Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seven Summits - The High Peaks of the Pacific Northwest

I've recently been watching Art Wolfe's Travels to the Edge series. It's really good television and makes me want to be a travel photographer. This week's Photo Book Tuesday selection is Seven Summits covering Wolfe's journeys to: Rainer, Baker, Hood, Shuksan, St. Helens, Glacier, and Adams. For those of us who love high alpine photography, it's a great glimpse into the sentinels of the Northwest without requiring crampons and hiking poles. Some of his previous books are sold out and have not been reprinted so don't delay if you want to add it to your collection. 

Wolfe will be hosting and giving a keynote presentation at the 2009 North American Nature Photography Association's Annual Summit in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Hardcover: 160 pages
October 25, 2005

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Monday, September 29, 2008

How graffiti moves - a triptych of three states

Image copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

Two years and three states, this triptych illustrates how this stencil has traveled over time across America. In my journey into the urban landscape, I come across images like these that are to me the ultimate traveling art exhibit.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Lightgraff - light graffiti by Frederic Rezine

French graffiti artist, Frederic Rezine, does some really amazing work. Recently, he has produced a book documenting his light graffiti projects that will blow your mind. 
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Death row inmate in Texas donates his body for art

If the final appeal is denied and his execution proceeds, Gene Hathorn on death row in Texas has agreed to donate his remains to artist Marco Evaristti. The artist intends to turn Hathorn's body into an art display where viewers of the installation will be able to "feed goldfish with it." 

Evaristti is know for producing outrageous art. In 2007 at a dinner party, he served meatballs partially created with fat from his own liposuction operation. Gross! How very Fight Club of him. 

Read more about Hathorn and Evaristti at The Art Newspaper.
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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jill Greenberg shoots John McCain and her own foot in the process

Photo Copyright Chris Phillips

If you have not yet heard of the controversy, Jill Greenberg was recently contracted by The Atlantic to shoot John McCain for their October issue's cover. Greenberg set up and took additional shots of the presidential hopeful during the photo set and later created several unflattering, to say the least, images greatly altered with Photoshop. One most notably, to me anyway, had a chimpanzee taking a crap on McCain's head (see here as I'm not posting this on my blog.) 

Photo District News explains the story better than I ever could. 

Responses rage across the internet, some of support, some of condemnation. Greenberg has since taken the manipulated images of McCain down from her website and was dropped by the photo agency. In these inflammatory political times, as Mark Tucker suggests who knows what is true, rumor, or exaggeration at this point. Like Mark, I'm fascinated by the story and have my own two cents to throw in.

First, why would you do this to your fellow professional photographers?
I'm sure that many a contract lawyer is happy as can be that they will be again welcomed to the negotiating table as magazines and commercial entities try to protect themselves from the "Greenberg fiasco." I'm not quite sure why The Atlantic would commission someone who's career was largely made by making a political statement against the current administration but like it or not Greenberg was representing all commercial photographers and should have considered the ramifications to the profession as a whole. I think a stronger political statement would have been made by turning down the money, instead now the movement of each light in a photo shoot will be seen as some sort of attempted chicanery. Must we now submit a registration of our party lines to ensure a client of non bias? 

Is the best political statement that one can make, a monkey taking a crap on someone's head?
I applaud the creativity of some of Greenberg's other work. Creating a series using crying children as a reference to the apocalypse brought about by the current administrations policies, well that's brilliant stuff. Thought provoking, meaningful, displaying craft and intent, but a crapping chimp. Seriously? 

Where's the reset button?
I ask myself this sometimes while looking at the events unfolding with this story and the larger political campaign stories flooding our media today. Would Jill take it back if she could? Would either candidate really go back in time to their moral high-ground before the smear tactics began? Likely, I must sadly say, not. Then, we might all have to look at the real issues facing this country. We might have to answer as to why we were so easily marshaled into raising our fists in outrage or support for things that don't really matter. 

I for one am cutting out to do what I love and leave this story and those like it behind. Off to take pictures.

Mark had a nice disclosure with his blog entry so I'll steal his idea and do my own:
I am an independent. I'm a fine art photographer. I also believe  the words of my father,"If I would actually want to vote for someone as president, they would be too smart to run in the first place."
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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New Lensbaby Composer

Lensbaby has updated their original designs and added some fantastic new features including the soon to be released Composer lens. Integral to the new design is the Optic Swap System which allows for greater creative freedom while still using the old magnetic rings, signature to Lensbaby, to control Aperture. Available now for pre-order, check out their updated website for information and inspiration.

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A Procession of Them by Eugene Richards

Image copyright Eugene Richards

Documenting psychiatric institutions in Mexico, Argentina, Armenia, Hungary, Paraguay, and Kosovo, Eugene Richards takes you into the vivid but tortured world of the mentally disabled person. It's a tough journey to pick up this book, an amazing work of photojournalism.

