Marin, Kentfield Campus. You'll need to hurry, tho' - deadline to register is THIS THURSDAY, January 27, 2011. Visit the College of Marin Web site for registration and more information. Class runs Fridays from February 4 - March 18. Locations include some of the most scenic spots in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio and the Marin Headlands.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Resurrection of Piglight Piglet

Well it's not the Ruins of Sutro Baths, below the Cliff House, but it's always a treat to return to the bay-side area of San Francisco's Presidio National Park - this time for a private instruction session, under the full moon on Jan 21, with a Nocturnist from central Florida. Later this week, I take my SF Photo Center "Introduction to Night Photography" class to the same hallowed ground.

In case you don't recognize it, the above image comes from another San Francisco NPy Workshop, where we introduced the newest member of "Team Nocturne" - Lighting Specialist, Level One, Piglight Piglet! Not only does he come with his own internal light system, but he has a lot to say.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne
(And yeah, there's a reference above to the Butterfield Blues Band . . .)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Top-Secret Night Photography
These images - part of a top-secret group project. But, don't worry - all will be revealed after February 1, 2011 - part of the year-long 20th Anniversary celebration --  "TheNocturnes@20"
(From the desk of The Under Assistant West Coast Promotion Man)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Begin the Beguine . . .

In the past year, as I developed "The History of Night Photography" - a standalone course (formerly part of The Nocturnes 3-night Workshops), I found my attention repeatedly drawn to the significance of those who came before us. I believe that we learn from the study of those early pioneers of NPy and the hurdles they had to overcome - we gain perspective, as well as technical, practical insight. As Michael Kenna has commented: "I think many creative people are compilations of influences, wedded to some aspect of their own uniqueness. Few work in a vacuum, as Isaac Newton alluded: 'If I have achieved anything, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants' - or words to that effect."
Here then, we begin to present some of the highlights of the presentation, split into four parts, covering 1850 to the present. We will be revealing more of these tidbits in the weeks to come. 
Daguerrotype by John Adams Whipple, 1852
From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

("When they begin the beguine / it brings back the sound / of music so tender")