SoCal PhotoExchange

Challenges and Joys of Medium-Format Macro

Posted in Camera equipment, Photo techniques, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on January 23, 2018

Recently I have picked up my Pentax 645Z again, to rediscover the world in miniature. The depth of field/focus can be very minimal at close range, seemingly elusive. I have a razor-sharp macro lens that I bought used at reasonable cost (compared to similar Hasselblad and Leica medium format lenses), the Pentax 645 120mm f/4 SMC FA Macro, that makes it possible. Several such excellent automatic and manual Pentax 645 lenses are left over from the film era and are shunned by some photographers who would rather spend thousands for a similar lens with the “digital” designation.

So, with or without extension tubes, there is a world in miniature to be discovered. The live view function on the rotating viewfinder makes it even more possible. The subtleties of color captured with a 51M pixel sensor and the information-gathering ability of these large lenses are amazing. And the time and money saved by not having to process and scan film is substantial, of course. So my idea is to capture a dreamy world, whether it is one of my “selfscapes” or the stuff that we all have around the house, such as my desk surface that becomes a constructed landscape, or the flowers in a vase that have seen better days.

Hope you enjoy the images below. – This is also a forum for exchanging information, so if you have any questions about this or would like to share similar guest contributions, please let me know in the comment section below, or send me an email!

Cheers!

Gerhard (Gerry) Clausing

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All images © 2014-2018 by Gerhard Clausing

Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens check

Posted in Camera equipment, Photo techniques, Photography by douglaspstockdale on January 15, 2018

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Santa Ana, CA, May 13 copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This is not meant in any means to be a full technical review of the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens that I recently purchased, but in the immortal words of the late Garry Winogrand, “I want to see what this looks like”. As background I have been using almost to the exclusion, the standard Canon 24-105mm L zoom lens which is the “kit” lens that came with my Canon 5D. I think that the 24-105mm is a great all around lens but I am also of the opinion that the prime lens, such as this 50mm f/1.4, will provide an extra brilliance in the rending of the image.

The photo above is essentially the first exposure I made after walking out of Samy’s Camera store in Santa Ana, CA, a full frame capture on my Canon 5D Mark3. I am planning to dedicate this lens on my Canon 5D for my studio work for when I re-photograph photo books for The PhotoBook Journal.

Right now I want to see this full frame image after processing with Photoshop in a lower resolution (72dpi) JPEG on my monitor, since the images I make with this are essentially destined for viewing in this format on the web. I first did a check of the image’s outer edges and corners since that is where a lens usually starts to fail in image quality. My assessment: looking very good and this appears to be a keeper. No need to make a return trip back to Samy’s Camera.

I am not thinking about another photo project involving Southern California food trailers, but it is nevertheless an interesting idea. I must admit, while walking out of the store and trying to decide what to quickly photograph, this red foodie trailer quickly caught my eye. So a little bit of formal composition and the photo was captured.

After working with a zoom lens for so long, using a fixed focal length (e.g. prime) lens was a mental rust remover. Such that if I wanted to tighten up this composition and stay full frame, I actually needed to move my feet. Back in the day when one bought a 35mm film camera, it usually came outfitted with a 50mm lens, such that my Canon Ft-QL (that was somewhere in the very early 1970’s) came with a 50mm f/1.8 FL lens, and this same focal length came with my upgrade to the Canon Ae-1 in the early 1990’s.

Actually for street photography the 50mm (normal focal length) is a really nice lens to work with and I know a lot of street photographers who swear by this focal length for the majority of their work. Nevertheless I may also just tuck this little lens in my camera bag when I take some road trips, or if I want to go low-key/light-weight to replace the heavy and slower 24-105mm zoom altogether ;- )

Cheers!

Below, recent photograph with this 50mm f/1.4 on the Canon 5DMk3 from my project Path to Somewhere; Arroyo Trabuco Trail, December 2017 (cropped square).

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Happy New Year!

Posted in Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on December 31, 2017

Wishing all our readers the very best of everything for 2018!

 Most of all unlimited creativity!

The Editors

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© 2017 Gerhard Clausing

 

 

Street Shooting Around the World – One Week Left to Submit!

Posted in Juried opportunities, Photograph Exhibits, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on December 21, 2017
Photo by Kevin Weinstein, 2017 winner and exhibiting artist

CALL FOR ENTRY!

Fourth Annual “Street Shooting Around the World” Exhibition

Just one week left to submit!

