As 2003 comes to a close we would like to thank all of our loyal PixiPorters for their contributions to the world of photo artistry and take this opportunity to extend safe and warm holiday greetings to each of you. This is the last newsletter of 2003 and with it, brings a new portal "The Jester" with artist wrtier Michael Mollick and many new artists and updates on PixiPort.
We have many exciting new events and news for the coming year...so stay tuned!
POTM Elena Ray
Fine art photographer and writer Elena Ray is POTM winner. Congratulations ELena!
Photo Of The Month is sponsored by Digital Art supplies and Colorsqueeze fine art printers. Form Digital Art Supplies a package of mulit pack photo papers and from Colorsqueeze a print.
How do I fit into the cosmic order of things? How can I apply history and myth to my contemporary and seemingly unremarkable life? With our imagination, can we dissolve the mundane perceptions that veil ultimate reality?
I question the mystical nature of Nature. I want to participate with the gods by recognizing them in people, in ideas, and events.
I write continuously. Poems pop out of me, and visual ideas from what I assume is the collective unconscious, or maybe it's just my stuff swirling around and resurfacing. With it, whatever it is, I'm developing poetic narratives, "poemtographs", that are my investigations into the psychology of being human. For the photographs I use "actors" from my small town and local landscape for a stage, I strive towards imagery that is a rich in symbolism, mythological concepts, and universal themes. Everything is made up, imagined...Is the imagined valid? What mirror are we looking into when we see what exists only in the imagination?
I light with sun, open shade, strobes, tungsten, reflectors, fires, flashlights, headlights, and anything which will illuminate the scene. I use both film and digital camera equipment. In post production I finish the images, adding or refining the special effects digitally on a Macintosh computer. I print with pigment ink on different types of paper: watercolor, Japanese, handmade, in a quest for texture and depth, for sensuality in the physical. The final result is a product of traditional and contemporary technology.
| "Were did you study" was the first question many of the Art Gallery owners asked, when I wanted to exhibit my paintings there 30 years ago. I always answered: "In museums, in Nature, with Artist Friends and other Authentic People, by suffering and joy - mainly I do study Life - and Academies, ArtSchools, Universities I will not go to - because it´s not on my way."
Now I am 50 years old, I live as a freelance Designer quite well and successfully from my many different inventions, ideas, designs and marketing concepts. Together with my beautyful wife and our 3 daughters we live in a small village near Freiburg/Germany. This is the lovliest area in the most southern part of Germany half an hour from the French Border and one Hour from the Swiss Alpes away. Nearby is the famous Black Forest area and the Rhine River Valley connects to the North Sea.
Painting is something I took up again (after a pause of almost 20 years) as something where I can let my passion go freely and without too much hope and fear. I have a huge collection of different styles and topics - I never wanted to be fixated on any single one - however I follow the very old patterns of Archetypes, Luminosity, Sacred World and Playful Intuition - and maybe - I will become a Real Painter again.
Photography is an extension of the eyes - it caputres the way one looks and conserves the way one sees. Looking and seeing is quite different. Many photos I take as a basis for photomanipulation, photo based Artwork ar as puzzlepieces for collages. I almost exclusively work with G5 Apple Macintosh, Graphic Tablett and Photoshop (or Painter 8.0). Sometimes I miss the smell of Oil-paint and the feeling of aquarell paper - but the printed result looks quite the same - digital or analog.
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| To date, I have welcomed my Mac and Photoshop into my life like a free Picasso. To be clear, as a personal choice, I don't do photo composite stuff. I don't put angel wings on a nude and have her flying over the Sahara. Frankly, I think it would be more fun to try that real time. Besides, we'd all be out there naked and warm. Nonetheless, it's quite fascinating to look at, and better when the artist considers the direction, quality and color of light when putting it all together. Rather I am using my digital tools as a darkroom. I may enhance color, change tone, eliminate detail, or dodge and burn as never before possible. Despite the up front pains I traditionally take, I have never made an image that couldn't be improved. No one has. It's the impure nature of the physical world. Beyond that, once I'm satisfied, I can now store the final information and generate identical prints whenever needed. That alone makes me understand how the crowd felt when Moses descended Sinai with an armful of rocks.
