Sonoma County Fair 2013

Here is a gallery of images which I created shortly after the event
I failed to blog the link till now so it is not hot news.
Meantime I have folded some of the images into my formal Summer Fairs Gallery on the main site where they can be seen alongside other similar images, collected over time.

Sonoma County Fair 2013

Sonoma County Fair 2013

Upgraded site – finally

As of a few weeks ago has come of age. It has been entirely redesigned and built and has new content too.

One firm intention for blog was that, as I scan old negatives, I will post new images including any anecdotal information pertaining to that image, here. Now that the site is presentable this will happen on a more regular basis (dammit!).

New photo gallery – Marin County Fair 2013

Sunset, Revelers, Marin County Fair 2013

Sunset, Revelers, Marin County Fair 2013

As part of my ongoing Summer Fairs project, here is a new set of 63 photos shot on 5th July.

Given that many things at the show are the same each year (rides, uniforms, etc.) – this year I was shooting only for new stuff – or trying for a touch more subtlety. The cream of the latest images will eventually be folded into the existing mega collection.


Dry lake bed full screen VR panorama – Novato, CA

Untitled Document
Novato – Dry Lake Bed – Click the image to open this Flash VR in a new window.

The intention here was to create an envionment I would modify for a CGI project. But the raw photo is a documentary record of a moment of swiftly changing light, which changed so fastit was hard to appreciate fully at the time.

360° sunset VR panorama from the top of Mount Tamalpais, Marin County

The last moments as the sun sets into the Pacific.
Seen from near the summit on Mt.Tamalpais.

Click image above to see a full screen VR (opens in a new window)

I shoot VR environments for HDRI backgrounds for CGI rendering.
Often such images are less than visually satisfying (as self contained panoramas or VR projections) because they are specifically shot to produce reflections on, or light a virtual/wireframe CGI model. As such, the optimum viewpoint is from the center of where that object is destined to stand within the scene. This, as opposed to where the ‘beauty’ camera for the final shot will be located.

This image was produced for no other reason than to record a magic moment.

Palm Springs, Morro Bay, Point Lobos gallery

Palm Springs high street

New pictures from a recent trip. We were shooting commercial images for a bid as well as scouting locations. Everything was hectic – a week of pre-dawn departures to beat the LA traffic and too little sleep.

The new Gallery features images which were shot in brief moments during the above and during the drive back to San Francisco. Palm Springs,

Palm Desert and the other chain of towns were surreal and I hope this comes across in my images. The deafening sound of the cicadas, the very large lizards and desert trees reminded me of the Zambezi Valley.

Lost letter comes home after 39 years

Lost Letter

Lost, misaddressed letter, intended for me in London, found its way to a collector in Australia who decides to email a scan 39 years after it was posted.

Now we know what happens to those letters which never get through.

… I wonder if the letter was still in the envelope  – I still have no idea what the contents were.

‘Ultra’ Exhibition at The Colomb Art Gallery, London

Group Exhibition
Monday 20th September until Saturday 2nd October 
Contact gallery for Private View details

‘ULTRA’ by Luisa Agliatta, Bálint Bolygó, Philip Chudy, Eugenia Emets, Ray Massey, Rob Matheson, Moira Metcalfe, Damir Muratov, James Stroud and Nitin Vadukul.

The group exhibition ‘Ultra’ is the result of collaboration between artists well-established in the artistic community both nationally and internationally. They are represented in various museums of modern and contemporary art as well as private collections in the USA, the UK, Russia and Europe. Their backgrounds include paintings, drawings, etchings, filmmaking, photography, collages, sculptures and installation works.

The works that comprise ‘Ultra’ are the fruits of personal experiments and explorations (Eugenia Emets, Luisa Agliatta and James Stroud), experiences such as dreams and visions (Nitin Vadukul), observations from travelling and meeting people (Ray Massey and Philip Chudy) or, as in case of Damir Muratov and Bálint Bolygó, intimate moments in the studio. ‘My studio practice is wide ranging’, explains Bolygó, ‘and I often spend hours in the darkroom as well as welding and doing all the engineering that my work requires. I guess what everything is tied up with is the idea of following a process whether it is etching, photography or making machines – there is a fundamental natural pace and rhythm that the artist needs to tap into – that’s what I enjoy.’

No matter what the medium, subject matter or approach, the works in ‘Ultra’ challenge us to view the familiar in new ways. Through the use of imagery, the application of mixed media and the fusion of different genres, the exhibition subtly reminds the viewer of the power of the visual to affect our emotions – to capture and extend the boundaries of our appreciation of a moment with all its uniqueness, eventfulness and complexity. This is an inspiration and source of tremendous joy.

Most of the works that feature in the exhibition are showcased here for the first time.

‘Ultra’ is curated by Vera Dearman of Veracity Arts.

Free Admission

Colomb Arts

Scanning my way though old work

I have access to all my old negatives for the first time in more than a decade and I am starting to scan my way through the collection. It is a quite a task but part of the what I have in my mind is the idea that I need to ‘catch up with the past’.

What do I mean by that?. This has been a decade which has seen the world of photography turned upside down by digital. Funny how it sounds so old fashioned to even make a statement like that, but that part of my work which preceded the digital revolution seems to me to be lost in a time warp, from which it needs liberating. Scanning and retouching does offer me the possibility to rescue a number of images which had dust or scratches on the negatives, so there are images which I am working with now which have never been printed or shown before

I was an early adopter of ‘digital’ and I have owned high-end scanning equipment and have did extensive digital post production long before the DSLR. But archival photo printing was not a practical reality ten years ago. I had an excellent darkroom at that time and that provided little incentive to scan and enhance digital files.

I am not sorry in the least that the darkroom has been retired. Although there are a few qualities of the silver print which are not readily duplicated with current inkjet printing there were so many limitations to the process that I have no plans ever to produce silver prints again. The EXHIBITIONS ’80-’90 gallery-set on the site contains photos of pretty much all the silver prints – mostly the only ones in existence (thus  single editions). Some of these were featured in a recent show at Hall Winery in Napa Valley.

So what of this new scanning work is on the site thus far? It is all in the DIGITAL SCANS section. I have had no express requirement to choose what to scan first but I have been in a groove scanning 4×5″ negatives and it so happens that my early work was in this format. Later on I shot everything in 8×10″ and later still I shoot digital. So, as it turns out that the work up there comprises ‘early work’.

Voortrekker farmstead – Chipingi

Chipingi Farm House

This dwelling was built on a hillside in the Chipingi area of Zimbabwe.

The owners were direct descendants from early Afrikaans settlers who trekked north into the great unknown from South Africa in ox their wagons. This was  long before the days of railroads and motor vehicles. 

Given the farm invasions of late and that this area would have been extremely ‘hot’ in the war which preceded independence for Zimbabwe, this photo represents that which surely could not possibly still exist. But this is Africa, a place full of surprises. I wonder where these folk who invited us – total strangers off the highway in to have lunch with them, are now? Does this dwelling still exist and who lives there? And what connection do they have to the symbolism which is core to the architecture?