Deadline for submission: Thursday, December 28, 2017

LACP is pleased to announce our Fourth Annual “Street Shooting Around the World” Exhibition! The exhibit will run from February 16 – March 16, 2018, with opening night reception scheduled for Friday, February 16, 7-10 pm, 2018. The theme is street shooting in Los Angeles and around the world. The juror will select between 40-50 images based on creativity, originality, and quality. In addition, another 50-60 images will be chosen for a virtual gallery display via LACP’s website. There is no limit to the amount of images which can be submitted.

The Prizes

1st Prize: $1,000 cash prize, plus an invitation to show your work during the STREET WEEK in LA weekend presentations (February 17, 2018).
This prize is awarded to the photographer with the best “body” of work. At least six images must be submitted.

(NOTE: To be eligible for the 1st place prize, you MUST submit at least SIX IMAGES.)

2nd Prize: $500 scholarship toward any LACP street class or travel street workshop. This prize is given to a single outstanding image.

NEW! In addition to the prizes and exhibiting at LACP, 12-20 photographs from the exhibition will be selected by a Senior Art Producer at Saatchi & Saatchi, a global communications and advertising agency with 140 offices in 76 countries, for display in their Los Angeles offices for a period of time after the LACP exhibition closes. Exact dates TBD.

The Juror

Street photographer Gus Powell from New York City will be this year’s juror.
EligibilityThis exhibit is open internationally to both amateurs and professionals.

The deadline to send digital files for consideration is Thursday, December 28, 2017 by midnight PST. There is no limit to the amount of images which can be submitted.

Entry Fee

There is no limit to the amount of images which can be submitted. If submitting more than 10 images, please repeat the payment process as necessary.

$25 for 1 photo
$50 for 2-5 photos
$75 for 6-10 photos (NOTE: Submitting at least six images makes you eligible to receive the 1st place prize.)
(Entry fee is 50% off for LACP Members)

CLICK HERE to SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY!

John Montich at the Torrance Art Museum

Posted in Photograph Exhibits, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on December 10, 2017

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Catch this exhibit while it’s up — one more week!

Congratulations, John!

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Copyright John Montich

 

 

 

 

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Douglas Stockdale – Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo books, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on November 3, 2017

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Author and Principal Photographer:  Douglas Stockdale (born Butler, PA; resides Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

Publisher: Self-published; first edition, first printing of 400; copyright © 2017

Text: English

Stiff-cover saddle-stitched book of 40 numbered pages with 14 images on several types of paper; 7.5×9 inches; full-color digital lithography, printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, California; $19.95 plus shipping ($4.50 in US & $15.00 USD other countries)

Book Design: Douglas Stockdale and Craig Evans – Text Editor: Gerhard Clausing – Cover Photograph: Scott Mathews

Notes: This book had its debut at the Medium Festival of Photography on October 26, 2017, and was received with great enthusiasm. It is a detailed guide to help the artist through all the steps and considerations to keep in mind when thinking about and executing an independently published artist book.

Douglas Stockdale, editorial founder of The PhotoBook Journal and our SoCal PhotoExchange, who has been our guide through many artistic and publishing intricacies which he has discussed in hundreds of book reviews and articles, really gets to the point in this publication. Fortunately, his collaborator and sponsor in this venture is the renowned printing and communications company Dual Graphics in Brea, California, which already assisted Ansel Adams in artfully transferring his photography to print many years ago.

Doug certainly practices what he preaches. As a successful mentor and leader of workshops dealing with planning, producing, and marketing photo books, and as an author of a number of them himself (In Passing, Ciociaria, Pine Lake, Bluewater Shore), he is able to lay out logical and creative patterns for planning and doing artist books that are designed to help artists avoid many possible pitfalls that he has observed over time. The discussion is divided into five stages, which also constitute the chapters of this book:

  1. Book Pre-Visualization
  2. Marketing (including funding and fundraising)
  3. Book Development (including editing, sequencing the images, and making a book “dummy”)
  4. Book Design (and options)
  5. Book Production

Just to name one very important consideration, this Guide introduces marketing issues early in the process, rather than at the end, as others have done, since marketing information and decisions are integral to all other considerations that follow. Doug also devotes important space to the topics of selecting and sequencing the images to be included in an artist book, a topic that is sketchy in other guides on publishing your own artist book. There are many other planning considerations that he discusses to help the reader untangle potential difficulties.