Released in September 2008
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Monday, September 22, 2008

New York City Graffiti Art Exhibition

APW Gallery is hosting a graffiti art exhibition in December. Entry fee is $50.00 for two pieces of canvas. It's an open call for the first forty who pay the toll. That's first come, first serve so bounce over to their site now if you are interested.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dean Brierly photographer

Image copyright Dean Brierly

Lovers of abstract photography, like myself, will really enjoy Dean's work. Check it out.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Airfloat Systems - a solution for fine art shipping

Granted, I make all my own shipping crates for distribution to galleries but for you folks who don't want to deal with the hassle there is Airfloat Systems. The key here is that they offer re-usable solutions for shipping your work. I can often only use my self made packaging once as they are completely custom. Until I go into business selling custom shipping crates, this is your next best thing. ;)
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Last Rest

Image Copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

I decided to start documenting part of the street environment as I find it on my travels into the urban landscape. 

Nikon D200
Aperture - f/5
ISO - 400
Focal Length - 36mm
September 16, 2008
2:30 PM CT
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Friday, September 19, 2008

Studio Visit Magazine

I  just received my acceptance today from this new publication that specifically targets galleries, museum curators, and art aficionados. It's a great opportunity for someone just starting out that doesn't yet have a gallery affiliation. It is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2009. The deadline for submittals has past, but they will be opening up again for future publications. Bookmark it and check back with them.

From their website:

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Photonola - a self professed photography festival New Orleans style

This 3rd Annual photography festival sponsored by the New Orleans Photo Alliance, seeks to bring galleries, museums, and photographers together to celebrate a month long list of festivities. Of particular interest to me is the workshop with Susan Burnstine, focusing on how as an emerging photographer to present your work to the fine art market. I wish I could have done this a year ago. 

Principle to the festival are the portfolio review sessions held on December 6 & 7. Unfortunately,  registration is closed but you can still get on the waiting list should someone else have to cancel. 
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Still: Oceanscapes by Debra Bloomfield

I admire the persistence of photographers who devote a significant amount of time to a unique subject AND still manage to produce a body of diverse beautiful work from it. In this case, Debra Bloomfield in Still: Oceanscapes has returned to photograph the same stretch of beach for seven years. I'm drawn to the simplicity of the work as nature plays itself out over time and shows us the reason we are all drawn to the meeting of sea and sky.

Published in July 2008.
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Damien Hirst takes home $127 million in first segment of auction today at Sotheby's

Photo copyright Tom Fecht

Amidst a great upheaval in the world's financial markets, Damien Hirst managed to take art marketing to the next level today at Sotheby's. Breaking new ground, Hirst avoided the gallery system all together and took his 223 works produced over the last two years straight to auction. One piece alone, a white bull preserved in formaldehyde, sold for $18.6 million dollars.
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Plates to Pixals - A Pacific Northwest Center for Photography Project

This 2nd Annual Portland, Oregon show is themed Formerly & Hereafter. Open to all domestic and international photographers, you should jump at this chance with no entry fee. The shows juror is Christina Z. Anderson, a great photographer focusing on largely experimental work. Each entrant can submit up to five images. Submission format is email or regular post. Deadline is October 31st with the show running November through December.  Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Shelter: A National Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Photography

The theme for this Portland, Oregon gallery show is Shelter.

From the website:
Architecture, habitat, sanctuary. Shelter is one of our most basic human needs—at once both physical and psychological. We derive great pride from the shelter we build. We seek shelter from the elements, from the storm, from harm. How can shelter be interpreted visually given its myriad manifestations? Go out. Seek shelter. Make shelter. Tell us a story.

The juror for this show is Randy Gragg. Best of show will get their own future solo show at the gallery. One nice feature of this contest is that they are putting together a full-color show catalogue. Three images will be accepted for a twenty-five dollar entry fee. Images can be sent via mail or submitted online using PayPal. The show will run From November 7-29 just in time for the Christmas season. Deadline is October 3rd.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Bracelets made from old camera lens parts

This is brilliant. Definitely on my Christmas list this year. 

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Paralympic Games 2008 Images

This is nothing short of inspirational. Sure, Michael Phelps is now regarded as the greatest Olympian ever, but these folks are my heroes.

Check out the slideshow at Sports Illustrated.

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Suggestions on shipping your artwork

Ok, so you've sold a print or have gotten into a gallery show. Looking at shipping options, I would guess like myself you want to ship the cheapest way possible while protecting your artwork. You might be tempted to ship via USPS. DON'T! 