I came to photography through a rather indirect path. I always had some interest in the medium after my Dad gave me his old Argus C3 around my 12th birthday. I toyed with the camera and a makeshift darkroom too some degree, , but it was simply just another one of my interests. In late 1976, I transferred to the University of New Hampshire to attend their Forestry School. I had done my research. It offered the best program in the country, and I was quite taken with the notion of eventually living in the Rockies, riding horseback through the Continental Divide, and hunting down rogue bear. Freshly married, I moved from New York and eventually went to an interview with the chairman of the department. Halfway though, he paused, put his arm around my shoulders and gently pointed me toward reality. Seems that twenty years from graduation, I'd still be planting pine trees. If I was luckier than most I could, in time, go to work for a paper or pulp mill.
A little catatonic and needing some time, I began looking for some temporary work. found that the photo labs at UNH had a slot. I interviewed and was under the safelights the following week. As it turned out, this particular department was a highly creative place to be at the time. I stayed for seven years and in the end, due to some formal and informal training in the arts, ended up heading their design department. During that tenure, I was receiving some national attention through the likes of Communication Arts and Print Magazine. I was exhibiting and having my pieces purchased. My images were being collected by the Polaroid Corporation. I also received an NEA grant, entitled Route 40, where I took a Karmen Ghia across this southern interstate for a month and simply photI found that enjoyed being behind my camera alot more than my straight edge. I also found that I would rather shoot than assign the photography. One day, after contemplating my next move, I sent what I considered a portfolio to Bert Glinn. About two weeks later, I received a call from China, informing me that, as current president of Magnum, he was sponsoring me for membership.
At that point, there weren't too many choices left . I had a clear feeling about what I would be doing with the rest of my life. For reasons involving both business and politics, I respectfully declined. None-the-less I took a modest second mortgage, composed my resignation and hit the streets.
My work has been described as highly graphic. I 'm sure that alot of that influence can be attributed to my days as a designer. For me, there is a certain elegance in simplicity. like to work in visual Haiku. I like to impart my work with some grace, some order, and balance. Once I build that framework, I deal with content. I am fortunate enough to have an innate ability which allows me to grasp forms in space without too much difficulty. I don't tolerate extraneous elements very well. If something doesn't fit within my two dimensional world , one way or another, that element is history. It's simply a matter of focus for me. If you don't prepare the canvas, your paint has nothing to adhere to.
Finish article by clicking on Photographers Biography at bottom of page.
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|www.photography-schools-info.com provides information on photography colleges across the United States, and in England as well. You can search for schools by location, or simply browse through the listing of each school. All offer degree programs in photography designed to advance your career.
In addition to the information on the site, forms to request additional info from the colleges themselves are provided.
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| Michael Mollick ~ traditional artist, writer, and photographer for twenty years, pens a humorous tale of his recent coming to Pixiport:
Journal Entry 10/02/03 - 11:30 PM; This is it! This is the one. 368 wopping megabytes of layered digital image perfection. I shall call it - Sara09.tif. Sara's 01-08 are chicken scratch next to this, my masterpiece. It has everything - beauty, explosive rich color and texture, the three "M's", movement, magnetism, and maturity. It has fractal balance and conceptual purity. My sixteen year old daughter, who I couldn't impress unless I were awarded the Nobel Prize for the scientific discovery of the Unified Field Theorum, then subsequently put it to a "Hip-Hop" tune which would run on MTV opposite the "Superbowl", just took a full two second notice of the image on my screen. She pursed her lips and said, "Cool." This single pronouncement coming from her sounded to me like the "Halleleuia Chorus"! Oh, yes - my creative cup runnith over. I am the pixel-slingin' Ansel Adams. I am Michelangelo with an alpha channel!
11:35 PM; Chirrup chirrup calls a lone cricket outside my window, echoing into the still night. Somehow, my little insect buddy never fails to make me think, "Now What?."
11:50 PM; I am Linus, "waiting for the 'Great Pumpkin', Charlie Brown." It always seems appropriate at such times for a host of Cyber internet Angels to materialize upon my screen, praise my undiscovered genius, then spirit my properly watermarked image away to publishing-heaven, (which takes no percentage on sales, by the way). I actually thought it was happening about a year ago, but it turned out to be Script-kiddies issuing a denial-of- service attack. But this time is different. I'm not going to sit back and wait. I'm going to go out onto the net and find the best - see what they're doing. But first - is that a digital speck on Sara09.tif? I better tweak it a little.
