Thursday, September 28, 2006

Art Kane - My Heroes (cont.)

"You're looking at the single most significant jazz portrait taken in the 20th century. No one believed anyone could gather this many talents and temperments so very early on a summer morning but it all happened like magic, and the world was immediately smitten when this picture was published in Esquire magazine January 1959. This was Art Kane's first assignment as a professional photographer."

To learn more about this image and many others created by this gifted photographer click here.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Epson Kicks It Up A Notch!

I'm a big Epson Inkjet fan, I own six of their printers and you may be looking at number seven!

"Designed from the beginning to exceed all expectations in the area of photographic image quality, the Epson Stylus® Pro 3800 incorporates a brand new, compact, 17-inch wide printer design, a radical, new, photographic screening technology and Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink.

Epson UltraChrome K3 Ink technology has produced some of the world’s greatest images. Inspired by our past generations of pigmented ink technology, Epson UltraChrome K3 incorporates a three-level Black, along with new color pigments that raise the bar dramatically for professional color and black-and-white prints. The standard has been set.

Our 1-inch wide print head now incorporates a new Auto-sharing Black ink technology, allowing both Photo and Matte Black ink to be installed simultaneously, facilitating automatic switches without any user intervention.

Capable of handling virtually any type of cut-sheet media up to 17 inches wide, the Epson Stylus Pro 3800 incorporates a high-capacity paper feeder that accommodates sizes ranging from 4 x 6 up to 17 x 22. We’ve developed four different ways to load media, including a front-loading, straight-through path capable of handling media up to 1.5 mm thick and even a second, top-loading, single-sheet feeder optimized for fine art paper.

To learn more check out the info at

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Robert Frank - My Heroes (cont.)

As a student in the photography program at Phoenix College I would often spend hours in the library looking at books by famous photographers. I remember my first encounter with Robert Frank. The images I found in "The Americans" gave me an uneasy feeling. The kind of feeling you get when you don't quite have your balance.

"The Americans" was the antithesis of the America found in most magazines, newspapers and on television. He was showing us ourselves and in a way that could not be misunderstood.
As Kerouac writes in his introduction, Frank's photographs had "sucked a sad, sweet, poem out of America"

At the time of it's first publishing "The Americans" didn't sell well and certainly didn't get good reivews. Sales and reivews have changed dramatically over the years. To learn more about Robert Frank click here.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Too Cool For School!

"When we first spotted this new cam from Seitz, our jaws hit the floor and rebounded a few times. No, it's not the highest megapixel count we've seen, but this megalith of a camera shoots at 160 megapixels to create a native 6 x 17-cm image, is packed with an ISO range from 500 to 10,000, a read-out speed of 300MB per second, and a shutter speed of 1/20,000th second. So the next question is, how are you going to store such huge image files (nearly 1 GB per uncompressed full panorama), certainly not on your off-the-shelf 16GB SDHC card, nor the upcoming 64GB CompactFlash cards -- but rather via gigabit Ethernet to Seitz's "state-of-the-art computer system", which translates to a decked out Mac mini. So what will this much imaging power cost you? 45,500 Swiss francs ($36,266) for the "mobile version" and 42,300 Swiss francs ($33,715) for the "studio version", and we're assuming that the Mac mini is included for that price." Click here for more info.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ansel Adams - My Heroes (cont.)

What list of photographic heroes would be complete without Ansel Adams. It is not hyperbole to say that he had a profound influence on every area of photography. Best known for his beautiful landscapes of the West, he was an early and prolific contributor of color images to Arizona Highways Magazine. To visit his website click here. To learn more about his life click here or here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

High Quality Full Color Short Run Printing - Very Cool!

I believe I've seen the future of the digital full color printing press. Recently Dennis Mortensen at took my Photoshop for Photographers class workbook and printed it in full color with a perfect bound wrap cover, Wow!

He did a beautiful job and at a price that I couldn't come close to matching online. Dennis has been producing our full color business cards and jumbo post card series for awhile, always producing a beautiful product at a great price.

The beauty of his new full color, digital press is that I can order one or a hundred and get a great looking product without having to print 2500 units to get a reasonable per unit price.

If you have need of full color printing and don't want to turn your business into a storage facility or take out a bank loan to print your next run of full color letterhead then Dennis is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Need A Little Help Getting Things Done?

