Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tintypes in the Park

Here is a wonderful opportunity to experience good old fashioned photographic processes.  If you live in or around Portland, Oregon in the USA, check this out.

Saturday, August 9, 2014
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Near the Southwest Park Avenue entrance to the Museum's sculpture court
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97205

Emogene ©Ray Bidegain

Own a unique keepsake tintype photograph of you, your friends
and/or your family made by Ray Bidegain Saturday, August 9,
during the Portland Art Museum's Plein Aire Paint Out. This is a
fundraising event for the Museum's Photography Council and a unique
experience in portraiture!

Ray and assistant Greg Bell will set up a complete wet-plate photography studio
and darkroom near the Southwest Park Avenue entrance to the Museum's
sculpture court from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Each unique, hand-made 4x5-inch
likeness is just $40.00.

Come and participate in an event that is as much performance art as it is
photography and walk away with an "instant print" that will last
for generations!

Funds raised by the Photography Council are used to purchase
photographic works for the Museum's photography collection.

Please click here for more information about the Photo Council:

For more information contact Ray Bidegain.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Confusion and doubt...

After a photoshoot where I wasn't entirely pleased with the results, I've thought long and hard about lighting and composition.

It helps to have a talented creative people to.  I rely on them, in fact.  Yet, if I don't my part, it doesn't matter how talented nor how creative a model is.

I was recently contacted by sean360x.  He was in town and was wondering if we could do a shoot together.  The theme would be steampunk.  We would share the studio rental costs so I said "sure."

The theme is one I'm familiar with.  It's my stock and trade these days.  In fact, my good friend Arthur Mogan asked me earlier this week for four more "steampunk-like" images for another Mook.  It will hit the streets on October 15th, 2014.  It's another wonderful opportunity and I can't wait!  The thought  of shooting more steampunk, however, left me feeling adrift as to how to proceed.

This year has been good for publications and my work.  For the past 12 month the latest work will put my publishing total at 5 (FIVE!) great opportunities.  First there was the LensWork #111 with my work on Paris cemeteries.  Then there were two issues of the Gimp Magazine where I gave tutorials and had a portfolio of work printed.  This was followed quickly by a large work of images that appear in Fiction #19 (a magazine book called a MOOK) here in France.  And now this newest prize.  Soon to be followed by gallery shows in Lille, Lyon, and Paris, yes, _that_ Paris!

Yet... and yet, I was not confident going into this latest shoot.

I worried about the lighting.  Some more.  I worried about composition.  Some more.  I worried about my ability to capture something shared between a talented creative person and myself in creating an image.  Some more.

As we started the shoot I shared these fears with sean360x.  He, as an Egyptian god, smiled, nodded, and we got down to the business of creation.

There was no firm creative ground to stand on.  I didn't feel at all confident about my abilities.  Which might explain many things about where I am with my art.  Constantly seeking, constantly trying to improve, and constantly studying the works of others while sorting out how to incorporate all these things into my own work stream makes for rather arduous going.

A rational question, the very first question that leaps to my mind, at least, is how to proceed in the face of uncertainty?

The answer?  I have no idea what the answer is.  Really.  I don't.

Perhaps the Magic comes of it's own accord?  Perhaps the Muse dictates what will happen and when?   It's very frustrating.

Whatever the reason, and very much in spite of myself, circumstances have conspired to confuse me even further.  A quick look at the results confirmed that we had come away with something amazing.  I can't wait to process more images from this most recent shoot.

Sean360x ~ Gods (a series)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Inspiration ~ Kirsty Mitchell

I never believed it could be so easy to contrast the consumerist/techno-worship culture of camera collection against true artistic photographic image-making creativity.

I am moved by the stories of art creation and with the incredible images of John Wimberley, Christopher Burkett, and Bill Gekas.   I wonder at the technical talents of Sandy King and Kerik Kouklis.  I miss my talented friends, Ted Mishima and Ray Bidegain.  I try to understand what drives their vision, practice, and try to incorporate aspects of their approach.

Going into a recent photoshoot with a fire breather and bellydancer I thought I had enough of a vision and image design to make the whole thing work.  Alas, I'm not sure of and am not yet convinced by the results.  It appears I need to pay more attention and to spend more time working on "seeing" images before picking up a camera.

Today I read Kirsty Mitchell's latest blog post about her last and final image in her amazing Wonderland series.  Here is a moving example of an artist exploring the depths of human emotion.  Photography is clearly the vehicle Mme Mitchell uses to express her feelings, and yet the tools of image creation are rather unimportant compared with her ability to design, craft, and create a fantastic world into which we're invited to step.

My creative world is rocked (as it is nearly every time Kirsty lets another image escape into the wilds).  My world is moved.  My vision thoroughly challenged.

How to apply what I appreciate and learn from her approach?

The Dragon

Monday, July 07, 2014

Inspiration ~ interviews Bill Gekas

If, like me, you're interested in what motivates photographic artists, what they think about, and what they find important in their art, head on over to and their interview with Bill Gekas.

I feel M. Gekas is one of the finest "classic" lighting strobists of present times.  It's well worth a read.

... and filed under the heading of shameless self promotion, the following image was made here in Paris of a friend who texted me to say he was in town for a few days, and, gee, it'd be fun to have a beer together.  Give me a small umbrella, a cheap Chinese strobe (seriously, I _must_ get a better strobe), and a camera with RF triggers and we can make just about anything into fine image.  IMNSHO, that is.


Aymeric Langlois