Monday, May 23, 2016

More Flowers

Friday was a beautiful day, an early taste of summer.  And what better way to enjoy the great weather than to take a walk through the Park with my Lumix GH2?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

B&W Conversions with Silver Efex Pro

When shooting b&w, I strongly prefer to work with film.  After all, the part of photography I've always enjoyed the most has been printing in the darkroom.  Since Google began offering its NIK filters for free (see my March 25th post), I've been experimenting with Silver Efex Pro and have found it's far and away the best conversion software I've come across.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Photo Book Review: Alfred Stieglitz: Photographs and Writings

Alfred Stieglitz: Photographs and Writings is a lavish large format book originally published by the National Gallery of Art in 1983. It contains a selection of prints from the "key set" donated to the Gallery by Georgia O'Keeffe. The seventy-three reproductions are in tritone offset for greater fidelity and are printed on archival paper. My own favorites are the portraits of Duchamp and Picabia and the nude study of Georgia Engelhard. Curiously, there is no reproduction of Stieglitz' most famous image, The City of Ambition.

There is also an essay by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the Gallery's department of photographs, on "the idea photography" in which she traces the photographer's search for "objective truth." Greenough recognizes the influence of the modern art he championed in Stieglitz' decision to reject pictorialism and the Photo-Secession and instead embrace "straight" photography. It was Stieglitz' search for abstraction in photography that eventually led him to create his Equivalents cloud series. 

There aren't going to be any surprises in a book such as this, but there is an interesting insight into Stieglitz' character in a quote from a letter he wrote to Ansel Adams dated December 7, 1933.
"... You ask what my attitude is. Man can't you figure it out for yourself. I am trying to sustain life at its highest - to sustain a living standard. To let every moment actually live without any ism or any fashion or cult attached to it... I chose my road years ago - & my road has become a jealous guardian of me. That's all there is to it..."
For those interested in a comprehensive biography of Stieglitz, I can recommend Richard Whelan's Alfred Stieglitz for the honesty with which it approaches its subject.