I recently shipped a print having packaged it in a tube, carefully putting tissue in the top and bottom. It was also wrapped in an acid free plastic bag. The tube was shipped USPS and arrived crushed. The client was not happy at all, but I assured them that my guarantee covered such things and apologized profusely while quickly printing another to get to them. 

I later learned, unlike FedEx or UPS, the USPS has no basic level of insurance on every package sent. You get one hundred dollars of insurance coverage with either UPS or FedEx. For myself in most cases, this is enough as it covers the frame and cost of printing usually. So, I'm out the replacement costs having used USPS. Both UPS and FedEx also offer extra insurance coverage at a very reasonable price. I have sent emails to the USPS explaining the situation and have yet to get a response. Also inquiring at the local place where I ship about USPS, they said not to expect a response. It is their experience that they simply don't care. 

Here are a few extra notes about shipping artwork:
1. Avoid using styrofoam peanuts. Galleries hate this as would you if you had upwards of seventy shipping crates or packages to store as is the case with many group exhibitions. 
2. Order or pick up a few glass stickers that you can adhere to the outside of shipping packages. Your shipment will likely be handled with a more gentle hand.
3. Make sure to label the artwork itself. I simply clear tape a business card to the back of the frame. Anything you can do to make it easier on a gallery is to your benefit. 
4. Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy a sheet of flat insulation. It's a cheap way to add a little protection around your work. I make slip cases out of them with packing tape. 
5. Include a flyer or some other piece of promotional material in a shipment. It's your chance to promote yourself, after all you were selected to be in the show. Don't pass it up.
6. Set up an account with UPS or FedEx for return shipping from a gallery back home. We would all like to think that our work will always sell, but it doesn't. Many of the shows I've been in request a return shipping label with the artwork. If you have an account set up, you can include the label and if the piece sells you just saved some cash. 

That's it for now. 
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

National Photography and Digital Imagery Exhibition at Palm Beach Community College

Got the flyer today. I'm really looking forward to being a part of this exhibition. Dr. Terry Barrett was the juror for the show and is giving a presentation that you won't want to miss if you are in the area. This is the first of its kind for PBCC so please show your support and check out the exhibition if you are able or drop them an email saying how glad you are that they are drawing attention to photography as an artistic form.

Press release for the show:

PBCC Eissey Campus National Photography & Digital Imagery Competition 2008

(Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – August 28, 2008) Palm Beach Community College’s The Gallery at Eissey Campus is proud to announce the upcoming exhibition, the “National Photography & Digital Imagery Competition 2008. The nationwide call for entries drew 218 pieces from 69 artists and photographers; submissions came to the gallery from as far away as California and Washington. Of these, 30 pieces representing 24 entrants will be on display when the exhibition debuts Oct. 7. The theme of the show is open interpretation represented by traditional and digital photography as well as digitally created imagery. The opening reception and awards presentation is Oct. 7; the exhibition will run through Dec. 10. Awards are $1,000 for first place; $500 for second place and third place is $250. Proceeds from the show will be used to fund fine art scholarships at PBCC.

The competition judge is Dr. Terry Barrett, professor of art education at Ohio State University. He is the author of several books on art and photography, including “Why is that Art?: Aesthetics and Criticism of Contemporary Art” and “Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Images.”

Barrett will give a lecture, titled “Appreciating Life through Art,” followed by a walk through the gallery and discussion in room BB111 in Meldon Hall, 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8.

“The entries selected by Dr. Barrett are exceptionally diverse, said Karla Walter, gallery coordinator. “The collected works range from inkjet prints, digital photography, photo collages and dye pigment transfer on Venetian plaster.”

The Gallery at Eissey is located in the BB Building room 113, 3160 PGA Blvd. For more information about the contest and exhibit, contact Karla Walter at (561) 207-5015 or email:


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish book

This book is simply different. In flipping through the pages, it took me back to being a kid and seeing my first glass catfish. It was like watching a skeleton swimming and calls to mind those Discovery Channel shows about deep sea submersibles and the weird critters inhabiting the deep oceans. This book will take you to that place of wonder, your inner child. So, I think it's cool.

From the publisher:
Originally created to preserve a record of scientific samples, the balck and white X-rays of fish at the Smithsonian Institution have emerged as astonishing works of art in their own right. This stunning compendium of images-comparable to fine and delicate engravings-is drawn from the National Museum of Natural History, which holds the world's largest collection of ichthyological specimens (and which, upon the reopening of its Ocean Hall set to open on September 27 in the Summer of 2008, will put these X-rays on permanent display). As mesmerizingly beautiful as they are amazingly detailed, these images reveal the hidden wonders of the creatures of the deep.