Who doesn't? The book is titled Getting Things Done - The Art of Stress-Free Productivity and although I'm still on Part 1 of this three part book I'm giving it "Both Thumbs Up"! It's well written and offers a step by step approach to becoming better organized. Just what the doctor ordered, at least in my case, and I found at my local library... I love a deal. Check it out here.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Too Cool For School! - Photokina

Photokina in Cologne, is the world's largest toy store for photographers. It happens every two years and if you get a chance to attend don't pass it up. You may have already heard about this 1700 f/4 telephoto from Carl Ziess if you'd like to know more click here. I was really excited until I realized it was a f/4, I might buy one if they made a f/2.8 ;-)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Perfect Portrait? - My Heroes (cont.)

The first time I saw it, I thought so. I was a student at ASU and it was hanging, as part of a show by Arnold Newman, in North Light Gallery. I don't remember the total number of prints that were hung, but it was a most impressive group of portraits. Then I came to the portrait of Igor Stravinsky. It was stunning, the most beautifully constructed portrait I had ever seen. Stravinsky the composer mirrors the piano lid and has become part of the piano and the piano lid has become a musical note and the background is divided in thirds... I could go on but I'm sure you'd much rather look at some wonderful portraits, read some great stories and watch interviews with the master himself by clicking here.

And yes, I still think of it as "the perfect portrait."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Two Special People Remembered

It's hard to believe that 911 was five years ago. At times it seems like it happened last year and other times, a dozen years ago.

I want to share with you the story of two of the 3000 people who perished that Tuesday; two exceptional people, Joe Ferguson and Ann Judge. This is their 911 story.
"Two staff members of the National Geographic Society, along with three Washington, D.C., teachers and three students they were traveling with, were among the victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States on Tuesday, officials of the Society announced on Wednesday.

Ann Judge, director of the Society's travel office, and Joe Ferguson, director of the Geography Education Outreach Program, were accompanying the three teacher-student pairs on an educational trip to California.

They were all killed along with the other passengers of American Airlines Flight 77 after it was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon at about 9:45 Tuesday morning.

Teacher James Debeuneure and student Rodney Dickens were representing Ketcham Elementary School; teacher Sarah Clark and student Asia Cottom were from Backus Middle School; and teacher Hilda Taylor and student Bernard Brown were from Leckie Elementary School. All the students were 11-year-old sixth graders.

They had been selected to participate in a program at the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary near Santa Barbara, California, as part of a Society-funded marine research project known as Sustainable Seas Expeditions."

"Through our educational outreach program, Ann and Joe were going to make geography and the environment come alive for these committed, talented teachers and their star students by putting them into the field with scientists and researchers," said John Fahey Jr., the Society's president and CEO.

"The D.C. School District has lost six extraordinary people, and we at the Society have lost two treasured colleagues," he added.

Today our thoughts and prayers are with all the victim's families, and this commitment we make to them, we will never forget.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

14,410 Feet Later...

As I've mentioned before, my hometown Phoenix, Arizona is home to some very talented photographers, one of whom is longtime friend Karen Shell. This post, however, is not about Karen's wonderful photography but her most recent accomplishment, climbing Mt. Rainier! Karen has been in our thoughts and prayers this past week and today I recieved this email message and photo link. It's such an amazing accomplishment I just had to share it.
"I'm safely back from Mt. Rainier. I made it to the summit! What an experience! It was more challenging than I could have imagined. Every muscle in my body is really sore. I'm glad I trained as much as I did. Take a look at some of the photos..."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Too Cool For School! (part deux)

Remember when you were promised all those amazing future tech innovations? Just around the corner was supposed to be a shining technology utopia with flying cars, personal space travel to distant galaxies, and bio-implantable cell phones. It's almost disappointing enough to make you sit at home and watch old episodes of "Space 1999".

Don't lose hope! An amazing glimpse of this promised future has just arrived at ThinkGeek in the form of the Bluetooth Laser Virtual Keyboard. This tiny device laser-projects a keyboard on any flat surface... you can then type away accompanied by simulated key click sounds. It really is true future magic at its best. You'll be turning heads the moment you pull this baby from your pocket and use it to compose an e-mail on your bluetooth enabled PDA or Cell Phone. With 63 keys and and full size QWERTY layout the Laser Virtual Keyboard can approach typing speeds of a standard keyboard... in a size a little larger than a matchbook.

Check it out here.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Irving Penn - My Heroes Cont.

This image of a rather nattily attired gentleman with a cigarette holder is a portrait of Tennessee Williams by Irving Penn. One of my favorite authors photographed by one of my favorite photographers, it doesn't get any better than that.

In 1958 Irving Penn was named one of "The World’s 10 Greatest Photographers" in an international poll conducted by Popular Photography Magazine. Penn’s statement at the time is a remarkable summation of purpose and idealism: "I am a professional photographer because it is the best way I know to earn the money I require to take care of my wife and children."

