Gone live!

So here it is at last – Aug 31, and I just set up the linking so pixsilver.com shows my new site. I will add more galleries, change up the images from time to time, continue writing, and get guests to write.

It’s still a work in progress, but so is my art. And so am I…

Please leave comments to let me know what you think.

Dave

Photographing graffiti

Photographing graffiti has a long history in photography. It brings the usually anonymous wall markings to a broader consciousness, serving as “an equivalent of oral history – retrieving scraps of ordinary lives”. (Max Kozloff, in The Restless Decade – John Guttmann’s Photographs of the Thirties) These days, not all graffiti artists are completely anonymous – we’ve come a long way from Kilroy to Banksy! There are fans who could tell who made the stencil graffiti seen in my image of the laughing grenade, and probably the sprayed tag partly layered with it. Same with the digits in 10.

So – what am I doing here? Why take a picture of someone else’s art? Some will see it as appropriation – I’m not part of the graffiti culture, and understand very little of it. I prefer to think of it as sampling, more common now in music than in visual art. That’s why I framed it as I did – having the grenade and the tag both bursting out of the frame, showing only the top of the 10. I’ve made the images my own, and suggest the uncontrolled nature of the originals.

Many cameras, few Photographers

Few people are actually familiar with what goes into making a photograph, and what is needed to appreciate one.

At the moment of creation, photographers must choose the right framing of the right objects, with the right lighting, at the right moment. The exposure time, f-stop and ISO setting all must be chosen for their proper effects (for example, blurred motion, out-of-focus background (or foreground!) and graininess, respectively).

A multitude of things can be adjusted in the processing – contrast, brightness, colour balance… it’s really easy to overdo it.

In printing, the paper must be matched to the image, with an understanding of how the paper’s characteristics will affect the printed image. The camera, monitor and printer must all be matched

When you look at a photograph, consider the photographer’s choices of subject, framing, lighting, proximity, flatness (or bending) of the field of view, colour, sharpness (or blurring) of focus, depth of field, graininess, brightness, contrast, motion, paper texture and colour, layering or juxtaposition, and so on. Really look.

Then ask – Does this photograph make me see and think differently

Inspirations & Aspirations

Minor White | Edward Weston | Richard Avedon | Margaret Bourke-White | Ansel Adams | Walker Evans | W Eugene Smith | Dorothea Lange | Edward Burtynsky | Diane Arbus | Paul Strand | Lewis Hine | Shin Sugino | Man Ray | Harry Callahan | André Kertész | Group of Seven (+) | Abstract Impressionists | Peggy Stevens | Margaret Atwood | Roo Borson | George Bowering | Susan Musgrave | Christopher Dewdney | A K Dewdney | Heisenberg | Existentialism | Elizabeth May | Bill McKibben | Naomi Klein | Leah Buechley | William Gibson | Beethoven | Douglas Cardinal | China Miéville | Paolo Bacigalupi | Al Gore | Georgia O’Keeffe | Garry Winogrand | Jeff Nye | Jerry Uelsmann | …

Hello world!

It’s August, 2017, and I am re-creating my website. Again.
I rather liked my last one, but I had hand-coded it in Javascript and CSS about a decade ago. It had some responsive features, which was cool, but the language features to really do that were not stable yet, so I did that by hand too, and did so by placing the images on backgrounds that were the same size. Made the re-sizing calculations easier, but it was a kludge, and extra work.
Speaking of extra work… the coding to let viewers scan forward and back, including rollover between first & last images in a gallery, was so tedious that I wrote a completely separate program to read the .jpg file names in the gallery directory, then generate the necessary Javascript.

I was showing off to my computer studies students… I don’t do that any more, so, you can see why I’m rebuilding it.