The number of great photography books that are coming out right now is simply amazing. To bring light to many of these great offerings, I'm starting Photo Book Tuesdays. Each week I will be highlighting a book or two that I think deserves a little more attention. If you have the spare time, bounce over to Chronicle Book's website. They are the publishers of this and many other interesting new photo and art books. 

Published in May 2008.
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Monday, September 8, 2008

Let's Spice Things Up

I'm Byron's wife. Sometimes (well, quite a bit, really), I think his blog is a little...er...dry. So I've decided that I'm going to blog with him! My posts won't be professional, they won't necessarily be informative, and they may not have a thing to do with photography. I will, however, make an attempt to make them entertaining. And I'm pretty busy these days, so we'll see how much I manage to post.
The first time I knew I was in trouble was during the first year we were dating. He had a little bookshelf in his room, full of lots of interesting books, and a picture. This picture happened to be of a bug. Now, I like bugs as much as anyone, more than quite a few. And as bugs go, this one was cute. But Byron...he stared at this little ladybug, the way I stare at chocolate chip cookies when they're warm and buttery, fresh from the oven, and I have a tall cold glass of milk handy. 
When I knew it was all over? One day that first summer I'd dressed up, trying to be cute. You know, when you spend 20 minutes in the bathroom trying to make your ponytail look artfully disheveled, carefully cultivating the I-didn't-put-any-makeup-on makeup. I was wearing an adorable little tank top and had freshly painted toenails. So I was hanging out looking at his plants (in those days, he had GORGEOUS plants everywhere), and he was staring at me. I thought 'Hey! Those 20 minutes on a ponytail - totally worth it!'
  TheWife: Whatcha thinking?
  Byron: The light looks really beautful on your skin. 

And all was lost.

Love, TheWife
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Hooker Falls near Brevard, North Carolina

I visited Hooker Falls early in the morning this July. This particular waterfall is a great subject. Unlike many of the other waterfalls in the area, it is easy to reach down a short hike on a wide trail that is relatively flat. I would recommend wading out to get a different perspective than you might normally see. The water is about knee deep where I jumped in and it's easy to set up a tripod. This shot was taken from the side after a short scramble across a few slippy rocks, be forewarned. 

Also in the close vicinity are a few other falls. The Triple Falls trail is across the road from the Hooker Falls parking lot and is a fifteen minute or so hike up vertical terrain. Triple Falls will provide a bevy of photographic opportunities from a bunch of different angles. It is significantly more exposed than Hooker Falls to morning sun and should be visited under overcast conditions or in the late afternoon. If you continue up the trail, you will eventually come to High Falls. It's not one of the more photographic falls in the area, and I would advise spending your time elsewhere unless you can catch it in the fall while the leaves are changing. 

If you are planning on visiting the area and want to hunt for waterfalls, I would pick up North Carolina Waterfalls: A Hiking and Photography Guide by Kevin Adams. It's a really good resource for directions and suggestions on where to spend your time wisely. 

Plan on staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Brevard. Recently renovated, you will find more shots like the one above from yours truly. 
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dark Portal from the Reflected Life Series

Copyright 2008 Byron O'Neal

This image was originally captured as a boat's reflection onto the water. Some of the suggestive shapes are a bit creepy hence the naming 'Dark Portal.'

This image is part of my Relfected Life series.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Microsoft's new imaging program Photosynth

A friend of mine who works for Microsoft showed me this new program that they have created, and it blew me away. It is a bit hard to explain at first but is in essence a way to create an interactive experience with a series of photographs that allows you to explore in almost a 3D like environment. This is way beyond a panoramic. Think of it as being able to transend the limitations of what a two dimensional photographic representation can do.

From their website:
Imagine being albe to share the places and things you love using the conematic quality of a movie, the control of a video game, and the mind-blowing detail of the real world. With nothing more than a bunch of photos, Photosynth creats an amazing new experience.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Pete Eckert's different approach to photography

 Image copyright Pete Eckert

Pete is an amazing photographer. He's also blind. 

Biography from the recent Exposure contest he won: 
I am a totally blind person. But by memorizing the event of taking photos using sound and touch I have a clear minds eye view of my work. I could do conceptual art by showing the contact sheets and do a write-up about the event of shooting the photos. This would eliminate sighted people from my process. I don't. I want' to interact with sighted people. I am trying to cut a path as a blind artist. By interacting with sighted people I am building bridges.It is important to talk to viewers in gallery shows for me too.My work makes people question their assumptions. By sharpening my other senses and translating what I hear helps my skills. I can see again. I am not trying to depict the sighted world. I am trying to show the world I now see using my other senses. My memories, emotions, as well as sound and touch play a part.Some people don't think I am blind after looking at my work.I am a visual person, I just can't see. 

Check out his website:
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