Penn has won renown as much in editorial photography as in advertising illustration, and his innovations especially in portraiture and still life have set him apart stylistically. In later years he turned to television commercials as a outlet for his unique talent. One of the most imitated among contemporary photographers, his work has been widely recognized and extolled.

To learn more about one of the world's most imitated photographers click here.

Too Cool For School!

A student brought one of these to my Photoshop Class. Wow, it's pretty impressive. I want one.

If you're interested check out the specs here. BTW, I don't work for Samsung, receive spifs for hawking their products or own their stock... wish I did.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What A Great Idea!

Bill Atkinson's new book "Within the Stone" is a brilliant, (pun intended), idea. The 11 X 12 inch hard cover is 180 pages of beautiful images of polished rocks each accompanied by a poem or essay written by a well-known writer.
It began innocently enough. While photographing the Painted Desert, Atkinson became intrigued with the brilliant colors in the petrified wood scattered on the ground. He brought home some polished rocks, photographed them under glare-free lighting, and was captivated. The photographs looked more like paintings of forgotten dreams than either rocks or photographs. Atkinson proceeded to photograph thousands of art-quality polished rocks, bought or borrowed from international dealers and collectors, and to refine his photographic techniques.
To see large previews of these incredible images click here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Albert Watson - My Heroes Cont.

I remember the first time I saw "Golden Boy", (an original photographic print not a reproduction) in a friends home. It was a humbling and inspiring experience. I stood there, probably with my mouth open, thinking how did he do that? It was the single most impressive display of darkroom magic I have ever seen.

I was, I believe, pretty good in the darkroom having spent a number of years learning and practicing the art of black and white printing. I do pretty well with digital images and Giclee' prints but I am not playing in Albert Watson's league. To say that he has mastered the medium is like saying that Tiger Woods can play golf or Michael Jordon basketball. His books Cyclops and Maroc should be part of every photography school cirriculum.

To learn more about one of the twenty most influential photographers of the twentieth century, (according to PDN, he would be in my top ten) click here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

8 Easy Things You Can Do To Improve Your Workspace & Workflow!

7. If you don’t do anything else on this list, CALIBRATE YOUR MONITOR! Adjusting Images using an uncalibrated monitor is like shooting a film camera without knowing what kind of film you’ve loaded.
As the old Chinese Proverb warns, “If you don’t know where you're going any road will take you there.”

To read the entire article click here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Creative Genius - My Heroes Cont.

If I could bestow the title, "Creative Genius" upon only one photographer my choice would be Gordon Parks.

Born the youngest of 15 children into a "dirt-poor" family in a town "electrified with racial tension" Gordon Parks would become an award winning photographer, writer, composer, motion picture director and producer. His photographs, novels, poems, music and motion pictures have had a profound impact on American culture for more than seven decades
. Absolutely amazing; but the part that really seals the deal on the "Creative Genius" title... he had no formal training in any of these professions.

To learn more about the life of this amazing man click here.
To see images and watch video taped interviews click here.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Chance Encounter - My Heroes (cont.)

" I know that the accident of my being a photographer has made my life possible." Richard Avedon It was late October of 1984. I was walking north on Leroux Street in Flagstaff, Arizona. I had an appointment with the owner of a camera store.

A small man with a great volume of black and silver hair and dark intense eyes passed by walking south. He looked very familiar but I couldn't place him. As I waited inside the store it hit me. "I've got to go', I said as my appointment approached. 'I just saw Richard Avedon." I don't remember his exact response but it was something like, "Could you spare a little of whatever it is you're smoking?" I ran out of the camera store and looked south, he was gone.

I quickly began a search of each shop window until I found him in a Native American Art Gallery. I entered and pretended to be interested in making a purchase all the while watching him. A woman that I had not seen when I entered finally caught my eye. She was watching me watch him. She was smiling and seemed very amused by my behavior. I mouthed the question, "Is that Richard Avedon?" Her head moved slowly up and down. Then she mouthed "Would you like to meet him?"

After he had completed his purchase the lady, who turned out to be his cousin, introduced us. It was one of the few times in my life that, after hello, I couldn't think of anything to say. Here stood one of my heroes, an icon of photography and although I easily had a hundred questions somewhere in my head, none would pass my lips.

He was gracious and kind and completely carried our five minute conversation. The thing I will most remember about him were his eyes. Their intensity and focus. You felt as though you had his complete attention. For a moment I believe I felt a little of what his subjects may have felt.

To learn more Richard Avedon and see some of the most interesting images ever captured on film click here.