Another fascinating feature of this book, extremely useful and exclusive, is the addition of sample pages of several different types of paper on which the same color and monochrome images are printed, so that the effect of printing on papers with different surfaces and characteristics can be seen. While the images below are no substitute for getting the actual book and studying the printing on the actual paper, they allow you to begin to see some differences. This feature alone is worth more than the cost of the book, as it is the best demonstration for working closely with a top-notch printing company, and to alert the potential maker of an artist book to all the details that can make a huge difference. There are also detailed descriptions of the papers included, as well as definitions of many terms that make the artist more knowledgeable when dealing with the printing and binding options. Needless to say, the author’s style is to the point, easy to read, and not filled with unnecessary technical jargon.

This book is highly recommended, especially if you are not sure about doing an artist book. The overview and the details provided here will help you understand and appreciate the process and will serve as a checklist to guide you through the entire process when you have made the decision to go through with it.

Gerhard Clausing

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Report on the 2017 Medium Festival of Photography

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on October 31, 2017

Last Sunday marked the conclusion of the sixth annual Medium Festival of Photography. This time (in contrast to the brief visit last year) I decided to participate in all four days of activities (October 26-29), and I am very pleased I did. This way I am also able to report on the range of activities that are offered, and would encourage you to participate next year. It gives me pleasure to note that we, the SoCal Photo Exchange, are a media sponsor of the Medium Festival of Photography.

The first two days were spent doing portfolio reviews. This process allows the participating photographers to show their work to leaders in the art world, be they artists, collectors, publishers, or museum staff. The feedback one can obtain is priceless, and the process teaches you to be concise and focused in editing, describing, and presenting your photographs. You are also able to make contacts this way and have the experts remember your work if there are future opportunities where your work may be exhibited and/or published. I got at least seven or eight excellent suggestions for presenting my work more effectively and for creating new series. You also get a sense of the range of preferences for various purposes. There was also a “portfolio walk” on Thursday night, where the public and fellow artists can view your work. I found the interactions refreshing, and the talks were just as straight-forward and personal as the reviews.

Friday night and Saturday were devoted to lecture/presentations. The keynote lecture by John Gossage was inspiring, as he discussed his long career and publishing history in detail, and is a great model for finding opportunities and using everyday subjects to generate profound contemplation via narrative landscape/photographic fiction. The presentation of 3D images and films by Claudia Kunin was also impressive, as she has a way to make the animated stills stir one’s memories and emotions. The lectures by Justyna Badach (selected from last year’s portfolio review participants) and Christina Seely were interesting to me as well, since they dealt with political and environmental issues that should be a concern for all of us.

Sunday a group of us went on one of the Medium Festival bus tours to visit major museums and galleries. This too was a fabulous experience. In a very compact amount of time we were able to visit a number of venues as well as to talk with a number of artists that had specifically come to the venues to make themselves available for discussion. Without having to drive, we could appreciate the Museum of Photographic Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Central Library Gallery, and the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery in a very compact amount of time. The images below give you some glimpses and further descriptions of what I saw. I hope it will encourage you to make use of these resources and this festival in the future.

My special thanks to Scott B. Davis, Sarah Koenig Wagner, and all the other workers of magic for creating this wonderful experience!

Gerhard Clausing

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Photographers shared their work and exchanged ideas throughout the two days of portfolio reviews at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego.

 

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The Executive Director of the Medium Festival of Photography, Scott B. Davis. The interpersonal skills and dedicated energy of Scott, Sarah, and the rest of the team were huge factors contributing to the festival’s success, already in its sixth year.

 

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Prep time between reviews. Here photographers J.K. Lavin, Wendi Schneider, Lori Pond, and Gerhard Clausing are sorting their images.

 

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An open slot! Off to be reviewed, facilitated by Sarah Koenig Wagner, Program Manager.

 

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The keynote speaker, John Gossage, who talked about his impressive career creating several dozen books.

 

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At the Dual Graphics table, Craig Evans and author Douglas Stockdale (who introduced his very useful Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, soon to be reviewed here) are conversing with artist and reviewer Andrew Burgess (second from left) and photographer Todd Bradley (right).

 

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Maggie Downing, Manager of Collections and Exhibitions, explains the installation behind her and is about to start a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

 

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A viewer’s approach to the exhibit “Play,” featuring the work of Brenda Biondo (former portfolio review participant) at The San Diego Museum of Art.

 

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Philipp Scholz Rittermann explains his work, part of the San Diego Central Library Gallery exhibit “Dream of the Nineties.”

 

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Members of our group at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí.” We had a chance to discuss work with photographers Tom Kiefer, Ingrid Hernández, and Stefan Falke. It was fascinating to see and hear about the artists’ personal involvement and to hear about the difficulties experienced around the US/Mexico border.

 

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The Mexican photographer Ingrid Hernández at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí” at SDSU Downtown Gallery.

