ESB - 062912
Raise your hand if your photos have been stolen and used by others for their gain.  Me too.  Below is a link to tumblr website that is trying to expose those thieves.


I have mixed feelings about appropriating art and changing it around like Warhol did.  I think it is justified if done right, but what the above site exposes are pure thieves calling stolen images as their own.



Gabbi - 062312

Gabbi is the first model I photographed in Las Vegas and was a joy to work with.  She has an enthusiasm for modeling that exudes beauty and a deep sultry energy that simmers with sexiness, even in quiet moments.  I appreciated her patience as I set up and tore down areas to work in and for going with my ideas as she integrated her own magic into them.
Gabbi - 062312

Here are few photos from the session.  I am also using many of the images we created in photo collages, my new frontier.

Thanks Gabi!  I hope we work together again.

Gabbi - 062312


Las Vegas

Vegas Collage 061612 (click for larger view)

I could write pages about why I am falling in love with world's greatest city of simulacrum.  With that statement though, I've already given the city a disservice.  My parents hate Las Vegas without having visited.  I think they hate one street in the city, to be honest.  Las Vegas Blvd (the Strip) represents so many things they hate.

For me, the Strip is a place to view humanity, the simulacrum and the efforts to maintain it, and millions of individual stories.  On one end is the airport and Mandalay Bay and the other end of the Strip ends at the Fremont Experience*.

Late last year I bought a second home in Las Vegas.  The price was good, the location very convenient and the home in good shape.  Since then, it has become my "urban cabin".  I truly relax there, find inspiration in the people, architecture and natural beauty surrounding it.

The digital collage at the top is part of an assemblage I made in honor of my oasis in the asphalt.  The assemblage is a metal book safe that I painted, glued the collage above on the back wall of it and wired LED lights around it to illuminate it.  I glued some sand around it and added some other bits to add to it.

For me, much of Las Vegas involves lots of driving.  Almost all the roads are perpendicular, very wide, 45mph, and go toward the 4 cardinals.  **They hook into a series of highways and interstates that wrap around the city, with the I15  coming from LA and going up to the US/Canada border in Montana bisecting the city. That is why I put the map on it.

One night, we were waiting for our car to be brought up from valet***.  There were two young couples all dressed up to go out and hit the clubs, waiting for their ride, .  One guy says, "Let's ask them. "  He came over and asked, "Hey, they should replace the 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' with "Vegas- the back is the front'.".  We thought it was probably too deep, contextual, and vague, but clever.  Since buying a place there, I never enter the city through the front.  I always go to my urban cabin and poke around the backside of this great city.

*Las Vegas Blvd goes for miles north beyond Fremont St, but that is the stretch known as the Strip.
**Big tip 1.  Unless you want to get stuck in traffic and see tons of lights, avoid driving on the Strip.  There are multiple roads and I15 that run parallel to it.  Take one of them and take the closest cross street to get to the place you want.  
***Big tip 2.  If you are driving to one of the big casino resorts, check your car into valet parking.  It is a free service and will cost you a few bucks in tip.  Your car will be parked in a shades spot (remember, it can get above 110).  It is fast, efficient, and worth it.

I'm kind of in a Beatles mood and am really missing George.  This video is fascinating.  They are just dicking around, having fun.  Damn.  There is a huge void.


What's up, Karl?

Moon - Van dyke process - Cotton Rag

"What's up, Karl?"
"What's up Karl?"
The importance of a comma.
You wouldn't know this by tracking this blog, but I really enjoy writing for it.  Sadly, I've been busy with other life things and let this exercise and discipline slide by the side.  While not producing anything here in a while, I've worked a great bit on my art and life.

The life bit - it continues to move on.  Work is busy.  I went the UK and Basel, Switzerland for two weeks.  I traveled to my second home in Las Vegas a number of times.  I contacted and am planning collaborative efforts with a few photographer friends.

The art bit - big changes.  I completed an alternative processes class where we made photograms, cyanotypes, Polaroid, Van dykes, gel transfers, assemblage, collage (digital and analog), toy cameras (Holgas and Dianas), tin types, and many other cool techniques.  Some of them worked for me, others didn't.  The big discovery though was my need to get away from just taking a picture, editing and enhancing it and calling it done when I printed it and put it in a frame.  There are so many great ways to present my art.  I am really getting into creating digital collages based on themes.  Why can't I put words directly on the art?  Now if I want to, I do.

Another big learning lesson was that it is so easy to create reproducible art in photography - just make another print.  Somehow I found comfort in knowing I could always make another print.  For many of these alternative processes, I only get one piece and no more like it.  This gave me an appreciation for marble sculptors, painters, and other single-item creators in the art world.  By knowing there is only one piece like this in the world, it feels more powerful and special.

For my final project, I chose a theme and created 5 pieces using different alternative techniques.  The theme was on objectification of women and caused a good bit of debate during the class critique.  I loved that.  You will see more on that in a special post.  

I also worked with four nude models in the past few months.  Each was completely different and brought her own unique gifts as muse and model to the shoot.  You will see some of those pieces in upcoming posts as I write about each shoot.

Now it is time to focus again on getting my business going.  All this creation is fun, but I need to get going on planning and implementing the next stage in my life.  I am slowly setting up work in the SF Bay Area.  I am also trying to set up work in my second home, Las Vegas.  I will write more about LV in the future.

One thing I will write about Las Vegas now is that I've had the pleasure of catching up with Terrel from Photo Anthems.  Last Sunday, we went out for a drive in the country scouting locations.  I enjoy talking with him about art, photography, life, women, Las Vegas, family, and all other things in between. 

I am also in contact with a good friend and artistic creative both behind and in front of the camera.  She and I went to high school together.  Once her life settles down from moving back to the US with her family, we are planning to do some big collaborations.

Its been a great Spring.  My artistic energy is pushing me and I am pushing myself to create stuff I never imagined before.  I look forward to sharing in the future.

Up top is a scan of my Van dyke print of Moon.  Below is my cyanotype.  Both are created using a light sensitive emulsion spread onto paper.  After laying a large negative on top of it (created in phototshop, but any film negative would work) similar to a contact print, I left them out in the sun for 5-10 minutes.  After processing them, voila.  I love analog art.  I prefer the Van dyke of Moon much more, but I loved learning both methods.

Moon  - Cyanotype - Cotton Rag
I love this song and nobody sang it like Janis.

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