Journal Entry 10/03/03 - 2:30 AM; There are no words. "Humbling" comes to mind, but its not enough to describe the awesome creativity evident from the artists on this single website. I finally got around to a search engine around 1:00 AM. >From www.dogpile.com, I typed in the words, "best", "fine-art", and "photography". I clicked on the #1 return which linked here to this amazing site and here I've remained for an hour and a half. Www.pixiport.com is far and away, the best site of its kind I've ever seen. Some familiar names, the rest I need to become familiar with because the uniqueness and depth of their images simply demand it. My god, this Helyn Davenport chick is prolific. Her work is versatile - warm and embracing one minute, haunting the next - always progressive though, certainly unafraid to challenge tradition. Heh. Too bad she's probably just a figurehead for this Pixiport Corporation. The lady probably sits around eating 'bon- bons' all day, collecting fat checks from a bunch of 'suits' who cater to her every lazy whim.
I'm definitely book-marking this site for Hello, what's this - "Application for Gallery"? You think? Well, why not? What's it hurt to try? They're asking for only three examples. My stuff probably won't get past the disillusioned art school grad in the mailroom, but If it does, if it somehow gets past all the underlings and reaches someone experienced, then they'll see the technique and the years of work. BIO- keep it short - the work always speaks loudest - but DO mention my five kids. That always makes people feel sorry for you! Which three images? Hmm. Sara09 now looks a little under-saturated in the reds. I'll have to tweak it some more. I'll send up Sara02, Sara08, and something in a different style from last year.
Journal Entry 10/03/03 - 4:15 PM; Something fishy is going on. I just received an e-mail reply from Pixiport.com - from none other than Helyn Davenport, herself. Someone from the corporate office must have pried her lose from the 'bon-bons' long enough for her to dictate a personal reply to me. She said my work was beautiful and I'd be "Welcome" as an artist on Pixiport. Yeah, right And I was born yesterday. Perhaps I'm a little guilty of living that famous Groucho Marx line, " I wouldn't want to be a member of any club that would have ME as a member."
Think I'll do some research and find out what kind of scam this Helyn Chick is running.
Read On.... »
| The Voice Behind The Lens|
I can still remember the first time that I saw a woman apply lipstick in public. I was a child eating in a restaurant with my family. The older woman at the next table had just eaten dinner. She reached down into her purse for what I later learned was a compact and lipstick and began "refreshing herself". In my young mind, all forms of "making up" were private acts to be done in private places. I do not remember if my mother wore lipstick at the time or only applied it when she was at home. I was shocked at this woman's public display, of what in my mind, was private conduct. Hundreds of small compact mirrors, tubes of lipstick and public applications later, I have learned that this is perfectly appropriate behavior in many circles. I am no longer shocked, but still get a little camera crazy, at the flash of the compact mirror and the puckered lips that so often accompany a public application of this colorful product.
Cultural norms, and sometimes necessity, dictate socially acceptable behavior in diverse societies. Many years ago, I was in Haiti's capital city, Port-Au-Prince. Along with my female companion, I observed men casually urinating against a convenient wall. Last week, along a major Florida highway, I saw a car pulled over and two young boys running from it, apparently very eager to make it to make it over to the bushes. The recent incident was reminiscent of the former. Both were equally worth photographing. In both cases, for different reasons, I "missed" obtaining the shots, but can see them in my mind with the clarity of the image that could have been obtained.
From the Street Photographers perspective, public displays of ostensibly private acts offer an important, interesting and photogenic view of our times. Charting changing mores and public behavior and doing so in a way that is beautiful and interesting is the goal of many Street Photographers.
It should be fascinating to see what photographs of the present will remain or be viewed in the future. It will be even more interesting to see how diverse societies deal with privacy issues that are certain to accompany an inevitable population explosion over the next 100 years and beyond. On the one hand, it could be argued that as our public spaces become more crowded, individuals will be forced to do more of what we now consider private, in public places. Others would argue that people will seek to surround themselves with a more secure zone of privacy as see their individual space diminish.
Read On.... »