 

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Stefan Falke and Chantel Paul, Director of the SDSU Downtown Gallery, discussing Stefan’s work photographing artists in Mexico.

Image #3 © Douglas Stockdale; all others © Gerhard Clausing

 

The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo techniques, Photo Workshops, Photography by douglaspstockdale on October 18, 2017

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Maria Piscopo – The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Publisher: Allworth Press (NY), Fifth Edition, copyright 2016

While developing my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop for LACP (Note: this one-day workshop has space available, Oct 29th, at LACP) I came across Maria Piscopo’s The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion. Since this title was in its fifth edition I figured that this book has stood the test of time and photographer have kept buying it and thus might be worth checking out. What I anticipated was this is a generalist guide for a broad spectrum of photographers, not specific to the needs of artist and photographers who were marketing a small niche product like a self-published book.

My background includes graduate level marketing classes that was part of my focus while I was getting my M.B.A.  Since that course work was even more general maybe Piscopo’s book might help with some photographic market specifics that I might not be aware of. Last, this might make an interesting reference book for those attending my workshop.

Well it turns out that Maria Piscopo’s book is intended entirely for professional photographers while the fine art market is treated as a side-line and provided a short chapter in the back of the book. I had expected a little better organization of the content, but at least many of the parts for a Marketing program appear to be present.

Much of this book is about the very business basics (and I do mean basics) of professional photography; business licenses, business ethics, getting organized, using a computer (e.g. bookkeeping), and an introduction to how to use the internet for event, wedding, and commercial. Writing a Marketing plan does not occur until almost the end of the book, something I might think would be the first thing to consider for a Marketing book. Which is to say, this book is not a very good guide for Marketing and you might be better off with a college basic Marketing text book.

If on the other hand you are very new to having your own business and have not done this before,  yet you think you might want to be a professional photographer, this book might be of some help to make sure you have most of your business bases covered. This will not be a reference book for my Book Marketing workshop and not to say that occasionally there are some little gems buried in the book, just finding these can be more frustrating that what it is worth to me. It might be ideal for you.

Best regards,

Douglas Stockdale

Frank Cancian a Finalist at the Lucie Photobook Prize Competition

Posted in Books & Magazines, Juried opportunities, Photographers, tPE members by Gerhard Clausing on October 6, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Frank Cancian’s book Lacedonia: An Italian Town, 1957 is a finalist in the Lucie Photobook Prize Competition. This project was reviewed here at SCPX by Douglas Stockdale. Congratulations, Frank!

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Lectures and Events at Medium Festival, Oct. 27-29 (discounted registration through Oct.15)

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on October 3, 2017

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LA 66   ©John Gossage

 

Discover Medium’s 2017 Present Tense Lecturers

 

Medium is defined by an exceptional program of artist lectures—creative voices in the field who share their recent work and creative development with you. The 2017 lectures kick off with a Keynote Lecture by John Gossage on Oct. 27. John Gossage is a revered artist who got his start at the Leo Castelli Gallery (in a two-person show with Jasper Johns, no less)!

The weekend continues with lectures by Justyna Badach, Claudia Kunin, John Chiara, Christina Seely, and J. Grant Brittain. Discover their work on our website and pick up a Festival Pass today—discounted registration is available online through Oct. 15.

 

Meet Claudia Kunin on Oct. 28 at 11am

Claudia Kunin is a Los Angeles native who has maintained a career in photography for more than 30 years. Her recent work as a filmmaker involves her use of family photographs, which the artist meticulously animates into short films that tell haunting, evocative stories. In 3-D!

The artist will discuss her career and current work as part of Medium’s Present Tense lecture series at 11:00am on Sat., Oct. 28. Festival participants will be invited a free film screening with the artist at the Digital Gym beginning at 7:00pm. We’re honored to have Claudia Kunin’s lecture as part of the 2017 Festival.

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   © Claudia Kunin

 

Free Festival events and exhibitions!

Don’t miss the ongoing series of free events and exhibition receptions this fall. We kick things off with an exhibition by Morgan DeLuna, a participant in our Far Sight Mentorship program. The exhibition Morgan DeLuna: Phenotype opens at Subtext Gallery on Oct. 12. from 6-8pm. Additional free events include:

  • FLASH! Pop-Up Shop, Oct. 26, 7-10pm, Lafayette Hotel
  • Open Portfolio Walk with participating Portfolio Review photographers, Oct. 26, 7-10pm, Lafayette Hotel
  • Book signing with John Gossage, Oct. 27, 8-10pm, Lafayette Hotel
  • Size Matters exhibition reception, Oct. 28, 7-10pm, Helmuth Projects